Food for Thought: COTC Lifelong Learning Institute Course Begins January 8

​​NEWARK, Ohio, January 4, 2016 — A new menu of courses is being offered to the senior citizen population throughout central Ohio through the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC). The first program of the semester designed to appeal to the palette of the perpetual learner is called Food for Thought: the Science & Myths behind Your Food. With such terms prevalently heard in media as "GMO, Organic, and Locavore," how do we separate the scientific reality from the social hype? Through this LLI course offering, participants will examine the science and myths behind current trends in sustainable and organic food and genetically modified food, posing such questions as and exploring the answers to: What are the health impacts and environmental risks of genetically engineered plants and food? Is organic food really better for us and the environment? How do we begin to make informed choices? What is the link between our food and its impact on the natural world and our health?

The course will be offered at the COTC Pataskala Campus on Fridays, January 8, 15, 22, and 29, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon each date.

"What we provide through the LLI is an incredible opportunity for the mature learners of central Ohio to enjoy camaraderie and fun in an exciting educational environment through intriguing and enlightening programming," explains Central Ohio Technical College's Workforce Development Innovation Center (WDIC) and Lifelong Learning Institute Director Vicki Maple. "There is literally something for everyone because it's actually our LLI members and participants that help select the programs and courses for their own enjoyment."

Peer-led and membership-driven, the LLI offers a year-round menu of programs and non-college-credit courses, as well as film studies, book discussions, field trips, and events that focus on everything from the arts, literature, philosophy, and science, to languages, technology, spirituality, economics, and local, national, and world affairs.

The 2016 spring course catalog, available now, is filled with courses and programs ranging from Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery, Lake Erie Critical Issues, and Pilot Dog Training Process; to Veterinary Medicine & Pet Therapy, Medicinal Herb Growth, and Internet Shopping and Cyber Security. The classes often range from between forty to seventy participants in each session.

"Our LLI catalogs are available at no cost, and senior participants may also attend their first LLI course for free," Maple said. "For those wishing to become members of LLI, there is an annual membership fee of just $90, or for Licking County residents over the age of 60, there is a 50% savings of $45, thanks to our friends at the Licking County Senior Levy. The annual membership fee covers all courses offered now through August 2016."

Members may choose as many or as few of the programs and courses as they wish to experience, and they're all covered in that $45 or $90 annual membership fee. There is also an option to pay $20 or $30 per course if one chooses not to become a member. There are typically upwards of twenty different offerings per semester.

"As a member of the LLI for the past several years, I have enjoyed participating in this learning community," said LLI member Jim Kimnach. "I taught math for 44 years from grades seven through the community college level, and through LLI, I've gotten to make new acquaintances, and learn interesting academic information at the same time."

The LLI is celebrating its fifth year with Central Ohio Technical College. The mantra of the Lifelong Learning Institute is "Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching!" 

The LLI course catalog and listing of upcoming programs are available online at, or catalogs can be sent by mail to those interested in receiving one. To request a catalog or more information, or to register for the upcoming Food for Thought course on January 8th, contact Vicki Maple at COTC: phone 740-364-9565 or email

Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential.  COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.