Concordia College New York and Wartburg recently held a press conference announcing a new partnership to give adults 65+ in Mount Vernon the opportunity to earn a college degree.
Dr. David J. Gentner - President & CEO of Wartburg, Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes - President of Concordia College, Mayor Richard Thomas - City of Mount Vernon, spoke about the impact and opportunities this program will provide.
View the full press conference here.
Combining the educational excellence of Concordia College with Wartburg’s expertise in senior engagement, SeniorU will give adults in Mount Vernon the chance to earn a two- or four-year college degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
“There are thousands of seniors in this region who are within the Liberation Phase of their lives yet many have not had the opportunity to obtain a college degree,” said Dr. David J. Gentner, Wartburg President & CEO. “As a senior service provider, Wartburg is thrilled to be a part of SeniorU. The program is truly unique yet also replicable and I am hopeful that my colleagues across the country will look for similar partnership opportunities.”
Ms. Joan Parks, Wartburg resident said “I didn’t have a chance to go to college because I didn’t have time and was raising children. I am thankful I now have a second chance and truly appreciate the opportunity.”
The SeniorU Interdisciplinary Studies Degree is designed to improve students’ health in mind, body and attitude in a fun, experiential learning program. Taught by Concordia College faculty, courses are wide-ranging and relevant for today’s seniors. The program’s participatory model means that students learn by doing – paving new ways to think, communicate and be.
“Concordia College is a place ‘Where Worlds Meet.’ We open doors for students by bringing together the worlds of science, arts, faith, athletics, history, theology, medicine, music and community – often for first-generation college students," said Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes, Concordia College President. "With SeniorU, Concordia continues this mission, opening doors for an underserved generation of students. Learning doesn’t stop at a predetermined age, it never stops. We look forward to bringing all the worlds of Concordia to our SeniorU students and experiencing the new worlds that they will bring to us."
"SeniorU is the beginning of a journey to make sure that seniors get access to a free, affordable quality education. That’s going to make them competitive and improve their health outcome. Those doors that will open are really going to make Mount Vernon a destination for jobs and that’s what we must become again. We must activate our local economy and the city is proud to support and encourage our partners at Wartburg and Concordia College,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas. “My hope is that as our seniors embark on this journey to obtain new skills and get these degrees that they know that Mount Vernon is going to be with them every step of the way. We’re going to support this initiative. We’re not just going to talk about it we’re going to put our money where our mouth is.
Classes will be taught on Wartburg’s Mount Vernon campus beginning in January 2018. Transportation to classes for Mount Vernon residents will be provided. The program is affordable for all and may be fully subsidized for qualified applicants. Admission is open to all Mount Vernon residents with a high school diploma or GED. The program will be open to the larger community in Fall 2018.