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A Lifetime of learning

By Bryan Goodland

One of the keys to maintaining mental health as one ages is to continually seek out challenges for the brain. There is more and more evidence that supports continuous learning and participating in new experiences delays cognitive decline, improves memory and may help maintain brain functions.

Learning comes in many forms, including taking university courses, even if it’s been a while since stepping into a classroom. In addition to helping the mind stay active and elastic, taking a university class is also a great way to show the younger generation the power of an education.

In Colorado, there are a few different options for taking college level courses as a senior. The following universities have a vast array of options from which to choose.

Colorado State University (CSU) offers a program for those 55 and older. The program at CSU is called Lifelong Learners. It is open to anyone over the age of 55 and gives people a chance to sit in on a college course at no cost, assuming there is space available in the course. For those interested, once a class is selected, fill out a Lifelong Learner Class Visitation Request form and turn it in to the college’s registrar. Be sure to check with the university on current procedures, as on-campus attendance may be limited or completely curtailed.

The University of Colorado at Denver also offers a Lifelong Learners program. Their offerings are for those who are 60 and over and are noncredit and tuition free. The program has been suspended for the fall, but free college level courses are available through Coursera online ( These courses include a variety of computer and professional level courses that can be audited.

Metropolitan State University of Denver through the Metro Meritus Program gives those 60 and older the chance to take courses for free without earning credit. One stipulation however is that students aren’t allowed to register until the first day of classes to make sure there are spots available and resources to support the program. The program is not allowing on-campus participation, but they do have online classes available. Students are limited with the number of classes they can take and not all departments are participating in the program. Check the website for courses available, registration forms and other updated information.

For more information about CSU Lifelong Learners, visit To learn more about the University of Colorado Lifelong Learners, visit For more information about the Metropolitan State University Metro Meritus Program, visit



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