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Southern Oregon University

Whether you are new to teaching at OLLI or a returning instructor, there are a number of questions that come up frequently. Here is a list of the most common ones.

Please look for the answer to your question here before calling, emailing, or visiting the OLLI office. Answers to questions about OLLI in general can be found by following the FAQ link on the OLLI Home Page.


OLLI classes are taught primarily at one of its two campus locations: in Ashland at the Campbell Center at 655 Frances Lane and in Medford at the RCC-SOU Higher Education Center (HEC) at 101 S. Bartlett Street. Click here for detailed directions and parking information for both locations. Click here for a PDF map of Campbell Center. Some classes are taught off-site. The OLLI office will inform you of the location of your class, once your course proposal has been accepted and scheduled in a room.

The main OLLI office is at the Campbell Center in Ashland. The office phone number is 541-552-6048, and the email address is See also: Contact Us page.

When classes are in session, office hours at the Campbell Center in Ashland are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, except for SOU holidays. When classes are in session, an OLLI staff member is available in Medford at the HEC, Room 104, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.

If you need assistance while teaching at the Medford campus outside of the hours that Linda LaGasse, OLLI staff member, is in her office, please send Linda an email (, leave her a phone message (541-552-8108), or call the main OLLI office number (541-552-6048). If your question has to do with the physical building (HEC) or the situation is urgent, you may contact Leslie Burk at 541-552-8107. (Please note that Leslie does not work for OLLI and should only be contacted when absolutely necessary.) For true emergencies, call 911.

If you need to cancel a class session, you must notify the OLLI Office staff in advance at or 541-552-6048. Announce the change at the preceding class, if possible, and/or email your students.

OLLI parking in Ashland is limited. Five parking spaces at Grace Lutheran Church have been set-aside for instructors who are teaching that day. Each instructor will be given a “permit” for the specific day and time of the week that their class is scheduled. Please park in one of these spots so that open parking is available for students.

NOTE: Do not park in the Grace Lutheran restricted parking areas nor in any of the SOU-restricted spots unless you have an SOU campus parking permit. This includes those with a handicapped permit. If you are ticketed, OLLI will not pay the parking fine.

Those instructors teaching in Medford will receive a One-Day Parking Permit to use. You will get one for every session you teach in Medford.

Becoming an Instructor:

We welcome and appreciate new and returning instructors, and invite course proposals that range from academic subjects to skills and activities. We also encourage a variety of teaching formats, including facilitated discussions of books, films or ideas; informational lectures; hands-on instruction; and field trips. Click here for information about teaching at OLLI.

The process for submitting a course proposal has recently changed. Please review the guidelines before submitting your proposal. A new web form provides a quick and easy way to submit your proposal.

The instructional year at OLLI has three terms of 10 weeks duration each: fall, winter and summer. Proposals for Fall Term courses are due in early June, for Winter Term in September, and for Spring Term in January. Click here for the current year’s OLLI calendar.

It takes four to five weeks (after the deadline for course proposals) for the Curriculum Committee to review and schedule courses for a term. If there are any questions or concerns about a proposed course, someone from the Curriculum Committee will contact you during this process. You will know definitely that your course has been accepted when you receive the draft course catalog with your dates and room assignments to approve. If your course has not been accepted, you will also be notified. Note that not all proposals are accepted as initially presented. You may be asked to refine the proposal to meet OLLI guidelines or resubmit it at a later time in order to balance course offerings in a particular quarter.

Yes, where appropriate, OLLI classes do go on field trips. If you are interested in a class field trip, please contact the OLLI office to learn about the requirements and discuss the details. Activity Waivers must be signed by all students participating in an OLLI field trip.

Walking, hiking classes and dancing classes are examples of OLLI classes that meet off-campus. If you are interested in teaching a class that cannot be held in the Campbell Center or at the HEC building in Medford, please contact the OLLI office to learn about the requirements and discuss the details.

Classes must not be used by the instructor to promote a book, business, profession, or political candidacy. (OLLI Policies and Procedures No. 13) At the beginning of the first class session, you may identify any affiliation you have with a business or organization. However, no self-promoting materials are to be displayed or sold during the course and no self-promotion is allowed during class interaction. Psychology courses must be taught on an academic rather than a therapeutic basis (OLLI Policies and Procedures No. 18).

The OLLI Curriculum Committee offers a 6 session course during each OLLI fall term to provide support and training for new and returning instructors. This course covers how teaching at OLLI differs from teaching younger students, how to prepare a course proposal, an introduction to the AV/Instructional Media in the classroom, examples of formats for large lecture classes and for small discussion classes, as well as tips on how to organize class presentations.

