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Central, South Coast Seniors Turned Into Shut-Ins By Coronavirus Offered College Classes Online

Jerry Clifford of Camarillo is a retired college professor.  But, the longtime Cal State Channel Islands physics instructor never stopped going to campus.

The 73-year-old is a student at the university’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  The institute, better known as OLLI, is a program which offers four to eight long college level classes to older adults. 

Like many things, OLLI has been impacted by coronavirus, but something good is coming out of the situation.

OLLI is unique in that it’s tailored for people who aren’t after degrees, but want to learn for learning’s sake.  There are no tests, and the classes are offered on a new credit basis.

Daniel Banyai is Director of OLLI.  He says the coronavirus crisis created a big problem for the institute’s offerings, but the solution makes the classes available to people throughout the Central and South Coasts.  Because they can’t have in-person classes, they’ve taken them online for the first time.

With seniors among those at highest risk for coronavirus, they have been virtually homebound for the last month.  The new online version of the classes offers up a new, stimulating activity.  And, while the current classes are underway, because they are archived online, you can still join. 

The classes being offered right now are being offered for free.  There’s also assistance available for people who’ve never used Zoom before.  The current classes include ones looking at the history of cinema,  music in film, Baroque art, the history of Southern California architecture, and the psychological aspects of climate change.

OLLI’s move online because of the coronavirus crisis could actually turn into an opportunity to bring the classes to people not only in Ventura County, but throughout the Central and South Coasts.

You can find more information on the classes here:

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.