UM's MOLLI Program Sees Record Enrollment

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM [MOLLI] is thriving.


Categories: Academic

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM [MOLLI] is thriving. During autumn semester, nearly 800 individuals registered for courses, marking an all-time enrollment high. MOLLI membership also has grown to 637 members.

MOLLI is one of many Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the county. The program is a resource for adults age fifty and older who enjoy having a relationship with UM, connecting with others, and learning for learning’s sake. MOLLI courses are noncredit and without the pressure of grades or tests.

“I’m proud of the record enrollment figures,” Dean Roger Maclean says. “MOLLI is an important community program, so when MOLLI is thriving, it reflects well on the School of Extended & Lifelong Learning, UM, and our community, who all partner to support and provide lifelong learning opportunities.”

Courses are offered during three six-week terms: fall, winter, and spring. This past fall, twenty-three different courses were offered on subjects ranging from “Contemporary Issues in International Human Rights” to “Walking Through Missoula’s History” and everything in between. Courses are academic in nature and taught by UM faculty, emeritus faculty, and professionals from the community.

MOLLI is a membership organization, with annual dues costing $20. Each class costs $60, with a discount for those individuals taking multiple classes within the same term.

Hal Stearns, a long-standing MOLLI instructor, teaches Montana history courses. He earned his master’s in history and doctorate in education from UM. He spent many years as a history teacher at Missoula Sentinel High School and later at UM. He says the biggest difference in teaching MOLLI classes and graduate students is the more relaxed atmosphere that comes from people being there just for the joy of learning.

“With MOLLI students, every student is interested and attentive, because they chose that specific subject,” Stearns says.

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