Learn how to become an OLLI instructor, propose your course, and teach effectively.

About Teaching at OLLI York

Do you have an area of expertise you are passionate about? Become an OLLI instructor and share your time and talents teaching other lifelong learners. OLLI welcomes anyone who is interested to be a program instructor — from those who have taught in university or school settings to those with no formal teaching experience who simply have a desire to share their passion for a particular art, hobby, topic, or interest.

Many instructors have shared that teaching for OLLI has been some of the most rewarding teaching experiences of their lives. OLLI learners are intelligent, vibrant, and engaged. They bring to the classroom a wisdom, maturity, and depth of experience that is difficult to find in younger learners. Many instructors also cherish the opportunity to teach without worrying about grades, homework, and tests.

As an OLLI instructor, you have freedom to determine every aspect of your course. You determine the number of sessions, the number of participants, the time of day, day of the week, and mode of instruction. You are encouraged to use any style or method that suits the material that you are presenting.

OLLI instructors are volunteers but receive a free OLLI membership to be used for the year following their course ($65 value). We appreciate the generosity of instructors in sharing their time and talent with us and neither OLLI nor Penn State will assume ownership of their content or course materials. 

Leading discussions about books and videos with my friends at OLLI York is so rewarding. I gain new insights that stimulate my mind and relationships that soothe my soul.

— Pat McGrath, OLLI instructor

How to Propose a Course

Have an idea for a course you’d like to teach? Refer to the table below for proposal deadlines and then submit a course proposal form. The Curriculum Committee will review your course proposal. 

Deadlines to Propose a Course
Semester Proposal Deadline Instructors Contacted to Confirm Course and Dates
April 3 Early April
September 25 Early October
October 2 Early October
March 27 Early April

If approved, the committee will schedule your course at a time that works best for you. If you submit a proposal for the fall semester, the Curriculum Committee will reach out in April. If you submit a proposal for the spring semester, the Curriculum Committee will reach out in October. Please note that the Curriculum Committee works approximately nine to twelve months in advance.

propose Your Course

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Managing Your Course

Once your course has been approved, you will be notified about its date and time so you can begin preparing. This will occur months before it has been scheduled, so please record these details in your calendar. You will receive a course roster with registrant names approximately one week before your course begins.

In-Person Courses

You will receive a call or email from the course coordinator, an OLLI volunteer, approximately one week before the course to see if you have any additional course requirements that were not in the proposal form, confirm the location of the classroom, etc. The course coordinator will also arrive to the course 30 minutes before it begins to welcome registrants, take attendance, and assist you with your microphone. OLLI York courses are 90 minutes in length. Please be mindful that another instructor may be waiting to use the classroom after you have completed your course.

You may use OLLI York’s technology, including a PC laptop, projector, speakers, slide advancer, and microphone. If your technology requirements have changed from what you submitted on the proposal form, contact the OLLI office prior to the day of the course.

It is easiest to put your presentations on a USB drive. OLLI staff will load presentations onto a laptop from the drive. Arrive 30 minutes prior to your course to ensures technology is working properly.

You may visit an earlier class period to get familiar with Penn State York and OLLI. Please contact the office to schedule a visit.

Zoom Courses

You should be prepared to share your screen for a Power Point or slide presentation. If you need help with this Zoom feature, let your course coordinator know when you are in contact, approximately one week before the course. If you will be showing a video as part of your presentation, let the OLLI office know so that we can set up the Zoom as a webinar to increase the quality of the video. The Zoom link for the course will be sent to you, and all course registrants, the day before the course. If you prefer to have the link earlier, please email Ann Krepps at aek190@psu.edu to make arrangements.


The OLLI office can make copies of handouts or you may reproduce handouts at your own expense. If you want your course participants to have paper handouts, email them to Ann Krepps at aek190@psu.edu or drop them off at the OLLI York office at least one week before the course. The OLLI office can also share your handouts electronically prior to your course, please email them to Ann one week before your course.


Within a week of the course ending, participants will receive an evaluation email. OLLI’s Curriculum Committee reviews all of the evaluations and develops a summary. You will receive your summary within a month of the end of the course.

You will also receive an evaluation email about your experience as an OLLI instructor. We want to know what we can do to better assist our volunteer instructors. The Curriculum Committee will read all instructor evaluations.

Please review the following Penn State and OLLI policies:

  • Promotion or solicitation of products or services is prohibited.
  • Courses should not include tests or textbooks or require prerequisites.
  • If outside sources or research are utilized, they should be documented in the presentation.
  • For in-person courses, OLLI instructors must wear a microphone regardless of class size. Even voices that project tend to fluctuate, and it makes it difficult for our members to hear. Course coordinators can help with the microphone if necessary.

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Propose Your Course for OLLI York

Complete this form to propose your course. You can view proposal deadlines for each semester.