It doesn’t matter how old one is or what kind of life experiences one has had; there is always an opportunity to grow and learn something new.
While lifelong learning doesn’t solely take place in a classroom setting, have there ever been times in your adult life, long after the last school bell rang and many years past your most recent graduation ceremony, where you missed academic life? Where you stopped and remembered a powerful lesson given in a lecture hall, or reminisced about the simple pleasure of just being present on a university campus, on your way to your next class? The college years are some of the happiest times many people will experience during their lifetime, and it’s common to wistfully remember these good times in life’s later years.
Fortunately, residents of Trinity Woods have a wonderful and enviable opportunity, thanks to a unique partnership with Mount Mary University. The days of college now no longer need to be a thing of the past; academic study at a university level is now available to them today, free of charge.
This vision has long been in the works, even before Trinity Woods welcomed its first residents in December 2021. And thanks to the dedication and careful planning between representatives from Milwaukee Catholic Home, Trinity Woods, and Mount Mary University, this vision is now a reality.
“There was an interest survey that went out to residents right when first opened our doors,” says Shelly Kenney, Director of A Life Engaged at Trinity Woods. “Being located on a university campus and having a mission of always encouraging residents to try new things and engage with the community, offering residents the chance to audit college courses was a no brainer! This is the perfect way to practice what we preach-to make our philosophy of service, A Life Engaged, more than just words on a page.”
The first step to creating this exceptional perk of living at Trinity Woods was to send out a survey to residents, asking them to identify their subjects of interest.
“The response was wonderful,” adds Director of A Life Engaged Amy O’Connor. “Forty one residents initially responded to our survey, and our enthusiasm to get this program started only grew from there! From that initial list, a class schedule was created that included studies in the areas of biology, nutrition, literature, history, medicine, social justice, psychology, and philosophy. These diverse areas of study allow us to engage our residents in the ways that they are interested in!”
This fall, 14 residents are auditing courses, and that number is only expected to grow in the upcoming academic semesters.
There are many ways to be healthy; therefore we offer our residents on all our campuses opportunities to grow in a variety of ways. The belief that a person strives to learn and discover throughout their life drives our decision making around how we best serve older adults in our sphere of influence. This chance for Trinity Woods residents to explore a college education for free is just one of several ways we provide, making them happier and healthier in the process.
For more information on independent living and A Life Engaged at Trinity Woods and Milwaukee Catholic Home, contact Amy O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.