What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute?

California businessman Bernard Osher created the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco in 1977, focusing on education and health care. The foundation collaborates with university programs nationwide to offer intellectually stimulating, affordable, non-credit learning opportunities in community settings. The Bernard Osher Foundation has set up Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs at over 120 universities and colleges.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Cal Poly Humboldt College of Extended Education & Global Engagement (OLLI at Humboldt) is an innovative program of specially designed short courses with no exams or grades, and a focus on learners who are aged 50 or better. Membership entitles a person to help choose the topics for courses while also receiving Humboldt student privileges and benefits.

May I sign up for OLLI online?

Yes, you may use the online registration form to join, renew and register for OLLI courses. You may also download and print out the registration form (PDF), use the registration from the OLLI catalog or Humboldt College of Extended Education & Global Engagement course bulletin, attach payment and send or fax to us (with credit card information). Call the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement at (707) 826-5880 if you have any problems with your registration. (PDFs require Adobe Reader or equivalent)

May I join if I am almost 50?

Our policy is that you must turn 50 within the year you would be taking courses.

Can people who aren’t members take courses?

Anyone may register for an OLLI course; however, nonmembers must pay $25 additional fee per course. Up until the week before the course begins, nonmembers may be dropped from the course if space is limited and members wish to enroll. OLLI members have first priority registration for courses.

What kinds of courses are offered?

OLLI classes change each semester. Fall and spring classes can be in the following categories: Art, Culinary, Current Events, Health, History, Language & Culture, Leisure Activities, Literature, Mind & Heart, Music, Technology, Travel and Writing. Summer classes are in History, Arts, Science & Environment and Industry.

Where are classes held? What about parking?

OLLI classes are held in-person and online.

In-person classes are held face-to-face in a university classroom or an off-campus instructional space, or is a class that includes a field trip. A release of liability form is required for all field trip classes and some physical activity classes.

In an effort to be as COVID-safe as possible when attending in-person classes, we are requesting all participants take a COVID test, regardless of vaccination status, before coming to class.

For classes that require a Cal Poly Humboldt campus parking permit, a permit is included with your registration. After you register for a class, watch your e-mail for the course enrollment confirmation, which provides instructions and a parking code. You may pick up your permit at a parking pay station before you park.

Online classes are delivered 100% online, in real time, via Zoom, a web-based video conferencing service. Video recordings may be available if a registered student misses a class meeting.

See maps to some OLLI class locations here.

I heard there might be scholarships available to members. How can I get one?

A limited number of partial scholarships for classes are available to OLLI at Humboldt members only.

Scholarships can be used for course fees only and are not available for memberships.

Awards are based on financial need. Limit: 2 per term, per member. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

To apply for a scholarship, complete the Scholarship Request form and indicate the class you are requesting. The form will serve as your registration form for the class.


Print, complete and send your Scholarship Request Form to:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Humboldt
Attention: Sheila Rocker Heppe
College of Extended Education & Global Engagement
1 Harpst St.
Arcata, CA 95521 

For more information, contact Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI Director: 707-826-3743 or e-mail


When does OLLI membership start, and how much does it cost?

OLLI membership costs $35 annually per person.

Membership includes the OLLI discount on all classes offered plus many other benefits.

Memberships run from July 1 through June 30 of each year, but you can join anytime.

When do classes start?

OLLI courses start just after the Humboldt semester begins for fall and spring. Keep an eye on this website to see what's happening during the summer. You can also ask to be on the mailing list to receive the OLLI at Humboldt newsletter. OLLI at Humboldt also announces news on its Facebook page.

Who are the instructors? How do I become an instructor?

OLLI instructors are experts from the community and current or retired faculty. If you are interested in becoming an OLLI instructor, contact the Humboldt OLLI coordinator at (707) 826-3743 or learn more about submitting a proposal.

What are other ways I can get involved in OLLI?

There are several ways to volunteer for OLLI. Join the OLLI advisory committee or the OLLI curriculum committee. You could also become a classroom assistant.

Or maybe you would like to be an OLLI ambassador, by sharing your OLLI experiences with others.

Also, if you have specific skills that could be shared with OLLI, like organizing social events, writing articles or blogs, taking photographs, etc., your talents and skills could be valuable to OLLI.

To discuss your volunteer options, call 826-5880 or e-mail.

See VOLUNTEER for details and to download the OLLI Volunteer Application.

Another way to involve yourself in OLLI is to join or start a Special Interest Group. See a list of all the Special Interest Groups.

How do I contact OLLI? Who's in charge?

