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Extended Learning

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)



Take courses that are intellectually stimulating designed for adults 50 and better because curiosity never retires! Join a diverse community of like-minded and engaging peers while you explore intellectual and cultural opportunities. 

No tests, no grades, no homework! 

Please note, a membership is required to attend Osher classes.

Program Details


    Membership is required to participate in Osher classes at CSUSM. There are four membership options outlined below. If you have any questions, please reach out to us!

    Becoming a member of Osher at Cal State University San Marcos will introduce you to a diverse community of like-minded engaging peers, allow you intellectual and cultural exploration opportunities, and will provide you a truly exciting experience. Memberships are required to participate in Osher courses. Occasionally, there may be an event that is open to the public but it will be noted in the course description. The Taste of Osher event does not require a membership to attend.

    Memberships are valid July 1 - June 30 (unless membership is a specific term only). Memberships may be purchased at any time, but will not be prorated. Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable. 

    Membership benefits include:

    • Access to a wide array of courses
    • Complimentary intersession discussion groups
    • Special Osher member pricing on select noncredit Extended Learning courses
    • Discounts on local attractions through CSUSM's Associated Students, INC.
    • Free student admission to the CSUSM Arts and Lectures program

    General Membership

    • $35 yearly fee and pay as you go for courses and trips
    • Class prices vary depending on the number of weeks in the course series
      • One day is $18, five weeks is $80, etc.
    • Most courses meet once a week for two hours and are held from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. or from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
    • Each student must have their own Osher account
      • Purchase only ONE membership per account

    Purchase General Membership

    Spring Term Membership

    • $260 fee for unlimited courses during Spring 2024
    • Valid Jan. 1 - April 30, 2024
    • Simply pay one fee and select an unlimited number of classes during the current term
    • You Write, destination learning trips, special events, pop-up lectures, art supplies for hands-on art courses or museum entrance fees for art appreciation courses are not covered.

    Purchase Spring Term Membership

    Annual Membership

    • $560 yearly fee for unlimited courses throughout the year (some exclusions apply)
    • Simply pay one fee and select an unlimited number of courses from 100+ offerings throughout the year
    • Destination learning trips, special events, pop-up lectures, art supplies for hands-on art courses or museum entrance fees for art appreciation courses are not covered.

    Purchase Annual Membership



    Free Lectures for Members

    Below is a list of upcoming courses with a link to learn more and register for that course. View the list of courses in the registration portal. 

    The Last Undercover

    Bob Hamer spent three years undercover in Operation Smoking Dragon, an FBI investigation targeting an Asian criminal syndicate operating in the U.S., China, and North Korea. What began as counterfeit cigarettes evolved into other counterfeit goods, stolen cars, drugs, shoulder-fire missiles manufactured by the Chinese, and near-perfect counterfeit U.S. $100 bills manufactured by the North Korean government.

    • Location: Hybrid, either online via Zoom or in-person at CSUSM ELB Room 470
    • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024
    • Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 
    • Free to Public

    Register Now

    A Willow Tree Becomes a Forest

    Set in the Pacific Northwest from 1877 through 1925, this is a story of the American West with a twist.  Hop Lee is a teenage Chinese boy who came to America armed with a calligraphy brush, a blank journal, a fortune teller’s scroll that foretold his life’s journey, and a burning desire to become American.

    The story celebrates the immigrant American spirit but is also set against the anti-Chinese attitudes that defined the Chinese Question in the 1800s.  Washing laundry, selling poultry, and growing hops brought Hop Lee success, and friendships with bankers, publishers, and politicians, but his dream of becoming an American was ever elusive.

    • Location: Hybrid, either online via Zoom or in-person at CSUSM ELB Room 470
    • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024
    • Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
    • Free to Public

    Register Now

    Pop-Up Lectures

    Pop-up lectures are an addition to regular programming.  Fees apply to all.  No membership discounts.

    • No pop-up lectures currently scheduled

    Republic Services: Recycling Center

    Republic Services has been in the greater San Diego Area for some time and in Carlsbad for 20 years. They do both trash and recycling. The group will be divided; one half will participate in a question-and-answer session with Rodrigo who will address Republic Services. Jenna will lead a walking tour (1/2 mile) to explain the different operations and will provide an experience of using their mulch and planting a flower to take home. We will be given official vests to wear and closed-toe shoes will be required, no sandals, for safety.  Parking is limited, only 8 spaces, guests are encouraged to carpool or park on the street.

    Jenna and Rodrigo are very excited and proud to be hosting the OSHER group from CSUSM as they are both alumni!


    • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
    • Time: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. 
    • Fee: $18

    Register Now

    Bus Trip to Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture

    Join Robin Douglas on this bus trip to the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art in Riverside, CA. This trip is limited to 25 students.  Parking fee on campus and entrance fee to the museum is included.

    • Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2024
    • Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
    • Fee: $125
    • Buss pickup at CSUSM Campus Lot B (off Craven)

    Register Now


    Cancelled Classes

    Please check back for any class cancellations

    Class Updates

    Please check back for class updates


    Spring 2023: Classes will be held both via Zoom/hybrid and in person in the following locations:

    • CSUSM Extended Learning Building (ELB)
      • 288 Campus Way, San Marcos, CA 92078

    Classes may be held at various locations throughout North County and Southwest Riverside County and are subject to change each semester. Destination learning and special event locations vary. 


    Upcoming Events

     Be sure to join the mailing list at the bottom of this page to stay updated on upcoming courses and events!


    Volunteer Opportunities

    We encourage our passionate and enthusiastic members to consider volunteer opportunities at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  Volunteering is a great way to connect with peers and give back to your community.  Whatever level of involvement you choose, we are sure to have a role just right for you!

