LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -The idea of attending a university may intimidate some older people. But there's a program at McNeese State University helping seniors pursue college with EASE. It stands for Emphasis on Adult Special Entry.
On campus, the students may be mostly young people pursuing degrees they hope will result in worthwhile careers. But you don't have to be young and you don't have to be a recent high school graduate to pursue higher learning.
As the name implies the EASE is designed to make it simple for older people to enter college whether for fun or a degree. May Gray is the EASE advisor. "It's geared to someone starting college for the first time, someone wanting to take a few courses. We even have people who have ph.d.'s who come back and they just want to take some more courses for enrichment."
Gloria Wegener is a retired educator but never stopped teaching. EASE helps fill her need for life long learning and even a new career in photography. "Learning is so much fun for me that I continue to take courses for fun. And whatever I can get from them I try to teach other people because teaching is a part of my life."
Attorney Arthur O'Keefe came here from New Orleans after Katrina. "His main interest is history. My job is a job that deals with people and human nature and the study of history gives me a crash course in human nature over essentially a three thousand year period. So, it's very, very helpful."
Gray urges anyone interested in ease to call. "If you're 25 or older with a G.E.D. Or a high school diploma you're going to be admitted. So, there's nothing to be fearful of. Sometimes we have people who did not do well when they were in college before. But they have a lot more maturity now and they're going to be good students."
And once you turn sixty tuition fees are greatly reduced for the first three credit hours each semester. Officials say because of their military training veterans are entitled to some academic credit toward a degree. Counselors can provide the specifics.