Senior Citizens And Retirees Pursue Free Online Education In The Workforce
Free courses could be a good way for senior citizens and retirees to invest their time, as many are. These courses don't necessarily come with credits that can be applied toward degrees. Some suggest that keeping the mind active can, however, have health benefits such as improving the memory and cognitive abilities.
Elderhostel, which is now Road Scholar, in a 2007 survey of people ages 55-plus, suggested that active learners were also happier. Nearly half of the men and women in the survey attended classes at least once a month and described themselves as having higher levels of optimism and life satisfaction than others, according to the survey.
Alzheimer's, the report noted, is especially on the minds of aging Americans now that 78 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are approaching retirement.
Many senior centers, retirement communities and assisted living facilities offer free courses that might appeal to the mature set. Seniors and retirees interested in taking free courses at public colleges and universities might find that the states in which they live offer tuition waivers.
They might find themselves among students from the baby boom generation who, refusing to be "put out to pasture," are taking classes even while they hold down jobs and are involved in their communities, according to an article in New Horizons for Learning.
There are also colleges and universities that offer seniors opportunities to attend courses for free as part of what's known as "visitor" programs. A Hawaii university, for instance, allows the state's senior citizens to sit in on courses. Some 300 seniors participate in free courses each semester as part of the university's visitor program, the institution's website notes.
Free courses now abound particularly on the Internet. An article on seniorjournal.com provided information from a Harris Poll, which a few years ago found that baby boomers aged 50 to 64 comprise 34 percent of the online population. Seniors, this same report noted, represent another 10 percent.
An OpenCourseWare Consortium website serves as a gateway to hundreds of free online courses offered by institutions throughout the world. Seniors and retirees who want to acquire or refine their computer skills might find free courses that can help them to accomplish this.
A Massachusetts technology institute offers an array of free online courses. Seniors might also find that Ivy League institutions offer free courses online.
Many free online courses include audio and video components, as colleges and universities have been establishing channels on YouTube and working with podcasts. In some instances, faculty members might distribute audio lectures through Apple's iTunes U. Some assignments and lessons might also be available in text format.
The AARP Bulletin article also lists educational sites such as the Research Channel, Videolectures.net and Academic Earth. Radio networks, cultural organizations and the Peace Corps offer free online courses in at least 37 foreign languages, an Open Culture website snows.
Seniors might also want to explore contemporary issues in greater depth through free courses that include a California university's Sustainable Living and an Ivy League institution's Global Population Growth. Seniors interested in religion, on the other hand, might consider a free online course on New testament history and literature from the latter university entitled.
These free colleges offering courses in nearly every subject on the planet are peaking the interest of the younger student and the older careerist. When you can go to college for free and even earn free college credits toward a degree, as with Test Drive College Online, you experience the lifelong joy of having learning at your fingertips.
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