Our classrooms and offices are located on the campus of a very large (about 35,000 students) and busy university. Less than 5000 students (about 14%) live on campus in residence halls – the remainder commute. So, like most major universities, CSULB has parking issues. Two newly constructed parking structures holding 2000 automobiles recently opened which is helpful, particularly since they are located in the general student parking lot nearest our classrooms/office (Lot #11 off Palo Verde Avenue).
During the registration period for each term, OLLI participants can purchase special student parking permits valid for the duration of the term for all general student parking lots on campus. These permits cost $20.00. One Day permits for these same lots are available from vending machines located in each general lot at a cost of $5.00. There is limited metered parking nearby (rate = $2.00 per hour). OLLI students possessing a DMV issued Disabled Parking Permit can obtain a special campus parking permit (cost also $20.00) from the OLLI Office which allows them to park during the current term in a restricted lot (#9) which is much closer to our facility. The OLLI Office must be given a copy of the DMV permit. The DMV issued parking placard and the special CSULB Parking Permit must both be displayed when cars are parked in Lot # 9. Automobiles parked in any campus parking lot which do not display the appropriate permit are subject to citation (minimum fine = $48.00).
The CSULB campus can be reached using buses operated by both the Long Beach Transit System and the Orange County Transit System. If you live in the area serviced by Long Beach the fastest way to find your best routing is to telephone them at (562) 591-2301 or log on to www.lbtransit.com and click on the Metro Trip Planner icon. If you live in Orange County, a similar service is offered by the OCTA – their telephone number is (714) 636-7433 and their website is located at www.octa.net.
When the Fall and Spring semester classes are in session at CSULB, there is a shuttle bus that circles the campus every 10 minutes or so (see map for shuttle stops). This Campus Connection shuttle is available to OLLI students and also can be found at a stop near the Parking Structure.
There are several reasons for the tuition/fee difference. The basic cost of providing computer classes continues to be much higher than the cost of providing “lecture” classes. We provide students with materials for their use at home on CDs or DVDs at no additional cost. We also provide blank media (CDs and DVDs) for advanced students to use when learning to make photo albums, slide shows, movies, etc. Finally, advances in technology cause both computer software and hardware to age and go out-of-date far faster than humans do. Keeping up with these advances is expensive. We set aside a portion of each computer class student’s tuition to purchase new and updated software for both our PC and Macintosh computers so our students can learn how to use the latest versions of programs. We also endeavor to update the equipment in our lab on a four to five year cycle by placing a portion of each class fee in a special fund so that we can purchase new equipment when the old computers wear out or become obsolete. We want to give our computer students the best possible software and hardware on which to learn new skills.
Not at all. First, our students do not earn any college credit or even “continuing education credits” for the classes they take. So, there are no tests, exams, and little if any homework. Sometimes students are asked to read something before the next class or practice something, however, even that is entirely optional. OLLI is somewhat like an academic cafeteria – we are at liberty to choose our level of participation in whatever it is that interests us. Mostly, it is learning about stuff that we didn’t have the time, energy, or enthusiasm for during the earlier parts of our lives. Only some of the computer classes have prerequisites and that is to insure that the student has enough knowledge/skill to grasp the material presented. The class descriptions should indicate the content well. Otherwise, OLLI students sign-up for classes that interest them and participate in them at their own comfort level.
Cordial and friendly are two of the best terms to describe our interaction with the CSULB community. Many of the “regular” students express fascination at the idea of people our age attending classes just because we love learning and/or want to explore new topics. They are courteous and respectful and quickly acknowledge our “Hi” and “How are you?” greetings. They seem to be quite content with sharing their campus with us.
Part of the reason for this good relationship is that many OLLI Members are strong supporters of the University and its activities. Some are alumni. Some of our members are avid sports fans and regularly attend sporting events on campus. Others are patrons of the various programs put on by the Music and Theatre Departments. Our members are docents at the University Art Museum and volunteer ushers at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Many support the University with financial contributions. We regularly respond to student and faculty requests for interviews and “first-hand” information about the aging process as well as other student and faculty inquiries. In return, the University provides us with space and administrative support. CSULB Identification Cards are available to OLLI Members. These provide some member benefits including discounts on ticket prices to University events as well as University Library privileges (see answer below).
In short, OLLI and its members are viewed as being part of the CSULB community. It is a very pleasant relationship.
Most OLLI members take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a CSULB Identification Card at the ID Card Services Office which is located inside the University Bookstore Building (see map). One needs only to present their current OLLI Name Tag or a copy of the Registration form plus a photo ID such as a driver’s license to obtain this card. Once the OLLI Member registers his card at the front desk of the library, he/she has full library privileges. The University ID Card also enables OLLI Members to obtain ticket discounts to many Theater and Music performances, athletic events, and free admission to the University Art Museum. Performance venue tickets can be obtained at the University Box Office which is located on the North side (facing Atherton Street) of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.
Except for our Executive Director and our Office Administrator, everyone at OLLI is a volunteer. This includes instructors, office helpers, Governing Council Officers, chairpersons and members of our committees, computer class coaches, etc. We always have a need for more volunteers and will welcome you. If you are interested, give your name, phone number, and area of interest to our Office Administrator and she will pass the information on to the appropriate person within our governance structure who will contact you.
We recognize our volunteers with a nice thank you luncheon each year and reward them with special treats. We work hard to be a congenial group that works together toward common goals and we have a 15 year history of success in this endeavor.
Although we have received some very generous grants for specific purposes and collect tuition payments from our students, we do need donations from individuals who support our mission to meet all of the expenses of putting on this program. We are a 501(c) (3) non-profit operation whose finances are handled by the CSULB Foundation. Donation checks may be made payable to the CSULB Foundation and delivered to the OLLI Office in the HS&D Building. Please note on the reference line that this is a donation to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and whether it is a general donation to our operations budget or a donation to a specific purpose. Currently, we are soliciting specified donations to our computer updating and our scholarship fund (assists OLLI members who cannot afford our tuition and/or membership fees).
Both memorial donations and donations “in honor of” someone are also appropriate. For your convenience, donation envelopes are available in the OLLI Office. All donations will be appropriately acknowledged.