Numerous studies have shown that it’s a very good idea for senior citizens to learn new things as they age. Many scientists believe that life-long learning helps keep the mind sharp and the brain healthy, reducing your chances of developing serious age-related cognitive impairment, i.e. short-term memory loss and concentration difficulties. Learning new things in your golden years enables your brain to build new neural pathways, which in turn may make you less vulnerable to some forms of dementia.
Learning in a classroom setting is also an opportunity for you to make new friends who share your interests.
For those of us who are several decades older than the typical college student, CMU Montrose offers a “Golden Scholars Program.” You must be at least 60 years old to qualify, according to Montrose campus director Dr. Gary Ratcliff. “What’s great about this program,” says Ratcliff, “is that you can enroll and pay just $25 per credit.” Normally, CMU classes cost $75 per credit hour.
“And you don’t have to take exams unless you want to,” Ratcliff said with a grin. “You don’t even have to read the textbook, unless you want to. And, there are no grades assigned.
“We have a number of retirees signed up. Now, they’re not taking calculus classes. They are taking history, anthropology, mythology, and other classes that really intrigue them. The only catch is that you can’t register until the class is one week away from starting. The logic behind that is we want to enable students who are taking the class for credit to have the first shot at it.” Ratcliff calls it “a terrific program and a bargain.” You can check out the class schedule on the CMU Montrose website at .