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Friday, September 01, 2017

How continuing education courses rejuvenate older adults | Heritage Florida Jewish News

Photo: Pamela Ruben
Pamela Ruben, Director Marketing and Communications at The Jewish Pavilion notes, "Like many back-to-schoolers, Ed April is preparing to return to classes. An eager student, he has already read through his required text on the Spanish American War. In just a few weeks, Ed will join with the thousands of students on the campus of Northwestern University, as he heads into his ninth year at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Northwestern University (OLLI)." 

Dr. Ed April (blogger's father), continuing education student and course leader at Northwestern University's OLLI program.
Photo: Heritage Florida Jewish News

Though Ed is more than 55 years older than the average college student, he shares that returning to campus each year for continuing education keeps his mind sharp.

As Ed's daughter, I can attest to his enthusiasm for lifelong learning. For a summer class on the study of evolution, my father took himself on a field trip via airplane to the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. When he wasn't visiting with his granddaughter (my niece, also a Northwestern student), he was snapping photos of dinosaurs and other ancient fossils to share with his classmates back on campus.

For most of the years as an OLLI student, the 77-year-old "advanced collegian" has been a course leader. This semester the retired Chicago area radiologist is co-leading a class with three fellow seniors. Ed shares that one of the reasons he loves adult education courses is that grades are not a factor and that learning is for learning's sake.

While OLLI students may cross the campus a little more slowly than the rest of the student body, they answer questions in class just as quickly-and with a bit more thought. Studies confirm Ed's statements, with current research showing that the use of vocabulary is preserved as we age, and the use of reason strengthens as we grow older.

Osher Life Long Learning Institute has many locations throughout the country, with several in the state of Florida. Visit for locations nationwide.

To find out more about The Learning Institute for Elders at UCF visit

To find out more about the Stars Program at Rollins College visit

Source: Heritage Florida Jewish News