Southeast Tucson residents 50 and older can take classes without the stress of tests and grades this fall, thanks to a pilot program sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arizona (OLLI-UA).
Carol Stewart, OLLI-UA program manager, will host two information meetings about OLLI and the pilot program Sept. 26 and 27.
Both public meetings are free. The Sept. 26 meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in the Del Webb Community Center Ballroom at Rancho del Lago, 10260 S. Blendu Way.
The Sept. 27 meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the Arizona Senior Academy Building on the campus of Academy Village, 13715 E. Langtry Lane.
Unlike conventional university or college classes, OLLI-UA has no prerequisites, tests or grades.
Courses are designed for “mature adults” who enjoy learning for the sake of learning. The program allows participants to create a learning environment where common interests can be shared and explored. Members are encouraged to volunteer, find instructors or teach courses themselves.
The purpose of the pilot program is to gauge the interest of southeast Tucson residents in starting an OLLI-UA campus that would be modeled on the current OLLI-UA campuses in Green Valley, Tucson and northwest Tucson. If there’s sufficient interest this fall, the program will continue in the spring.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, established in 2001, has campuses at 117 colleges and universities nationwide.
Classes, or “study groups” are “participatory, stimulating and provocative,” Stewart said. “A bonus is the opportunity to meet interesting people, form new friendships and socialize around shared intellectual interests.”
The membership fee will be waived for the fall semester, which begins in October. If the program continues in the spring, a one-semester fee of around $85 will enable members to take as many classes as they want at the new southeast Tucson campus, as well as one class at another OLLI-UA campus.
The Arizona Senior Academy, Del Webb at Rancho del Lago and the UA Technology Park are partnering with OLLI-UA in the effort to establish a southeast Tucson campus. Of the four semester courses, one will be held in the ASA building, two at Rancho del Lago and one at the UA Tech Park.
For more information, go to www.olli.arizona.edu/olli/index.html online or call the office at 626-9039.