    Classroom Ambassador

    Goal: To provide outstanding customer service to members and instructors by acting as main point of contact for questions/concerns during class hours.

    • Serve as main point of contact during class hours
    • Notify Osher staff of any questions/concerns
    • Serve as an "assistant" for the instructor (Introduce them, assist with handouts, etc.)
    • Make announcements as assigned by Osher staff
    • Manage attendance sheet
    • Welcome new students 

    Intersession Facilitator

    Goal: To facilitate and lead (4) week intersession discussion groups for Osher members

    • Select an educational DVD provided by the Osher office
    • View and study the DVD before the start of class 
    • Initiate discussion topics each week for class members
    • Manage the flow of conversation to spark new ideas for conversation

    City Ambassador

    Goal: To promote Osher throughout the community and disseminate catalogs where appropriate

    • Disseminate Osher catalogs throughout the community (libraries, community centers, churches, coffee shops, etc.) or as assigned 
    • Refer potential instructors to Osher staff
    • Seek new opportunities to promote Osher (Presentations at local rotary meetings, Kiwanis clubs, community groups, etc.)
    • Be knowledegable about the Osher program overall to assist with questions from the community

    International Mentorship Program

    Goal: To engage in English-language conversation with international students from the American Language Culture Institute at CSUSM

    • Engage international students in discussion to help them practice conversing with native English speakers
    • Share meaningful experiences and explore cultural values together
    • Form lasting relationships with students from around the globe!

    If you'd like to volunteer with Osher or have questions regarding any of these opportunities, please let us know.


    Learn From the Best

    OLLI at CSUSM instructors are exclusively selected and have tremendous expertise and passion for their fields of study. Instructors include current and retired CSUSM faculty, faculty from other colleges and universities, experts in their respective fields, local authors and artists, medical professionals, and local law enforcement. Learn more about each instructor!

    Current Instructors

    If you're interested in becoming an instructor, please contact Sherie Cambra at or (760) 750-8716 to learn more. 


    Osher at CSUSM

    Mission Statement: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University San Marcos (OLLI at CSUSM) is an intellectual and social community of inquisitive learners established to engage people over 50 years of age through higher education and the arts. With scholarly and invigorating programming, OLLI connects members to the brightest minds and ideas in our society, including university-level professors and successful professionals who are leaders in many fields. The program strives to inspire seasoned learners who share intellectual curiosity and a quest for knowledge.

    Established in 2004, OLLI at CSUSM is one of 124 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes nationwide supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

    OLLI facilitates a meaningful learning experience, increase community involvement and enhance social connections, all beneficial to a flourishing life. 

    If you want to renew your enthusiasm for learning, explore new interests and make new friends, OLLI is for you!

    The Bernard Osher Foundation: In 2004, Cal State San Marcos Extended Learning was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation to establish the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  After growing the program and reaching 500 members, Cal State San Marcos was endowed $1,000,000 to ensure the program’s continued growth.  The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader.  The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.  The Foundation provides postsecondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students.  The Foundation also supports selected centers in integrative medicine at Harvard University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.  In addition, the Foundation supports a growing national network of lifelong learning institutes for mature adults.  Each provides a distinctive array of non-credit courses and activities specifically developed for seasoned adults aged 50 or older who are interested in learning for the joy of learning. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 124 colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii, have a National Resource Center at the University of Southern Maine.


    Your Support Matters!

    The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a non-profit program that is self-support and receives no state funding. Your support matters and planned gifts can be very helpful to ensuring the continued success of our program.

    Please consider giving to the Osher program at Cal State University San Marcos and help sustain this vibrant community of learners now and in the future. There are many ways to give and your donations are tax-deductible, secure and private. Learn more about giving options.

    You can enhance OSHER at CSUSM by:

    • DONATE IN HONOR OR MEMORY OF A FRIEND OR LOVED ONE: the perfect gift for any occasion! Your recipient will be notified by a beautiful card from Osher with your personal message inside. Please contact our office directly at 760-750-8613 for this option.

    • OSHER MEMBER SCHOLARSHIPS: enable others to experience Osher.

    • INSTRUCTOR SUPPORT: ensure that Osher can recruit and retain highly-qualified faculty.

    • INSTITUTE OPERATIONS: improve the overall quality of Osher through program development, community outreach and promotion.

    • ENDOWED FUND: An endowed gift is one that lasts a lifetime. Creating an endowment in your name (or a loved one’s name) is similar to placing funds in a savings account and providing the Institute with the interest from your gift. Your investment (or principal) is never expended, but the income from the gift is used to assure a lifetime of support for the program.

    • PLANNING YOUR ESTATE? Consider leaving a gift in your will or bequest, gifting through a charitable trust, a gift annuity, life insurance, pension plan, IRA or through real estate.

    Yes, I want to support OLLI now!



    Mandatory Notifications


    (760) 750-4020 or

    Sherie Cambra
    Program Director
    (760) 750-8716

    Amy Sprout
    Program Coordinator
    (760) 750-8613

Variety of Classes

Classes cover a variety of topics, including art appreciation, health, history, science, technology and more!

Designed to fit your schedule

Classes are offered in five- or 10-week sessions in addition to one-day lectures to ensure you gain a solid understanding of the topic.

Develop new friendships

Classes and Osher events offer you opportunities to cultivate friendships with classmates.

Learn from the best

Osher instructors are exclusively selected and have tremendous expertise and passion for their fields of study.


Join Mailing List

Stay updated on upcoming courses, events and important updates by filling out the form below. 


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Contact Us

(760) 750-4020

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