CIE’s Informal Classes and OLLI:

CIE’s Informal Classes and UT OLLI: “Best in Austin”


In recent weeks, CIE programs have been in the news, singled out for offering some of the greatest benefits to life in Austin.

Last week, the annual Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll named Informal Classes as a “Best in Austin” service as the “Best Informal Education” resource in the state capital. The Chronicle writes:

“Adult education was heading for a failing grade last year when then Texas Union axed its Informal Classes program. Fortunately the learned folks over at UT’s Continuing and Innovative Education office know a thing or two about ongoing education, and they saved the 40-year old program. So whether you want to take up sculling or get the most from your digital camera, play piano by ear or study native plants at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, you can learn a lesson you’ll love.”

Another CIE program reaping accolades is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (UT OLLI). This last summer, ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer ran a series on American baby boomers hitting retirement age. The first part reported on the number one city attracting this growing demographic: Austin. Reasons given for Austin’s attractiveness to retirees included the music scene, low cost of living, affordable housing, no state income tax and the “intellectual stimulation” found at The University of Texas at Austin. The university program primarily aimed at retirees is CIE’s UT OLLI program. UT OLLI members Pat and Bill Walters took center stage for this ABC News report, being interviewed by correspondent Claire Shipman. When asked if they feel like they are back in college, Pat responded “Yes, but without the pressure!”

Austin was also named 16th of the top 25 places to retire by CNN Money. Affordability and cultural activities were given as reasons for the high ranking, in addition to the “robust lifelong learning program” at The University of Texas at Austin.

One of CIE’s guiding principles is that learning is not confined to a specific time in a person’s life. Instead, learning takes place throughout a lifetime in a range of settings and contexts. CIE provides programs and services, such as UT OLLI and Informal Classes, that are designed to offer unique educational opportunities and build community.

Congratulations to Informal Classes and UT OLLI for these “Best of” accolades!


Tags: olli, informal classes, cnn money, best of, austin chronicle, austin, abc news,