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Welcome to the Senior Institute at CCBC. We offer many enjoyable continuing education courses, workshops, lectures, and learning vacations especially designed for senior adults. Approximately 800 courses are offered each year at over 50 community-based locations throughout Baltimore County, including retirement communities, assisted living facilities, senior centers, college campuses and extension centers. You will find courses to challenge your intellect, test your skills, inspire your creativity, and stimulate your senses to encourage you to reach for something new and different. Learning is about reaching, exploring and discovering. Join the Senior Institute to meet new friends, explore options and discover new worlds.


The Senior Institute is The Community College of Baltimore County’s continuing education arm for senior adults. It’s curriculum of hundreds of community-based courses, lectures and international learning vacations form an on-going schedule of study in various disciplines.

The Senior Institute has a commitment to create a variety of community-based courses and lectures throughout the year where, with their peers, senior adults of all educational levels can discover new heart’s desires, lead a fulfilling life, and keep informed about various subjects.


The Friendly Senior’s Program began during the 1972-73 school year when faculty members, counselors, administrators and interested seniors from the community met to develop a senior program on what was then the Essex Community College. With a nucleus of approximately 50 individuals and with the assistance of the administration and faculty, the Wednesday Senior Program began. Approximately one year later the group adopted the name of Friendly Seniors.

The program of courses were and continue to be designed to meet the interests of the senior adults who want to continue their goal of life long learning in the environment of a college campus. It had been decided form the very beginning that the program should be academic rather than avocational.

The Friendly Seniors are made up of students age 60 and over, each of whom have an inquiring mind, youthful attitude and have a desire to continue the learning process, share their wealth of knowledge with others and be an active participant in a campus community. Classes met each Wednesday, between 10am and 3pm. Average attendance is between 55 and 70 students. The 10am and 1:30pm classes are non-credit college level courses and the 11:30am class is a program called “Better Health and Wellness for the Senior Adult”, a program designed to help seniors remain active and healthy. During most of the year the program is an exercise program especially designed for seniors, but we have also started to introduce the ancient Chinese exercise program called Tai Chi.

Courses are taught by faculty members, professionals in the community, and retirees with expertise in a variety of fields including, but not limited to, literature, religion, music, history, current events, theatre, government and law, and the environment. Many of the instructors enjoy instructing these students so much that they have requested to be invited back again to instruct on other topics or areas of interest to the seniors.

Over the years many of the Friendly Seniors have involved themselves in various campus activities including volunteering for Cockpit in The Court (Campus Theatre), the Health Fair, working with the College Foundation and participating in the College Ethnic Heritage Festival. As a group they participate in fund raising activities to benefit the college. As a gift to the campus on it’s fifteenth anniversary they donated over eight thousand dollars necessary to create and endow Tribute Terrace, a meditation garden at the rear of the Humanities Building, which is a favorite study spot for students of all ages. The seniors also have remembered past members by dedicating the benches on the terrace to their memory.

Since 1993 the Friendly Seniors have raised and contributed to the Essex Foundation, one thousand dollars each year, to support a permanent scholarship established in the group’s name. The scholarship is available to students in good standing of any age that are in need of financial support to continue their education. Money is also donated to the scholarship fund by the group as a memorial to individuals in the Friendly Seniors upon their death.

The Friendly Seniors are a very unique group of individuals with a thirty-year history of involvement on the Essex Campus. While they continue their education and remain active they have developed a very close relationship among themselves and are a very tightly knit group who supply many types of support to each other. The college has offered these individuals this opportunity and the seniors have responded by becoming active in campus life and very supportive of the college. The seniors are not just individuals who come onto the campus to take classes but have developed a community among themselves to the mutual benefit of the group and the college.

SCHEDULE: (each semester runs approximately 10 weeks each)

Summer Semester

July – September

Fall Semester

October – December

Winter Semester

January – March

Spring Semester

April – June

COST:  $55.00 Per Semester (includes the cost of three courses per semester)


For more information, please contact: Ms. Jean Fagan, Program Coordinator, at

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