Is Retirement Time to Return School?

 ”Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself ” ~ John Dewey

As schools start the new academic year, do you yearn to learn something? For many adults, this is an exciting time to think about reinventing themselves. This is especially true for people considering retirement or newly retired. 

There are two good reasons to consider returning to school: it gives you the opportunity to follow an earlier career dream or hobby and receive some income during your retirement if you choose to have an encore career.

Marc Freedman, founder of believes there is a need for a new kind of education suited to the new stage of life thought of as retirement. Fortunately, higher education is beginning to respond to meet the needs of millions of boomers who are thinking about careers for their encore.

More community college and universities are offering career training for people over 50. Sometimes these are in the format of workshops as well as actual classes. Of course, there are also traditional classes. 

A new twist this fall is a UCLA Extension which offers 10 online certificate programs, all delivered through the iPad. It targets areas like patient advocacy, health-care management, and new media marketing. All three of these areas are expected to generate job growth over the coming years. They offer several more programs also.

To get you thinking about what possibilities there are for credit and non-credit classes, you might check out some different programs. Here are some resources that offer a variety of types of classes in the Chicago area as well as in other states :

  • Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies offers classes year round.
  • – information on the UCLA program and scholarships.
  • The University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal  and Professional Studies. 
  • DePaul University’s Continuing and Professional Education plus Custom Programs for companies and government agencies wanting to improve the skills of its employees.
  • Roosevelt University offers 42 master’s degree programs and 4 doctoral programs.
  • The School of Art Institute of Chicago offers Adult Continuing Education courses.
  • Loyola University offers studies in Managerial Arts and Leadership at a graduate level.
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden offers Master Gardener Programs.
  • Columbia College offers a variety of programs.
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institues (OLLIs) offer a multitude of learning opportunities around the country during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Chautauqua Institution – one of the oldest  adult education programs with classes around the country for educational entertainment. 

I am a believer in life-long learning. It is essential for brain fitness and emotional health besides being stimulating and entertaining. It can be something as simple as taking a class with your park district or community center or more of a commitment to a certificate or degree program.

Check back with me if you need more contact information about any of the above programs. I have had several clients who have successfully completed some of them. Begin with something you are curious or passionate about. I would love to hear about what type of class you are taking or are interested in taking? 

Until next time,


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