Have you heard about ‘One Day University’?
We know of the University Of The Third Age (U3A), Laneway Learning, Centre For Adult Education and various other courses around Australia, to name but a few.
One Day University is a unique adult education program and was founded some years ago by Steven Schragis. The one day programs feature lectures by enthusiastic and leading Professors.
What a great initiative! Enrol and listen to some of the country’s best Professors!
Steven said he came up with the idea of ‘One Day University’? (‘ODU’) after taking his daughter to start college.
‘My wife and I took my daughter to start college 12 years ago – and the school in upstate NY had arranged for about a dozen professors to give interesting short lectures about what they teach. The parents loved it…including my wife and I. Everyone there was 50+ and thinking “I wish I was the one going to college! This is much more fun than going to an office…’
Steven said there were a few challenges including: ‘Finding the right marketing channels. It took a while’.
ODU is obviously doing something right!
There is usually positive feedback by attendees. ‘About 70% return after the first event. Some have come 20-30 times!’, says Steven.
The average age of attendees is 60 years old and they receive recognition of attending a seminar.
Steven tells me that the appeal of ‘ODU’ is that ‘There are a huge number of ‘60+ ers’ who aren’t looking for a new degree or to network. They think learning is FUN, and the chance to hear profs who are nationally renown – sometimes internally – is exciting. It’s about entertainment, not just education!’
Topics are carefully chosen. ‘We research, and do a lot of surveys. History, psychology, music, are the most popular. Science is in last place’, says Steve.
Even though ’ODU’ is not in Australia (one day ‘perhaps’, says Steve) you can still watch the videos of lectures and listen to podcasts.
I mentioned to Steve that Louis Armstrong is credited with saying, ‘Musicians stop when the music stops’. I asked if Steve had a view on retirement.
His answer? ‘Only that without intellectual stimulation people will be unfulfilled. We’re about making sure that doesn’t happen!’