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Making Learning a Lifelong Opportunity

Fall 2008 | Archives

Metropolitan Community College´s mission is to provide quality learning experiences for a diverse community of lifelong learners, and MCC´s Community Education Department is devoted to making programs reach learners of all ages. Part of this is coordinating the College´s Lifelong Learning offerings.

Lifelong learning is for people who see learning as a lifelong process. While the purpose is to provide enrichment opportunities for people who are retirement age, there are no age restrictions for these classes. Individuals ages 62+ may take courses for half the listed tuition for most of the courses (day tours excluded).

A Lifelong Learning Advisory Committee regularly meets to discuss opportunities that meet the needs of the older students. This committee is made up of community residents over 55 years old who have shown an interest in adult classes. The top 20 adults over 55 who enrolled in the most classes are invited to be on the committee, and community leaders 55+ are invited as well. Popular courses include Watercolor for 50+, Internet for 50+, Silversmithing, Tai Chi and Day Bus Tours.

"Lifelong learners are taking classes because they choose to take them and often will just enroll for fun," said Gerry Baker, coordinator of community services at MCC. "They often are not concerned about a degree and usually are not taking classes for career advancement reasons. They want the information presented in an interesting way."

Baker recommends Lifelong Learning as a method of staying mentally sharp and healthy, adding that the social aspect of getting together with other 55 and older people is of value as well.

"Adult classes are a fun, low cost way to keep up on what´s going on in our world," he said. "It is also important to learn to use computers and the Internet with email, etc., so that those 55+ can avoid being isolated and can keep in touch with the kids and grandkids!"

MCC makes it easy for anyone to register for noncredit classes, including Lifelong Learners. No student ID number is necessary to register, just a phone call to MCC´s Registration (457-5321) and the course number of the class. For more information on Lifelong Learning and other noncredit programs, call MCC´s Community Education Department at 457-2620.

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