Senior Adult Program

Senior Adult Program Vision:

The College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program will be respected regionally and nationally for excellence in the development and delivery of innovative educational opportunities for adults age 55 and above.

Senior Adult Program Mission:

The College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program’s mission is to provide lifelong learning opportunities for senior adults 55 years of age and older by offering personal enrichment classes in a positive, accepting, and intergenerational environment. The Senior Adult Program staff collaborates with academic departments and the community to develop programs that meet society’s existing and emerging educational needs for senior adults.

Who is a senior adult?

Any person 55 years of age or better.

Message from the Director

Welcome to the College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program. We hope you will join us this fall for classes, lectures and trips. Inside these pages you will discover ways to express your creative side, learn new skills, connect with others, stay cur¬rent on technology, have fun and explore a world of opportunity. COM prides itself on having instructors who are passion¬ate about their subjects and innovative in their teaching. 

Mark your calendars:

  • Aug. 4 - Fall registration begins
  • Sept. 2 - Fall classes begin
  • Nov. 27-28 - COM closed for Thanksgiving holidays
  • Dec. 1 - Spring registration begins
  • Dec. 12 - Annual Senior Adult Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the gym on the main campus
  • Dec. 18 - Jan. 4 - COM closed for Winter Break

Have you taken a trip with us yet? This is a great way to get to know other seniors and stay involved in your community. Most of our trips fill up quickly, so find the one you would like to go on and register soon.
I challenge you to try a new class, something that has piqued your curi¬osity or that you have always wanted to try. You might surprise yourself and make some new friends while you’re at it!

We strive to offer fun, exciting and relevant courses for senior adults and have several new classes in this schedule. If you have a suggestion for other new courses, please call the Senior Adult Program Office at 409- 933- 8226.

Please join us in welcoming Maegan Guzman, the new administrative assistant for the Senior Adult Program. Maegan’s experience will be a great asset to our program. The next time you are near the COM Learn¬ing Center-Delmar location, please stop by to meet her.  

Alesha Vardeman Aulds
aaulds@com.edu
409-933-8432

Fall 2014 Schedule

Fall 2014 Schedule

Download the Fall 2014 Schedule (PDF)

For step-by-step instructions on how to register using WebAdvisor, please click here.

Senior ID Card Information

Senior adults who register for a Senior Adult Program (SENR) class or Senior Fitness Membership to use the gym on the main campus will be provided a free Senior ID Card to gain access into the gym facility.

All other senior adults who wish to have a Senior ID for the purpose of the benefits listed below will be required to pay a one-time $5 fee. If the ID card is lost or stolen, the replacement cost is $5. Cash payments can be accepted at the gym front desk. Debit or credit card payments must be made at the cashier located in the Enrollment Center, and the receipt will need to be taken to the gym front desk.

The ID machine is located in the gym at the front desk. Please take a valid photo ID with you to have your senior ID made.

After registering each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) for a Senior Fitness Membership, you must take the Senior ID card to the gym front desk staff for activation.

For SENR Fitness Memberships, after registering EACH semester (Fall, Spring, Summer), The SENR ID card must be taken to the GYM Front desk staff for activation.

Seniors possessing a valid senior ID card are entitled to the following COM benefits:

  • Use of the COM Library
  • Use of the Innovations Computer Lab in TVB-1324
  • Discount on COM Cosmetology services at The Salon; call 409- 933-8480 for more information.
  • Discount on tickets for COM Community Theatre productions; call 409-933-8345 for more information.
  • Blood pressure reading with an automated monitor is available daily in Senior Adult Program Office.

Fall 2014 Lectures (Open to Everyone – Must register to attend)

  1. LECTURE: GENEALOGY OVERVIEW AND LIBRARY RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

    Students will learn about upcoming trips to various libraries, the basic methods and systems for studying genealogy and the thrill of finding ancestors they never knew they had. During upcoming library trips stu­dents may discover birth, marriage or death records, probate records and perhaps wills. Students will learn how to dig a little deeper and develop persistence and research techniques along the way. Debbie Cothern teaches this class. 

