For seniors, education doesn’t stop with age. You’re never too old to learn something new, whether it’s exploring an old passion or taking a class on a favorite subject. Classes for seniors come in all sizes, prices and difficulty levels. To help you find the best fit for you or a loved one, here are a few options of education worth exploring:

Community College or University Courses

Many community colleges or universities offer discounted or free courses to seniors who want to learn a new subject, complete their degree or begin a new degree entirely. Elena Washington, 89, was a success of Liberty University, graduating with her associate degree in interdisciplinary studies. Her daughter, Ellen Mitchell, shared that Washington “has always been a lifelong learner. Her desire for learning and for pursuing an education became a family tradition.”

If this sounds like a good fit, reach out to your local educational institution and their continuing education department to learn more about what programs they offer and which classes are best suited for seniors. If you’re nervous about going back onto campus or may be unable to attend in person, ask about online options for the courses you’re interested in.

Local Hobby Courses

When was the last time you checked your local community calendar for educational opportunities? Many craft stores or community centers offer regular classes for free or minimal cost. Local organizations may also host interesting lectures worth attending or presentations from experts that will spark new interest in unique subjects! If you’re unsure where to begin looking, ask for help locating your city or town’s main events calendar. From there, you’ll likely be able to filter results based on interests, skill level or senior-specific events. 

Feeling nervous about trying something new? Consider taking the class of interest with a friend or family member. The buddy system is always a good rule to follow when trying new things.

Online Certifications

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many organizations began to offer online certifications and courses for anyone willing to try them out. For example, Coursera offers a variety of interest-based courses that span across a wide variety of subjects. 

  • Are you a lover of the arts and humanities? Consider taking a few classes sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Want to learn more about the cryptocurrency that your grandkids keep talking about? Take a digital finances class to get up to speed. 

While not all certifications make perfect classes for seniors, you can work with any organization’s online support to find the best options for enrollment. (Hint, just type a question in their chatbox on their website, or call the customer service line). Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect course right away. Sometimes, it takes a little searching to find the perfect fit.

Vineyard Senior Community On-Site Learning

It’s worth noting that sometimes you don’t have to go far to learn! Many senior living communities or assisted living spaces offer educational opportunities for residents. At Vineyard Senior Communities, we provide a variety of on-site classes and lectures on unique topics of interest. We also organize outings to local educational and cultural organizations. Who knows what a field trip might inspire! If you have any questions about the opportunities we offer, feel free to speak to one of our staff members or call us directly.

Key Benefits of Classes for Seniors and Continuing Education

Classes for seniors are an excellent way to keep the mind active, build a strong social circle and explore passions or interests as you age. In fact, studies show that consistent learning in a social environment improves cognitive control, working memory, episodic memory and overall cognitive function. Whether to pass the time or pursue a degree, continuing education as a senior is worth your exploration. You never know what class you might discover!