ABCs of OLLI

Accessibility

OLLI at AU is located at 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, which is handicapped accessible for walkers and wheelchairs. OLLI also makes every effort to accommodate members with visual and hearing impairments. All of OLLI’s classrooms have hearing loops. See the Hearing Loop information below. We provide documentation in large print format, ask our Study Group Leaders to turn on captions for all videos, and offer technical support. If you are taking an online class, live closed captions are available in Zoom. If they're not already turned on, to request that they be turned on in the meeting, click "More" and then "Request Live Transcription." The host of the meeting will enable them. Closed captions are also available in recordings. To turn them on, click the "CC" icon at the bottom of the video window when viewing. Please contact the office if you need accommodations to access classes, handouts, or any OLLI materials.

Adding or dropping study groups

Members may add, drop, or change study groups through the second week of a semester, the first week of the June Minis, or the Friday before the February or July Shorts.

American University Benefits

  • AU Library: All registered OLLI members may use the AU Library. The library is located on the main campus at the west end of the university quadrangle. Request a Special Borrowers Card from the Circulation Desk. Tell them you are an OLLI member. We send a list of our members to the library when each academic session begins. See more information below.
  • AU Fitness Centers: OLLI members are eligible for an annual membership at the Jacobs Fitness Center (202-885-6267) at a discounted rate.

Books

Books are available through Politics and Prose bookstore at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, 202-364-1919 or online. Politics and Prose offers OLLI members a 10% discount on books for study groups.

You can also buy books and help support Black-owned bookstores in the District, Maryland, and Virginia, including the following stores. Many offer online ordering and shipping.

Books also can be ordered online (often at reduced prices) or purchased at other book stores. The following are some online suggestions for purchasing books, in alphabetical order: AbeBooks.com, AddAll.com, Alibris.com, Amazon.com, BookOutlet.com, BookFinder.com, eBay.com, and Powells.com.

Contact Information

Please log into your OLLI account to ensure your contact information, including home and cell telephone number(s), email, as well as emergency contact name and relationship are current and accurate.

Directory

We publish a membership directory each semester listing members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Please fill out this section of the registration form carefully. The directory is available online to download during the second week of the semester for current members only.

OLLI at American University is highly sensitive to the privacy interests of members and believes that the protection of those interests is one of its most significant responsibilities. We publish the member directory as a courtesy to members. We expect members to respect other members’ privacy. The directory is not to be shared with others outside of OLLI. If you have questions about this policy, please contact us by phone at 202-895-4860 or email at [email protected].

drinks & snacks

Coffee and tea are available in the Social Space on the 5th floor for OLLI members. There are also vending machines with water, soda, and snacks on the 4th and 6th floors.

Email and E-Newsletter

We use email as our primary means of communication. Please make sure that you check your email several times per week during the semester. Also, we send a weekly newsletter Friday mornings via email.

Fourth Study Group

During a semester or June Minis session, once class assignment letters are emailed after the lottery, members may log into their account on the website to add a free fourth study group.

Gift certificates

Give an OLLI gift certificate to a loved one for an upcoming academic session. To purchase a gift certificate, email or call the OLLI office.

Handouts

Downloadable class handouts are available each academic session on the handouts page of the OLLI website under Classes and then either Semesters/Minis or Shorts. Handouts remain available through the end of the session. If no handouts are listed for a class, we have not received any from the Study Group Leader. Some SGLs prefer to email handouts to their class members directly or have them printed (for in-person classes) in lieu of placing them on the website.

Hearing Loops

All of the classrooms at OLLI have hearing loops installed. "Hearing loops" are state-of-the-art "Listening Assistive" technology. There are three main parts to a hearing loop: the wire that is installed around and across the room, a microphone, and a transceiver (which picks up and amplifies the sound from the microphone). The system both amplifies the speaker's voice and suppresses background noise.

Members who have hearing aids with t-coils can simply turn on their t-coils to take advantage of the loops. If you don't know whether or not your hearing aids have t-coils, consult your audiologist.

Members who do not have t-coils in their hearing aids, as well as members who have difficulty hearing but do not have hearing aids, can use a hearing loop receiver with headphones (or their own earbuds). You may wear the headphones with your hearing aids in or out. If you have your hearing aids in with the receiver on, and it makes a high-pitched sound or whistle, the hearing aids and receiver are both amplifying the sound, creating a feedback loop.

The receivers and headphones are available in the plastic bin in each classroom. Each pair is in an individual plastic bag. Place the receiver on over your head (like a lanyard) so it hangs vertically or stand it up on the table vertically. (The vertical position is essential for the receiver to work correctly.) Put on the headphones. Turn the receiver on. (You'll see a green light.) Then, turn the volume dial on the receiver up slowly to find the appropriate volume for you.

For OLLI, one of the advantages of the hearing loops in the smaller classrooms is that the SGL and all class members' voices are amplified, allowing all to participate in discussions. Room A is too large to utilize the same configuration. Instead, the SGL uses a lapel microphone and if there are questions, a handheld microphone is passed around.

We urge everyone who has hearing loss to take advantage of the hearing loops. The sound is remarkable. It's as if the person speaking is sitting right next to you.

Lecture Series

We offer four lecture series throughout the year. During each semester there is a lecture on Fridays from 1:30-2:30 PM. In January and May, there are lectures on various weekday mornings from 10:30-11:30 AM. No registration is required for online lectures.

Library

Current members and SGLs have access to AU’s Bender Library. The library is located on the main campus at the west end of the university quadrangle. The library requires a valid, government issued photo ID for account creation and for borrowing. The library is sent a list of members and SGLs before each academic session. They will issue a borrowing card to be used along with the ID.