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7410 SENR-7098-101CL 09/03/14-09/03/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106 

  2. LECTURE: PORTION DISTORTION IN A SUPER-SIZED WORLD

    Average portion sizes have grown so much during the past 20 years that sometimes the plate arrives and there’s enough food for two or even three people on it. Growing portion sizes are changing what Americans view as normal portions at home too. Learn about the effects of portion distortion on our health and medical care costs and about nutrient-dense foods and a simple plan to improve any diet.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7411 SENR-7098-102CL 09/10/14-09/10/14
    W 02:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

  3. LECTURE: AARP DRIVER SAFETY COURSE

    The AARP sponsors this one-day safety course, and most major insurance companies offer discounted rates for those who complete it. The class shows seniors safer driving techniques to compensate for age-related problems. Participants will receive a completion certificate and should check with their insurance agents to discover whether completing this course will qualify them for an insurance discount. The certificate fee is $15 for participants with a valid AARP membership card and $20 for nonmembers. The instructor at the beginning of class will collect this fee. Note: This is a not a ticket dismissal class. Barbara Cook teaches this class.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7412 SENR-7098-103CL 09/24/14-09/24/14
    W 12:00PM-04:00PM LMCR 107

    SYN: 7420 SENR-7098-112CL 12/11/14-12/11/14
    TH 09:00AM-01:00PM LMCR 107

  4. LECTURE: THE KEY TO MANAGING DIABETES

    This workshop will explain diabetes mellitus, its prevalence and the life­style factors that contribute to diabetes. It will explore facts and myths and focus on the key principles for managing diabetes. Staff from Texas Home Health, an AccentCare Company, teach this class.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7413 SENR-7098-104CL 09/30/14-09/30/14
    T 02:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

  5. LECTURE: ARTISTRY IN THE WILD

    Doug Hiser, award winning wildlife artist and best-selling Amazon. com author, will highlight his artistic process for drawing and painting pieces that feature animals from across the globe. Hiser will also touch on incorporating nature, and all of its beauty, into visual art and creative writing.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7793 SENR-7098-105CL 10/01/14-10/01/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 

  6. LECTURE: GENEALOGY: IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION

    Students will learn how to research the immigration and naturalization records of Galveston County from the 1800’s through the 1950’s. It will demonstrate how to search the Internet and show a few examples of re­cords. Doryn Glenn, director of governmental affairs in Galveston County, teaches this workshop.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7415 SENR-7098-107CL 10/22/14-10/22/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

  7. LECTURE: ALZHEIMER CAREGIVER’S WORKSHOP

    Participants will learn how to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and discover the techniques that work best to manage different types of behaviors. The class discusses how to encourage a loved one to engage in an activity and provides activities to stimulate a loved one’s five senses when in the late stages of Alzheim­er’s disease or dementia. Juliana Burr, client care coordinator for Home Instead Senior Care, facilitates this workshop.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7416 SENR-7098-108CL 10/29/14-10/29/14
    W 02:00PM-04:00PM LMCR 106

  8. LECTURE: VETERANS’ BENEFITS

    Veterans and their spouses may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called VA Aid and Attendance. The benefit was designed to provide financial assistance to offset the cost of long-term or in-home care. This class will fully explain the program, how to qualify and how to work through the paperwork maze. Bob Groux and Paul Shaffer from Veterans’ Advocates present this lecture.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7417 SENR-7098-109CL 11/05/14-11/05/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

  9. LECTURE: GENEALOGY: CLUSTER AND WHOLE FAMILY RESEARCH

    Students will learn how to research cluster and whole-family records. By researching an ancestor’s family members, a genealogist can often open doors to further family research. Using death certificates and obituaries of extended family members, you may be able to find information you are searching for regarding your own ancestry. Students will also learn how to obtain obituaries from small-town newspapers. Melodey M. Hauch teaches this class.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7418 SENR-7098-110CL 11/12/14-11/12/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

  10. LECTURE: HOLIDAY HOME SAFETY AND SAFE SHOPPING

    This lecture will provide information to seniors that will empower them to take control of their safety and wellbeing at home and while out shopping for the holidays. Because crime levels rise during the holiday season, the goal of this class is to introduce strategies for home and personal crime prevention. Lt. Sylvia Chapa, of the COM Police Depart­ment, teaches this class.

