|UND awarded $100,000 grant for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute|
The University of North Dakota has been awarded $100,000 by the Bernard Osher Foundation to aid in the establishment of a North Dakota Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (NDOLLI). The main goal of the Institute will be to create an open, accessible, and innovative learning community for mature individuals in North Dakota and Western Minnesota.
“This cooperative initiative with the Osher Foundation fits well with the UND Strategic Plan and our intent to serve older adults and encourage them to remain engaged with the University of North Dakota,” said Bob Boyd, vice president of student and outreach services. “The leading edge of the baby boom generation is just starting to retire and will be looking for more personal development opportunities. This presents a unique opportunity for the University of North Dakota to respond to their lifelong learning needs.”
The North Dakota Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be the first of its kind in the state. The mission of the Institute is to foster lifelong learning and individual growth for learners aged 55 and over by creating intellectually stimulating learning opportunities that will enrich their lives. All mature individuals will be encouraged to participate in non-credit courses that will be offered face-to-face at regular intervals during the year. Individuals will be able to choose from a collection of courses and active educational experiences without homework or examinations.
“Having the NDOLLI at the University of North Dakota provides us with an opportunity to offer a wide variety of intergenerational learning opportunities for our younger students,” said Kerry Kerber, associate dean of outreach programs. “The Institute will add diversity to the campus in terms of age range and help fulfill the University’s responsibility to act as an educational resource for the entire Greater Grand Forks community.”
The NDOLLI will be administered by the Division of Continuing Education. The Division will encourage active individuals to join with others to form a membership of mature learners, who will have access to many campus resources, which include student lounges, restaurants in the food court, meeting spaces at the Memorial Union, the Chester Fritz Library, the use of classrooms and other facilities, as well as reduced course fees.
“The Division of Continuing Education is excited about the Institute and in working with mature adults,” said Jennifer Aamodt, program coordinator within the Division of Continuing Education. “The Lifelong Learning Institute allows us to respond to their learning needs, and their experience will offer a fresh perspective in course discussions.”
The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader in the San Francisco Bay area. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life for mature residents through post-secondary student scholarships and art, cultural, and educational grants. At present, the Foundation is supporting 101 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on university and college campuses in 46 states (plus the District of Columbia) as well as a National Resource Center that provides opportunities for communication and professional development among the individual Osher Institutes. It is hoped that the growing national network of Osher Institutes might eventually contain at least one institute in each of the 50 states.
A NDOLLI open house laying out the mission and goals of the Institute and showcasing the programs to be offered is planned for April 4, at the Norm Skalicky Tech Incubator, Room 211. In addition, spring “appetizer” courses will be offered free of charge at the end of April to allow potential members to preview course content and experience NDOLLI courses. Watch the Grand Forks Herald and UND Continuing Education’s web site at www.conted.und.edu for further information.
“The Osher Institute will provide an opportunity for retired faculty and community members to share their expertise with persons who are no longer engaged in formal education, but love learning and want to continue doing so,” said Bob Boyd.
For more information about the North Dakota Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, contact Jennifer Aamodt at 777-4204. -- Continuing Education.