Where Retirees Can Find Continuing-Ed Classes

Programs for older learners aren’t always easy to spot. The programs can have different names, depending on the school.

rested in taking a college-level class on introductory Shakespeare or one on psychology, but finding all that is offered and distinguishing between the strengths and weaknesses of the offerings is a challenge.

The best place to start is institutions of higher education (two- and four-year colleges and universities) in your own backyard. But you might have to dig a bit: Programs for older learners aren’t always called the same thing or found in the same places.

For instance, some schools have programs that are clearly labeled for older adults: “Lifelong Learning” or “Senior Scholar” or “Project 60” (which is found at Cleveland State University in Ohio). In other cases, though, a program (if there is one) might fall under the broad heading of “department of continuing education.” Or there might not be a formal program at all, but older students might be able to attend (read: audit) the normal lineup of classes. The admissions office at most schools should be able to help.

Two great resources: Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes and Road Scholar. The former (osherfoundation.org) can be found, currently, on 120 university and college campuses across the country. The latter (roadscholar.org) has programs that combine education and travel in all 50 states (as well as 150 countries).

Also, don’t forget local libraries and museums, says Seth Matthew Fishman, an assistant professor at Villanova University, in suburban Philadelphia, who has studied lifelong learning. “They don’t always find a place in the conversation” about older students, he notes. But “they’re rich in programs involving the humanities and arts.”

You can, of course, go the online route. Organizations like the Kahn Academy, One Day University, Coursera.org, edX.org and Udacity.com offer hundreds of classes that you can screen at home. That said, many older students seem to prefer face-to-face classes, as opposed to online offerings. “It’s more engaging; you’re meeting people outside your immediate social groups,” Prof. Fishman says.

[Source:-Wall street Journal]

Related posts