North Texas Daily

Emeritus College welcomes over-50 crowd back to school

Emeritus College welcomes over-50 crowd back to school

September 03
23:32 2009

By Melissa Boughton / Staff Writer –

Older members of the community will get the chance to take classes such as “Solar System Leftovers” and “How to Remember Not to Forget: Improving Your Memory” through a new college coming to UNT in October.

UNT’s Emeritus College is an organization that will provide courses covering topics like travel, social activities and lectures for community members age 50 and older. Emeritus faculty and active professors at UNT will primarily teach the courses.

“We wanted something we could do that would engage our Emeritus faculty and find a way to reach out to an older demographic in North Texas,” said Ken Robertson, assistant vice president for lifelong learning.

The Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning will oversee Emeritus College and former UNT administrator James Miller is the founding dean.

Members of the college will select their own schedules and choose to attend one-time lectures or longer seminars that last four to six weeks. Courses will last 60 to 90 minutes and will not be graded.

“It’s all very hands on,” said Bert Hayslip, UNT regents professor of psychology. “Obviously, I’ll be lecturing a bit, but not in the way I would necessarily lecture if I was teaching a class for which the students were being graded.”

Director of the Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning Marilyn Wagner is confident that UNT's new Emeritus College will succeed. (Photo By Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

Director of the Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning Marilyn Wagner is confident that UNT's new Emeritus College will succeed. (Photo By Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

Classes offered at the college cover various topics including a guide to exercise and wellness, a brief history of economic crises, environmental trends, and Denton County historical tours.

“They have the opportunity to get exposed to all types of learning experiences that they may have not had before,” Robertson said.

Classes will be offered October through November and February through May.

The membership fee is annual and allows members to take as many classes as they want through August 2010.

The college is limited, offering only 15 classes to choose from, but its administration intends for the program to grow.

There are 30 members enrolled for classes, but Marilyn Wagner, director of the Center, hopes for 50 enrolled members by October.

“We hope to grow this program through its members and have its members involved in every aspect of it,” she said.

The program will allow UNT to reach out to community members and allow them to be involved in all aspects of the university. Emeritus College will intertwine other UNT colleges, programs and events to fully engage its members in the university, Wagner said.

“We want to expose these people not only to the classes they are taking, but the other things at the university so that they become supporters of the university,” Wagner said. “That will ultimately benefit students.”

The college will hold an open house Oct. 1 for enrolled and prospective members to meet and greet each other and professors.

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