• Director's Message

    Welcome to The New School's Institute for Retired Professionals!

    Are you ready to embrace new learning experiences, expand your horizons, and share your expertise with like-minded peers? Then consider The New School’s Institute for Retired Professionals. 

    The New School has been committed to lifelong nontraditional learning for adults for nearly a century, and the Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP) developed the peer learning model in 1962 to address the changing experience of adult education, aging, and retirement. Over time, the IRP improved and refined its peer learning model, and today more than 300 students in the program meet to pursue and study philosophy, art, literature, music, science, and numerous other topics.  

    What to expect at the Institute for Retired Professionals 

    • The exchange of ideas and insights among peers in the classroom and beyond fosters intellectual curiosity and heightens the possibilities for absorbing and applying new knowledge at any age. The IRP remains an exemplary affirmation of the fact that we all have something to contribute and to learn at any age.
    • The IRP’s peer learning model consists of “study groups” that are conceived and developed by members, who then “coordinate” the study groups in a classroom setting. A special camaraderie develops among IRP study group members and between the members and study group coordinators who prepare and guide stimulating, engaging sessions.
    • Your admission and tuition to The New School’s Institute for Retired Professionals provide you with membership in an empowering community. Members become actively involved beyond the classroom, through IRP’s special interest groups and social activities or by serving on IRP committees. Because the Institute for Retired Professionals is a signature program of The New School, there are numerous opportunities to engage in multigenerational activities with students in other programs at The New School, which include the renowned Parsons School of Design; the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy; and the School of Media Studies, to name a few. 

    How the Institute for Retired Professionals works  

    • As a member of our community of intellectually curious peers, you will participate in and coordinate study groups on topics that are of interest to you and others who share your zeal for learning.
    • While the IRP curriculum is academically rigorous, study groups are noncredit, and there are no exams or grades. The IRP does not use the term “instructor” or “course.” Study groups are coordinated by peers.
    • All members of our peer learning community take their responsibilities seriously, and proactive engagement is an integral element of the entire IRP program.

    Who guides the Institute for Retired Professionals and welcomes you 

    The IRP is a vital program within The New School’s Schools of Public Engagement, which includes an executive dean as well as the IRP’s director and an IRP Advisory Board that shapes the IRP’s overall vision, mission, and values. IRP committee chairs guide admissions, curriculum, diversity, finance, marketing, and other important areas.

    As the fifth director of The New School’s Institute for Retired Professionals, I am honored both personally and professionally to serve the IRP at this point in its history.

    After a two-decade career with marketing consulting firms in New York and Washington, I entered graduate school and had the good fortune to encounter generous mentors who encouraged me to switch to university teaching and administration. That ultimately led to my coming on board at The New School, where we all work together to inspire and empower the current and emerging generation of adult learners. We look forward to meeting and inspiring you!   

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth (Liz) DiMarco Weinmann, MBA, Director

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