Above: Susan Stuttard, Harry Whittier, Blanche Potter Creighton, Bob Anderson. Image by Bonnie Bobryk Photography.
SCANS is Nova Scotia’s first Seniors’ College. From the outset, it was to be a membership focussed organization where paid registrants selected their own officers and chose their own curriculum. Blanche Potter (above, second from right) was appointed the first president and registrar of SCANS. Dr. Bob Anderson (above, far right) was the first curriculum chair for SCANS, and Sid Sodhi served as the initial communications officer. All executive positions and facilitators were volunteers. SCANS was incorporated as a registered non-profit society with the Registry of Joint Stocks on January 16, 2008
The society grew quickly, and the curriculum eventually included up to 75 courses annually, taught in three semesters of six weeks each. By 2012 the number of members had reached 450 and 100 of them were from outside HRM as lectures were held in Truro, Mahone Bay, Liverpool, and Chester. Membership rose to 800 by 2019. The courses are university-level but have no prerequisites, have no exams and are non-credit.
A Brief History of SCANS
Compiled by Colin Stuttard PhD, May 25, 2018
In mid 2007 the Association of Dalhousie Retirees and Pensioners (ADRP) authorized a Task Force to organize a seniors’ college in Halifax modelled on the Seniors College of the University of Prince Edward Island. By September, four instructors had agreed to teach for 10 weeks to 104 seniors, each of whom paid $60 to register for up to 4 academic courses.
On November 16, 2007, course registrants adopted a constitution for the Seniors’ College Association of Nova Scotia (SCANS), which became an officially registered society in January 2008.
At the first AGM (May 24, 2008) membership dues were set at $120 per calendar year, later changed to any 12 months from the date dues were paid, and 3 terms per year as of January 1, 2009.
Starting in January 2010, active instructors got free memberships for 1 year. Also, SCANS opened satellites (“Chapters”): Mahone Bay began in September, Truro followed in January 2011, Liverpool and Chester in 2013. In 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding clarified the functioning of SCANS chapters.
In 2012, funding was obtained for a part-time Office Manager; after August 2013 the position came under the operating budget. As of January 1, 2013, membership dues were raised to $135/year, which was acceptable to 97% of about 500 members surveyed.
In 2014 Bloomfield Centre (SCANS base since inception) was closed, and new course venues were needed; the office was moved to Gottingen St. In December 2017 SCANS moved again - to the Maritime Conservatory for the Performing Arts.
On June 1, 2015, SCANS began collecting HST on membership dues. The Office Manager-Registrar’s position was increased to 80% FTE; the board held a Strategic Planning Session.
In 2017 <theSCANS.org> was initiated. As of late May 2018, SCANS had about 720 members and on June 1 dues would rise to $150/year (+ HST).
A Brief History of SCANS: From an ADRP Idea to a Mature Society (Colin Stuttard)