Senior College winter program examines the ‘wasteland’ of the 1970s

Program will be offered virtually; participants need to register by Dec. 31.

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The Alexandria Technical and Community College’s Senior College will remain virtual for the upcoming program.

The winter 2021 course, which is set to begin Jan. 12, will examine the question of whether the 1970s is best seen as a “wasteland” or a highly consequential period that shaped the world as it is today.

Dr. Ken Jones, professor of history at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, will lead the course examining how and why people lost their sense of American exceptionalism – the idea that the nation and its leaders were somehow special and trustworthy.

One part of the course will examine the changing nature of the U.S. economy and the implications for the working class. The course will also explore how the battle for equal rights moved to busing and then lost the nation’s attention as the lines of residential segregation hardened. At the same time, the women’s movement made great strides, the LGBT+ community commanded attention, the environmental movement began, and the religious right became a powerful force in American life.

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to draw their own conclusions about the impact of the 1970s.


This course will begin Tuesday, Jan. 12 and is set for Tuesdays and Thursdays through Thursday, Jan. 28. All sessions will take place from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. via Zoom. Students can join the group from any device with internet access that has audio – whether computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone.

Admission for the lecture series is by season membership only. A single per person membership is $50 and covers all six lectures. Registration is required. For more information, call 320-762-4510 or 888-234-1313 or visit the website .

The winter session requires a minimum of 30 people registered by Friday, Dec. 31.

Senior College, designed for those 50 and older, is offered to adults of all ages. Established in 2006, Senior College offered its first set of courses in 2007.

Faculty from Minnesota’s colleges and universities give lectures on a variety of topics – from history, political science and economics, science and literature, to philosophy, art and current affairs.

Senior College aims to “bring the liberal arts to life” by offering informative and stimulating college-level learning without the pressures of tests, grades or degrees.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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