Propose a Course

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.

General Information About OLLI Courses
Tips and Instructions for Preparing and Submitting a Course Proposal
How Are Proposals Reviewed?
Submit a Proposal

 

General Information on OLLI courses

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. 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 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 sharon.gretz@pitt.edu  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

 

Tips and Instructions for Preparing and Submitting a Course Proposal

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.

  1. Proposed Course Title.  Please limit your course title in your proposal to no more than 100 characters with spaces
     
  2. Identification of course type.  Our program has three class types. 
     
    1. Academic courses are those that are primarily lecture-based and are akin to undergraduate college courses. 
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  1. 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).
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.)
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. Information on audio-visual needs for your proposed face-to face class and your proficiency and comfort level with operating classroom equipment and also, if proposing to teach an online course, your proficiency using the online platform Zoom or another format.
     
  4. We ask if you have taught the proposed course before; if so, when and where did you teach the course previously.
     
  5. Class Size.  Most of our in person courses have 45-60 people up to 100 people. Exceptions are art, fitness, writing and other “hands on” courses where the minimum is 19.  If you would like to request less than that amount of people, you must do so by contacting Sharon Gretz, OLLI Director.  Due to limitations on the number of classrooms to which we have access and the number of courses we must offer to meet registration demands, your request is not likely to be accepted.
     
  6. 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.

Proposal Review 

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 sharon.gretz@pitt.edu

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 
Proposals for the Spring 2021 term are due no later than Friday, September 4, 2020