Class in Session For Lifelong Students in Monongalia County - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Class in Session For Lifelong Students in Monongalia County

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Back to school and winter break isn't just for college students and kids.

According to the AARP, learning new skills and staying social can help your brain from aging. Hundreds of seniors are doing just that in Morgantown.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WVU offers an educational experience for students ages 50 and up.

"Well there is just so much to learn in this world, and here is this wonderful opportunity, now that I have time, and the flexibility to use the time the way I want to use it, to decide what I want to learn about," said student Linda Jacknowitz.

It wasn't long ago that Jacknowitz was in college herself, as a student and professionally as a librarian.

Instead of distancing herself from more education in retirement, she embraces it.

"Maybe there are classes I was afraid to take in college because if I didn't do well then it would be against my grade-point average if I didn't do well," said Jacknowitz.

More than 400 students attend OLLI. Its classrooms are located in the Mountaineer Mall in Morgantown.

Course material ranges from the arts to history, sciences and life skills like using computers and the Internet.

"The new research is showing that people need to stay active, and they need to keep learning new things, they need to create new neuron pathways," said Angela Faulkner-VanDeysen, executive director for OLLI.

Unlike traditional educational settings, classes are often filled with students who have a varied knowledge in the course material.

One minute you may be sitting by a classmate, the next they're up front teaching it.

"I did a course on Hamlet this morning, I'm going to do one on analyzing the 2012 elections in a few minutes, and later on an Indian Filmmaker. Tomorrow I'm co-teaching a course on My Antonia," said student and teacher Barb Howe.

OLLI's winter semester is underway with courses, but some courses have yet to began. To find out more about the classes offered and to sign up call OLLI at 304-293-1793, or visit its web site.