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What's Next for You?

AARP Delaware and the University of Delaware are disrupting aging through a creative collaboration which is shaping up to help many Delawareans reimagine their lives in some very powerful ways.

Generation X, not to mention the Boomer generation, is realizing something very important. They are living longer. The life expectancy in the U.S. just three generations ago was 50 years of age, while it is now over 78. A 2007 U.S. News and World Report study found that the number of college students age 40-64 has increased to almost two million, up 20 percent from just a decade ago. These ambitious students are looking for encore careers. They have the time and energy to embark on a whole new venture, and are interested in learning for individual growth and development. Gen X managers have all the right skills to be great managers in our changing corporate landscape. Deepening and developing those skills can become a launching pad into a more far-reaching career.

These are some of the reasons why AARP Delaware and the University of Delaware have teamed up to provide a fifteen percent tuition discount for AARP members who are pursuing a degree in the Master of Liberal Studies (MALS) program at the University.

Through this collaboration, we challenge conventional views on careers, education, and moving into the next chapter of life. Students like Cheryl Moore-Rice are exploring their “what’s next” in life in the MALS program.

“Some of us are in a mature phase of our careers. We’re not traditional college students,” she says. “We want to start new lives, experience new thinking for whatever lies ahead. The program has really opened up the whole exploration of learning, and it’s given me new possibilities.”

Fellow student Kate Cowperthwait adds, “As an undergraduate I was in a hurry, hurry to pick a major, hurry to get through the work, a hurry to graduate.  I never had the chance to fully enjoy the courses and the education.  Now, I have the opportunity to fully immerse myself in each course, to partner with each professor and to learn in a full and robust way.  This has truly changed my life and opened up a whole new world of possibilities.”

While many MALS students are in the program for the pure joy of learning, the program cultivates valued workplace skills: critical thinking, problem solving, research methods, writing, presentation skills. An Education Advisory Board study shows that these are among the most in-demand skills in the top industries in our region.

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate program. The program’s small seminar courses are taught by faculty from across the College of Arts and Sciences, breaking down departmental barriers to explore important questions from a variety of perspectives.  Within the broad parameters of the program, students are free to shape their course of study to fit their intellectual interests and follow their passions—ideal for those negotiating the next step in their careers or their lives.

All classes are held in the evening and the degree can be completed on a part-time basis. To learn more about the discount for AARP members and guests, contact the MALS program directly at mals-info@udel.edu or visit www.mals.udel.edu

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