Teaching Your First Class:

If there is a class before yours in the same room, you can get into the classroom about 20 minutes before your scheduled class starting time. A half hour has been set aside between class times to allow for classroom set up time. However, please keep in mind that the instructor and students leaving the class that just ended need time to gather their belongings and make their way out the door. Please allow at least five minutes for this transition to happen. If you find a class is lingering or carrying on conversations beyond that time, feel free to let the instructor and/or his or her students know that you need some time to set up for your class. You might suggest that they continue their conversations out in the courtyard or in the student lounge. If there continues to be timing issue, feel free to let office staff know so they can address the issue with the other instructor.

Normally this is handled on an informal basis. Students who show up early are often happy to help with re-arranging tables and chairs. Please feel free to ask. If there are not enough willing and able students around to do the amount of moving you need done in time, help can often be found just outside your classroom door from other students in the courtyard. If you run out of student options, please feel free to come to the OLLI office and we will do our best to help you find some other way to get assistance. OLLI staff is not able to re-arrange tables and chairs before classes, but we will do our best to help locate someone who can help. NOTE: If you do rearrange tables and chairs for your class, please put everything back (or ask your students to do so) as it was before leaving. The default seating arrangement for OLLI classes is “lecture style,” not a circle, etc.

Each instructor is expected to prepare an outline or overview of the course indicating content to be covered in each class session. This should be made available to students at the first class session as a screen display, emailed to students, and posted online on the OLLI website.

Before the term begins, you will receive an Instructor’s Packet of information, which will include detailed instructions for accessing your class roster online. This will include phone and email contact information for your students, although a small number of OLLI members do not have email or computers. Note that the class rosters change daily, due to members dropping and adding classes. The online rosters are the most up-to-date. If the class has a waitlist, the number of members who are waitlisted is noted on the bottom of your roster. You can also access the waitlist for your course by following the instructions in your instructor packet.

Course enrollment will be decided strictly by the priority listing each registrant declares when registering. (OLLI Policies and Procedures No. 21.) If the enrollment is greater than the maximum number of students specified, a waiting list is kept. When a student drops the course, the next person on the wait list is automatically added to the class roster and notified by email or telephone that they are now registered in that course. To see the waiting list for your class online, follow the instructions sent to you in your Instructor’s Packet. The class roster is continually updated due to adds and drops, especially toward the beginning of a term. The current version is available online.

OLLI at SOU policy states that members and instructors may invite a guest to one class, if there are seats available and if there is no waiting list. No one can attend on a regular basis without being a member. Students who wish to bring a guest are to ask for the instructor’s approval first.

Communicating with Students:

Sign in with your instructor user name and password (found in your Instructor’s Packet) at

  1. Highlight all of the roster information.
  2. Right Click and select "Copy"
  3. Open Excel or Word.
  4. Right click and "Paste"
    (Experiment with "Paste special," and we recommend selecting "Paste/Keep Text formatting")
  5. Now the email addresses are separated out from the rest of the contact information and you can easily copy and paste the email addresses into your email.

Course Materials:

In order to save paper and money, we prefer electronic distribution of any course materials you wish your students to have. Please contact Dan Fischer, chair of the Instructional Media committee, at or 541-821-1764, if you want or need training on how to email materials to your students.

In order to save paper and money, we prefer electronic distribution of any course materials you wish your students to have. Please contact Dan Fischer, chair of the Instructional Media committee, at or 541-821-1764, if you want or need training on how to email materials to your students.

If you need paper copies made for any students who do not use email, please visit the OLLI office for assistance. Last–minute requests for copying help are discouraged; please try to plan ahead and give the office at least a couple of work days to fulfill your request.

No. Due to the expense of color copying, OLLI cannot provide color copies for instructors.

Borrowing privileges (books) are available to SOU instructors. OLLI instructors may, if they wish, put books on reserve for their class in the SOU library. Just let the person at the Circulation Desk know that you are an OLLI Instructor.

Instructional Media in OLLI Classrooms:

It is your responsibility to learn how to operate any AV equipment you want to use.

The basic AV components in each Campbell Center classroom are an iMac computer that includes the monitor and central processor as well as a CD/DVD player in one unit. There also is a DVD/VCR player co-located in the podium with the iMac. The output from these components is displayed on wall-mounted screens using ceiling-mounted projectors. The iMac is unique in that it can operate both as a Macintosh (Mac) or a Windows computer. Internet access is also provided to permit online searches or video downloads (streaming) using several web browsers. There is also a “smart” overhead projector (ELMO) in each classroom.

