Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Casper College is a new program created for adults age 50+ who wish to continue learning and exploring for the sheer joy of it. Renew your enthusiasm for learning in a relaxed atmosphere, without entrance requirements, grades or exams.
Supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation, OLLI is a vibrant learning community offering a rich array of short courses, field trips and lectures of particular interest to adult learners who are interested in taking short-term, non-credit classes. No college background is needed all that is required is a love of learning. Activities take place on the easily accessible Casper College campus as well as offsite in other community locations.
When you become an OLLI member, you’ll enjoy theses benefits:
Meeting new friends with similar interests
Early enrollment in OLLI courses
Discounted course fees
Specially-designed field study opportunities
The satisfaction of supporting OLLI in its mission to promote lifelong learning and personal growth for adults over age 50.
Lifelong Learning Specialist
GW 408A - Casper College
Lifelong Learning Specialist
GW 408B - Casper College
OLLI TURTLE CLASS
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Casper College Membership Structure
Fall/Spring/Summer (3 Sessions)
$55.00 per person: Includes two free classes in both the Fall and Spring sessions, and one free class in the Summer, as well as admission to all lecture series events. Each additional class is $8.00 per class. Additional costs for books and materials may apply. Field studies priced separately, depending on duration and location of the excursion.
Fall or Spring Only (1 Session)
$35.00 per person: Includes two free classes and admission to all lecture series events. Each additional class is $8.00 per class. Additional costs for books and materials may apply. Field studies priced separately, depending on duration and location of the excursion.
Summer (1 Session)
$20.00 per person: Includes one free class and admission to all lecture series events. Each additional class is $8.00 per class. Additional costs for books and materials may apply. Field studies priced separately, depending on duration and location of the excursion.
The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded by Bernard Osher in 1977. Through the foundation, his philanthropy has benefited a wide range of educational, cultural, and other nonprofit organizations primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and his native Maine. In the 1990s, the Foundation funded a series of Osher Scholar programs, extending scholarship assistance for post-secondary education to nearly thirty colleges and universities as well as professional and technical schools in California and Maine.
Maine native Bernard Osher is a successful businessman and community leader, a patron of the arts and education, whose philanthropy has affected countless organizations over the past quarter century. His wife, the Honorable Barbro Osher, Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco, serves as chair of the foundation.
History of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Movement
What began in 1997 as the University of Southern Maine’s Senior College became the nation’s first Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. And its beginnings are the stuff of legend. Local Rabbi, Harry Sky, worked with the leadership of the University to invite potential older learners to a meeting about an exciting new learning opportunity for older learners in Maine. They expected 150 people, and had enough “chowdah” to feed 175. When 500 potential students showed up, the program was successfully launched, albeit with a very watered down fish chowder lunch.
The Senior College was renamed in 2001 after receiving a gift from The Bernard Osher Foundation that enabled the program to expand its peer-taught courses, workshops and other activities for more than 950 adult learners, ages 55 and over in the Portland, Maine area. OLLI was started, developed and remains an organization run primarily by volunteers who develop the curriculum, staff the office at USM, and design OLLI's extracurricular activities including local and international field trips. The USM institute also coordinates the Maine Senior College Network (MSCN), an organization of the state's 15 Senior Colleges that serves more than 6000 Mainers statewide annually.
Recognizing that the proportion of older people in the United States is growing rapidly, and with it, the demand for lifelong learning programs, the Osher Foundation began to encourage the development of vibrant learning communities of older adults. The Foundation funded Sonoma State University, a member of the California State University (CSU) system, which planned to model its lifelong learning program on the highly-respected Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco.
Then across the country, new programs offering stimulating learning opportunities were started—and a national movement was born. Pleased with the results of their two pilot programs, the Foundation decided to join the “lifelong learning” field in a significant fashion. The concept of a network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes was compelling, and Requests for Proposals (RFP) were sent to the remaining campuses in the California State University system as well as to those in the University of California (UC) system.
In November 2002, the Foundation Board awarded initial grants to six campuses in the CSU group ( Bakersfield, Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Dominguez Hills, Hayward, San Francisco, and San Jose) and four campuses of the UC system ( Davis, Riverside, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz). A separate award was made to the University of Vermont. In February 2003, two more CSU campuses ( Fullerton and San Bernardino) and two more UC campuses ( Berkeley and Irvine) were awarded Osher Foundation grants along with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. With these additional grantees, the Foundation was supporting Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on 18 campuses in four states. In April 2003, the outstanding progress demonstrated by Sonoma State University led to an endowment grant along with its third year of operating grant support.
In an effort to expand and further diversify the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, another RFP was issued in mid-September 2003 to nearly 30 colleges and universities in California and across the nation. In February 2004, the Board of Directors of The Bernard Osher Foundation approved first-year operating grants to 23 institutions of higher learning. In this cohort are eight additional California State University campuses (Channel Islands, Chico, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Marcos, and San Diego; the remaining three University of California campuses (Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara); four private universities (Brandeis, Dominican University of California, Santa Clara, and Richmond); six state universities from Hawaii at Hilo in the West to New Hampshire in the East – with Arizona State, Kansas, Nebraska, and Utah in between; and two community colleges providing unique services to seasoned learners – Sierra College in Northern California and Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.
