Osher Lifelong Learning Institute expands course offerings

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A program geared toward helping active retirees move, groove and learn will be expanding its focus and providing new offerings this spring.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers 140 non-credit courses to individuals who are retired, semi-retired or nearing retirement to help them maintain an active lifestyle.

In the years since its founding, the institute has seen its membership grow to to about 16,000, with members ranging in age from their 50s to 90s, institute president Mike Stover said.

This spring the program will be offering a series of lectures focusing on an array of topics from space exploration to the histories of various people. The program is also hoping to reinitiate its travel opportunities, something Stover said he’s very excited about.

“We have had day travel for a long time,” Stover said. “We would take a bus and take people down to the crime lab, forensic lab in Orange County and get a tour down there, but now we are going to go over to Catalina Island and do an overnight there.”

In addition to overnight travels, the institute is also planning to offer international travel opportunities.

Institute leaders are also in the beginning stages of planning a service-based international program, Stover said. Kari Knutson Miller, Ph.D, dean of University Extended Education, is a part of the planning process for the program which would also include CSUF students, he said.

There has been an increased emphasis on classes to teach members about the wireless aspects of their lives. As part of this, the institute has expanded classes on how to use online resources, smart phones and social media, Stover said.

Those classes come in addition to expanded music classes offered to institute members, Stover said.

“You learn some of the most fascinating things and what’s really good here is two things; one is you have the opportunity to learn things and experience things that you never thought you would, and you never thought you’d be interested in,” said Judy Alter, a member of the the institute’s Board of Trustees.

Alter was first introduced to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute four years ago by a friend. She said she became a part of the board through her passion for extending her knowledge and involvement.

“The biggest thing about OLLI that I think is the most wonderful are the people,” she said. “There are people who have different experiences than you. People are fascinating, because these are not people who are getting old so they roll up the carpet, it’s not like that at all.”

More information and a calendar of institute events are available at Olli.Fullerton.edu.

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