Letter to the Editor: Concerning the 60+ Audit Program

Michael Kirschner

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My wife and I are local retirees who learned about and took advantage of FAU’s wonderful 60+ Audit program last year.  For those unfamiliar with it, this program allows residents over 60 to audit selected FAU courses—if there is room—at no charge.  We do not seek or receive any credit, but the idea for us is just the sheer enjoyment of a class and the campus environment.

Both my wife and I enjoyed our courses this past year under this wonderful program.   We each took one class each semester and were eagerly looking forward to doing this again this year.  Unfortunately, the list of courses for the Fall seems to be a good deal shorter than last year’s and there are thus fewer choices and time periods available to us.  Some are already full and cannot be audited.

We do wonder why more professors do not make their classes available to us.  Under the rules of the program, we do not participate in class (unless invited to do so), we do not take tests or exams, do not write papers and do not add anything to the instructor’s workload.  All we do is take up an empty seat and go to class because we actually want to be there.

Inquiries to the Registrar’s office about why more courses are not available—the limited list appears at the Registrar’s web page under Non-degree Registration–60+Auditing—told us that eligible courses are determined by instructors and department heads.  Somewhat surprisingly, when I asked a professor I knew why his course was not on the list, he said he did not know how courses became listed in the first place, but I was welcome in class anyway.  That course is still not listed and I cannot register for the semester to take it.

My purpose in this letter is to try to make instructors aware of the dearth of courses in the 60+ Audit program and to bring to their attention that there are many of us who would love to attend their classes just for the privilege of learning.  Perhaps drawing attention to the problem will make them aware that we are out here and that it takes so little from them to literally “make our day.”

I realize, of course, that my request and comments are the very definition of looking the gift horse in the mouth, but I am hoping that if you print this letter, some may act to help.  If you like, you can include my email address for any replies.

Thank you,

Michael Kirschner

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