A 68-year-old Ventura County grandfather decide to go back to college to pursue his dream of teaching math. Marc Schillinger is set to graduate from Cal State Channel Island in May. The University says they are seeing many more older students deciding to go back to college.
Marc Schillinger is in his last week of his student teaching at University Preparation Charter School in Camarillo. At the age of 68 the former graduate of Purdue University decided to go back to school and get his teaching credential at Cal State Channel Islands.
“I find that being in college again is a real fun experience and when you are walking around campus and people smile, they might think I am professor there, but no I am just a student,” said Schillinger.
After working as a environmental engineer for 41 years, Schillinger decided it was time to pursue his dream of teaching math.
“I wasn’t in a position because I had financial obligations and a family that I really couldn’t quit my job to go back to school so I finally got to the point that I would finally retire from the company and then pursue what I wanted to pursue for a long time,” said Schillinger.
Schillinger is one of many older Americans who are back in class, especially those in their 60’s.
“It’s been nice to come to Channel Islands and see such a diversity in our students and in terms of the ages,” said Carolee Hurtado, the CSUCI University supervisor. “It’s never too late to go back to school and I am constantly inspired by my older students. I feel like I am learning from them.”
Roann Bender is a teacher at UPC, and says Mr. Schillinger is the oldest student teacher she has ever worked with. But the students, don’t see age. They have grown attached to this grandfather of nine.
And he’s setting an example for students of all ages.
“You’re never too old to go back and learn,” said Bender. “He always says age is just a number, you are only as old as you feel. He does not act like a 68-year-old and he is not treated like a 68-year-old man here, he is just Mr. Schillinger.”
According to the University there is a teacher shortage especially in secondary mathematics in Ventura County. Shillings is set to graduate in May from Cal State Channel Islands and will hopefully fill that void.