Since 2009, the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL), a program of the McGill School of Continuing Studies (SCS), has been actively involved in outreach programs to the larger Quebec community. MCLL’s peer learning process ensures that local participants are involved in co-creating their own educational experience. In cooperation with Quebec’s Community Learning Centres (CLCs), MCLL assisted in developing three older adult peer learning initiatives—in Lachute, Saint-Lambert, and Quebec City. In practice, MCLL volunteers explain and illustrate the MCLL model to members of the CLC communities, demonstrating how participants learn from each other through research and discussion. Where appropriate, MCLL moderators/instructors used videoconferencing and workshops to connect with leaders from the various regions for planning and support.
This paper describes the challenges and rewards of integrating a volunteer-led lifelong learning program in diverse community settings. By examining what has been achieved and how it has been accomplished over a four-year period, the paper considers the successes of this collaboration and looks into areas of future expansion.