Rivier University’s RISE, Rivier Institute for Senior Education, is part of the growing Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) movement in the United States and Canada. There are more than 250 such organizations of retirement-age learners dedicated to meeting the educational interests of their members. The movement is opening campuses across the continent to the experience and vitality of the mature person.
Growing older in North America today is characterized by rapid change. Stereotypes are being discarded, negative images are in transformation, and older people are seizing control of their own destinies. New social inventions are now the expected, not the exception.
The ILR concept is just such an invention. Older adults care about education, they are intense and self-motivated learners, and they define their own educational experiences and enthusiasim. RISE fosters and capitalizes on these strengths, empowering older people to continue learning, expand their horizons, and enhance their personal development.
RISE incorporates active participation and fellowship to create a vibrant and nurturing learning environment. Since its inception in 1997 by Rose H. Arthur, Th.D., the RISE program has grown on Rivier University’s campus to be a welcoming community of people 55 years of age and over.
RISE is an essential piece of the Rivier University community, holding courses and activities on the University campus and furthering the mission of Rivier University through continued education and service. In addition, RISE is an affiliate of the Road Scholar Institute Network, a nonprofit organization focused on the importance of life-long learning.
During the first term of the RISE program, 60 members enrolled for courses. Currently, over 400 active members attend courses and participate in various activities. The diverse curriculum, which is often facilitated by enrolled seniors and members of the local community, includes courses in history, literature, writing, music, religion, current events, genealogy, foreign language study, art, technology, computers, and physical fitness.
As stated in the bylaws of RISE, “the purpose of RISE shall be to provide a quality educational opportunity for seniors in the greater Nashua area. It will achieve this by being a member-directed learning center where active participation and fellowship are key concepts.”