AU Library books may be borrowed with an account (up to 25 at a time). The checkout period is four weeks and renewal is available (all items are subject to recall and may need to be returned sooner).

Most of the library’s electronic resources (databases and journals) are available on an as-needed basis to have access while physically at the library. Due to licensing agreements, remote access is only available to current AU students, staff, and faculty.

Click here to view the current library hours. Learn more.

Lost and Found

There is a lost and found box outside the OLLI office. Please check there if you have misplaced something.

Lottery

Read How the Lottery Works to learn how classes are assigned.

Lunchtime Options

There is a cafeteria on the 6th floor which serves hot and cold breakfast and lunch. Members can also brown bag lunch with OLLI friends in one of the social spaces on the 5th floor. Buy lunch to carry out or eat in at Millie’s, Pizzeria Paradiso, Starbucks, or Wagshal’s Market — all within one block of 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Membership Fees

The fee paid for each session is a membership fee. It allows members to take from one to three study groups during that session. The fee is NOT a fee per study group. The membership fee entitles you to all of the benefits of membership at OLLI at AU. Below are the membership fees for each academic session:

  • Fall Semester and Spring Semester$300 each (or $550 for both semesters, payable only in the fall)
  • February Shorts and July Shorts$75
  • June Minis$100

Minis

Minis are study groups held once-a-week for four weeks during the month of June. Each day’s session in the four weeks is 1-1/2 hours long. The membership fee for the June Minis is $100 and allows members to take from one to three study groups during that session.

Nametags

Please wear your OLLI nametag to all classes and events that are held in-person. Plastic nametag holders and lanyards are available on the table outside the office.

Parking

See parking page.

Privacy Policy

OLLI at American University is highly sensitive to the privacy interests of members and believes that the protection of those interests is one of its most significant responsibilities. We publish the member directory as a courtesy to members. We expect members to respect other members’ privacy. The directory is not to be shared with others outside of OLLI. If you have questions about this policy, please contact us by phone at 202-895-4860 or email at [email protected].

recordings

Any member with a payment record for the current academic session may view any recorded courses from that session. You do not have to be a class participant to view recordings. Current members (those who have registered for an academic session within the current fiscal year (July 1-June 30)) also have access to OLLI's permanent digital library, which contains recorded courses from previous sessions. 

Refunds

The office must receive requests for refunds by the deadline specified in the catalog. A $10 processing fee will be assessed. Refunds are accepted through the second week of a semester, the first week of the June Minis, or the Friday before the February or July Shorts.

Scholarships

If you need scholarship assistance, please refer to the Scholarships page, then download and complete the scholarship request form on that page. All requests are confidential.

Semesters

OLLI at AU has two regular academic semesters: Spring, which begins in March, and Fall, which begins in September. Semester study groups run from 8 to 10 weeks long. Each of the day’s three sessions is 1-1/2 hours long. Sessions run 9:45-11:15 AM, 11:45 AM-1:15 PM, and 1:45-3:15 PM. The membership fee for each semester is $300 and allows members to take from one to three study groups. A full year can be paid for in the fall, for $550.

serendipities!

OLLI at AU members and their friends are invited to give a talk or presentation to the OLLI membership as part of our Serendipities! program. Serendipities! are scheduled through the OLLI office and are currently being held remotely via Zoom.

Shorts

We offer February and July Shorts, three- to five-day immersion study groups. Each day’s session is 1-1/2 hours long. The membership fee for each of the Shorts weeks is $75 and allows members to take from one to three study groups during that week.

Shuttle

There is an AU shuttle that travels from the Tenleytown metro stop to the Spring Valley Building. Anyone, including OLLI members, can ride the shuttle. View the shuttle route and schedule.

Spring Valley Building

American University and OLLI at AU refer to 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW as the Spring Valley Building.

Study group representative (SGR)

A volunteer Study Group Representative is assigned to each class. SGRs are registered members of the class for which they are SGR and play an important role in helping to ensure each study group runs smoothly. Duties vary slightly depending on the study group’s format (in-person, online, or hybrid), but generally include:

  • Making announcements of OLLI news, weekly lectures, and upcoming events;
  • Taking attendance (in-person classes) by making sure members place a check by their name on attendance sheet;
  • Collecting money from class members (as applicable) for any copied materials fee;
  • Informing the office of problems in the classroom, including heating/AC, lighting, and sound; and
  • Reminding class members of the feedback form and online SGL gifts at the end of the session

If you’re interested in serving as SGR for one or more of your study groups, please check the applicable box(es) on your paper registration form or when registering online. Please note that SGRs for hybrid classes must be registered to attend in-person. View detailed information about SGR duties.

Transfers

Membership in OLLI is not transferable. Spouses or partners must have their own individual memberships.

Trips

OLLI offers tours and trips each semester. Often, buses are provided. Trips sometimes include boxed lunches or meals at a restaurant. Trip destinations have included:
  • Arlington Cemetery
  • National Cathedral
  • Museum of the American Revolution
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Trips and tours are arranged by Tammy Belden, Trips Coordinator. Please contact the office if you have a suggestion for a trip or tour.

Vending Machines

There are vending machines with water, soda, and snacks on the 4th and 6th floors.

Waitlists

If a seat opens in a class which has a waitlist, staff will contact members via email and offer a seat in the order in which they appear on the waitlist.

Weather Policy for Class Cancellation

We follow American University's weather policy. If AU has a delayed opening, online OLLI classes will still be held. If an in-person or hybrid OLLI class is scheduled, and AU has a delayed opening, 9:45 AM
classes are cancelled and the 11:45 AM and 1:45 PM classes are held. If AU is closed, OLLI is also closed and all classes are cancelled.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi at OLLI is free. The Network Name is AUGuest-ByRCN. No password is required.