TUCC recently received funding for programs for people ages 50 and older.
The Bernard Osher Foundation recently gifted $1 million to Temple University Center City to continue courses in adult education, allowing the school to operate programs for people ages 50 and older.
The grant will help fund TUCC’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a personal enrichment program, which has a predicted an enrollment estimate of around 900.
“This is attractive to people for whom education has been important their whole lives,” Adam Brunner, the OLLI director, said.
Last semester, TUCC announced it would stop offering noncredit courses due to declining enrollment.
“It was losing money,” said William Parshall, executive director of TUCC. “It impacts the ability to do other things,”
Now deposited, the check is expected to earn close to $50,000 interest by July 1.
“We’ve gone from 65 to 80 classes, expanded computer classes, and it keeps dues affordable,” Parshall said.
Temple’s adult education programs sets the university apart from others in the area because it’s the “only college in Philadelphia with classes five days a week,” Brunner said.
“People are attracted to Temple because it’s in a real urban environment with high-tech equipment, and it’s in Center City,” Brunner added.
Brunner credited the caliber of learning the OLLI provides.
“We put a lot of effort into screening our teachers,” Brunner said.
Many of the teachers at the OLLI are also members.
Brunner cited classes in computer science, art, history and personal finance as popular choices among the independent senior students who come from around the region.
“They’re people planning for what’s next,” he said.
With the questionable economic climate, more seniors and retirees have chosen to educate themselves in the technology and finance fields to protect their assets.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of the national population age 60 and older is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2020.
The Spring 2011 semester offers many courses expected to fill fast, including Another Opening, Another Show, Global Economics and Investments and Chair Yoga. A new class, Visiting Art Venues, plans to take students to various locations around the city to experience offbeat art, first-hand.
“We’ll continue to attract more members,” Parshall said. “We have good programs.”
Members pay an annual due of $240 and an additional $20 for any computer course. They can take whichever classes they’re interested in and can sit in on any one undergraduate credit course at any Temple campus.
TUCC applied for the grant in 2007. The endowment was also given to Rutgers University, Penn State University, the University of Delaware, University of Pittsburgh and Widener University in Chester.
Amelia Brust can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.