Learning isn’t just a box you check off in your youth. It’s a lifelong endeavor. Seniors with a love of learning may wonder if they can go back to school at their age — and if so, how? The answer to the first question is a definitive yes, and this guide can help you start answering the second.
The decision between learning online and taking in-person classes is an important consideration for seniors going back to school. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Figuring out which is best for you before you commit to classes may help keep you from getting stuck with classes that aren’t manageable or don’t provide the learning experience you want.
The biggest pro of online classes for seniors is they let you avoid interacting with large amounts of people. Getting exposed to viruses such as influenza and other contagious diseases may be a larger concern for seniors than younger students. Online classes also mean less walking and driving, which could be more manageable for seniors with mobility issues.
However, in-person classes may be worth it for some seniors. The classroom experience can’t be replicated online and might be better for your learning style. Seniors who find it hard to focus or who thrive in social settings may find taking classes in person suits them.
Classes have changed a lot over the years and so has the supply list. You may need to buy some new tech for school. Here are some materials that have become standard school supplies and can help you succeed in taking classes as a senior.
Laptops have all but replaced pen and paper as an everyday learning material. If you want to take classes as an adult a portable computer, such as a laptop or tablet, is a must. You’ll need it for research, typing essays and projects, among other things. Many students even take notes on their laptops to save paper. You can also try hand writing your notes on a tablet with a stylus.
Online classes often have an online video conference element. Your laptop probably has a built-in webcam, but integrated cameras may be low quality and not work very well. Investing in a webcam might be a good idea if you plan to take a lot of online classes.
You may need to download computer software for some of your classes. For example, graphic design classes might require Adobe software, and technical classes might require CAD. Most of the programs you need aren't free, but you can usually get student discounts with a valid student ID.
If you want to take classes as a senior, you might be worried about how the cost of classes fits into your fixed income or budget. Fortunately, student aid doesn’t have an age limit. There are many options for seniors to get school grants. See if you qualify for financial aid to help you afford a degree as a senior. If you're interested in the learning but aren't worried about getting an actual degree, many colleges have an option where seniors can audit classes for free.
Seniors living in Grand Junction can find an assortment of classes, from hobby and art classes to college degree programs. If you want to enjoy the in-person class experience or take advantage of campus amenities, finding local classes could be the best option for you. Here are just a few of the places to look for classes in Grand Junction.
Community college is a great path for seniors who want to earn a degree in their spare time or want to take a few classes on a specific subject. The Western Colorado Community College offers career-based programs, such as IT, agriculture and nursing. It also has some general interest classes and courses seniors may enjoy taking just for fun.
The WCCC Community Education Center is a branch of the community college that offers more enrichment classes than degree and career geared classes. It’s a great place to find classes on dance, art and writing. The class schedule changes regularly, so keep an eye on it to see if any interesting classes get added.
Research indicates learning new languages may slow cognitive decline. Spanish Now LLC is a language school based in Grand Junction that practices immersion language learning. Immersion means you have to use the language you learn, which helps you retain it better than just reading off flashcards.
The Art Center of Western Colorado in Grand Junction is a great resource for seniors interested in art and culture. You can visit to see artists in their studios or sign up for classes to learn a variety of art forms. A membership to The Art Center gets you deals on class pricing and free admission to museums all over the country.
Grand Villa assisted living offers a variety of enrichment activities, including classes. We also provide scheduled transportation to help you get to classes and free Wi-Fi for online classes.