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Senior Scholars Program

Spring Cohort Taking Classes Now - View Photos

Applications for the Fall Cohort start May 1, 2018.

The Senior Scholars Program (SSP) is offered through the College of Arts & Sciences, UMSL, in partnership with the St. Louis County Older Resident Programs (CORP). The SSP received the unanimous endorsement of the Older Adult Commission for St. Louis County at its September, 2017, meeting. The SSP is recognized as a contributor to the St. Louis County's Age Friendly Community Initiative.

The SSP is also an example of an international movement among institutions of higher learning to be more age friendly and inclusive. The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, of which UMSL is a member, recently endorsed the Age Friendly University Principles first put forward by faculty at Dublin City University, Ireland, in 2012. Our vision in the College of Arts & Sciences is to grow our inter-generational learning environment through the SSP and thereby enrich our campus community for all.

To accomplish this vision, we are committed to providing Senior Scholars with the training, support and personalized experience they need to succeed and grow as members of our diverse campus community. A first and necessary step is to pilot test the program to ensure that it works well for all involved. We welcome adults, aged 65+, from anywhere in the St. Louis region to join our first cohort of 30 Senior Scholars!

The SSP will be pilot tested during the Winter-Spring (SP) 2018 semester which starts January 16, 2018. Senior Scholars enrolled during the pilot period will audit one college level course and serve as informal advisors for the program (i.e., by giving advice on making the program better). SP2018 pilot participants will receive a full scholarship to take part. The only out of pocket cost will be for books and other learning materials required in a given class. Scholars will attend an orientation workshop on 1/10/18 and monthly senior scholars gatherings to discuss the program and share perspectives on current issues. Download a PDF sample schedule for the pilot period.

EXPECTATIONS: Auditing a college course is similar to taking the course for credit. Senior Scholars will participate in courses along with other degree-seeking students of all ages. All students are expected to attend scheduled classes, having read and reviewed any required texts or materials for each class session. Beyond this basic expectation, Senior Scholars may participate in other class assignments and exams at the discretion and direction of the course instructor. Other expectations and campus processes, including our learning management system "Canvas" will be reviewed during the orientation retreat.   

The formal Senior Scholars Program will kick off in June, 2018, with enrollment options for the Fall 2018 semester. Senior Scholars enrolling at this time will be required to pay modest enrollment and support fees, in addition to the cost of books and other learning materials required for specific classes. The precise cost structure is currently under review. Visit this site in the coming months to learn more or contact the Program Coordinator, Dr. Tom Meuser