    Cost: Senior: FREE
    SYN: 7419 SENR-7098-111CL 11/19/14-11/19/14
    W 01:00PM-03:00PM LMCR 106

Fall 2014 Senior Trips (open to senior adults age 55 or older)

  1. TRIP: PASADENA LITTLE THEATRE’S “ARSENIC AND OLD LACE”

    A Dutch treat supper will be followed by the Pasadena Little Theatre production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” This award-winning play, written in 1939, is a farcical comedy centering on the Brewster family, descend­ed from Mayflower settlers but now comprised of insane people and murderers. Two spinster aunts have taken to murdering lonely old men, a brother believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and a murderous brother has received plastic surgery to conceal his identity. Cost includes transporta­tion and admission ticket. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Aug. 25

    Cost: Senior: $28
    SYN: 7421 SENR-7099-101CL 09/11/14-09/11/14
    TH 05:00PM-11:00PM

  2. TRIP: GENEALOGY – CLAYTON LIBRARY

    Students will travel to the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, one of the top genealogical research libraries in the United States. Instructor Debbie Cothern will assist beginner and advanced students in tracing their family history using research techniques and library resources. This library houses over 70,000 reels of microfilm and other electronic databases. This session will include a tour of the second floor, which houses a family histories collection, including published and non-pub­lished documents. Lunch is Dutch treat at Bodgas Mexican Restaurant, or participants may bring a sack lunch and eat at the library. The cost covers transportation and instruction. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Sept. 2

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7422 SENR-7099-102CL 09/16/14-09/16/14
    T 09:00AM-05:00PM D Cothern

  3. TRIP: PASADENA HOMETOWN OPRY – 50’S SHOW

    A Dutch treat supper will be followed by the Pasadena Hometown Opry’s show. Take a walk down memory lane and enjoy the theme for this evening’s performance – music from the 1950’s. The cost includes transportation and admission. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older.

    Refund deadline: Sept. 11

    Cost: Senior: $28
    SYN: 7423 SENR-7099-103CL 09/26/14-09/26/14
    F 05:00PM-11:00PM

  4. TRIP: GENEALOGY – MONTGOMERY COUNTY LIBRARY, CONROE

    Participants will travel to the Montgomery County Library in Conroe, Texas. Instructor Debbie Cothern will assist beginner and advanced stu­dents in tracing their family history using research techniques and library resources. This library houses many resources including special collec­tions, the Dawes Rolls (Native American), south Louisiana records by Hebert and 19th-century military records. The cost covers transportation and instruction. Lunch is Dutch treat at Cracker Barrel, or participants may bring a sack lunch and eat at the library. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Sept. 23

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7424 SENR-7099-104CL 10/07/14-10/07/14
    T 09:00AM-05:00PM D Cothern

  5. TRIP: BIRDWATCHING – ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AND BOLIVAR FLATS

    Richard Mayfield hosts this trip to the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge and the Bolivar Flats. At Bolivar Flats participants will walk the beach searching for shorebirds, and at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge they will drive around the ponds looking for ducks, herons and rails. Please bring a sack lunch to picnic, snacks and plenty of water for the day. Binoculars are needed for this trip, and a camera is suggested. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Sept. 23

    Cost: Senior: $28
    SYN: 7425 SENR-7099-105CL 10/07/14-10/07/14
    T 08:15AM-04:00PM R Mayfield

  6. TRIP: SPINDLETOP BOOMTOWN MUSEUM AND MCFADDIN-WARD HOUSE, BEAUMONT

    This trip to Beaumont features two attractions: the McFadden-Ward House Historic House Museum and the Spindletop – Gladys City Boom­town Museum. Built in 1900, the McFadden-Ward House features dis­tinctive Beaux-Arts colonial style architecture and reflects the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived there for 75 years. The Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum will take the student back in time to when the great gusher of 1901 changed Texas’ economy and helped usher in the oil age. Participants will enjoy a Dutch treat lunch between attractions. Cost includes transportation and admission tickets. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Sept. 30

    Cost: Senior: $28
    SYN: 7426 SENR-7099-106CL 10/15/14-10/15/14
    W 08:00AM-04:30PM

