UW-Stout News Story

Auditing classes gives senior citizen 'a renewed lease on life'

August 14, 2013

Sandee Elkin said she liked everything about the art history course she took last spring at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

"My professor, Laurentia Mcintosh, made the art world come alive," said Elkin, a Menomonie resident.

As a bonus, the class was free and Elkin didn't have to take tests. "I could just enjoy learning about art," Elkin said.
Sandee ElkinElkin was auditing the class — not taking it for credit — as part of the UW System's Over 60 program. State residents at least 60 years old can enroll in available courses tuition-free at campuses around Wisconsin while paying only for textbooks and special course fees.

Textbook fees at UW-Stout this fall can range from $5 to $9 and course fees from $5 to $220.

"Being with young students gave me a new look at life on campus," said Elkin, who grew up in Oceanside, Calif., and was a freshman at San Diego State 50 years ago. "I am looking forward to being on campus again. It really gives me a renewed lease on life."

Elkin and others — she's encouraging her friends to register — will find it easier to audit courses this fall at UW-Stout. The university has streamlined the auditing registration process and created a Lifelong Learning website.

According to Pam Holsinger-Fuchs, executive director of UW-Stout's Enrollment Services, residents interested in auditing classes can fill out a form by stopping by Registration and Records, 109 Bowman Hall, or having the form mailed or emailed to them. Email outreachreg@uwstout.edu or call 712-232-2485 or 715-232-5167.

Available audit classes will be posted on the website after degree-seeking students have registered.

Elkin decided to take quizzes in her art history course to "keep my mind engaged" in the class but did not take the tests. Also, Elkin said she was encouraged by Mcintosh to contribute to class discussions.

When asked how the other students in the class responded to her, Elkin said they eventually warmed up to her and accepted her as a classmate, and young men even began holding the door open for her.

"Over 60 is a great program. I would highly recommend it to others," Elkin said.

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