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people on a hike
(Photo credit: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UH Mānoa)

Adults 50 or older have access to classes ranging from advanced adventure hiking to beginning ʻukulele to plant-based eating, and much more. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (OLLIUHM) has announced more than 70 non-credit courses this fall with three new locations for in-person classes—Kapiʻolani Community College, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College.

OLLIUHM offers a program of non-credit, college-level courses, workshops, lectures, events and other lifelong learning activities to keep the mind sharp, enrich lives and support active social engagement.

people looking at plants

“Holding OLLIUHM courses at UH community colleges has long been a goal of our strategic plan,” said OLLIUHM Director Carole Mandryk. “We have often been asked about bringing classes to the Windward and Leeward sides of Oʻahu. We have added members from all over Oʻahu and the neighbor islands via Zoom over the last three years, but we now want to grow our in-person offerings.”

Classes for fall 2023 are of varying durations and start dates from September 18 to November 6. Classes are primarily virtual via Zoom, with about 30% offered in-person at the UH community college campuses, with free parking.

Some of the new in-person offerings include:

  • Volcanoes in the Sea: The Geology and Geography of Hawaiʻi (Leeward CC)
  • Henry James’ First Masterpiece: The Portrait of a Lady (Kapiʻolani CC)
  • Poetry and the Senses: Read, write and experience the world through poetry (Windward CC)

It costs $50 for new members and allows participants to take up to three classes in the fall. Membership for returning members costs $75 per term. OLLIUHM requires new members to sign in first to create a profile, before registering for classes.

Deep roots and community elders

2 people preparing food
(Photo credit: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UH Mānoa)

OLLIUHM’s roots go back to 1996, when a group of community elders, retired professors and UH Mānoa administrators established the Academy for Lifelong Learning, with a mission to strengthen connections between the university and the community and promote lifelong learning, leadership and community service for older learners.

The name changed to OLLIUHM in spring 2003, after receiving the first of several gifts from The Bernard Osher Foundation, and the program became part of a national network of 125 OLLIs spanning 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each institute is unique and operates as an independent initiative of its host institution with offerings tailored to meet its community’s needs and interests, with the common thread that all are educational membership programs providing intellectually stimulating, non-credit learning opportunities designed specifically for adults age “50 and better.”

“You don’t just sign up to take a class, you become a member of a community of intelligent, interested, interesting people, who bring their life experiences to share with one another,” Mandryk said.

Plans are to develop in-person courses on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui and Kauaʻi.

teaching teaching students in a classroom
(Photo credit: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UH Mānoa)
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