Original Query from Josette Lee, Bard LLI, New York
In the case of our LLI, we have one computer knowledgeable volunteer and a part time person in charge of registration. Members send in their course choices from a tear off page in the catalog, which is available on line and which must be printed out from the website. At registration, registration information is manually entered in a database. We maintain priority lists for active volunteers and they are given first choice in registering for courses. Actual registration does not start until a week after the deadline, we do not register on a first come first served basis.

My questions is: How do other LLI's handle registration for courses? A hired office manager? The host college provides access to their Registrar? A computer literate volunteer from the membership?

From Martin F. Kaplan, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, CSU, Channel Islands, CA
The host University supplies access to their process. The OLLI students are enrolled in their classes in the same way as all students. This has a disadvantage – because they are entered in the university database, only University employees can engage in the registration process. Thus, we can not have OLLI volunteers handle enrollment or any other personal information (e.g., contacting OLLI members as a group). Since our university office assistants have many other programs to which they attend, this results in long delays in enrollment and related activities.

From Claudia Boles, LLI, Anderson University, SC
Our registration is handled by and experienced volunteer using a computer and space supplied by the college and used for other purposes. We register on a first come, first served basis.

From Connie Dawe, ILR, Kellogg Community College, MI
At Kellogg Community College individuals are registered through the College's system. This allows us to gather data as needed from the system. We also register on a first-come, first-served basis. There have been times when classes have filled and we feel as though is it appropriate to fill the classes on those who registered early.

From Michael I. Markowitz, IRP, New School, NYC
You seem to be on the right course. We have a Director (me) and full time Senior Office Assistant and a goodly number of IRP members who volunteer (on the first desk, cafe, etc). We expect students to coordinate, serve on committees, lead study group, etc. More than 60% do so. Input is done by the office Assistant only, students check registration forms prior to entering them (address, e-address, emergency data, taking 2 classes that meet simultaneously, etc) which speeds things along. All students are required to list their courses in order of preference, with alternates for all study groups. Rarely are people unable to resister in their first choice. Students may take 3 study groups, coordinators traditionally put their own study group last knowing that they have to be in this class. In effect this gives them a leg up on getting their schedule. We now say that registration occurs 3 days after the deadline. Let me know if you want a copy of our registration form.

From Don Stull, Elder College, Terra Community College, Ohio
We have a brochure listing all of our courses for the term (quarters). Registration is by a tearoff from the brochure, and entered as they arrive (or the next day). This data is entered manually by a full time administrative assistant into the centers database.

From Pat Szczepanski, OLLI, Pitt University
Here at OLLI at Pitt we have a staff person, part of the customer service team from the College of General Studies who does the registration. We have almost 2,000 registrations this term (one person/one class counts as one registration). We do it on a first come, first serve basis. We begin registration when the catalogs are sent out. We do keep a waiting list for classes as they fill up. We do not give volunteers any priority. That sounds like it must be a nightmare to patrol. Our members can take as many of our classes that they want for now.

From Dick Aimee, LLI Norwalk Community College, CT
It's an interesting problem that Bard has. We're in another class because we have a very computer-literate volunteer, formerly the president of our LLI (which, by the way, goes under the name of 'LLI' -Lifetime Learners Institute). We do not have a hired office manager - it's all volunteers doing the work. We are not involved with the host college's processes. I'll ask our registration people to give you a more comprehensive answer about our own registration setup, but please give them some time.

From Wilbur Birky, LLI, Goshen College, IN
Response from the Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County (associated with Goshen College in Indiana): We are a young institute, but very fortunate in this regard. Goshen College's "Welcome Center" handles the registrations for us--along with registrations for the college's own special events: the performing arts series, theater performances, public affairs lectures, and the like. So I get regular computer lists of enrollees for our LLI courses (this service is not part of the Registrar's office, but the office of special events); they also collect the course fees for deposit into our LLI account. While we get several "in process" reports from the Welcome Center as registrations come in, at the end of each course or term we get a complete report of enrollees, their addresses, the amounts paid, etc.

From Sharon Simson, OLLI, University of Maryland
This is very much like we do our registration. We have support from our sponsoring department in terms of an administrator who handles the registration forms. She also maintains a data base of our members. We used to have volunteers handle registration but now we have to centralize registration because our membership has increased so dramatically and we have three campuses to manage. I hope this helps you.

From Joseph Harris, jharriswafia@nu-z.net
Our registration is open. When any given course meets, we have registration materials available for other, following courses. But mainly, we register by mail from our first newsletter in the fall.

