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Richland Emeritus Program Caters to Seniors

Republished courtesy of Richland Student Media

Walking around the Richland College campus, you’ll see seniors, those people age 50 or older, who are line dancing, learning genealogy or Windows 10, and taking credit courses like other students. They are part of the Emeritus Plus 50 program at Richland College. Cindy Berry, emeritus program director, said, “I had one of our students tell me that she had read that our emeritus program was one of the best college-based emeritus programs in the country.”

In support of the Richland College mission, the Richland Emeritus Plus 50 program provides affordable, quality education to enable individuals 50 and over to stay intellectually challenged, enriched, physically fit and socially connected. Volunteer opportunities are also available for seniors interested in helping Richland College credit students succeed. Emeritus also offers community partnerships to provide lifelong learning opportunities at area retirement facilities.

Typically seniors are enrolled in 350 noncredit classes. “The beauty of the noncredit classes is that they don’t have to follow the curriculum rigor of the credit class,” said Berry. A member of the Emeritus 8 a.m. exercise class mentioned that the class helped his wife recover from a broken ankle better than anyone thought she would. A participant in the genealogy class said it has been a way for her to share family history with her children.

The primary communications with seniors is through their website, email and the Emeritus newsletter. “It is very important for them to navigate that Emeritus website, and if they have any interest whatsoever get signed up for the newsletter,” Berry said. The Emeritus Plus 50 Spring 2017 kickoff is coming up, Nov. 30, 1:30 to 4 p.m. in Sabine Hall Room 118, so seniors can hear instructors describe their classes. Reservations are required due to limited seating. Registration for credit classes begins on Nov. 22. “There are two sides to our program. There is the credit side where those students can take up to six credit hours per semester; if they are a Dallas County resident 12 months or longer then there is no tuition for those six hours,” Berry said. 

The 2017 Spring Emeritus registration schedule will be available as of Tuesday, Nov. 22.  Credit registration begins for continuing students on Nov. 22 and for new and former students (any student who has not taken a credit classes for the last 12 months) on Monday, Nov. 28. See the Emeritus website for more information at