Duluth Community Education makes changes for summer offerings

Program coordinator Erin Bates said they typically offer 55 courses each summer, not counting swimming. This summer, only about a dozen classes have been scheduled.

The summer Duluth Community Education catalog will not be mailed to residents due to changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duluth Community Education is making adjustments to its summer class options.

One of the biggest changes residents may notice is the number of classes offered as well as the lack of a catalog showing up in their mailboxes. Program coordinator Erin Bates said they typically offer 55 classes each summer, not counting swim classes. This summer, only about a dozen classes have been scheduled.

“We basically have had to try to reinvent ourselves and doing that by what a lot of our community education departments are doing across the state, trying to do as many classes as we can virtually online,” Bates said.

Some classes have been prerecorded and are available anytime to watch for a $5 administration fee. Others have lessons prerecorded with scheduled video chats for questions.

Leslie Dollen is teaching her constitutional law class via Zoom videoconferencing instead of in person. Dollen had to finish her winter community education class online, so she’s had some practice.


“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Dollen said. “It's different than teaching in a traditional environment.”

Dollen’s class, "The Constitutional Cases that have Shaped Our Country," is set to begin Wednesday, from 5:30-7 p.m., and run six weeks.

Bates said school buildings are closed, but they have scheduled some classes in July in hopes of being able to hold in-person classes with restrictions in place. She said people can register for the in-person classes, but won’t have to pay the registration fee until the week before the class in case the classes have to be canceled.

“The classes that we are having in person are being restricted to nine people each and would be held in a three-court gym,” Bates said.

Bates said the biggest challenge has been switching to online classes and reaching those who aren’t very technology savvy.

To view available classes or register, visit .

Adelle Whitefoot is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
What To Read Next
Get Local