The basic AV components available in the HEC classroom are the same except that a Dell PC and a separate monitor replace the iMac computer. Hence there is no capability to use the Mac operating system unless you bring your own Mac laptop to the HEC. The Dell PC also allows you to play a CD/DVD, like the iMac.

The OLLI Instructional Media Committee has provided a one-page Quick Start Guide that is posted at the podium of each Campbell Center classroom. It is also available for classes taught at the HEC. In addition, they have prepared detailed instruction manuals for both the Campbell Center and the HEC which are available for download in PDF format:

It is your responsibility to get trained on the equipment before the start of the term!

It is highly recommended that you visit your classroom and familiarize yourself with the operation of the A/V console. Time practicing in your class room will ensure a confident and smooth presentation. The easiest way to get help familiarizing yourself with the equipment is to contact the OLLI office ( or 541-552-6048) and find out when the SOU IT students will be at the Campbell Center, available to assist and instruct. If that doesn’t work, you can request to speak to an Instructional Media committee member, who can set up an appointment with you to give pointers on using the kinds of media and materials you plan to use in your assigned classroom.

If you have equipment issues during class, please first see if one of your class members can help you out. Many can, including any that may be on the OLLI Instructional Media Committee or other instructors in your audience. If none of your students can help and the problem occurs while one of our IT students is here on the Campbell Center campus, please seek help from one of them. SOU IT students are available in the IT student workroom right across from the OLLI office, next to Room E. If all else fails, you may ask office staff and if they can, they will do their best to help. 

Best of all: Get trained on the equipment before the start of the term! Go in yourself to spend time experimenting with the detailed A/V manual to fully master the working of the A/V console before your first class. If you need individual help, contact the OLLI office ( or 541-552-6048) about meeting with an SOU IT student, who can give you individual instruction using the kinds of media and materials you plan to use in your assigned classroom. 

It is each instructor’s choice whether or not to use the instructional media equipment in his/her classroom. Many OLLI courses are small discussion groups, in which there is no need for A/V equipment. We only ask, if you do want to use the computer and projector as teaching aids, that you get trained on the equipment in your assigned classroom before the start of the term.

A computer lab, located at the Campbell Center across from the office and next to Classroom E in Ashland, is available for your use. It includes three computers and a printer.


Whenever OLLI members attend a class that involves physical activity such as walking or dancing, each student must fill out an activity waiver. Please contact the OLLI office at or call 541-552-6048 if you need copies of waivers for your students. 

An Instructor Feedback Form is available for your use. It allows the instructor to get feedback from the students on the content and presentation of their classes. Although this form is not required and may not be appropriate for some classes (e.g. those with multiple instructors), most instructors will benefit from the feedback they can receive, which is anonymous. Please contact the OLLI office at or call 541-552-6048 if you need copies of Instructor Feedback Forms for your students.

Class Hosts:

The Host Committee will contact you the week before the term begins with the contact information for your host or to let you know that a host was not found. The Host Committee does its best to find hosts for all classes with over 10 students. However, this is not always possible.

If your class was not assigned a host by the Host Committee, you are very welcome to request that one of your students volunteer for the role. Usually, folks are more apt to volunteer when asked in-person by the instructor, than when asked by the Host Committee.

Host duties: Hosts circulate the class roster, read weekly announcements at the beginning of class, prepare hot water, set out coffee/tea break supplies and help rearrange seating, if needed. Note that assisting with A/V and computer equipment is not part of a host’s responsibilities and (s)he may not be knowledgeable in this area. See previous questions about Instructional Media .

For Medford, the host for the last class of the day needs to put away hospitality supplies in the third floor lounge in the cabinet marked OLLI. There is a list of last classes for each day of the week on the classroom clipboards, which is updated as series of courses start and end. If your class is the last class of the day and does not have a host, someone from your class will need to take care of this since OLLI does not have staff at the HEC in the late afternoon. OLLI shares the lounge with RCC/SOU faculty and this is a requirement of our continued use of this space.

If your class was not assigned a host by the Host Committee, you are very welcome to request that one of your students volunteer for the role. Usually, folks are more apt to volunteer when asked in-person by the instructor, than when asked by the Host Committee.

If your class is not assigned a host and you have no students volunteering, please at least make sure the roster (attendance sheet) is filled out for each class session, and that the weekly announcements are read.