  7. TRIP: NIZZA MOSAIC STUDIO AND GALLERY AND A STATEMENT IN GLASS

    Students will travel to the Nizza Mosaic Studio and Gallery in the Heights area of Houston, a working gallery where students will watch artworks in progress and view a gallery of completed works. Glass and tools are available for purchase. Following a Dutch treat lunch, students will travel to A Statement in Glass: Stained Glass Supplies in La Porte, where they may purchase supplies for many types of glass artworks. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Oct. 13

    Cost: Senior: $15
    SYN: 7509 SENR-7099-114CL 10/24/14-10/24/14
    F 09:00AM-03:00PM

  8. TRIP: ESCAPE DOWN 288 – LAKE JACKSON TOURS

    “Escape Down 288” features three attractions. Students will visit the Sea Center Texas, which hosts the largest redfish hatchery in the world and showcases saltwater aquariums. The Lake Jackson Historical Museum promises that students will “explore the unique history of the city, visit the ghost of Maj. Jackson, fly the Windecker Eagle and learn why our streets are named This Way and That Way.” The final stop will be the Center for the Arts and Sciences, which was named one of Frommer’s Top Ten Museums in Texas and features over 14,000 shells, dinosaur fos­sils and a mineralogy collection. Lunch will be Dutch treat between the second and third attractions. The cost includes transportation and admis­sion to all attractions. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Oct. 13

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7427 SENR-7099-107CL 10/29/14-10/29/14
    W 08:00AM-04:00PM

  9. TRIP: GENEALOGY – GEORGE MEMORIAL LIBRARY, RICHMOND

    Students will travel to the George Memorial Library in Richmond, Texas. Instructor Debbie Cothern will assist beginner and advanced students in tracing their family history using research techniques and library resourc­es. This library houses resources that focus on the southeastern United States, including pension records, federal censuses and documents relat­ing to Texans in the Mexican and Civil War. Collections include books and microfilm. The cost covers transportation and instruction. Lunch is Dutch treat, or participants may bring a sack lunch and eat at the library. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Oct. 21

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7428 SENR-7099-108CL 11/04/14-11/04/14
    T 08:30AM-05:00PM D Cothern

  10. TRIP: VARNER-HOGG PLANTATION HISTORICAL SITE

    This trip to West Columbia features the Varner-Hogg Plantation, a state historic site. Students will explore the antebellum mansion, built by slaves in 1824 using brick made from Brazos River mud. This property hosted sugar cane production, rum distilling and oil drilling. Students will stroll the magnificent grounds featuring pecan orchards, magnolia trees and stories of 19th-century Texas. The cost includes transporta­tion and admission. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Oct. 27

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7429 SENR-7099-109CL 11/11/14-11/11/14
    T 08:30AM-03:30PM

  11. TRIP: BIRDWATCHING – BRAZOS BEND STATE PARK

    Richard Mayfield hosts this trip to Brazos Bend State Park, where stu­dents will park and walk around the 40-acre pond in search of ducks, herons, rails and wintering song birds. The walk around the pond is about two miles. Please wear closed-toed shoes for this trip and bring bottled water for the walk. Binoculars and a camera are suggested. Lunch will be Dutch treat at a local restaurant. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Nov. 4

    Cost: Senior: $28
    SYN: 7430 SENR-7099-110CL 11/18/14-11/18/14
    T 08:15AM-04:00PM R Mayfield

  12. TRIP: TUTS – “DIRTY DANCING, THE MUSICAL”

    A Dutch treat supper will be followed by our first trip to the Theatre Under The Stars to see the cast of Broadway Across America’s produc­tion of “Dirty Dancing, the Musical.” This classic musical story of stage tells the story of 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman’s summer of 1963, where she learns some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing when she stumbles across staff quarters during an all-night dance party. Mesmerized by the dancing and heart-pounding music, she catches the eye of Johnny Castel, the resort’s head dance in­structor. Baby becomes Johnny’s leading lady on and off the stage with breathtaking performances to the classic songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey, Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” The cost includes transportation and admission. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Nov. 7

