Since 2001, California State University, East Bay’s Concord Campus has been the home of the SCHOLAR program, which became SCHOLAR-OLLI in January 2003 and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, East Bay in January 2005. At present, the program offers approximately 100 courses and lectures per year in subjects that range from the liberal arts to the natural sciences.
Herbert M. Eder, Cal State East Bay Professor Emeritus of Geography and Environmental Studies, first implemented the lifelong learning concept at Cal State East Bay in 2000, with support from Norma S. Rees, President of Cal State East Bay and Herbert Graw, then Associate Vice President, Extended and Continuing Education.
OLLI at Cal State East Bay’s mission is to create a learning environment that fosters creativity, self-discovery and peer education. Thus, the program relies heavily on emeriti faculty as its lecturers and instructors and encourages student participation. From its inception, the Advisory Board felt strongly that financial considerations should not preclude anyone from participating. As a result membership fees and program costs have been kept low and many lectures, courses and events are open to members and non-members alike.
The program is funded by a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, membership dues and program fees. Significant support also is provided by the Cal State East Bay Concord Campus, which contributes outreach services and space for lectures, courses and Advisory Board meetings, as well as by the Cal State East Bay Division of Continuing and International Education, which provides administrative and marketing support.