Back to school –

Now More Fun Than Ever!

By Edree Downing

          Whether it’s called lifelong learning, adult learning or continuing education, going back to school is a huge opportunity for seniors.

There are a vast number of courses offered, whether you want to learn more about a subject or to perfect a skill such as woodworking, piano playing or tennis. Reasonable tuition prices may surprise you and some courses are free. Many start at age 50, some at 55 or 60, and they each have their own criteria.

Courses offered run the gamut: appreciating opera, learning a language, understanding Maryland politics, geography, return to the classics, travel to foreign lands, etc. Credit is available for some courses, but most are noncredit. Most require residency in your county or state. If the school’s campus is located outside your county, tuition may be slightly higher. Check out almost any campus in your area and there’s bound to be some sort of “adult” or “lifelong learning” offered.

Here is a partial list with the “senior age” in parenthesis. Chances are you’ll be dazzled by the offerings when you log onto any of these sites.

ANNE ARUNDEL COMMUNITY COLLEGE (55-plus). Log onto with a wide variety of offerings such as photography, cooking and lots of computer classes. Also worth checking out is that has a list of nice surprises for lectures and tours. And then log onto for a member-managed program, which focuses on intellectual development, cultural stimulation, personal growth and social interaction in an academic setting. If that’s not enough, there’s also Give it a try online, or call 410.777.2941.  

ANNE ARUNDEL SENIOR CENTERS (55-plus) Log onto and click on any of the eight different senior centers for individual lists of classes. Many are free and often don’t require registration. A recent sampling included Painting and Drawing, Digital Photography and History Through Headlines. Call 410.222.4464. 

CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE: INSTITUTE FOR ADULT LEARNING (50-plus) An affiliate of Road Scholar Network, the college offers a varied selection of classes such as Navigation at Sea, The Rise of Modern Nations, as well as brown bag luncheons on Mondays and trips such as the Spring offering to Ireland or locally to Winterthur in November Here’s the fun part – you can take a class or teach a class. See more at or call 410.827.5810.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF BALTIMORE COUNTY  (60-plus) More than 800 courses are offered each year at any of 50 locations in Baltimore County. There’s bound to be something on their list that will peak your interest, such as Spread the Word: Newspapers, Mail and Communications with lunch to follow, that makes it worth the trip. Check out or call 443.840.4700. 

CECIL COLLEGE  (60-plus)  Lots of fun classes here such as, healthy living, staying fit, staying sharp and creative leisure as well as a good selection of online courses. Call 410.392.3366. 

FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE Institute for Learning in Retirement (55-plus) Log onto and discover courses on history, government, world cultures, the arts, interesting hobbies and opportunities for international travel. Call 301.624.2749. 

HARFORD COMMUNITY COLLEGE  (55-plus) Harford offers cultural events, trips and seminars, as well as continuing education classes. Log onto  Join the 55+ club for $55 to take part in all that is offered. Call 443.412.2175. 

HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE( 60-plus) Lots of fun courses such as Weird, Wild Wonderful Words are offered. Courses are available at many different sites throughout Maryland. For a complete list, log onto or call 443.518.4972. 

MONTGOMERY COLLEGE (50-plus) The college offers courses such as the Historical and Cultural Tour of Paris, Historical Book Discussions and of special interest, A.S.K. (Adults Seeking Knowledge), featuring different weekly lectures. For all the particulars on an easy-to-negotiate site, log onto 

NOTRE DAME OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY  Renaissance Institute  (50-plus) Classes include A More Creative You! Digitizing Your Memories or Views of the News. More than 100 noncredit courses, workshops and studio opportunities are offered during two, 12-week semesters. Log onto or call 410.532.5351. 

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY  (Evergreen Society) (50-plus) The institute provides a wide selection of noncredit courses, lectures, activities and many opportunities for social interaction. Get details at or call 410.516.9719. 

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE AT TOWSON UNIVERSITY (50-plus) Lots of courses are offered in liberal arts and sciences as well as interesting and different programs and activities for social and cultural enrichment. For more information log onto or call 410.704.3535. 

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE AT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND  (50-plus) Courses are offered seminar style in such categories as health and fitness, volunteer leadership, community engagement and should you be looking for another career, guidance is available. Log onto or call 301.405.8280. 

PEABODY INSTITUTE OF THE JHU Classes are offered in various instruments, dance and voice as well as week-long “study vacations” through Road Scholar. Log onto or call 410.234.4630. 

PRINCE GEORGE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Seasoned Adults Growing Educationally SAGE) (60-plus) Courses are offered in finance, government, art, etc. For more information, log onto or call 301.322.0882. 

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND Golden ID Program (60-plus) Tuition is waived, but other charges apply. Registration is on a space-available basis for a maximum of three courses. For more information log onto or call 301.314.8219.  

WOR-WIC COMMUNITY COLLEGE  (60+) Lots of good introductory computer courses. Log onto or call 410.334.2815. 

WASHINGTON COLLEGE It offers six weeks of late-afternoon classes, as well as learn-at-lunch lectures. And for a really fun time, they’ll be heading to Europe this Fall on a learning adventure. More information is available at or call 410.778.7221.

And there’s more. How about a semester at sea or call 800.854.0195. Why not a six-week immersion course in French (, which includes staying at the teacher’s home in France. Also worth checking out are your alma maters. They organize learning trips with discounts if you’re one of the lucky graduates. And there’s always the or (formerly ElderHostel) for even more offerings. It’s all there, so what’s holding you back?



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