Training programs allow seniors to study in retirement

“We want them to feel comfortable and confident to talk at a general level, but with a little more difficulty – to be able to use certain verbs they have learned, a lot of words – and only be able to share this experience from classroom to community. Said DeLisle-Brown.

She has taught Spanish for the past 15 years through the OLLI program in Kenneso. When the program needed an instructor, she taught there in continuing education and English as a second language. DeLisle-Brown, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in Spanish languages ​​and cultures, mainly teaches retirees, although some still work. And some travel.

“They want to learn a little bit to take it with them on their trips, as some travel to Spanish countries,” he said. “And they just want to talk to people from different countries, at least on a small scale.”

She loves to watch her older students shine with their new knowledge.

“There are a lot of things that I enjoy, but it really applies to them when they struggle in some areas because … I’m not a native speaker,” he said. “I had to learn the language and so I could spread that sympathy to them and an understanding of what they were going through – I see the difference. And know when our exercises get better and they’re a little bit better. learn more and after repeated and repeated light bulbs – this is really a reward. “

DiscoverPickball to the Atlanta subway gives older adults a social, social activity


According to Patricia Walker Cummings, director of community programs at KSU’s College of Postgraduate and Vocational Education, educational opportunities, especially for adults, began at KSU about 30 years ago as the “Golden University.” When the school received funding from the Osher Foundation, the program became part of OLLI, which it said sees between 1,400 and 1,600 unique enrollments in a normal year.

The OLLI program at KSU is supported by the Bernard Asher Foundation. Asher Institutions is present on 125 college campuses across the country, and OLLI applicants can expect environments adapted to their age demographics.

“Each of them offers a range of non-credit courses and activities designed specifically for experienced adults 50 years of age or older who are interested in learning the joys of learning,” the foundation’s website said.

Bernard Osher, a Maine resident and entrepreneur, started the foundation in 1977 with the goal of supporting higher education and improving lives.

Courses 75-85, which are available at KSU every quarter, range from the usual classroom prices — languages, history, and science — to unconventional options such as money, jewelry, and interior design. There are also fitness classes, including tai chi and yoga.

Walker Cummings said there are non-credit courses and classes that offer homework for seniors who want to participate in the learning process with less pressure, and meeting and interacting with fellow citizens is of particular interest to program participants.

“We’re not only providing this educational opportunity, we’re also providing social time,” he said. “Along with the classes, we have a physical space here at the university where people can enter and participate in the language. We have conversation groups where they can play bridge, they can play mahjong and work together on their art. “

Social events three times a year also provide an opportunity for students to get to know each other. The tour program invited 37 participants to visit Italy in April after completing their Italian culture and language classes. A trip to Greece is scheduled for October.

Walker Cummings said the courses average six weeks, but can last up to 10 weeks. Some people plan their trip based on their class schedule, so one week before class and one week after class are allowed for travel and other makeup dates due to inclement weather.

“Most of the courses are during the day,” he said. “But we always try to have classes that continue in the evenings or on weekends for those who still work.”


Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at Kenneso State University.

Credit: Contributed by Kenneso State University

Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at Kenneso State University.

Credit: Contributed by Kenneso State University

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Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at Kenneso State University.

Credit: Contributed by Kenneso State University

Credit: Contributed by Kenneso State University

OLLI in Emory

Emory University’s adult education program was also renamed OLLI in 2006 after receiving funding from the Osher Foundation. Previously, the programs were presented as “Evening with Emory” and according to Stephanie Tarpley, OLLI Emory program manager.

Classes now begin during the day at 9:30 or 10 a.m. and continue until noon. They work year-round with fall, spring, and summer sessions, and students can switch between private and online classes. Tarpley said the online option has been a welcome development for the days when seniors feel out of traffic in the city center.

“They will still be visiting with their friends and still talking to everyone online, so I think this is a great addition to our program,” he said.

Individual classes are held at Emori Continuing Education Institutions, which are not located near the town of Decorati Emory and provide easy parking for participants. There are also meetings around Atlanta.

“We have a great parking there,” Tarpley said. “But we’re very close. We’re far from Clarmont Road.”

Like KSU’s OLLI program, the Emory OLLI format allows for international trips to Italy scheduled for October. Travel was halted during the pandemic, but Tarpley said those opportunities are now available again.

In the classroom, various long-term courses cover a range of subjects from literature and science to art and music. Short sessions last four weeks and long sessions last six to eight weeks with approximately 900 registered students. Tarpley said he is looking for that number because the limitations of the pandemic reduction will allow more people to participate again.

The entire program was online until March 31 during the pandemic.

“We were very happy,” Tarpley said. “The pandemic affected us all, but we did a really good job of keeping students and trying to keep them. Zoom has given all the front seats to our classes. “

For more information on OLLI programs in Emory and Kennesa, visit and

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