Humanities 101


Humanities 101 began at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay in 2005. It is an outreach program designed to give a taste of higher learning to those who face barriers - either financial or otherwise - and who may never have believed that they could participate in postsecondary education.

Humanities 101 is a 12-week non-credit course. Free of charge, and led by professors who volunteer their time, the course provides transportation, child or elder care support and meals. Humanities students are provided with a student ID and are able to take advantage of all of the services that Lakehead students receive.

"There are many individuals who think that university is only for people with money or for people who are smart," says Dr. Doug West, professor with the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. "Everyone is smart and everyone deserves an opportunity to learn"

Humanities 101 students come from all walks of life - they may be single parents, living in a shelter, recently released from prison, or facing some kind of barrier that prevents them from accessing a postsecondary education. Participants range in age from 18 to 80. They participate in lectures that introduce them to a wide variety of topics, including biology, business, English, history and Aboriginal studies.

“This is the third year we have offered the 12-week program,” explained program director, Dr. Linda Rodenburg, a faculty member at the Orillia campus.  “I see this as one of Lakehead’s gifts to the community.”


In its inaugural year at the Lakehead Orillia campus, Humanities 101 was launched through the generous contribution of the Aurea Foundation based out of Toronto. This one-time funding allowed Lakehead to build the foundation to launch a successful first semester. In April 2012, over 25 individuals proudly graduated at a special convocation ceremony.  Most recently the program celebrated18 graduates who gathered with family and friends for a special convocation dinner and ceremony.

Each semester, Humanities 101 can accommodate up to 20 students. Without the generous support of the community, this program, and these individuals, would not have the opportunity to experience learning at a postsecondary institution. For these individuals, this is a life-changing experience, bringing hope, pride and empowerment to those who have faced many difficult times throughout the course of their lives.

Lakehead University would like to ensure that Humanities 101 is offered for one semester throughout each year. Ultimately, its goal is to offer individuals from other County of Simcoe communities the opportunity to participate as well. Your support can help make this happen.

For more information contact:

Jacquie Kent
705-330-4008 ext 2080