MILWAUKEE — University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is seeing record enrollment among retirees, and there is only one requirement to be part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM. Students have to be at least 50 years old.
A recent field trip took students to Breadsmith in Whitefish Bay, where they learned how to make bread from scratch.
Carol Tishler graduated from UWM in the 1960s, and now she's back.
"You expand your horizons, you meet new people, everybody's interesting," said Tishler.
Tishler met Reesa Gottschalk through the program.
"When I retired I wanted to find a new group of people to hang out with," said Gottschalk.
The women are two of 1,800 students enrolled in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM.
Maybe there's something they always wanted to study but were too busy while they were working, and now they have the chance to explore it." — instructor Jayna Hintz
"It keeps you young because you're interested and interesting," said Tishler.
"It's a chance to explore things that you might never had the opportunity to explore," said Gottschalk.
The associate director for the Lifelong Learning Institute said people can choose from more than 400 programs.
"We have short course, talks, go explorers, special interest groups, international and national travel," said Jayna Hintz.
She said the program's popularity likely has something to do with interest of gaining more knowledge.
"That love of learning that never goes away," said Hintz.
Hintz said retiring baby boomers also might have something to do with the increase in enrollment.
"Maybe there's something they always wanted to study but were too busy while they were working, and now they have the chance to explore it," said Hintz.
Students can pick and choose how many classes they want to take and how many field trips to go on, so there isn't a big commitment.
"I learn something new every time," said Tishler.
Students admit going to college is even better the second time around.
"There are no tests, no quizzes, no homework. Sort of the best of college, really," said Gottschalk.
For more on Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, click here.