If you have registration or membership questions, call
(707) 826-5880
(Office is open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

For other questions, concerns or suggestions, e-mail:
Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI Director
or call (707) 826-3743

Mailing address:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
College of Extended Education & Global Engagement
Cal Poly Humboldt
1 Harpst St.
Arcata, CA 95521-8299

FAX: (707) 826-5885

The OLLI website is maintained by the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement.

I signed up for a class with a field trip. Why do I need to complete a Release of Liability form?

Some OLLI courses include field trips. Field trips have inherent risks. In order for you to participate in a OLLI course field trip, you must complete a Release of Liability form (PDF) at least one week prior to the first field trip you attend. 

Return it to the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement (PDFs require Adobe Reader or equivalent.) 

If you have any questions about the Release of Liability form, please call OLLI at 707-826-5880.

Completed forms should be mailed to:

Cal Poly Humboldt 
College of Extended Education & Global Engagement
1 Harpst St.
Arcata, CA 95521-8299

How do I access my Humboldt account? How can I get Humboldt e-mail?

As an OLLI member, you are assigned a Humboldt account with a unique user name, and you are issued a Humboldt e-mail address, which is your user name plus "@humboldt.edu." 

Once activated, your Humboldt e-mail account gives you access to the Student Center and is the main link for communication with Humboldt services and announcements.

Here is how to locate your assigned Humboldt user name:

1. Go to the Cal Poly Humboldt website.

2. Click on “quicklinks” at the top of the page.

3. Select “Students” under “Directories” (fourth item down)

4. In the Directory Search box that opens, type the last name under which you registered.

5. Find your name on the list. Your Humboldt user name is to the right of your name in the column labeled “Email.” Your user name will consist of your initials and some numbers.

6. Once you have your Humboldt user name, you can set-up or change your account password at humboldt.edu/verify. If you need to retrieve an authorization code or get help with resetting your password over the phone, the Humboldt Help Desk can assist you. Call the Help Desk at 826-4357, Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from noon-10 p.m.

Can I give an OLLI membership as a gift? Can I give a gift certificate for OLLI classes?

OLLI gift certificates are perfect for that friend or family member who has everything. Share your love of learning and support the work of Humboldt OLLI by buying your loved one an OLLI membership gift certificate, which is good for the OLLI membership year. You can also get a gift certificate in any amount, toward OLLI classes, for a loved one who is already a member. Call 826-5880 to learn more.

If I’m already in the Over 60 program – does that mean I’m automatically in the OLLI program too? Or that I get a discount on OLLI courses?

While anyone may be in both programs at the same time – they are separate and require different registration processes. The funding for them comes from different sources, so discounts are not available.

How is OLLI different from the Over 60 Program at Cal Poly Humboldt?

In the Over 60 Program, participants are over 60 years of age and take regular, semester academic courses on the Humboldt campus for credit, taught by Humboldt faculty.


  • Members are 50 years old or better
  • Members choose courses matching their intellectual interests and life experience
  • Courses are taught by current or retired faculty and community members sharing their expertise
  • No grades are given
  • Courses are approximately 2-6 weeks long
What do you mean by membership? What are the benefits?

OLLI members become part of a learning community where they get to actively choose the types of courses they want, attend special events designed just for them and have the option of proposing to teach a course in which they have special academic or professional expertise.

OLLI membership entitles you to:

  • Discounts and first priority registration on all OLLI courses.
  • Cal Poly Humboldt student ID card with Humboldt library, database and computer lab privileges: OLLI members can go to the Cal Poly Humboldt Library ID office to be issued an ID Card. You do not need your ID card to attend OLLI courses. When you register it takes approximately 24 hours for your account to become active. When you go to the Library, bring your student ID number with you. Check the Library ID Office website for open hours.
  • Cal Poly Humboldt Bookstore discounts on computers and software
  • An Humboldt e-mail account and access to the Student Center through myHumboldt. OLLI members are issued a Cal Poly Humboldt email address as part of their membership. Once activiated, this email account gives you access to the Student Center and is the main link for communication with Cal Poly Humboldt services and announcements. If you need help accessing your account, please contact the Help Desk at 707-826-4357.
  • The Jack Pass:  Free bus rides at a discounted rate of $60 per semester for unlimited access on AMRTSRedwood Transit and Eureka Transit System buses. NOTE: The Jack Pass is available only to those OLLI members who are registered for at least one fee-based course. Purchase your Jack Pass at the Humboldt Cashier’s office. [MORE JACK PASS INFO]
  • Use of Humboldt Student Recreation Center for an additional fee per term.
  • Opportunity to participate in OLLI Special Interest Groups
  • 20% discount on select Center Arts events sponsored by OLLI.
  • Discounts with various partners and businesses throughout Humboldt County and beyond.

Join today!