Learning in Retirement, Inc. University of Georgia, Athens
By John Rudy

Taken from the February 2007 newsletter.

Here is a brief overview of highlights drawn from the LIR/UGA Adult Education autumn survey of members. The information presented here is the principal platform of our Planning Committee’s continuing work.

Of the 521 questionnaires sent out, 234 were completed, yielding a satisfactory participation of 45% and providing statistically valid results. Our database shows that 62% of members joined after 2000; 67% are females; 46% are aged 70-79; 36% aged 53-69; and 18% are 80 and counting. 52% hold advanced degrees. Core findings are presented here.

1. Most valued programs:
Courses (99%)
Lunch & Learn (90%)
Travel/study (87%)
Activity/interest groups (84%)
Social activities (79%)
Members before 2000 give significantly higher valuations. Younger members assign lowest valuations (exception: activity/interest groups).
Women members give higher value to travel/study, activity/interest groups, and social events.
Participation pattern is similar for each category but 1/3 less overall.

2. Officer/board/committee participation in one or more:
Of total members (20%)
Participation by newer members is under 8%, by younger, much less, by women members slightly lower.

3. Interest in proposed courses (six highest shown):
History (86%)
Geography (79%)
Music Appreciation (78%)
Art appreciation (78%)
Health/medicine (77%)
Environment (76%)
No significant variations show up between pre-and post-2000 members except that more interest is shown by pre-2000 group and older members in health/medicine and a higher interest in art and music appreciation is shown by younger members.
Women members are more enthusiastic about art and music appreciation than are men.

4. Interest in activity/interest groups:
38% would like to participate in –
Antiques/historic places (27%)
Walking/hiking (22%)
Gourmet lunch/dinners (21%)
Genealogy (19%)
Recent members, younger members, and women are significantly more interested in these than are older members (excepting only gourmet meals).
Present rates of participation are less than 8% in any current groups.

5. Interest in possible new services in which LIR could take a role:
Reliable home maintenance/repair (67%)
Arrangement of reliable transportation (66%)
Arrangement of trustworthy home visits and telephone contact for members living alone (66%)
No significant differences exist between pre- and post-2000 members or younger or older members except that those over 80 lead the pack in interest.
There are no notable differences between men and women.







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