A college graduation at 75
These days, lifelong learning has become a familiar term to many Americans. Universities and programs that cater to more mature college students are gaining traction across the country, as boomers and other retirees look to broaden their horizons by hitting the books.
Or, like 75-year-old Marie Magee, they choose to study a field that they've always dreamed about. Magee recently earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professionals in Philadelphia, PhillyBurbs.com reports.
While Magee worked as an emergency department nurse for most of her life, she had always wanted to obtain her BSN, but never had the time. However, she decided to take online courses to gradually move toward a degree, and finished her goal this spring. For her commitment, the university recognized her with the Life-Long Learning Award.
"The Life-Long Learning Award acknowledges a student who demonstrates a deep commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, continuing education and personal development," proclaimed department chair Dr. Fran Cornelius, according to the website.
Experts suggest that continually staying engaged can keep a mind sharp as well. Some research reported by NPR shows that learning about a new language can actually "remodel" the brain so that people have more active neural networks.
Del Webb communities such as Del Webb Woodbridge can be ideal for someone who's looking to embrace the new experiences and opportunities that retirement provides, but also wants to learn about new subjects. Besides the dozens of clubs and classes available, homeowners of this community can visit the Master the Possibilities Education Center, which is just two miles away. That means no long commute - just a walk down the road and you can attend courses on anything from financial planning to literature to foreign language.
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In years past, it may have seemed unusual to see scores of older adults heading back to the classroom, but that is no longer the case. Many retirees make lifelong learning a priority once they leave the workforce, and few people are more emblematic of this growing trend than 92-year-old Ruth Elliott.
After retiring, adults have many decisions to make. Do they want to embark on an encore career? Travel? Perhaps they want to volunteer. But one of the most popular options for boomers is heading back to the classroom.
The baby boomer generation has been shaping travel trends for decades, and now as millions of its members are heading toward retirement, it is doing the same thing once again.
Heading back to the classroom has become a popular retirement activity for older adults.