    Cost: Senior: $50
    SYN: 7431 SENR-7099-111CL 11/19/14-11/19/14
    W 04:00PM-11:00PM

  13. TRIP: GENEALOGY – CLAYTON LIBRARY

    Students will travel to Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, one of the top genealogical research libraries in the United States. Instructor Debbie Cothern will assist beginner and advanced students in tracing their family history using research techniques and library resources. This library houses over 70,000 reels of microfilm and other electronic databases. This session will include a tour of the second floor, which houses a family histories collection, including published and nonpub­lished documents. The cost covers transportation and instruction. Lunch is Dutch treat at Bodgas Mexican Restaurant, or participants may bring a sack lunch and eat at the library. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older.

    Refund deadline: Nov. 18

    Cost: Senior: $22
    SYN: 7432 SENR-7099-112CL 12/02/14-12/02/14
    T 09:00AM-05:00PM D Cothern

  14. TRIP: ALLEY THEATRE’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”

    Back by popular demand, this trip begins with a Dutch treat supper, fol­lowed by the Alley Theatre’s classic production of “A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas.” The production is described by the Houston Post as “spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.” The Dickens’ classic is filled with holiday spirit and redemption. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. The cost includes transportation and a ticket. This trip is open to seniors 55 or older. Refund deadline: Dec. 1

    Cost: Senior: $40
    SYN: 7433 SENR-7099-113CL 12/16/14-12/16/14
    T 04:00PM-11:00PM

For more information on these trips, or to have your name placed on the waiting list for trips that are full, please call 409-933-8912 and ask to speak with Mary Combs-Denby, Senior Adult Program Trip Coordinator.


COM senior adult students endow senior scholarship

From left, Mike Cothern, Alva Cothern, Marge Dale, Grover Salsbury, COM Foundation executive director Mary Ann Amelang and Jessie Daly.

Eager to help other seniors pursue an education, the College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program Advisory Committee has raised funds to endow a scholarship exclusively for degree or certificate-seeking adults over 55.

The Ada Faye Salsbury Senior Adult Scholarship was begun by the Senior Adult Advisory Council, on which Ada Salsbury served. After she passed away, the scholarship was named in her honor. Her husband, Grover Salsbury, with Marge Dale and others on the recently formed Senior Adult Program Advisory Committee worked to raise funds to endow this scholarship in her memory.

“She loved the senior program. She took stained glass, jewelry and exercise classes. COM’s got the best senior program in the state,” said Hitchcock resident Grover Salsbury, 71. “My wife was one of the ones on the advisory council who started the program to give smaller, one-time scholarships to seniors. I wanted to see it keep going.”   

The Senior Adult Program Advisory Committee sought donations from senior adult program students and local businesses, and conducted a silent auction at the group’s Annual Christmas Luncheon. The scholarship fund now totals $25,231, well exceeding the $20,000 needed to endow the scholarship in perpetuity.

“A lot of seniors become widowed or have lost retirement,” said Grover Salsbury. “(This will help those) 55 or older get a certificate or degree to get retrained and back in the workforce.”

The scholarship, and others distributed by the COM Foundation for students of all ages, goals and backgrounds, are open for application through March 31. To learn more or apply, visit www.com.edu/scholarships or call 409-933-8508. 

Currently more than 1,200 students take advantage of the COM Senior Adult Program’s day trips, lectures and classes. To learn more about the COM Senior Adult Program, visit www.com.edu/senioradults or call 409-933-8226.


Senior Adult Program Articles

Senior adults reveal talent at COM gallery

Juxtaposing vivid floral paintings with intricate black-and-white drawings and translucent glass with dark brocade, the latest exhibit in the College of the Mainland Art Gallery exclusively features art created by students in the COM Senior Adult Program. Read the article.

COM senior adult students steal show in Galveston exhibit

Students in the College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program created a menagerie of deep-sea and furry creations that garnered awards at the Galveston Art League’s fall juried art show. Read the article.

Senior adults bead it forward

An intricately beaded one-and-a-half-inch square may seem small, but for women in the College of the Mainland Senior Adult Program, that’s all the space that’s needed to help raise funds for cancer research. This project was featured in the October 2013 Issue of Bead and Button magazine.  Read the article.