Learning is Lifelong

Take a Continuing Education Course

By Leah Lancione 

          After retirement or once empty nest syndrome has lingered a month too long, many an erudite adult considers taking a continuing education course at a local university or community college. In addition to reviving brain cells through learning, taking a class can re-assimilate a senior into the world of young people who share common interests. The sharing and interchange of ideas between generations in a classroom can be fascinating.

Older students can share their professional or work experience with young students, as well as their wisdom gained through living through historical, political and personal events. Conversely, young people can inspire older adults with their enthusiasm for learning, energy and unspoiled beliefs.

However, if mingling with younger students doesn’t appeal to you, but learning a new subject matter does, think about taking an online course from the comfort of your living room or study. In Maryland, returning adult students have the choice to take courses on campus or online at Anne Arundel Community College, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC).

The Golden ID student program enables Maryland retirees the opportunity to enroll in courses at the University of Maryland College Park, UMBC and UMUC with certain benefits. The Universities’ services and courses are free to state residents, 60 years of age or older and retired — not engaged in gainful employment for more than 20 hours per week. If eligible, such individuals can apply for degree or nondegree seeking graduate admission. Seniors, once admitted, may register for any courses on a space-available basis. The program also allows the use of the library and other facilities while enrolled. There are, however, some mandatory fees that must be paid by participants Check out this helpful site: www.gradschool.umd.edu/catalog/admssions_policies.htm

Continuing education courses can be geared toward personal enrichment or a type of career training. For example, Anne Arundel Community College personal enrichment courses range from art, boating, computer technology, holistic health and home and garden to photography, music, motorcycle safety, travel and writing.  University of Maryland College Park offers a wide range of courses subject matters including art history, landscape architecture, comparative literature, French and Italian languages, philosophy and more.

UMBC www.umbc.edu/cps/ also lists an extensive academic catalogue ranging from program management and IT certification to human resource management.

UMUC offers a vast array of online courses in stimulating subject matters like culinary arts, art and design, information technology and religious studies, etc.  Visit www.earnmydegree.com/online-education/online-college/umuc.html for a full listing of courses.

Whether you choose to attend the local community college, join the masses at the large university campuses or want to take a class online, you won’t regret stimulating your brain, learning about a new subject or skill, and keeping your mind young and inquisitive. For more information on senior resources available, visit www.seniorresource.com/senioreducation.htm

So, sharpen your pencils, clean those reading glasses, purchase some school supplies and enroll in the continuing education course that peaks your interest. As Mortimer Adler said, “The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.”


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