Community Church College is changing it up

Published on: September 23, 2015

The Community Church College is on an innovation streak. CCC is a long-standing educational institution for retirees and others, providing information, education and entertainment on a wide range of topics as a service for the local community. Many of its classes have been highly rated by former attendees who believe in lifelong learning and keeping minds active and alert.

The school has long offered two six-week terms — one in the fall starting in mid-October and another in the winter to early spring, starting in mid-February.

Now, with new Dean Anne Ginevan and Office Manager Larry Piechoski in place, the nonprofit school in Sun City Center continues to experiment with added offerings. During the past two years, in addition to its traditional menu of courses and bus trips, the school has held a series of well-attended events including a “spelling bee,” a lecture on Cuba, and a panel discussion on immigration. And this term, it is also introducing new “varying-length” courses.

One advantage of offering adult education for retired people is it can be shorter and more informal. Six weeks is more digestible and more “bite-sized” for most people than a traditional college semester. Another advantage is that the wider range of offerings, providing useful and interesting or fun sessions that don’t have to fit the rigid academic mold of a degree-granting college.

This fall, instructors can choose any length for their class, from one to six weeks. The shorter the time commitment the more likely classes may fit into busy schedules.

A number of shorter classes will be held this fall. For example, a former schoolteacher from California has a single lecture he will offer on the historic uniqueness of our country and its future, called America, the Last Best Hope. “I would not have done this at the six-week length,” said instructor Phil Coates. “The points fit better into a single talk followed by a long question period.”

Other classes range widely: from financial and investment advice to interior design and painting, to photography and computer workshops, to health and nutrition and aging gracefully, to understanding different cultures, to learning basic Spanish and more.

The fall term runs from Oct. 12 to Nov. 20. Each class meets for 90 minutes and the cost is $25 for a six-week course, or $6 per session if attended on a class-by-class basis.

Full descriptions, times, and classrooms for every course (as well as many one-day bus trips) are on the school’s website: Course catalogs are available at the SCC library, the SouthShore Regional Library, the Community Association gym and Kings Point South and North Clubhouses.

Classes are held at the United Community Church, United Church of Christ, which has sponsored and hosted the school since 1976 as part of its outreach mission, at 1501 La Jolla Ave. The college office is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, during the school term. For more information, call 813-634-8607, or email

Registration begins Sept. 23 in the college office. No worries for returning snowbirds, there is late registration through Oct. 12 in the college office. Walk-ins always welcome.