Education is a lifelong journey that knows no age limits. In recent years, an increasing number of older adults have been returning to school to pursue their passions, expand their knowledge, and experience the joy of lifelong learning. Going back to school as an older adult can be a transformative experience, offering personal growth, intellectual stimulation, and social connections. In this article, we will explore the reasons why older adults should consider going back to school, and provide inspirational resources and websites to support their educational journey.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI)
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) are a network of educational programs designed specifically for older adults. Affiliated with universities and colleges across the United States, OLLI offers non-credit courses in a wide range of subjects. They provide a supportive and inclusive environment where older adults can engage in intellectually stimulating activities, connect with like-minded individuals, and continue their learning journey.
Coursera is a popular online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses from leading universities and institutions worldwide. Older adults can access courses on various subjects, ranging from arts and humanities to science and technology. Coursera provides flexibility in terms of pace and schedule, allowing older learners to tailor their educational experience to their needs.
SeniorNet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering older adults through technology education. They offer courses, workshops, and resources that help older adults enhance their digital literacy skills, navigate the internet, and stay connected in a digital world. SeniorNet provides a supportive community and encourages older adults to embrace technology as a tool for learning and personal growth.
TED Talks are inspirational and informative presentations by experts in various fields. Older adults can access a vast collection of TED Talks online, covering topics such as science, technology, psychology, and personal development. These talks can spark curiosity, ignite passion, and provide insights that fuel personal growth and intellectual exploration.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a nonprofit organization that supports the needs and interests of individuals aged 50 and older. AARP offers resources, articles, and
tools on topics related to education, personal development, and lifelong learning. Their website provides valuable information and inspiration for older adults considering going back to school. Website: https://www.aarp.org/
Khan Academy is a free online learning platform that offers educational content across various subjects, including math, science, history, and more. It provides video lessons, practice exercises, and interactive quizzes to support self-paced learning. Older adults can utilize Khan Academy to refresh their knowledge, explore new subjects, and engage in continuous learning. Website: https://www.khanacademy.org/
Road Scholar is an educational travel organization that offers learning adventures for older adults. Participants can embark on immersive educational journeys to various destinations worldwide, where they can learn about local culture, history, and traditions. Road Scholar’s programs combine education, travel, and social interaction, providing a unique and enriching learning experience for older adults.
Local Libraries and Community Centers
Local libraries and community centers often organize educational programs, workshops, and lectures for older adults. These institutions serve as valuable resources for lifelong learning, offering access to books, research materials, and community-based learning opportunities. Older adults can explore their local libraries and community centers to discover educational events tailored to their interests.
Returning to school as an older adult is a transformative journey that opens doors to personal growth, intellectual stimulation, and social connections. The resources and websites mentioned in this article are just a few examples of the opportunities available for older adults seeking to embark on a new educational adventure. Whether through traditional institutions, online platforms, or community-based programs, older adults can embrace lifelong learning, expand their horizons, and continue to thrive intellectually. It’s never too late to invest in oneself and embark on a journey of discovery and personal development.