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What is your OLLI doing to attract Baby Boomers?

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

The National Resource Center Asks OLLI:

What are you doing to attract Baby Boomers to OLLI?

3 Responses to “What is your OLLI doing to attract Baby Boomers?”

  1. We started an After Hours program with offerings in the evening and on weekends. We have experienced a 20% jump in enrollment this year most of whcih is attributable to this new program. Check it out

  2. At UNF OLLI, we are aware that we serve 2 generations of members age 50 and better. We have taken a multi-pronged approach in endeavoring to attract Baby Boomers.

    The most important and significant changes have been in the area of curriculum. Since our founding 5 years ago, we have maintained a commitment to intellectually challenging subjects. On average courses lasted 4 to 6 weeks. More recently we diversified the curriculum to include classroom-based courses lasting from 1 to 3 weeks, single session out of classroom learning experiences (that always include a meal or snack to support fellowship) and blended (one or two classroom sessions followed by an out of classroom learning experience).

    We have maintained a member-centered focus. After switching to UNF’s online evaluation tool, we received what we call “gold” – our members’ wishes for future offerings. Each term we review the evaluations and make a concerted effort to identify volunteer instructors who will offer courses requested by our members.

    Most recently we have added study trips. Next week we have a weekend long program in the Everglades. We are piloting what we hope with be a sustainable partnership with the Florida Humanities Council. In the summer, one of our instructors is taking students from his classes on Islam to Turkey for an immersion experience in a moderate Muslim country.

    We eliminated our gala (seated dinner with program) to celebrate the end of our year and replaced it with a free, interactive new member orientation that we offered earlier in the Spring.
    More subtle changes can be found in changes to our visual identity. Our catalog is designed in a magazine format and the design approach is refreshed annually.

    Most recently, we have made a concerted effort to project a vibrant, youthful personality. (A downloadable PDF of our Winter 2012 catalog can be found on our website Graphic elements in our most recent catalog recalled the forms and colors of the 1960s.

    Each term we incorporate pictures taken in the previous term by a volunteer photographer rather than drawing on a bank of professional photographs taken a few years ago. That means you see fresh faces each term. Those at the top end of our demographic (age 80 and better) have provided feedback that the catalog improves each term.

    Unlike Utah, we cannot offer much “after hours” programming because our Division of Continuing Education has another enrichment program (not age or membership restricted) that offers classes evenings and Saturdays. We see an increasing number of students taking advantage of both sets programs.

  3. we are fortunate to be in a school that offers non-credit programs for people of all ages, so it is somewhat of a ‘feeder’ to bring boomers into the Osher program; we also offer the ‘after 5′ programs, however we haven’t seen a big jump in new members from this, probably because of the other non-Osher NC offerings that are also after 5

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