Formerly Douglas County Senior Services — Call us at 785-842-0543  
Lifelong Learning 2017-07-06T14:54:17+00:00

Lifelong Learning

Whether you want to learn how to tap dance, make sushi, or discuss concepts alongside fellow learners of all ages, the options in Douglas County are limitless. Our three area universities, Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University, and the University of Kansas, provide an exciting thirst for knowledge and nourish the community’s commitment to learning. The Lawrence calendar is filled with classes, lectures, and workshops offered at local museums and networking groups as well as at organizations such as the Dole Institute of Politics, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Lawrence Arts Center.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The Osher Institute offers courses for learners typically age 50 and older, although anyone may participate. Osher students rave about the classes and proclaim it refreshing and stimulating to focus on topics interesting to them after decades of focusing solely on items related to your career. As one of the most popular lifelong learning options in town, the programs are essentially short college courses without the exams. Subjects include literature, history, art, culture and more. A typical semester offers up to 85 course choices.

University Classes

Relive your college years or fulfill a lifelong dream by taking a college course at one of our local universities. At the University of Kansas, you may enroll as a student or audit the class for a test-free learning experience. Non-degree seeking students over age 60 may audit up to 6 hours of classes a semester for free. Baker University is also an option, and Haskell Indian Nations University is available for official members of a tribe that is eligible for BIA education benefits.

Local classes

Classes in the Lawrence area are a good way to learn new skills and meet new people. For the culinary minded, the Merc Co-op offers a variety of health and cooking classes including those focused on international and ethnic recipes, bacon-inspired dishes, and numerous specialty classes to help plan menus for those with food sensitivities and allergies. If your passion if for the arts, the Lawrence Arts Center features classes for all ages ranging from dance to jewelry making, metalsmithing, painting, and ceramics. For more options Lawrence has clubs and groups of all kinds to fuel your passion for learning.


With the rich history of Lawrence and the surrounding areas it’s easy to see why we have so many interesting museums to learn from. By visiting or attending lectures provided by the museums like the beautiful Watkins Museum of History, the Dole Institute of Politics, the Lecompton Territorial Capitol Museum, the Natural History Museum, and numerous local historic sites anyone can gain insight into history. For those who are up for a fun nearby day trip, visit the Kansas History Museum in Topeka, KS (30 minutes away), or head to Kansas City to visit one of their many museums such as the National WWI Museum, the American Jazz Museum, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and many more.

Learn from history

Our surrounding communities have historical re-enactments and museums present keep the mind active.

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Literary greats

Local famous authors past and present, author events, writing classes, and great bookstores offer something for everyone.

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Douglas County Food Volunteers

Expertise to share

Retirement means you have a breadth of experience to share with others. Lawrence is a place of opportunity.

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