The Future of Road Scholar
Having been delighted by the success of our pilot programs, Road Scholar is busy working to expand this course catalog of educational offerings to include fascinating topics and feature more beloved educators from across the globe to quench your thirst for learning.
In the immediate future, we are perhaps most excited about the development of our virtual civil rights program, which will mirror our deeply impactful Civil Rights Conference in February 2020. And, building on the success of our inaugural Paris Adventures Online, we are also working on a collection of learning opportunities focused on cities rich in cultural significance, from Madrid and Istanbul, to London and Athens.
As for the longer road ahead: none of us can truly predict the future. I expect the Road Scholar of 45 years from now may look very different from the Road Scholar we know today. Will lunar experts be taking you on field trips to the moon? Only time will tell. Right now, we are focusing on this exciting new initiative to create live learning opportunities you can experience without having to physically leave the security of your home.
Just like all of you, we, too, are looking forward to the day we can all safely venture out on the road again — to learn together in classrooms around the world. But we have learned something very important as we’ve evolved during this pandemic, and that is how powerful these Adventures Online experiences are in the lives of our participants.
Even before any of us had heard of COVID-19, travel restrictions, mobility issues, time constraints or budget limitations prevented access to Road Scholar’s travel programs for many lifelong learners. While we have learned how important these online experiences have been in battling the emotional and intellectual effects of social isolation during times of quarantine, we have also come to understand that those resources will continue to be vital for many folks within our community.
These extreme circumstances forced us to take on a challenge we have been interested in pursuing for years: how to reach older adults who cannot travel to a Road Scholar program. I am pleased we have now accomplished that, and we are committed to providing these online learning opportunities for years to come — even in a post-COVID world — to make learning more accessible to all.
I am proud of the creativity, innovation and commitment of my Road Scholar colleagues around the world. Despite limited time and resources, their dedication to you and to lifelong learning made these online Road Scholar experiences possible and opened adventures in learning, friendships and community to hundreds, and hopefully soon thousands, of lifelong learners. While this accomplishment is a testament to the adaptability and longevity of our team, it is also a testament to the trust and loyalty of our participants – all of you. Without your thirst for learning and willingness to try something new, we wouldn’t be able to continue pursuing the Road Scholar mission as effectively as we have. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your yen for learning, your willingness to try something new, your flexibility, adaptability and curiosity! We look forward to sharing many wonderful learning adventures with you, for years to come.
Road Scholar President & CEO