There are many great reasons for senior citizens to go to college either to earn a degree or for their own personal enjoyment. Going back to school allows you to stay active in the community and keeps your mind challenged. The National Institute on Aging sites several factors that show an apparent link between how an active brain can help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. Mentally stimulating activities such as playing games, reading, and going to lectures and museums are linked to keeping your mind sharp. So, what better way to challenge your mind than going back to school?
Some colleges are recognizing the benefits of having different perspectives in the classroom and are encouraging seniors to join in the discussions by offering low cost or no cost tuition options. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board encourages universities to provide free tuition for auditing classes for people aged 65 and older and reduced tuition programs for people aged 55 and older. Auditing a class can be a fun way to participate in the college experience, it allows a student to take a class without the grade or credit and is strictly for the enjoyment or educational enrichment of the student.
Encouraging senior citizens to continue their education and stay involved in the community is of value to both the school and the older adult. Reduced tuition programs are open to Texas residents, nonresidents or foreign students. You must make sure the college you have chosen offers this program. To get a list of participating public colleges and universities, visit http://bit.ly/1aavBBR . Colleges are not required to offer this program, and enrollment is limited to classes that are not already filled with students paying full price.
At Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas residents ages 55 and older may be exempt from tuition for up to 6 hours of continuing education classes. Tuition can also be waived for auditing undergraduate classes, provided there is space in the classroom. They do require a minimum registration fee. Ten week sessions are offered in the Fall and Spring. The campus is open from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Tarrant County College offers a variety of course topics including history, the arts, current events and recreation. Consider taking computer courses like exploring the internet, basic computer, or introduction to Windows, Excel or PowerPoint. If you are interested in your ancestry, they offer an internet genealogy class. Class levels go from beginning to advanced. Other popular courses are Photography, Art History, and Creative Writing. Have you ever wanted to Hula Dance, play the piano or learn Brazilian embroidery? With so many choices, it will be hard to decide.
Our favorite class at Tarrant County College is Be Happy to 102, taught by Alistair Young, owner of Home Care Assistance Fort Worth. In this course, Ali teaches aging well through specific lifestyle choices that promote healthy longevity. Her curriculum is based on the Okinawa Centenarian Study that provides detailed recommendations to delay or prevent Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases, as well as, slow down the aging process.
Going back to school is educational and fun. Check out the large selection of classes available at Tarrant County College http://www.tccd.edu/index.html.