The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Seniors exercising brains, interests

By Michael Linden/reporter

Not many people realize that taking a class in just about any subject could improve cognitive abilities, rejuvenate the memory and provide the social interaction that people crave.

Challenging the brain causes the growth of new cells, a process that can take place at any age. Recent studies have shown that senior citizens who stay mentally active enjoy all of these rewards. But what is it that separates the various senior programs out there?

Veterans typically can find a Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter in their area, and some communities will have a senior center that offers a place for social interaction with people of a similar age group.

Some colleges offer senior education programs for those who wish to learn while getting to know new people. TCC is one of them.

TCC’s senior education program has been in operation 32 years and is still growing strong with approximately 650 students enrolled this spring semester on NE Campus.

“[I] would recommend the class for health reasons,” Ann Goodman, a volunteer line dance instructor in the senior program, said. “It is the best aerobic exercise for your heart.”

TCC offers more than 80 classes for $20 per semester, with a $10 lab fee for all computer courses for participants 55 to 64. Students 65 and older are exempt from tuition fees. The classes they take for that fee, however, are not for credit. Anyone who wishes to obtain a degree would pay full price.

Orlaine Ewing, a volunteer in the senior education office on NE Campus, said seniors should take classes “just to get out there and meet people.” Classes are offered during the spring and fall semesters and the instructors are all volunteers. Classes range from crochet and knitting to golf to advanced Spanish and digital scrap booking.

And with so many classes offered as well as a semester-ending celebration, seniors in the program have plenty of opportunities to get out and meet new people.

Ruth Van Noy, a current student, is taking three hours of tap and one line-dancing class.

“It’s good exercise and a lot of fun,” she said. “I love dancing.”

Those interested in joining the senior program can contact the senior education office, on any of the TCC campuses, or look online at the TCC web site, www.tccd.edu, under continuing education.

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