November 30, 2023 by
Lucy Gardner Carson
Janet Nunziata, M.S., associate director of the Center on Aging
(NOVEMBER 30, 2023) Janet Nunziata, M.S., associate director of the Center on Aging at the University of Vermont, commented to the Vermont Standard for a story about an increase in the number of retirees who are stepping into the world of lectures, homework, and study groups.
In the wake of surging online offerings and the prolific expansion of in-person programs like the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute, older adults can take their pick of almost any course imaginable, from square dancing to college classes. A number of experts who spoke with the Standard this week said that in addition to learning skills and diving into lifelong passions, older pupils are reaping profound cognitive, social, and health benefits from the novel experiences.
While course offerings for retirees gained particular prominence following the swell of virtual opportunities in 2020, they’ve been on the rise for considerably longer then that, Nunziata said. “The pandemic really accelerated things because people were hungry for meaning and connecting. But I’d say there’s been really steady growth, especially over the last 10 years of different opportunities. And with the older adult population growing, I can’t see that [demand] dropping off anytime soon.”