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Middle Georgia colleges offer outreach programs for senior citizens

Lisa Pang leads a beginners Tai Chi class at Wesleyan College.
Lisa Pang leads a beginners Tai Chi class at Wesleyan College. wmarshall@macon.com

While all area colleges and universities welcome senior citizens who want to apply for standard registration in regular classes, some offer special discounts, courses and programs for seniors.

Georgia Military College offers a Senior Student Scholarship at all of its campuses and extensions. That includes its main Milledgeville campus, the Warner Robins campus and other sites in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Madison, Sandersville, Valdosta and Fayetteville.

For students ages 62 and older, that means a 20 percent discount on tuition and an exemption from GMC fees.

Officials say the scholarship is for regular college coursework and doesn’t count toward continuing education credits.

“GMC offers this scholarship so senior citizens are able to engage in academic pursuits with some of the cost defrayed,” said J. Derek Stone, GMC’s associate chief academic officer. “This allows seniors to possibly finish a degree or simply take college-level classes of interest.”

Central Georgia Technical College offers senior citizens a computer class geared toward them.

“After offering our continuing education basic computer class for the general public for several years, we noticed we were adding more and more seniors who wanted to understand how computers worked,” said Clay Teague, director of continuing education at CGTC and the senior’s computer class instructor.

“We turned it into six half-day classes instead of all-day classes. It’s typically on Friday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This gives more time over the length of the course for seniors to go over and practice things at home then come back with questions if they have them,” he said. “That works really well. Seniors tend to like to analyze and think about things and then they often come up with their own answers.”

Teague said there is a cost for the course but there’s a senior discount built into pricing.

Georgia College in Milledgeville has a continuing education program for seniors called Learning in Retirement. It’s coordinated by Courtney Bentley.

Bentley said the program costs $35 a year and includes monthly meetings, outings, day trips, a writer’s club, a book review club and other gatherings promoting lifelong learning and ways to socialize and stay connected.

“It’s something positive to get out and do,” she said. “It’s great for networking and meeting new people.”

Wesleyan College has a senior program called Wesleyan Academy of Lifelong Learning, or WALL, coordinated by Hannah Doan.

Officials said WALL offers a wide range of courses, educational opportunities and social opportunities for seniors that are designed to expose them to new ideas and activities. They’re also offered in relaxed settings with no concern about tests, grades or requirements other than general participation.

The only requirement for the paid program is a willingness to learn.

For information about these programs, contact Georgia Military College at 478-387-4900; Central Georgia Technical College at 478-757-3400; Georgia College at 478-445-5004; and Wesleyan College at 478-477-1110.

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