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Taking college classes post retirement
Old 01-17-2017, 05:51 PM   #1
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Taking college classes post retirement

As the result of another thread I found out that I can take classes at the nearby University for $12.50 per semester hour. That is not a typo - twelve dollars and fifty cents. That's if I audit the classes, which is what I'd do. If I wanted credit the rate is 50% of the normal tuition. Still not bad, but I'm not after a degree.

So there's at least one good thing about being over 65. Now the question is do I want to commit to being at a certain place at a certain time for a semester at a time? I'm mulling that over.

The main classes I'm interested in are photography classes. While I "get" the mechanics of the camera, lenses, apertures and shutter speeds, and working with Photoshop and Lightroom, I have a harder time with composition, color contrast/conflicts, and the other more "artsy" aspects of photography. And I even already own the camera they recommend students start out with, A Canon AE-1 that I bought in 1979. First semester students shoot in B&W.

Anyone else taking classes? What was/is your experience like?
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
As the result of another thread I found out that I can take classes at the nearby University for $12.50 per semester hour. That is not a typo - twelve dollars and fifty cents. That's if I audit the classes, which is what I'd do. If I wanted credit the rate is 50% of the normal tuition. Still not bad, but I'm not after a degree.

So there's at least one good thing about being over 65. Now the question is do I want to commit to being at a certain place at a certain time for a semester at a time? I'm mulling that over.

The main classes I'm interested in are photography classes. While I "get" the mechanics of the camera, lenses, apertures and shutter speeds, and working with Photoshop and Lightroom, I have a harder time with composition, color contrast/conflicts, and the other more "artsy" aspects of photography. And I even already own the camera they recommend students start out with, A Canon AE-1 that I bought in 1979. First semester students shoot in B&W.

Anyone else taking classes? What was/is your experience like?
When I first retired (on my 3rd year now) I joined an Olli program at the local university where they offered spring and fall semester courses in a variety of topics and interests. The cost was about $300 per year for up to 3 courses per term.

I signed up for 3 courses the first year and I really enjoyed them but the 25 mile commute to the university in Boston was horrible so now I'm only enrolled in one French language course that meets weekly so I only have to deal with the nasty traffic for one day only.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:39 AM   #3
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I start my beginning photography class at the local community college this coming Monday. I have a Nikon D-SLR that I am not all that comfortable using. I bought it just before retirement and have not used it much, and when I do use it I usually put it in auto mode. I would really like to master the camera itself and become more proficient in capturing the images I want, and I know I need help. I took one single session class and found it useless. Too much info in too little time and no hands-on practice. I did admire the instructor's photographs, however. I just decided I need a real class meeting weekly for a full semester to get anywhere.

The class I am taking works with B & W, film only, no digital. It is a prerequisite to all the digital photography courses. Since I gave away my old Canon EOS Rebel film camera to a neighbor's kid who needed it for school I will have to borrow a camera for the class. There is a lab component to the class where I expect to learn some basic darkroom stuff.

I am really looking forward to the course, in part because I think it will get me out of the house with the camera more often. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up. I am now researching classes in our area.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:45 AM   #5
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I would certainly enjoy taking classes and learning something new. Our problem is we don't stay in one place long enough.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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I took three, regular for-credit courses during the first year after I retired. Smaller public university, not very expensive.

Courses were Econ101, "Theories of Democracy", and Logic.

The first two were definitely worthwhile. I'm interested in politics and public policy and they gave me a way to think about things. The third was too basic for much benefit.

I would have continued taking Econ classes, but I had other things going that didn't work with a fixed class schedule.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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I've taken several, mostly at the local community college. I've found it's mostly full of young kids getting electives out of the way, and class participation is low. It's not the greatest place to find much socializing, and I can get just as good if not better of an education for free from online courses through YouTube channels, major and minor colleges (Sanford and Harvard both have a load of free courses), and free online learning platforms like Udemy.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:45 PM   #8
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I look over the course schedules when they are published and have thought about enrolling, but nothing yet. I've taken two courses from Coursera which were eligible for college credit, and found that schedule demanding. It is amazing how easily one adjusts to a non-scheduled lifestyle.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:55 PM   #9
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I've taken many of the Great Courses series, and learned quite a lot from them. Most enjoyable to listen to on long trips.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:00 PM   #10
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That's quite the bargain.

I've taken 4 community college classes since retirement. 3 semesters of Italian and 1 accounting course. Nothing looked interesting this spring semester.

Additionally the community college has free classes for "older adults" - not for credit... My water fitness class is through this program. I love the price (free) and the regular schedule makes sure I get in the water and exercise twice a week (in addition to my dog walking on the beach.)

I keep hoping they'll offer the next semester of Italian. There are 2 more courses in the catalog but they are never offered.) In theory they have to offer them sometime because it's required for an Italian minor.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:17 PM   #11
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We have similar options here at the local university. Also, the city Parks & Recreation Dept offers a wide range of "continuing education" / personal interest classes throughout the year. Several levels of photography are in the roster.

Maybe you have something similar locally that might be a lot less hassle time-commitment wise or financially, although that tuition discount is quite generous.

I rebuilt my AE-1 program a few years ago and it is still a great camera.

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Old 01-28-2017, 02:21 PM   #12
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I have taken five or six four-week photography classes at the nearby community college in MD, those are usually in the $40-$50 range and I enjoyed those. Nothing new in the last couple of years though.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #13
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I took 2 photography courses (introduction to dslr, and Lightroom) at a junior college a few years ago. I'd like to take more in the future.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:08 PM   #14
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Harvard recently put their photography classes online (for free): https://alison.com/courses/Digital-Photography

I like the idea of signing up for a single class here and there, but not sure if I can go back to the structure of a schedule, but definitely something I would do if the right topic came up at a time when I didn't expect to travel for a few months.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:11 PM   #15
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Harvard recently put their photography classes online (for free): https://alison.com/courses/Digital-Photography
Thank you for posting that! I bookmarked it and will look into it further.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:12 PM   #16
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Thank you for posting that! I bookmarked it and will look into it further.


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Old 01-28-2017, 07:13 PM   #17
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Its free in FL....if you are over 55
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #18
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When I retired in 2009 at 51, I did a year of nothing and then 'to keep busy' decided to teach a class at a local college (as an adjunct). Then it became two classes, then three, and now full time! Be careful with this college stuff!
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:11 AM   #19
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Harvard recently put their photography classes online (for free): https://alison.com/courses/Digital-Photography

I like the idea of signing up for a single class here and there, but not sure if I can go back to the structure of a schedule, but definitely something I would do if the right topic came up at a time when I didn't expect to travel for a few months.


They have a whole group for retirees. I use the schools continuing education department for 2-3 courses a year, both remote and on-campus.

http://hilr.dce.harvard.edu
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:45 AM   #20
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Typically auditing means you can be present to listen but you can't expect the instructor to grade you work or spend much time with you. The instructor's time is for registered full paying students. Lab classes would typically be off limits.

Basically, you need to talk to the instructor to see what you would be allowed to do in the class.
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