lifelong learning center adults / seniors

“The video conferencing initiative from University Circle adds a dimension of learning that was not being addressed through any other means. The variety of programs and topics is appealing and attractive to our resident population who is well-travelled, had successful careers and well-educated. Most importantly, they continue with their personal quest for knowledge. The best part is having the ability to work closely with the Distance Learning Manager to establish the best fit for our residents. This inclusive videoconferencing technology happily brings the world to our door.”
- Susan Busko, Director of Health & Wellness, Laurel Lake Retirement Community (Hudson, OH)

Senior Connections Program

Every day in this country, 10,000 people turn 65 and are looking forward to retirements filled with intellectual stimulation while exploring new interests and engaging with their communities.

Senior Connections is the newest life-long learning program from UCI's Community Education staff focused on offering unique experiences using videoconferencing technology combined with the world-class resources of Circle institutions. Videoconferencing enables seniors to "travel the world" using interactive technology in real-time from their retirement communities or local senior centers. The program also offers selected field trips to cultural institutions for concerts, lectures and exhibitions in conjunction with monthly videoconferences exploring themes such as Civil Rights, Impressionism, The Silk Road  and advance preparation for attending concerts and plays from cultural institutions such asThe Cleveland Orchestra  and The Cleveland Play House.

courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art

The life-long learning model is based on weekly programs around participating sites' schedules. Blended activities using videoconferencing, on-site outreach programs and field trips provide the basis and the inspiration for the current education model for Senior Connections. Participants are able to travel the globe with engaging programs from experts in their fields. Most importantly, residents who are not as ambulatory or comfortable leaving their familiar surroundings can actively participate in this high-quality weekly program. The program is designed to provide arts, culture and science programs to the most educated group of retirees in history. Senior Connections  can be replicated anywhere, is proven, tested, affordable and offers quality programming through its UCI partnerships. It is a community education model that encourages elders to open up to the continuing potential of lifelong learning at a more engaged older age.

As one participant states, "Videoconferencing at its best can be a first-class learning tool. I think it's amazing and enjoy videoconferencing with museum staff, scholars and experts in their field." In program evaluations, it was found to contribute to wellness for participating seniors and to encourage social activity. The typical elder in retirement communities attending the program is older than eighty, and 81% of residents surveyed attend the programs "as often as possible." They attend for a variety of reasons, including "learning something interesting and new" and "as a social and learning experience."

Read testimonials about Senior Connections

To find out more about bringing Senior Connections to your community or to observe an existing program, call (216) 707-5021 or e-mail

Adult Life-Long Learning at the Circle

On any given day, there are many paths for you to ignite your passion, spark a new interest or explore something you have always wanted to know more about at University Circle. It is a place of possibilities for knowledge and sharing.

You finally have some time to devote to you - after so many years of giving to others. With so many choices for life-long learning and volunteerism at University Circle institutions, you don't have to travel far to explore the universe.

If classical music is your passion, choose a music study group with The Cleveland Orchestra. Love to garden? Volunteer at The Cleveland Botanical Garden, then enjoy a Tai Chi or Yoga class outdoors.

If a more scholarly path is your fancy, audit a class at one of our prestigious art or music institutes or sign up for Off- Campus Studies or Senior Scholars experience through Case Western Reserve University.

Do you love archeology, the great outdoors, conservation and starry skies? Then the Explorer lecture series at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History  is an annual lecture series with leading scientists and researchers from across the region and the globe, delivered to our Circle doorstep.

Is it time for that family genealogy research project that you have always wanted to pursue? The reference librarians at The Western Reserve Historical Society are waiting to train you. Members are able to use the library's resources, data-bases and receive assistance from the staff for free.

Join the Art and Fiction book club at The Cleveland Museum of Art  or the History in Mysteries Book Club  at Western Reserve Historical Society. Reading and new friendships are infectious and await you!

Contact Diana Robbins in Community Education for additional information at

Solon Senior Center visits the Cleveland Botanical Garden after studying trees and plants during videoconferences.

Residents at Laurel Lake participated in a series of intergenerational videoconferences with local students learning about what family photographs can tell us about history.

Personal technology guru David Pogue was one of many fascinating speakers brought to sites using videoconferencing technology.

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