The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Pittsburgh is a member-based learning community comprised of adults age 50 and more who are seeking intellectually stimulating courses and opportunities to interact with like-minded adults and Institute faculty.
When are courses held? OLLI courses are held during fall, spring, and summer terms, with each term divided into two five-week sessions. In person courses typically meet for an hour and 50 minutes once a week for five weeks, with online courses meeting for 75 - 90 minutes weekly. Most courses are scheduled weekdays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. , although on occasion courses may meet at other times, including evenings and Saturdays.
Who can submit a proposal? OLLI at Pitt routinely seeks out course proposals from both new and established OLLI instructors. Many of our instructors are graduate, doctoral, and post-doc students, professors, lecturers, adjunct instructors and others associated with the University of Pittsburgh or other educational institutions in the area. Additionally, we welcome instructors who have both teaching experience and special expertise and knowledge from the community at large. A committee of the membership reviews the proposals and recommends courses to be offered.
Is there any compensation? Yes, OLLI at Pitt is able to pay instructors for their instructional time (sorry, we cannot pay for your prep time). Typically, courses are 8 - 10 instructional hours. Instructors are paid through the payroll system and are considered part-time instructors for OLLI. Instructors who have an incorporated entity can be paid as contractors, if they wish.
Who can I call for information? Feel free to contact OLLI Director Sharon Gretz at 412-624-9707 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the course you wish to propose.
Dates for Upcoming Terms:
Tentative Dates for Spring 2021 Term: Course Proposals due by Friday September 4, 2020
Session #1 JANUARY 25 - FEBRUARY 26, 2021
Session #2 MARCH 15 - APRIL 16 , 2021
Please carefully review these instructions prior to completing the Course Proposal Form. We ask that all proposals be submitted through our Course Proposal Form. Additionally, be sure to submit all required information in your proposal. You will be asked to upload your vitae or resume so please have it available when you complete the form.
- Proposed Course Title. Please limit your course title in your proposal to no more than 100 characters with spaces.
- Identification of if the course being proposed is for an "in person" or online course (please note that OLLI at Pitt is using the Zoom online platform for online courses).
Course Description: Your course description should be concise and clear about the topics and classroom activities so that students will know what to expect. We ask you to limit the length of this description to approximately 100 words that could be used in our course catalog. Students need to know what will be taught, the approach to the subject matter (lecture, interactive discussion, skill activities, films/readings, etc.), and out-of-class preparations (readings or assignments).
Course Outline: It is helpful to the proposal evaluation committee to see a brief statement, 3 - 4 sentences, of what content will be covered during each week of your course. This information is especially relevant to instructors new to our program. This helps the committee to evaluate the appropriateness of the course for our OLLI program. Course proposals should include several sentences to describe the content of each week.
- Identification of course type. Our program has three class types.
- Academic courses are those that are primarily lecture-based and are akin to undergraduate college courses.
- Personal Growth/Exploration courses are those that are more “hands-on” oriented or requires skills beyond academic such as language, art, fitness OR may be an academic topic primarily taught through interactive group discussion.
- Enjoyment courses are those in which the majority of class is spent with the students discussing the topic or practicing a skill rather than the instructor presenting. The Instructor’s primary purpose is for group sharing and discussion.
- Length of the course - Typically OLLI courses are 5 weeks long, but, other options are also possible.
- You will indicate how much time is needed weekly for your course. Most often, our face-to-face courses are one hour and 50 minutes per week with online courses running 75 - 90 minutes weekly.
- Special requirements for the classroom and/or participants, such as physical abilities, technical skills, books required, etc. PLEASE NOTE: We use typical university classrooms with access to LCD projectors and microphones for our face-to-face courses. If a computer is needed, instructors must bring their own working laptop. If you have a special space requirement, contact Sharon Gretz, Director of Osher, before you submit the proposal to assure we can accommodate your needs. For online courses, OLLI at Pitt provides instructors with a PITT Zoom account through which they will teach.
- Please list any required text in your proposal. If you suggest a book for your proposed course, you must confirm in your proposal that the book is still in print or you will not be able to use it for this course. (Please include title, author, publisher, and ISBN number. Total cost of books should not exceed $25.)
- Information on audio-visual proficiency for your proposed face-to face class and also, if proposing to teach an online course, your proficiency and experience using the online platform Zoom as a presenter.
- We ask if you have taught the proposed course before; if so, when and where did you teach the course previously.
- Class Size. Most of our in person courses have 45-60 people up to 100 people and online courses having in excess of 100 people. Exceptions are art, fitness, writing, literature and other “hands on” courses where size is limited both for in-person courses and online courses.
- Financial interests – Instructors must disclose any financial interests they have in a product or service mentioned in the course. These factors may be considered as the course proposal is evaluated.
- Your resume or vitae is requested (you will upload it) and we ask you to submit a brief bio paragraph that can appear or be modified for use in our Course Catalog.
Our Curriculum Committee evaluates submitted course proposals. Courses are scored and selected on the basis of the following:
- Appropriateness of the course for the OLLI program,
- Instructor qualifications on the topic of the course
- Teaching, presentation, or public speaking experience
- For instructors with prior experience in OLLI, course evaluation reports of previous courses
- Alignment with OLLI policies and known interests of OLLI members
- Novelty of the course topic to our program, and;
- Facility capacity to successfully operate the proposed course
Once courses are approved, individuals proposing courses are informed as to whether or not their course proposal has been accepted. Even though your course may be accepted, it may not be possible to offer it during the term you initially requested. These details would be discussed with you. Finally, upon selection of a course, the details of dates and times are finalized with the instructor.
If you have any questions about the course proposal process, please contact OLLI at Pitt Director Sharon Gretz at (412) 624-9707 or email to email@example.com
Download the instructions above in document form OLLI at Pitt Course Proposal Instructions »
SUBMIT A PROPOSAL - To submit a proposal use this OLLI at PITT Electronic Course Proposal Form