We are ALL Lifelong Learners!
September is back to school time, and not just for kids! Active adults are taking advantage of courses and classes for a myriad of reasons – not the least of which is that it’s fun!
We’ve all known that friend or family member who “stayed sharp” well into their later years doing the daily crossword puzzle or playing bridge each week. Not surprisingly, there is something to that idea. Research shows that older adults can benefit both physically and mentally by continuing to learn throughout their lives. And the trends show that active adults are taking advantage of lifelong learning opportunities across the country.
Community college courses spring to mind immediately. Not only do they offer a wide range of opportunities from everything from computer classes to guitar, they often offer discounted or even free tuition to students aged 60 or older. However, most active adults prefer a more informal learning environment rather than a formal classroom. For that reason, many courses are offered through community centers, libraries & clubs.
If you are interested in staying sharp, but you aren’t the classroom type. Don’t worry – there are many other options for you. Hands on learning is appealing to 9 out of 10 older Americans, according to an AARP survey. Perhaps you can help a neighbor learn to knit or your friend can help you build something at the woodworking shop. You can help tutor a grandchild or local teenager – and in return perhaps they can help you figure out how to work an app on your phone that has been giving you trouble. Volunteering at a local charity can also pair educational and service opportunities. If you are more social, start up a supper club and share new recipes with the members.
At school these days, educators are talking about creating lifelong learners. It seems the experts are realizing that we are constantly learning – whether its a new skill required for employment, an activity with a new group of friends, or a hobby that we always wanted to try – the opportunities for lifelong learning are endless.
Continuing Education Opportunities for Seniors
Winthrop University – Seniors over 60 attend tuition free.
Anne Close Greenway – SC Master Naturalist Program and Special Interest Courses
York Tech – Continuing education in tech, CPR, personal, even online options.
USC Lancaster – Indian Land Campus – Evening Classes at ILHS