The Catalog is Here! Check Out OLLI’s Spring Semester for Adult Learners 

Calling all learners. 

We recently gave you a preview of the spring semester of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at University of Delaware (UD). Well, the anticipated catalog, available in both print and online is out, and they’re chock full of courses you wouldn’t even imagine take place,  

For example, you can study the life of Dean Martin or Robin Williams movies. You can join a ukelele club or learn how to dance Pacific Island style.  

OLLI at Udel, if you’re not already familiar with it, is an educational cooperative for adult learners of all levels 50+. There are courses offered throughout the state, so if something truly sparks your interest (or need), you may have to travel to Wilmington or Dover. Here in Sussex County, there are two primary locations: Trinity Faith Education Building on New Road or Ocean View’s Community Center. 

New since 2021 and COVID, OLLI also offers courses online and hybrid (choice of either live or Zoom attendance). It became so popular an option that they’ve kept the format going. 

How it works: 

Students pay a membership fee of $260 for the spring semester. It may sound a little pricey, but this enables you to take as many courses as you’d like, tuition-free, and this fee also allows a two-fer. Your spouse or partner may also attend courses. (An annual membership is offered in the fall, which allows you to take courses in both semesters.) A certain amount of financial assistance is available with a confidential application. Note: some courses require additional fees, such as for materials, books, etc. 

Priority registration begins January 4 – 17, 2024. Following that, there is a drop/add and late registration between January 29 – February 16 (even though classes begin February 5. For five-week courses that begin later in the semester starting April 1, drop/add reopens March 18 – April 1. 

Here is the caveat. Acceptance into courses is by a lottery system, not by first come, first served. Factors they consider is the prioritization of classes you set up during registration, then during the drop/add period, you can attempt to sign up for any other courses that interest you. This period has a first come first served format. 

Pictured here are members of OLLI’s Stained Glass Fundamentals class in Lewes, Delaware.

OLLI boasts the benefits of membership, including travel opportunities sponsored by UD, email and student ID and access to research databases in their Morris Library. Additionally, there are discounts in some UD stores and at events, lectures and performances. Most impressive is the ability to audit UD classes, tuition free (subject to availability).  

There are over 300 courses offered this semester in multiple categories, everything from fine and performing arts to economics and history to math and science. 

An open house at the Lewes Trinity Learning location takes place 10 – Noon on January 8, and 10 – Noon on January 10 at OceanView Community Center. Assistance with registration and technical assistance or instruction are also available (for example, learning Zoom required for online classes). 

OLLI’s new statewide director, Karen Asenavage Loptes states, “UD OLLI is one of the largest lifelong learning programs in the US, and it’s a gem in Delaware. 

For more information and to view the spring course catalog online, visit OLLI.UDEL.EDU, or call (302) 645-4111. 

Never stop learning! 

By Bridget FitzPatrick, Resident Journalist

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