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Extended Learning

Extended Learning

Offered Online


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 renewable every fall term and are valid July 1 - June 30 (unless membership is a specific term only). We are not able to prorate memberships. 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.


    Fall Term Membership

    • $250 fee for unlimited courses during Fall 2021
    • Simply pay one fee and select an unlimited number of classes during the current term
    • You Write, destination learning trips, special events, art supplies for hands-on art courses or museum entrance fees for art appreciation courses are not covered.

    Purchase Fall Term Membership

    Fall Term Temecula + Zoom Membership

    • $100 all-inclusive fall term for Temecula classes plus Zoom classes
    • Valid Sept. 1 - Nov. 30, 2021

    Purchase Fall Term + Zoom Membership

    General Membership

    • $30 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 $15, five weeks is $75, 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.

    Purchase General Membership

    Annual Membership:

    • $550 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, art supplies for hands-on art courses or museum entrance fees for art appreciation courses are not covered.

    Purchase Annual Membership



    Free Lectures

    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 Truth About Clutter

    Best selling author Mel Mason is The Clutter Expert. As a sexual abuse survivor, she grew up depressed, suicidal and surrounded by clutter. What she realized after coming back from the brink of despair and getting through her own chaos was that the outside is just a mirror of the inside.

    And if you only organize the outside without changing the inside, the clutter keeps coming back. That’s why you can clear a surface or organize your closet and in no time, it’s cluttered back up again. So, that set her on a mission to empower people around the world to get free from clutter and experience more happiness and more abundance in every area of their lives.

    Since then she’s used her own experience to create a step-by-step process designed to help you get free from clutter without feeling overwhelmed, that keeps the clutter from coming back called “The Seven Steps to Manage Overwhelm and Organize ANY Space” and she has written a new book, Freedom From Clutter: The Guaranteed, Foolproof, Step-by-Step Process to Remove the Stuff That’s Weighing You Down. (Release date 10/20/20). 

    Learn more about what clutter really is, why it accumulates, how it affects you, how to get organized without feeling overwhelmed, how to create systems that work for you, how to keep the clutter from coming back and much more!

    • Location: CSUSM - ELB 404
    • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 18
    • Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
    • Speaker: Mel Mason
    • Free to members

    Register for Truth About Clutter

    Independence Corrupted

    Ripples in Time

    The Spirit of the Early Chinese American Pioneers: One Family’s Story

    Inspired by a 100-year-old photograph in the belongings of his great Uncle Kim, author Russell Low will share the story of his decades-long search to find the stories behind the photograph. Low will share the story of Ah Ying and Chinese American history through the building of the Transcontinental Railroad to the devastating effects of the Chinese Exclusion Act and subsequent slave trafficking of young Chinese women. Rooted in a strong, resilient protagonist, this story encourages everyone to explore their roots and celebrates what makes us uniquely American.

    The presentation touches upon the themes of immigration, racial discrimination and human trafficking, topics that are as relevant today as they were 140 years ago. Low’s book, “Three Coins: A Young Girl’s Story of Kidnappings, Slavery and Romance in 19th Century America,” will be available with all proceeds going to a Nursing Student Scholarship Fund.

    •  Location: Virtual via Zoom
    • Date: Friday, Jan. 28, 2022
    • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Speaker: Dr. Russell Low 
    • Free to members

    Register for Ripples in Time


    Pop-Up Lectures

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

    Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet’s Guide to Love: Seven Lessons From the Most Romantic Play Ever Written

    Two contrasting impressions come to mind when we think of the play: Our first impression is that of a passionate, all-consuming romance between a boy and a girl who risk everything for each other in the most sublime expression of young love that has ever existed. The second impression is a kind-of photo negative of the first—two reckless, hormonal teenagers whose irresponsible, whirlwind affair leads to the deaths of several of their friends and relatives as well as to their own tragic suicides. As much as we might like to say agree with the latter, more cynical view, it’s the former one—the paradoxically inspiring portrayal of romantic love—that has made Romeo and Juliet a favorite of theatergoers for more than 400 years. Over 90 minutes or so, I will take you through the play, highlighting seven lessons I’ve found in it, reciting some of the famous speeches, and discussing its fascinating performance history.

