Courses to Take so You Never Have to Stop Learning
Why Senior Citizens?
When most people think of the “college search,” they think of young adults getting ready to pursue a degree. However, there are free college courses for seniors to continue their pursuit of knowledge. In fact, there is a growing number of senior citizens who are interested in continuing their education. And the best part is: they can often do it for free.
Participating in continued learning can help senior citizens maintain their cognitive ability, find purpose and receive meaningful social interaction. Opportunities for senior citizens to take free or discounted college courses exist in all 50 states. The age limit to receive these discounts depends on the college and state. To help senior citizens with their “college search,” here are five excellent, popular and free courses to check out.
1. The Fix-It Class — Repair Almost Anything!
The Fix-It Class, is designed for older adults, but let’s be honest, this could be a useful class for all ages! In this class, students are taught how to repair minor or more complex home repairs. For example, students are taught how to fix a leaky faucet, hang objects, caulk a bathtub, or even fix electrical issues. The course even teaches students what to look for when hiring a repair person. Learning how to take care of one’s home helps senior citizens feel confident and prepared.
This course is offered through the SMC Emeritus Program, which is designed for older adults to take free, non-credit classes through Santa Monica College. This program offers 120 different classes in wide-ranging subjects.
Most courses are held in person during the day, but there are online options, as well. Courses that offer practical everyday knowledge, like the Fix-It Class, are popular choices among senior citizens and the SMC Emeritus Program offers other similar options, such as various online computer training classes.
2. Smartphone Communication on the iPhone
Free college courses for seniors you should consider are smartphone classes. They are among the most popular classes for senior citizens to take. Almost every college program designed for senior citizens includes at least one course focused on the smartphone. Senior citizens are eager to receive instruction to help them keep up with advancing technology, especially those that help them communicate with their friends and family.
In this class, students learn the basics of using a smartphone: making and receiving calls, messaging, setting up voicemails, texting with pictures, facetiming and more. They will also learn more advanced concepts, such as screen sharing during a facetime call and maintaining security measures.
This is a Zoom class and is provided through The State University of New York’s Rochester OASIS Program, which is free for anyone ages 50 and older, living in Rochester or the surrounding area. It’s important to note that this class does cost $15, though it is marketed as free since the cost is minimal.
3. Principles of Microeconomics
How many people have wanted to understand economics but haven’t had the time? After all, economics affects individuals daily. For many retired senior citizens, it is the perfect time to finally delve into this subject.
This free college course for seniors, focuses on different economic systems, price systems, the production of goods and services and many other economic concepts. Microeconomics is a good place to start understanding economics, as it focuses on how individual decisions play a role in the general market.
Unlike the first two free college courses listed, this class is designed primarily for undergraduates. However, through the Lifelong Learning Program at The University of Mississippi, seniors ages 65 and older can take one academic course per semester tuition-free.
It’s always important to make sure that selected courses don’t require prerequisites. This Econ 202 class may require successful completion of the class DS 099 beforehand. But it is important to talk to the university before registering, as sometimes these perquisites can be waived.
4. Nutrition for Humans
On your quest to find free college courses for seniors, consider nutrition classes. Nutrition guidelines have changed over the years and for this reason, many senior citizens are more interested now in learning how their diet affects their health. Learning how to feel good each day is often a priority for senior citizens, which is why nutrition classes are a popular choice for this population.
In this free college course for seniors, students learn how diet can prevent diseases, how to improve eating habits at various ages, different dietary requirements and important nutrient sources.
Similar to the Lifelong Learning Program at The University of Mississippi, Northern Michigan University provides a Senior Citizen Scholarship, which gives adults over the age of 62 a full-tuition scholarship to attend on-campus classes. So, while this class is targeted at undergraduate students, it is a great choice for senior citizens to learn up-to-date nutrition information that they can implement in their daily lives.
5. Leisure and Wellness Recreation
Not only are senior citizens interested in nutrition, but they now have time to dedicate to exercise and recreation, as well. In this class, students are introduced to techniques to achieve wellness through recreation.
The class covers the history and philosophy behind leisure, work, wellness and health. The course teaches students how to be proactive in their wellness journey and create healthy relationships between these different aspects of their lives. While this free college course is targeted toward undergraduate students, it is a great choice for senior citizens and similar courses are offered at many colleges.
This course at PennWest California can be taken for free through their 60+ College Advantage Program, another excellent program that allows senior citizens aged 60 and older to take courses tuition-free for credit. Adults aged 60 and older can also choose to audit classes here if they aren’t interested in earning credit. Auditing classes as a senior citizen is an excellent, free option at many colleges throughout the states.