Soon existing Lifelong Learning Institutes became interested in the affiliation with the Osher Foundation, seeking to expand and strengthen current programming. Although prior emphasis had been placed largely on start-up programs, the Foundation was also interested in helping to strengthen existing programs, of which there are nearly 400 across the country. In June 2004, with initial grants from the Foundation, the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes was expanded to include seven established Lifelong Learning Institutes programs at George Mason University, Kennesaw State University, Duke University and the Universities of Dayton, Minnesota, Oregon, and Pittsburgh.
February 2005 saw the designation of 12 additional programs as Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. The institutes include existing programs at Rutgers University (NJ), University of South Florida, University of Miami; Eckerd College (FL); Tufts University (MA); University of Texas at El Paso; University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Northwestern University (IL); University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Clemson University (SC); and a new institute at California State University, Fresno.
Thirteen programs were approved in June, 2005 by the Foundation's Board of Directors. They include: University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, American University, Washington, D.C., University of Arizona, Hampton University (VA). University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of Missouri-Columbia, New York University, Saginaw Valley State University (MI), University of South Carolina-Beaufort, University of Southern Mississippi-Hattiesburg, Texas Tech University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The programs at Hampton University, New York University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison programs are start-ups and the remaining ten are existing programs.
Thanks to the generosity of the The Bernard Osher Foundation, the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the United States is meeting the needs of older learners who want to learn simply for the joy of learning and personal fulfillment.
Leave it to Beavers: Restoring Bolton Creek
A few years ago the Wyoming Game and Fish Department saw a need to restore riparian habitat and reduce erosion along the banks of Bolton Creek. To address both of these concerns, they began a unique project that uses the dam building skills of existing and relocated beaver populations along the creek. Game and Fish harvested aspen trees on Muddy Mountain and lifted them by helicopter into the Bolton Creek areas. The deposited aspens provide forage and dam building materials for the beavers. Learn how the collaborative efforts of humans and beavers restored the wildlife habitat along the creek, raised the water table, provided more grazing for livestock, and reduced the flow of creek sediment into the North Platte River. Weather permitting we will take a field trip to look at sites along the creek. This trip is rated challenging: climbing and walking required, uneven surfaces, primitive trails, outhouses and water not available on site. May not be suitable for people in poor physical condition.
Course # OLLI 5030
Thur., May 1
Location: GW 222
Instructors: Keith Schoup and Al Conder
Field Trip: Fri., May 2, 9 a.m. –2:30 p.m. Vans depart from Energy Institute parking lot. Bring a lunch and wear sturdy walking shoes and warm clothing.
Cost: 01 – Complimentary
02 – $8
Vicki Pollock Lifelong Learning Specialist
GW 408 A
Karen Arnold Lifelong Learning Specialist
Laura Driscoll Dean, Continuing Education / Community Partnerships
GW 408 G
If you are interested in teaching a class for the OLLI program please call Karen Arnold at 307-268-2099 for more information.
When is the Registration Deadline?
Unless otherwise noted, registration is on-going until the class fills or begins. Class sizes are limited and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
What about cancellations?
Classes occasionally are cancelled due to insufficient registration or other unforeseen circumstances. All fees will be refunded if the class is cancelled by Casper College. In most cases, the decision to cancel a class will occur at least three days prior to the start of class, so register early to prevent cancellations.
What about refunds?
If you are unable to attend a class or field study for which you have registered, please notify us at least THREE business days prior to the start of the class or the registration deadline, whichever date is sooner, to cancel your registration and arrange for a refund. No refunds will be granted without the required notice. Failure to attend is not a cancellation. If you have any questions please call 307-268-2097.
What is the regular class size?
Because supplies must be purchased in advance and because there is limited space in many of the classrooms, the class size is limited to the number of students listed in the capacity. If a class is full, students will be put on a waiting list. Students are not advised to show up at a class if the class is full.
What about inclement weather?
In the event of inclement weather, call the college at 307-268-2100 to verify the status of your class.
It is the policy of Casper College that discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, or veteran status shall not exist in the college’s treatment of employees and students.
Welcome to the National Resource Center website for the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI). The OLLI at the University of Southern Maine (USM) serves as the national center for the current network of 117 lifelong learning institutes throughout the nation.
The National Resource Center for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes plays a lead role in disseminating information on effective educational programming for older learners. In addition to providing information and connections via a website, the Resource Center will publish a national research journal, plan a biennial national conference, and provide a number of other ways for OLLIs to connect with one another.
The Bernard Osher Foundation designated the Osher Institute at USM as the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in 2004. The Center is not a governance body so much as a center for excellence and dissemination of best practice models. Each Osher Institute reflects the culture of its own university and its learning community. The National Resource Center exists to facilitate the exchange of opinions, solutions and experiences among institutes throughout the country so that all can benefit.
About the OLLI National Network
Osher Lifelong Learning - List of Institutes
Received Grants before November 2002
University of Southern Maine (endowment grant in Spring, 2001)
Sonoma State University (endowment grant in April, 2003)