Rogue Valley adult learning program goes online

ASHLAND, Ore. – An adult learning program at Southern Oregon University is going completely virtual, opening up learning opportunities for adults across the region.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University has been in our community for 3 decades.  Now a program with a long history of bringing people together, is pivoting to Zoom.

“I got an awful lot of what everybody comes to OLLI for, which is the connections the stimulation and I would call it role substitution,” said Anne Bellegia, a volunteer for OLLI, “When I joined I was a consultant, I had very flexible hours”.

She says the program is geared towards adults with free time wanting to expand their learning. It’s for those 18+, regardless of a student’s education level. Due to coronavirus, OLLI is becoming 100% online learning this upcoming quarter.

“One of the things that’s really extraordinary about not being limited by sitting capacity in a classroom is that we have almost 25 classes with unlimited seats,” said Bellegia.

The organization is mostly run by volunteers. Classes cover a range of topics from Shakespeare to Warrior Goddess Training, even a history course called The Story of the Mormons, which Allan Anderson teaches.

“I just had a lifelong interest in the area. And I read hundreds of books about the subject and I want to share that knowledge. It’s really a fascinating piece of american history when you get into it,” said Anderson.

While Zoom may be a challenge volunteers say it’s also a blessing in disguise. They say more people will have the opportunity to take the most popular classes.

Click HERE for more information on OLLI.

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