    • Location: CSUSM - ELB 404
    • Date: Thursday, Dec. 9
    • Time: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    • Speaker: Rob Crisell
    • $15

    Register for Romeo & Juliet



    Cancelled Classes

    Immunization:  The Good, the Bad, the Future

    • Friday, Sept.10
    • CSUSM at Temecula


    Rescheduled Class

    Cross-Cultural Adventure

    • Original schedule: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m.
    • This lecture is now going to take place over Zoom
    • New schedule: Friday, Sept. 24, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Zoom

    Fall 2021: 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
    • CSUSM at Temecula
      • 43890 Margarita Road, Temecula, CA 92592

    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

    Holiday Printmaking | Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021

     6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), 704 Pier View Way

     Join Robin Douglas to create a variety of joyful cards, colorful stationery, or dynamic decorations to use in the coming holidays and New Year. The colorful, quick, energetic process of mono printing will be used to create multiple unique images. There will be a short introduction and demonstration while the participants enjoy festive drinks and appetizers. Then you will start creating your own artistic, one of a kind decorations fit for any merry occasion.

    • Fee: $40
    • Limited to 15 students

    Register for Holiday Printmaking

    Join Our Taste of Osher | Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

    9:30 – 11:30 a.m. | CSUSM: ELB 404

    Meet instructors and preview spring courses at a fun event in our Extended Learning Building! RSVP to 760-750-4020 or online via the button below. Registration is required to receive free parking.

    Register for Taste of Osher

     View previous Taste of Osher 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. 

    OLLI Instructor Login


    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!


    Thank you to our partners:

    Carlsbad retirement community   colony


    What is Zoom and where do I start? 

    Zoom is a safe and secure app that allows you to engage in live Web conversations with your instructor using audio, video, and text-based chat features.

    View the step-by-step guide we created for OLLI members. 

    Do I have to purchase an Osher membership before enrolling in courses?

    Yes, you do have to purchase a membership in order 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. For information regarding membership options, please view the membership section on this page.

    Are there any exclusions in the Annual Membership that I should be aware of?

    While the annual membership allows you to take an unlimited number of courses throughout the year at no additional cost, some exclusions apply. Destination Learning trips, special events, wine appreciation , art supplies for hands-on art courses, or entrance to museums for the art appreciation course are not covered. For questions regarding the annual membership, please contact or call (760) 750-4020.

    Is my OLLI at CSUSM membership valid at other OLLIs?

    No. Every OLLI program is a separate entity and each university/college has its own membership program.

    When and how do I register and pay for a course?

    Prior registration is required to attend OLLI courses.  Payment for each course is required in full at time of registration. We accept MasterCard, VISA, Discover Card, American Express and checks. There are three easy ways to register for OLLI courses:

    1. Online - The easiest and most secure way to register for a course is through the online portal.  Creating an account is required, but it’s quick and easy. Registering online allows the option for payment by electronic check which eliminates the 2.65% credit card convenience fee. See our step-by-step instructions for online registration.
    2. By Phone - Call the office of Extended Learning at (760) 750-4020.  All credit card payments are subject to a 2.65% convenience fee. Electronic check payments are now accepted by phone.

    Is parking included in my course fee and do I need a parking permit?

    Parking at all off-campus course locations is free and no parking permits are required. Parking on campus requires a permit, 365 days a year no exceptions. Parking fees for Osher members is currently $5 per day. 

    What are your cancellation, drop, and refund policies?

    Cancellation notification must be made in writing. Written notice should be emailed to 24 hours before the class begins or mailed with a postmark date three days prior to the first day of class to receive a full refund (less a $5 processing fee per drop and if it was paid with a credit card, the 2.65% convenience fee). No refunds will be issued once a course has started.  Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable. Refunds may take four to six weeks for completion.

    If you can no longer attend a course you’ve enrolled in and you’d like to apply your funds to a different course, email at least three days prior to the start date.

    When are courses offered?

    Courses are offered in the fall, spring, and summer. The fall and spring semesters are 10 weeks in length while the summer semester is five weeks in length. Most courses meet one day a week for five weeks, or are single two-hour lectures scattered throughout the semester.  Select courses (writing and art appreciation) meet one day a week for ten weeks.

    Who teaches the courses?

    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. View instructor biographies.

    I’d like to request an OLLI presentation for my senior community or club.  Who should I contact?

    We’d be happy to arrange an OLLI presentation for your community, club, or special event! Contact Sherie Cambra at or (760) 750 - 8716.  

    What do current and former students say about the program?

    View Osher student video testimonials. 

    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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