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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at California State University San Marcos is an organization designed to improve quality of life for adult learners over 50 years of age through higher education and the arts. OLLI is one of 124 Lifelong Learning Institutes supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation.  The program provides a wide array of educational programming by university professors and experts in their respective fields and is free of tests and grades.  Instructors are exclusively selected and have tremendous expertise and passion for their fields of study.  Osher provides a true college experience and offers outstanding courses in a variety of topics like art appreciation, health, history, science and technology, as well as many others.  The program aims to deliver an overall sense of well-being by keeping learners intellectually active and socially engaged with peers.  All courses offer intellectual and cultural exploration opportunities, social engagement and volunteerism – ultimately enhancing participant’s quality of life.  Unlike other programs, Osher offers courses in five or ten week sessions in addition to one-day lectures to ensure that students gain a solid understanding of the topic and have opportunity to cultivate friendships with classmates.   

If you are interested in renewing your enthusiasm for learning, exploring new interests and making new friends, OLLI is for you!


In 2004, Cal State San Marcos Extended Learning was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation to establish the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  After growing the program and reaching 500 members, Cal State San Marcos was endowed $1,000,000 to ensure the program’s continued growth.  The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader.  The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.  The Foundation provides postsecondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students.  The Foundation also supports selected centers in integrative medicine at Harvard University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.  In addition, the Foundation supports a growing national network of lifelong learning institutes for mature adults.  Each provides a distinctive array of non-credit courses and activities specifically developed for seasoned adults aged 50 or older who are interested in learning for the joy of learning. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 121 colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii, have a National Resource Center at the University of Southern Maine.