Continuing and Community Education

FAQ – Lifelong Learning Institute

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What is the Lifelong Learning Institute?


Why did NIACC establish the Lifelong Learning Institute?


How do I join the Lifelong Learning Institute?


What are the additional membership benefits?


Do I need to have a college background to join the Lifelong Learning Institute?


Is there an age limit to join the institute?


Where are classes held?


What is the tuition for the classes?


What are the other activities besides classes that are offered by the Lifelong Learning Institute?


Who are the instructors of the classes?


What if I have an idea for a class/I would like to teach a class. What do I do?


How can I receive information about future classes?


What is an ETC…group?


What if I don’t want to teach but I would like to get a group together to study a specific topic?


I still have questions. How can I talk to a person?

What is the Lifelong Learning Institute? A Lifelong Learning Institute is a community of adults who have a passion for learning for the sake of learning.  They are interested in various topics that they want to learn more about ….but they are not interested in credits, grades, tests or long term commitment. [Top]

Why did NIACC establish the Lifelong Learning Institute? Lifelong Learning Institutes (LLI) have been popular in many countries of the world for several years. They are springing up on college campuses across the United States.   Adults in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota have expressed a need for more learning opportunities. NIACC is responding to a community need and request. [Top] The LLI is designed to be academic based but with classes of short duration.  Credit Courses require a semester commitment. LLI members do not want to commit that much time. LLI courses are short duration classes without credit, grades, and exams. Many classes are one time only and others may meet 5 or 6 times.  LLI is more like a “club” with college level classes in addition to planned events and activities for members. [Top]

How do I join the Lifelong Learning Institute? To join, visit our Lifelong Learning home page at www.niacc/lli/membership or you can call NIACC Continuing Education Division at 641-422-4358.  The registration fee is $99.00 for the year.  This fee entitles you to join all classes, discussions and study circles without additional tuition costs for two consecutive semesters.  Classes are on a first come, first served basis.  Once you have registered for the Lifelong Learning Institute, you are a member.   Each year you will need to re-register to be considered an active member. [Top]

What are the additional membership benefits?

  • Library use and orientation
  • Passes to Athletic Events
  • Performance Previews
  • Career/retirement coaching sessions
  • College course audits at ½ tuition
  • Continuing Education Computer classes at 50% discount
  • Use of NIACC Recreation Center with active class status  [Top]

Do I need to have a college background to join the Lifelong Learning Institute? Absolutely NOT!   All adults who have a love of learning are welcome to join.  A formal college education is not a prerequisite for this learning opportunity.  You will need a love of learning, and an interest in exploring new ideas and learning new things and that is it! [Top]

Is there an age limit to join the institute? The classes, lectures and other learning opportunities are developed for the adult learner. Twenty-one is considered the minimum age and there is no upper age limit.  There is no age limit for curiosity and a love of learning. [Top]

Where are classes held? Classes are primarily held at the NIACC campus, however, some classes are offered at the Mason City Public Library and the Clear Lake Arts Center, or other community buildings. [Top]

What is the tuition for the classes? Once you have joined the LLI, you will not pay additional tuition.  You may be asked to purchase a book or materials but the tuition is covered by the registration fee. [Top]

What are the other activities besides classes that are offered by the Lifelong Learning Institute? LLI members can participate in Performance Previews which will take place prior to a Broadway event, musical event or lecture.  A member of the cast or crew will meet with LLI members prior to the performance to discuss what they are about to see and/or hear. Members are also sent information on special activities at the college or in the community.  Volunteer opportunities and events will also be communicated to LLI members. Many members volunteer for the Wright on the Park and Stockman House as docents, volunteer to read with children through RSVP or volunteer to be part of the reading team to read the newspaper on the radio with IRIS. [Top]

Who are the instructors of the classes? This depends on the class.  NIACC faculty and retired faculty will teach some of the classes.  LLI members will also teach some of the classes depending on the content.  Members of the community and faculty from other Colleges and Universities will also be invited as faculty. [Top]

What if I have an idea for a class/I would like to teach a class. What do I do? Contact the Lifelong Learning Director.  We are always looking for new topics and qualified instructors. Remember that the class should be a college level topic.  We try not to offer classes that our Continuing Education Division is already offering.  The LLI Advisory Board will discuss classes for each semester. [Top]

How can I receive information about future classes? You can be added to Lifelong Learning Institute’s mail list. If you are not a member, simply send an email to LLI@niacc.edu and request to be added to the mail list. [Top]

What is an ETC…group? These are special interest groups.  We have had many requests for further study on various class topics.  We have also received requests for groups which might not lend themselves to an actual academic class, such as a bridge or photo group.  Therefore, we implemented member led special interest groups.  The members of these groups discuss and share information in a very casual group setting.  ETC…groups have currently been formed for Current Events, Harmonica practice and Recorder practice.  Others are still in the ‘thought’ stage waiting for a member to lead. [Top]

What if I don’t want to teach but I would like to get a group together to study a specific topic? If you have an interest in a specific topic, you would fill out the ETC….group proposal form on the LLI website.  You would need to agree to lead the first day of the group.  At the first meeting the group would need to determine how they want this ETC…group to run, and how often and when they wish to meet. [Top]

For Example:  Imagine an ETC…group is formed called “First Ladies of the United States” The group may decide they want to read biographies on First Ladies of the United States.  Each member may choose to take a First Lady, research her and then lead a discussion on that First Lady. It is up to the group to decide the approach they wish to take, and how much information they wish to cover. [Top]

As you can see, the ETC…groups are a great way to meet new people of similar interests in a very relaxed setting. These groups can meet off campus or on campus.  If on campus, they would be required to ask the LLI office for a room reservation. [Top]

I still have questions. How can I talk to a person? Call the North Iowa Area Community College Continuing Education Department at 641-422-4358 and ask to learn more about the Lifelong Learning Institute.  Susan Nagle is the Director of the Lifelong Learning Institute and Kathy Bormann is the Assistant. [Top]
LLI@niacc.edu naglesus@niacc.edu bormakat@niacc.edu