Dublin City University has launched a new programme aimed at engaging the talents of retired and soon-to-be retired professionals who are seeking new challenges into the latter stages of their careers.
The Advanced Transitions Programme will offer a combination of academic, personal and professional activities with the aim for its participants to realise an engaged and purposeful stage in later life through vitalising their skills, knowledge and expertise.
An initial pilot-programme will seek 25 participants in order to combine their expertise into a dynamic and engaging community at the college. A week-long programme ‘Ignite’ will introduce participants and explore their personal motivations for taking part where they will be questioned about their current plans and what they aim to achieve through the programme.
The outcome will provide a personalised plan as to how each individual will engage with the range of activities offered in the programme.
Speaking at the launch of Advanced Transitions, DCU President Brian MacCraith explained that the reason behind its inception was to reinforce the university’s inclusive, age-friendly ethos in order to benefit both the participants and society itself through a meaningful output.
“At a national and international level, we must explore ways to respond to the increasing complexity and richness that ageing brings to our societies and economies. In line with our Age Friendly University ethos, DCU continually seeks to include older adults in all aspects of university life, offering life-enhancing and life-lengthening opportunities.
“Access to development programmes such as Advanced Transitions will allow society to access the valuable resources and experience of older individuals who still have much to contribute.”
The programme, led by Director Ronan King, will contain core elements as well as optional activities that aim to reflect the unique interests of the group as a whole in addition to each individual’s personal interests.
“Traditional models of retirement are changing as global changes in demographics show that people are living far longer, healthier lives”, King said.
“The gift of additional decades of life derives from advances in medical science, nutrition, disease eradication and life-styles. This means that governments, universities and individuals need to recalibrate their thinking and planning if this gift is to be of benefit, rather than a potential burden.
“For the individual, the challenge is to remain relevant and to find purpose that leads to continued happiness and fulfilment.”
Participants are being welcomed to act as mentors to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as to provide knowledge and advice to groups of students engaging in commercial and social enterprises.
The Advanced Transitions Programme will launch for a full academic year at the beginning of next year, with a full week of activities set for January 2017 followed by selective days throughout the twelve week duration from February to April and September to December.
Photo Credit: dcu.ie