» Frequently Asked Questions
What is OLLI?
OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) was founded in 1989 as a peer-directed, learning-in-retirement membership organization whose mission is to offer learning, teaching and social opportunities to seniors living in and around the Tucson, Northwest Tucson or Green Valley areas. Members create their own teaching/learning environment. Unlike conventional university or college classes, OLLI has no prerequisites, tests, or grades. Participants read and do research in preparation for group projects and lively study group discussions. Study groups are participatory, stimulating, and provocative. A bonus is the opportunity to meet interesting people, form new friendships, and socialize around shared intellectual interests. OLLI/UA now has three campus locations: Tucson, Green Valley and Northwest Tucson (newest).
Is OLLI part of the University?
The OLLI Society, an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Arizona, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation that is an official Affiliate Organization of the University associated with the UA Outreach College.
Who belongs to OLLI?
People from every walk of life are members. We are nurses, physicians, lawyers, medical technicians, housewives, business owners, secretaries, retired college professors, librarians and school librarians. No one will ask you for your pedigree or check your educational credentials.
Is there an age limit?
Only those 50 years of age or older may join.
How are study groups organized?
OLLI/UA study groups are given in two 14-week semesters for Tucson; and 8-week semesters for Green Valley and Northwest Tucson. Fall semesters begin in September-October and Spring semesters in January or February depending upon campus location chosen. A small Summer Session are typically held at all three campuses (mainly the month of June). Study groups run typically 14-weeks, 7-weeks in Tucson; 8-weeks, 4-weeks or one-day "Assorted Topics" at the Green Valley campus locations; and Northwest Tucson Campus runs 8-weeks or 4-weeks each semester.
How many study groups can I take?
Your membership entitles you to participate in as many OLLI study groups as you wish, subject to availability. As a practical matter, because of the amount of reading and preparation involved, most members limit themselves to two or three study groups per semester. Please note that some study groups require additional fees for books and materials (as published in the curriculum announcements).
Who decides the curriculum to be offered?
Each Campus has a Curriculum Committee and Chair who solicits suggestions from the membership and encourages members to propose and lead study groups in subjects that interest them. Based on the suggested study groups, the Curriculum Committee puts together a program for the year.
What does it take be a study group leader?
“Just a bit of courage!” said an OLLI member after she completed her first semester as a study group leader. Another OLLI member, after completing his first term as a leader, said: “I chose a subject of which I had no previous knowledge. What an exhilarating learning experience, doing the research and making class presentations!” All it takes is a little daring, an interest in a given subject and the willingness to put together a course outline, select the readings or text, and direct the class discussion. Some study group leaders have called on The University of Arizona faculty to help plan study groups, suggest textbooks, and/or serve as lead-off speakers to help provide an introductory framework for study groups. The UA library also serves as a valuable resource. As a new member, don’t feel you must volunteer right away. It may take some time to be comfortable in such a role. “After attending two semesters and watching others, I decided that I wanted to give it a try,” said one OLLI member, now a veteran study group leader, who enjoys his newly found role immensely. Instead of jumping right in, you might want to start off by being a co-leader with someone else. OLLI offers workshops for study group leaders, seasoned or new. In addition, experienced leaders will gladly meet with you and offer their assistance. New leaders often team up with seasoned leaders in order to get their feet wet.
What about social activities?
OLLI sponsors a number of social events from time to time; for example, “Dutch treat” monthly dinners, musical programs, barbecues, picnics, annual retreats, local theater evenings, weekend hikes and moonlight walks, tennis matches, annual and special membership meetings, and semi-annual receptions. Social events are open to friends or guests of OLLI members.
Where is OLLI located?
There is only one OLLI-UA Administrative Office for all three campuses and it is located at the University Services Annex (USA). This is the same location where the Tucson Campus holds its study groups. Both the Green Valley and the Northwest Tucson (formerly Northwest Tucson) Campus hold their study groups at various locations. In Northwest Tucson this includes Amber Lights Retirement Community, Mountain Vista Fire District Headquarters, Resurrection Lutheran Church and the Western National Parks Association Headquarters. In Green Valley, study groups are held at locations including Casa on the La Posada Campus and First American Insurance Title Company and a few other locations.
What does it cost?
Annual membership is for the academic year (July1 – June 30). Usually the option to join OLLI-UA for the year becomes available on line by mid-August, if not sooner. Following December, the spring semester option is the only one available until the following August. We do not take full year membership for the calendar year.
Tucson Campus: $250 annually for unlimited study group selections.
Green Valley Campus: $130 annually for unlimited study group selections.
Northwest Tucson Campus: $130 annually for unlimited study group selections.
Where can I go to find out more about OLLI?
Call the OLLI Office at 626-9039 or continue to explore our Web site.
Where is the OLLI/UA office located?
The main office is located at the University Services Annex (USA), Bldg. B, Room B116A, P.O. Box 210300/220 W. Sixth St. 85721.
How do I go about joining?
Contact the OLLI Office at 626-9039 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.