Lifelong Learning

Wichita State University will be offering six NEW 0.5 credit-hour (non-degree) courses for Spring 2023 designed primarily for students 60+ years of age. 

Lifelong Learning Spring 2023 registration has now closed.  

Please be aware that you will be receiving a 1098-T tax form from WSU. Even though you were auditing the classes and some of the fees could be scholarshipped by the University, we are required by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to provide you with a 1098-T form. For more information regarding the 1098-T please visit


Spring 2023 Lifelong Learning Courses

Lifelong Learning Spring 2023 registration has now closed.  

All course work will be offered in-person and online.

In person classes will be held at the Wichita State University Metropolitan Complex located at 5015 E. 29th St. North. 

Online classes will be available. Students who select this option will receive a link via email each week to view the class on their own device. Students can watch the the recording at their convenience.

The schedule of courses can be found below. Live in-person classes will meet from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Students who enroll in the online option can access the classes online anytime.


Art of the Northern Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age

Mondays, Feb. 27 & March 6, 20 & 27

This course examines the art of the Northern Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age with a focus on the visual traditions and material culture of Flanders, the Netherlands and Germany during the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. The invention of the printing press, impact of the Protestant Reformation and encounters with the Italian Renaissance art and artists, patrons and humanists provide an artistic, social, political and economic framework for interpreting and contextualizing the vivid material culture of the Northern Renaissance. There are innovations in production methods, changes in patronage and collecting activities and the development of novel sacred and secular themes and genres. We will take a close look at the great master works of Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Durer, Peiter Bruegel, Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer.

Instructor: Dan Kirchhefer, Lecturer, Art, Design and Creative Industries, College of Fine Arts, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Acquire and develop the skills of visual analysis and interpretation.
- Learn to situate the works of art in their social and cultural contexts.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between artistic process and a work’s underlying concept, and where appropriate, contexts associated with the work.
- Identify and analyze the formal elements of a particular art form using vocabulary and critique appropriate to that form.
- Demonstrate knowledge of diverse artistic traditions and materials in northern Europe during the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries.


How Do Other Countries Handle Issues that Divide the U.S.?

Tuesdays, Feb. 28 & March 7, 21 & 28

This course seeks to examine ideas, attitudes, movements, and behaviors of people in other nations toward subjects that currently divide Americans. Government and public attitudes toward wealth and poverty, roles of men and women, isolationism v. intervention in foreign policy, medical beliefs and distrust, economic depressions and approaches to capitalism, censorship and crackdowns on dissent, individualism v. community, perceptions of “Others” and treatment of prisoners will be examined as they differ across the globe.  

Instructor: Dr. Gretchen Eick, Lecturer, Department of History, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Identify ideas, behaviors and attitudes that contrast with those of many Americans.
- Identify the causative factors that have made these ideas, behaviors and attitudes flourish in other nations. 
- Learn through primary source documents, snippets of documentary footage, photographs and lecture the history within which this recycling recurs.


History of U.S. Foreign Policy

Wednesdays, March 1, 8, 22 & 29

This course traces a brief history of U.S. foreign policy over the course of four weeks. It covers the story of how U.S. foreign policy developed and changed course over more than two centuries.  The course highlights several traditions in U.S. policy and discussion of what shapes policy as the history unfolds.

Instructor: Dr. Michael Hall, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Learn, recall and understand more detail about different periods of history, such as the nineteenth century, the interwar period, the Cold War and the post-Cold War world.  
- Apply four different traditions to the history of U.S. foreign policy and examine how these traditions form patterns among leaders and policies at different times in history.
- Examine briefly how, at different times, presidents, the Congress, public opinion, parties and interest groups influence the process of decision-making.
- Consider how to critique of the goals and outcomes of foreign policy.


