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11 August . 2017

From tango lessons to floral design, Sweetwater is close to lifelong learning opportunities for residents of all ages


Class is back in session at the highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools serving Sweetwater, and the community’s youngest residents aren’t the only ones learning exciting new things. From informal classes at Austin’s flagship University of Texas, to art classes and nature programs at other respected institutions, Sweetwater residents of all ages are close to many opportunities to continue learning, growing and thriving.

Here’s a quick guide to lifelong learning opportunities near Sweetwater, starting with Austin Community College’s Pinnacle Campus, located just 13 miles from the community.

ACC’s Community Programs department supports lifelong learning with a wide range of personal and professional enrichment offerings, ranging from three-hour workshops to degree programs. For those who love nature, ACC offers floral design, horticulture and landscape design, and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship. There’s also dance, arts and crafts, interior design, music, photography and much more.

For a deeper exploration of art, The Art School of the Austin Museum of Art is located on a beautiful 12-acre site on Lake Austin, home to the historic Laguna Gloria estate. Classes include painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, jewelry, glass, metal and more. The Art School recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and continues to maintain high standards of educational excellence.

With an enrollment of more than 50,000 students, the University of Texas at Austin is not just for young folks. UT also has several programs that offer continuing education for students of all ages.

For adults 50 years old and better, UT’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers a diverse array of intellectually stimulating, non-credit, college-level lectures, seminars and experiential opportunities. Taught by university and community experts, programs range from one-time lectures to six-week seminars. Topics are broad, ranging from “Coping with Stress Through Mindfulness” to “Stuff You Didn’t Learn About Texas History in School.”

The UT Informal Classes department offers a wide range of classes, from Argentine tango dance to “Baby Boomer Retirement: The Rules Have Changed.”

UT’s Extended Campus division offers professional education and degrees for working professionals, with online options bringing the university’s world-class resources and know-how to anyone with a desire to learn.

Many Sweetwater residents are already familiar with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, thanks to the community’s ongoing work with the center to seed its acres of wildflowers, the highlight of the annual Sweetwater Wildflower Festival. (This festival is a learning opportunity in its own right, with many educational presentations on topics including Sweetwater’s own honeybee hives.)

The Wildflower Center also offers adults programs including garden design, native plants, watercolors, photography and more. Taking a class is a great way to enjoy and experience the center’s beautiful 284-acre campus, the only 100% native plant garden in Texas, showcasing more than 800 species.

For even more nature-focused learning in the Hill Country, check out canyon tours and star parties at the Westcave Outdoor Discover Center, and volunteer opportunities at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.

If you love the idea of living close to so many lifelong learning opportunities, use our convenient Homefinder tool to find your new home in Sweetwater.