Organic gardens? One-stroke art? Self defense? LEP offers it all

May 11, 2013 1:24:43 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


Learning a new skill, an innovative exercise, or a better way to tackle almost anything from scrapbooking to eBay is at the community's fingertips. Those subjects, plus many others, are among course offerings in the Mississippi University for Women Life Enrichment Program's upcoming summer terms.  


Registration is now open for two four-week periods -- June 3 through June 28, and July 8 through Aug. 3. For a modest registration fee of $35 per term, participants can take up to five stimulating non-credit adult classes that will expand horizons.  


Courses on a wide range of topics are taught by volunteers from the community who are authorities in their field.  


"The program has grown by leaps and bounds since it first began; people are loving it," said LEP Coordinator Debbie Swartz.  


Classes are held during the day, early evening and Saturday mornings and meet once a week for one to two hours. Class sizes are limited by the space available. A few may include additional fees for materials or field trips.  


Swartz said 259 people were enrolled in spring semester courses, which just ended. She hopes the summer terms will see an influx of teachers, taking advantage of their break from the daily classroom.  


Beth Sims and Qua Austin, both of Columbus, are two past LEP participants. 


"It was the most fun! I met new people that I hadn't met anywhere else -- and I was learning something, too," Sims said, talking of the Peace by Piece course on organization she took. 


"They've always got a great selection of classes," emphasized Austin, who enjoyed studying about wine pairings. "I found it very helpful because I cook a lot, and I like the pairing of wine with foods; I was able to expand my cooking experience." Taking the class with friends made it even better. "It was about friendship and expanding my knowledge," she added. 


Many of the course topics are suggested by the LEP Advisory Board, which also helps recruit volunteer instructors who have a passion for what they do. 


"They're like our feet out in the community," said Swartz of the board. "And we're truly indebted to our instructors; without them we couldn't do it." 




Summer courses 


LEP summer term classes include Buying and Selling on eBay; Empower U-Enhanced Wellness; Facial Rejuvenation; Personalized Health Planning; Photography, PiYo Pump; Scrapbooking; Sustainable Agriculture; Self-Defense for Women; Investing-How to Get More Disclosure; Basic Landscaping and Gardening; Decorating Your Home; Genealogy; Laughter, a Serious Medicine; Line Dancing; Medicare/Medicaid and the New Health Care System; One Stroke Art Made Easy; Own Your Beliefs; Splash Time; and Stretch, Breathe and Relax. 




How to sign up 


Registration and payment can be made online at Or make checks payable to MUW and mail to Life Enrichment Program, Mississippi University for Women, 1100 College St., W-1638, Columbus, MS 39701. For additional information, contact Swartz at [email protected] or 662-329-7150 or 662-241-6101.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.