Sample Lifelong Learning Institute's fall offerings at free program preview

July 30, 2015

When Linda Barr retired in 2004, she found herself wondering what to do next. She feared that winding down a longtime career teaching language arts could also mean the end of her own education.

Soon, however, she heard about Harper College’s Lifelong Learning Institute, a then-new program aimed at providing enriching and entertaining continuing education opportunities for adults ages 55 and up.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got to find something to do here,’” Barr, of Arlington Heights, recalls. “And then I discovered LLI and figured it was a wonderful way to keep learning.”

Now in its 13th year, LLI boasts more than 100 courses at Harper and seven partner sites throughout the Northwest suburbs; most classes run during daytime hours Monday through Friday.

Harper will offer a free Program Preview from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, at the Wojcik Conference Center on the College’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Attendees can enjoy a continental breakfast, meet instructors and sample some of the fall 2015 offerings that explore arts, books, cooking, history, music, science, travel and more. Check in starts at 8:30 a.m.

New this year are several course series featuring a group of classes related to one broader topic. Students can take one course or more fully explore themes such as famous couples, entertainers, great inventors and memorable eras like the 1930s.

Jack and Eileen Wielde, also retired educators from Arlington Heights, have enjoyed taking courses and going out to eat with classmates afterward.

“As a teacher, I tried to foster the idea in kids that learning isn’t just for when you’re in school,” Jack Wielde said. “It helps you grow, and there are just so many classes that have provided me with stimulation.”

He especially enjoys foreign policy classes that have tackled topics such as human trafficking, climate change and emerging nations, though LLI also will offer plenty of more light-hearted courses including “Wake Up and Smell the Caffeine,” “Self-Defense for Seniors,” “Michigan Light Houses” and “Global Perspectives on Ghosts.”

To reserve a spot at the Lifelong Learning Institute Program Preview, call 847.925.6300 or visit and search "LLI."

Media contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159