Fall inevitably brings to mind thoughts of heading back to school. The thrill of learning doesn’t have to come to an end just because you’re age 50 or better.
That’s the philosophy of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State University. This fall marks its 15th year of offering university-quality classes to expand the horizons of adult learners.
“Our beginnings in 2004 were humble — we had 16 members and seven courses,” said Osher Institute Director Aimee Davis. “Today, our membership is 750 strong and we offer more than 125 courses a year.”
Some of the classes on tap for fall include a nostalgic look back at the Beatles’ famous 1965 North American tour; an insightful discussion of the current U.S.-Mexico border issues; and a three-part series on financially preparing for retirement.
“There are so many amazing courses to choose from,” said Osher student Joyce Seidman, a retired naval officer. “As I go through the catalog, I circle all the courses I want to attend, courses that excite me, challenge me, amuse me — you get the idea!”
At the Osher Institute, students are also members. The cost is $30 per person for new and renewing members per term. The membership comes with special benefits including SDSU Love Library privileges, free Microsoft Office 365, and free admission to regular season Aztec athletic events. Members can also take advantage of the student rate on Amazon Prime.
Another bonus for students is that there are no tests, homework, or grades. The focus is purely on the learning experience.
Instructor Glenn C. Smith, a professor at California Western School of Law, encourages community members to look then leap. “Don’t worry about educational background or prerequisites, just jump in!” he said. “Take something you don’t know much about or think you’ll naturally like. You’ll surprise yourself and grow in the process.”
The fall course catalog can be viewed online at neverstoplearning.net/osher.
—Neil Gladson writes on behalf of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.