• Nancy Griffin

Virginian Scholars Program Offers Residents Credit for Lifelong Learning

Seniors Are Going Back to School at The Virginian senior living community allows residents to earn credit hours within the community and The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University and The Lifetime Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College

With the fall months just around the corner, many are preparing themselves for a fresh, new school year. The residents at The Virginian senior living community in Fairfax, VA are particularly excited about this year’s back to school season.

They are participating in the brand-new Virginian Scholars program which begins this fall and many have already registered for the inaugural classes.

The program allows residents to earn credit hours, not only from scheduled health and wellness activities that take place within the community, but from outside educational organizations including The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, The Lifetime Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College and MasterClass, the online education platform with inspiring artists, leaders, and icons.

The Virginian Scholars program is unique for senior living communities, keeping residents active, learning, and social through classes, lectures, workshop, fitness, and special activities programming. There are no tests or grades, but an opportunity to make the ‘Dean’s List’ by completing 100 or more credit hours of activity during each of four "semesters" each year. Residents can graduate ‘Summa Cum Laude’ by completing 500 or more hours at the end of the full "academic year."

According to a recent AARP study on lifelong learning, 55% of Americans age 45 and older are actively learning new things as a result of seeking personal growth and improved cognitive health. And just released data by a World Economic Forum Global Health study shows that taking part in “an intellectually, socially and physically active lifestyle” may help fight off cognitive decline and dementia.

"Six of the Top 10 highest educated counties in the United States are located in Northern Virginia,” says Andrew Carle, founder of the graduate curricula in Senior Living Administration at Georgetown University, who designed the program. "So, this is really a perfect fit for a population that values learning and would love to show their grandkids you are never too old to make the Dean's List.”

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