When the Earth Shakes: The Geology of Earthquakes

Fridays, March 24, 31, April 7 & 21

Earthquakes have shaken and shaped our planet for millennia and are one of Earth’s most unpredictable and destructive natural disasters. Earthquakes have toppled skyscrapers, disrupted transportation, caused fires, triggered landslides, started tsunamis and taken lives. To understand what earthquakes are and why they occur where they do, we will explore the grand unifying theory of geology—plate tectonics. We will also cover how earthquakes are measured, how epicenters are determined, seismic waves, predictions, hazards, preparedness and mitigation, while exploring noteworthy earthquakes from around the world and the mid-west. Recent Kansas earthquakes and the potential for more will also be discussed.

Instructor: Heather Merchant, Lecturer, Department of Geology, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Relate earthquake activity to plate tectonics.
- Identify the focus and epicenter of an earthquake.
- Describe the kinds of seismic waves emitted during an earthquake.
- List major earthquakes throughout the world and why they occurred.
- Determine how humans can lessen the impact from earthquakes.


The Origins of Musical Storytelling: A Global Perspective

Mondays, April 10, 17, 24 & May 1

This course is designed to explore musical storytelling and how it represents our rich cultural diversity. The Broadway Musical is one of the world’s most popular art forms dominating the commercial market. Where did it come from and what was its purpose? If we look through a lens of the global perspective, we find that musical storytelling in many cultures has played a critical role in human development and communication since the beginning of time.  

Instructor: Linda Starkey, Retired Faculty, Lecturer, School of Performing Arts, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Develop an appreciation for the importance of storytelling around the globe.
- Discover how musical storytelling informed cultural identity and the arts.
- Understand the power of music, dance and performance art to enhance unique cultural expression.
- Gain an appreciation for the impact of the global perspective on present day musical theatre.


The History of Detective Fiction 

Tuesdays, April 11, 18, 25 & May 2

The hard-boiled detective, the femme fatale, the whodunit—you are likely already familiar with the tropes of contemporary crime fiction. But what did representations of crime and punishment in literature look like before crime fiction was an established genre, or before there were even detectives or an organized police force? How did crime literature change with the advent of detective work? This course takes up these questions to study literary lawbreakers before and after the concepts of “crime” and “crime fiction” were formalized as the categories we understand today. We’ll discuss popular fiction of several time periods in order to trace the development of the literary genre of crime fiction. We’ll also consider the different figures that populate the genre in these periods: the criminal, the police officer, the detective and, of course, the reader.

Instructor: Dr. Katie Lanning, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Wichita State University

Objectives: Students will...
- Develop foundational skills in literary analysis.
- Evaluate a literary genre, its aims and its methods.
- Analyze the early development of crime literature.


Enroll NOW!

Classes are FREE* for students 60+ years old who enroll by February 8, 2023.

Lifelong Learning Spring 2023 registration has now closed. 

*This is made possible by a scholarship which covers all course fees provided by Wichita State University and a tuition waiver provided by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Students 60+ years of age who enroll after February 8, 2023, will incur an application fee and regular course fees.

To register for these classes, senior citizens may call our office at (316) 978-3731 or fill out and submit an application/registration form. Please mail applications to:

Office for Workforce, Professional & Community Education
1845 Fairmount Street, Box 136
Wichita, KS 67260-0136


Space for in-person classes is limited, enroll today!



For questions, contact us at 316-978-3731 or

The information on this page applies only to the courses offered at the designated locations. For information on senior citizen audits of credit courses located on the main campus or satellite locations, please visit their registration page.


Once you are registered, all you need to do is show up at the first day of class and present a Medicare card or driver's license to validate age. In addition, you will be required to pay all fees (via check or cash only) at your first class (if applicable).

Students who are younger than 60 years of age can enroll in these courses, but will pay regular tuition and fees. If you're younger than 60 and have NOT previously been admitted to WSU, you can apply here. If you've already been admitted as a student at WSU, you can register for these classes through the myWSU portal. You will need the CRN number for the courses in which you would like to register. The CRN number and additional details for each course can be found in the course brochure.