AARP & U. of DE Team Up on Master of Arts
A recent collaboration between the two organizations provides fresh incentive for adults to pursue professional education opportunities.
AARP members who live in Delaware and their guests are now eligible for a 15 percent tuition discount in the University’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALs) adult professional education program.
It just makes sense. From the start, the direct alignment with Life Reimagined was clear cut from an AARP perspective when Carlos de los Ramos, AARP DE associate state director Community Outreach, approached the University to discuss collaborative possibilities.
A Win-Win Opportunity
The disucssions led to a win-win outcome. “What I love about the program is the ways individuals can customize their curriculum to meet their personal goals,” Carlos says. “The focus on learning and self-discovery is perfectly in line with AARP’s mission and vision.”
“At AARP, we want to ensure successful living for all as they move into their next chapter of life,” adds Lucretia Young, AARP Delaware state director. “Many individuals are ready for a whole new career after 50, and this is a perfect opportunity for AARP members and guests to begin finding a new passion in life.”
Students Encouraged to Explore
The spring semester began in February and a number of AARP members and their guests took advantage of the opportunity to enroll. “The MALS program provides students with a unique and interdisciplinary way to develop the qualities of a liberal education at the graduate level, ” says Robin Schulze, interim associate dean for the humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“MALS courses are taught by faculty across the college who encourage students to explore important topics from a variety of perspectives. MALS has served as an important bridge for lifelong learners, and we are excited to collaborate with AARP. "
Innovative Offering Raises Awareness Statewide
For the school, the agreement brings increased awareness of the program to the state community. “This innovative collaboration with AARP will raise the profile of the MALS program throughout the state,” says Jeffrey Richardson, MALS interim director.
“It leverages the robust membership reach of AARP and the rich educational experience of the MALS program, which exists to serve adult professionals seeking career advancement as well as personal growth.” Most of the students currently in the program are over age 50.
George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, observes that the collaboration offers a significant benefit to potential MALS students. “We’re pleased to work with AARP to offer this benefit to the many adult professional residents of the state who are interested in advanced educational opportunities. This is an example of our commitment to community outreach and collaboration.”
A series of membership engagement activities for AARP members in Delaware is also being developed as part of the collaboration, possibly including films or guest lectures held on the university’s campus.
What Took You So Long?
As the semester winds down, Cheryl Rice-Moore, an AARP member and MALs student shares her thoughts about the program: “When I enrolled, I expected a generic college atmosphere, much like any college program. I am very pleased that the generic atmosphere was just my thinking, not the reality. Most of the professors are eager to challenge us older, full-career adults in a life-long learning program.
“Some of us are at the end of our careers—we’re not traditional young students. We want to start new lives; experience new thinking for whatever lies ahead. I’m not surprised AARP has this kind of offering, I just wonder, 'What took you so long?!' MALs is a great way to get seniors back into the classroom. It reduces mental decline and fosters a brightness among older adults as you come and go on the campus; and the academic support is awesome.”
—Article Adapted/Revised from a University of DE article in UDaily