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New York, NY – The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council, is launching Age-friendly NYC College Link (http://agefriendlycollege.org), the nation’s first searchable online database that empowers older adults to browse, search, compare, and connect with educational opportunities at dozens of local colleges and universities.
Age-friendly NYC College Link grew out of consultations with hundreds of older adults throughout New York City who said they wanted to have more options for lifelong learning, but found it difficult to know exactly what was available. The database was also born out of a need for adults to train for second or third careers, and/or obtain new skills to improve their employability; to learn practical life skills, including computer literacy and how to navigate new virtual worlds to stay connected; to broaden intellectual horizons through non-credit or for-credit courses; and to expand social networks and participate in intergenerational discussions.
Older adults using the database will find offerings from more than forty schools, including senior discounts for continuing education courses; free auditing privileges; job training and certificate programs; GED and English as a Second Language courses; programs for older adults only; public events, performances, and lecture series; and access to campus resources including art galleries, museums, and gyms.
“From taking a class in medieval history to sharpening one’s computer skills, it’s never too late to go back to school,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs. “The Age-friendly College Link database will help to satisfy older New Yorkers’ appetite for learning by making it easier for them to connect to the wealth of opportunities that our colleges and universities have to offer.”
“Age-friendly NYC College Link is an amazing tool for New York City’s older adults,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “There is now one place that older adults can go to in order to find out how to audit or enroll in college classes, and they can do it for personal benefit or to help them learn new skills for new employment opportunities. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and his staff and The New York Academy of Medicine. Together we have taken another step to make the city more supportive of aging New Yorkers.”
“Not only is it great for older adults to get back on campus, but it's great for universities to have them there—to inspire faculty, mentor students, and help build vibrant communities on campus,” said Ruth Finkelstein, Sr. VP of Health Policy at NYAM. “Education is one of NYC's major products—increased participation from older adults will only make it better.”
“We all know that education is the gateway to a rich, meaningful life for our young people, but this is equally true for today’s older adults. Access to lifelong learning—whether to learn a new language, acquire new job skills, complete the GED, or finish a degree—is essential to ensure the continued vitality of our older citizens,” said Linda Fried, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health and member of the Age-friendly NYC Commission.
Age-friendly New York City is a collaborative effort to respond to and benefit from this population change, led by the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and The New York Academy of Medicine. The initiative seeks to make New York City a better place to grow old by promoting an "age-in-everything" lens across all aspects of city life. The initiative asks the city’s public agencies, businesses, cultural, educational and religious institutions, community groups, and individuals to consider how changes to policy and practice can create a city more inclusive of older adults and more sensitive to their needs.
The initiative is a part of the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly Cities project. To learn more about Age-friendly NYC College Link, please contact Andrew J. Martin at (212) 822-7285 or visit www.agefriendlynyc.
Posted on November 15, 2012
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The New York Academy of Medicine
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