BITS & BYTES: Free classes, software for seniors at Ivy Tech

2014-04-02T10:38:00Z 2014-04-02T17:51:14Z BITS & BYTES: Free classes, software for seniors at Ivy TechApril Miller Cripliver Times Business Columnist
April 02, 2014 10:38 am  • 

Q: I am a senior citizen and would like to learn more about computers. I would like to take a beginning college class, but college can be expensive. Do you have any ideas?

A: Great question!

One of the best-kept secrets is Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, which offers free college classes on any subject to anyone over age 60 at any of its 31 campuses, covering 75 communities across the state.

Ivy Tech is the largest singly-accredited college in the United States and possibly the world. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

You would be taking the same college classes from approved Ivy Tech faculty as matriculating, degree-seeking students. For those who don’t want to venture out to take a face-to-face class, you can take online classes — 100 percent of which are delivered via the Internet.

You would be responsible for buying the course textbook and paying a standard technology fee. You can buy your textbook new or used from anywhere, including,,, or The technology fee is about $60.

Once you are enrolled at Ivy Tech, you can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013, which you will need for most of the classes you take. This copy of Office is yours to keep forever.

Classes meet at various times during the day or evening for about three hours each week for eight, 12, or 16 weeks. Summer classes meet six hours each week for eight weeks. Online classes are asynchronous, which means that the class never “meets” at a specific time. Students simply log into Blackboard (Ivy Tech’s Learning Management System located at at any time of day to complete the online assignments.

To begin the process, register yourself at any Ivy Tech campus. Be sure to mention that you want to take “courses only,” that you are not seeking a degree, and that you’re a senior citizen. For more information on the courses available, visit and click the link for Prospective Students.

Summer classes for 2014 are June 9 through Aug. 3 and Fall classes are Aug. 25 to Dec. 20. Registration is open now for these two terms. Don’t delay, because classes fill quickly.

If you have questions, I will be happy to help you through the process. My office is at the Valparaiso Campus (3100 Ivy Tech Drive), but I can help you choose a class at any campus or online.

Come join the fun at Ivy Tech. Who knows, maybe I’ll be your professor!

Opinions are solely the writer's. April Miller Cripliver of Chesterton holds a doctorate in management information systems and is a computer hardware and software consultant. E-mail your computer questions to, and specify your operating system and other pertinent PC information.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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