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California State University, Long Beach
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Frequently Asked Questions

Exactly where on the CSULB Campus are you located?

We are located in the Human Services and Design (HS&D) Building which is in the east Campus near the intersection of Palo Verde Avenue and State University Drive (see CSULB maps). Small OLLI map

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Is parking a problem at OLLI at CSULB?

Our classrooms and office are located on the campus of a very large (about 36,000 students) and busy university. Less than 5000 students (about 14%) live on campus in residence halls – the remainder commute. So, like most major universities, CSULB has parking issues. OLLI permits are sold for LOT 11 plus the two parking structures holding 2000 automobiles (Lot #11 is off Palo Verde Avenue close to Atherton Rd). We encourage Car Pool people to get a permit for those spaces - visit the Parking Services Office.

During the registration period for each term, OLLI participants can purchase special parking permits at $33.00 valid for the quarter. One Day permits for are available from vending machines located in each lot at a cost of $5.00. There is limited metered parking on State University Drive. Permits can be bought using cards or cash at $2.00 per hour. OLLI students possessing a DMV issued Disabled Parking Permit can use their placard and the OLLI permit to park in Employee Lot #9 which is closer to our classrooms. A gate code will be issued if the OLLI Office has a copy of the DMV permit for our files. The DMV issued placard and the OLLI Parking Permit must both be displayed when cars are parked in Lot # 9.

Automobiles parked in any campus parking lot which do not display the appropriate permit are subject to citation (minimum fine = $48.00).

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I no longer drive. Is public transportation available to get to OLLI at CSULB?

The CSULB campus can be reached using buses operated by both the Long Beach Transit System and the Orange County Transit System. If you live in the area serviced by Long Beach the fastest way to find your best routing is to telephone them at (562) 591-2301 or log on to and click on the Metro Trip Planner icon. If you live in Orange County, a similar service is offered by the OCTA – their telephone number is (714) 636-7433 and their website is located at

When the Fall and Spring semester classes are in session at CSULB, there is a shuttle bus that circles the campus every 10 minutes or so (see map for shuttle stops). This Campus shuttle is available to OLLI students and also can be found at stops near the Parking Structure. The stop nearest OLLI is at the Design Building or in front of the Foundation Bldg.

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Why is the tuition/fee for "computer" classes higher than the tuition/fee for “lecture” classes?

There are several reasons for the tuition/fee difference. The basic cost of providing computer classes continues to be much higher than the cost of providing “lecture” classes.  We provide students with materials for their use at home on CDs or DVDs at no additional cost. We also provide blank media (CDs and DVDs) for advanced students to use when learning to make photo albums, slide shows, movies, etc. Finally, advances in technology cause both computer software and hardware to age and go out-of-date far faster than humans do.  Keeping up with these advances is expensive.

We endeavor to update the equipment in our lab on a four to five year cycle by placing a portion of each class fee in a special fund so that we can purchase new equipment when the old computers wear out or become obsolete. We want to give our computer students the best possible software and hardware on which to learn new skills.

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I barely graduated from high school and that was many years ago. Won’t I be out of place on a college campus?

Not at all. First, our students do not earn any college credit or even “continuing education credits” for the classes they take. So, there are no tests, exams, and little if any homework. Sometimes students are asked to read something before the next class or practice something, however, even that is entirely optional. OLLI is somewhat like an academic cafeteria – we are at liberty to choose our level of participation in whatever it is that interests us. Mostly, it is learning about stuff that we didn’t have the time, energy, or enthusiasm for during the earlier parts of our lives. Only some of the computer classes have prerequisites and that is to insure that the student has enough knowledge/skill to grasp the material presented. The class descriptions should indicate the content well. Otherwise, OLLI students sign-up for classes that interest them and participate in them at their own comfort level.

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What is the interaction like between OLLI students and “regular” CSULB students and faculty?

Cordial and friendly are two of the best terms to describe our interaction with the CSULB community. Many of the “regular” students express fascination at the idea of people our age attending classes just because we love learning and/or want to explore new topics. They are courteous and respectful and quickly acknowledge our “Hi” and “How are you?” greetings. They seem to be quite content with sharing their campus with us.

Part of the reason for this good relationship is that many OLLI Members are strong supporters of the University and its activities. Some are alumni. Some of our members are avid sports fans and regularly attend sporting events on campus. Others are patrons of the various programs put on by the Music and Theatre Departments. Our members are docents at the University Art Museum and volunteer ushers at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Many support the University with financial contributions.  We regularly respond to student and faculty requests for interviews and “first-hand” information about the aging process as well as other student and faculty inquiries. In return, the University provides us with space and administrative support. CSULB Identification Cards are available to OLLI Members. These provide some member benefits including discounts on ticket prices to University events as well as University Library privileges (see answer below).

In short, OLLI and its members are viewed as being part of the CSULB community. It is a very pleasant relationship.

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Are there benefits attached to being a member of OLLI?

Most OLLI members can obtain a CSULB Identification Card at the ID Card Services Office which is located inside the University Bookstore Building (see map).  One needs only to present a current OLLI Name Tag or a copy of the Registration form plus a photo ID such as a driver’s license to obtain this card.  Once the OLLI Member registers his card at the front desk of the library, he/she has full library privileges.  The University ID Card also enables OLLI Members to obtain ticket discounts to many Theater and Music performances, athletic events, and free admission to the University Art Museum.  Performance venue tickets can be obtained at the University Box Office which is located on the North side (facing Atherton Street) of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Are there opportunities for volunteers at OLLI?

Except for the Executive Director and the Office Administrator and Part-time assistant, everyone at OLLI is a volunteer. This includes instructors, office helpers, Governing Council Officers, chairpersons and members of our committees, computer class coaches, etc. We always have a need for more volunteers and will welcome you. If you are interested, give your name, phone number, and area of interest to our Office Administrator and she will pass the information on to the appropriate person within our governance structure who will contact you.

We recognize our volunteers with a nice thank you luncheon each year and reward them with special treats. We work hard to be a congenial group that works together toward common goals and we have a 19 year history of success in this endeavor.

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Does OLLI accept monetary donations?

Although we have received some very generous grants for specific purposes and collect tuition payments from our students, we do need donations from individuals who support our mission to meet all of the expenses of putting on this program. We are a 501(c) (3) non-profit operation whose finances are handled by the CSULB Foundation. Donation checks may be made payable to the CSULB Foundation and delivered to the OLLI Office in the HS&D Building. Please note on the reference line that this is a donation to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and whether it is a general donation to our operations budget or a donation to a specific purpose. Currently, we are soliciting designated donations to our computer program and our scholarship fund (assists OLLI members who cannot afford our tuition and/or membership fees).

Both memorial donations and donations “in honor of” someone are also appropriate. For your convenience, donation envelopes are available in the OLLI Office. All donations will be appropriately acknowledged. 

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