From Linda Ketron, Lifelong Learning, Coastal Carolina University, SC
We use the same data system as the university (Datatel). Access to it is highly controlled. No volunteers are allowed to enter data. I have two center managers at two of the five locations where we offer classes. They assist me in building the 250 courses into Datatel (and by extension Webadvisor for online registrations). There are, in addition, four front desk personnel (1 at each of two locations, and 2 at the main outreach center) who actually register the students into the system. While they have other outreach duties, registering the 800-1200 students each term and seeing that the classes run smoothly (rosters, name tags, AV equipment, handouts, etc.) are their main responsibilities. Our system is totally based on first come-first served, since at the moment our volunteers are the board members and one former HR specialist. I also run another adult education program to accommodate the types of classes that we don’t have space for at the university (Tai chi, yoga, bridge, etc.). That is totally a paper operation with volunteers recording the phone or in-person registrations on forms, and recording the students name and phone number in a looseleaf notebook separated by days of the week and then by classes within each day. They clip payment to the half-sheet form and file them in a small box alphabetically by the course. When the class is ready to begin, one of the volunteers enters the students on a formatted roster for the teacher. It’s very low-tech and has functioned smoothly for more than 10 years! I’ve managed as few as 50 and as many as 600 students this way. The operation is based in my art gallery, so the volunteers are there anyway. Most like something to do while waiting for sales. If I can be of any further assistance, don’t hesitate to ask by e-mail or by phone (843-349-4032).

From Nancy Gluck, Lifetime Learners Institute, Norwalk Community College, CT
We do our own registration is our own database, that is, the college is not involved. We have a committee of about 8 people who do the actual work of entering the enrollments and informing members of results. A computer literate volunteer manages the database and debugs problems.

From Joan Ray, Stockton Institute for Continued Learning, San Joaquin Delta College, CA
We do not use the services of the campus registration office and do not employ any clerical assistance. We have a registration team – all volunteers. Two or three people process the membership applications which have been sent out in a newsletter which arrives about 10 days before registration. The first crew checks to see all info is complete then passes it to parking permit station. The applications are then sent to the computer operator who inputs their info into our
membership data bank, and then sends it to the treasurer who processes $25 membership checks. And then application and check goes to another volunteer double checks to see if all application info is complete, parking permits issued and recorded, data entry matches check info and fees, and then signs off on the deposit to our campus foundation. Name badges are printed later and distributed to members through our class hosts. Members sign in at each class and indicate if they need a badge. Teachers also come to registration and share about what their classes will include and signup members if there's a limited enrollment due to equipment or level of class. Members also sign up for tours at registration; it's first come first served, so there's a big turn out. About 70 % of our membership comes to registration, and we have a social time and very simple refreshments; usually on a Saturday 10 AM -2 PM about two weeks after the rest of the campus has begun. Members can also bypass registration and just show up at a class. The class host then takes their money, issues a parking permit, and inquires if they need a badge. Class hosts are usually board members for the first two weeks when registration is heaviest, and then we ask a class member to act as host for the balance of the semester. They are mentored by the initial board member host. It's worked well for eight years, but our membership is getting bigger and number of classes offered is increasing, so board member hosts are stretched thin those first two weeks. Good luck with your program.

From Lucy Kline, Brevard ElderLearning, Brevard Community College, FL
Here things are a little different as our sponsor is a community college and we do all our own work. Our treasurer (volunteer) accepts the checks and turns the registration forms over to our Registrar (another volunteer) who keeps track of who is registered and then - if a limited seating situation - cuts off when necessary. Then the list goes to the coordinator (a volunteer) of that program to check attendees in the day the program starts.

From Pat Mielke, SPARK program, University Missouri, Kansas City
We have one part/time employee 25 hrs week, (sometimes many more hours-takes extra days off) who is very computer literate. About half to one third of our membership either does not have a computer or will not use one to register. We do not have credit card service. All class registrations are on a first come basis directly into the SPARK office by mail or in person. As they come in they are entered into the computer and on a hard copy of the class roster. We handle our own financial funds. We are invoiced by the university and pay that bill once a month. This process works extremely well for both the university and SPARK.

From Rita Matthews, MICL, Modesto, CA
Actually, we don't registration for courses... we run 9/week, one each morning and one each afternoon, Monday thru Thursday and one on Friday morning. Folks come when they want. We only record the number of attendees... not who came.

From Katie Compton, Lifelong Learning Institute, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Our 1/2 time office manager, aided by some experienced volunteers, handles registration. She enters all the info in the database and deposits money. We have 646 active registrants this Fall Term. We have to register on a first come, first serve basis because our courses fill up. (This Fall Term we had 12 out of 42 courses close due to size restrictions.) Hope this helps.

From Shirley Hibarger, CLL, University West Florida
The Center for Lifelong Learning on the University of West Florida campus in Fort Walton Beach is an all-volunteer school. Our registration always takes place on a Friday, with returning students enrolling from 9 to 11 AM; new students sign up from 1 to 3 PM. We have a team of six computer operators (CLL members) who handle the registration. On the Thursday prior to the Friday registration, instructors, our board of directors, and curriculum and registration committee members, sign up for the classes of their choice. At our January semester -- when the Snowbirds are here -- we usually average more than 500 students, and this process always holds up quite well.
You may learn more about our school at CLL-FWB.org.

From Doug Jirovetz, UW Oshkosh Learning in Retirement, WI
At UW Oshkosh, our Learning in Retirement (LIR) program handles registrations as follows (these are general statements and there may a few courses treated as exceptions to the rule.):

 1. All members receive a course listing and catalog twice a year. All   courses are in both documents. Included in the mailing is a course   registration form with all of the courses listed on it. We do not do   online registrations because about 1/3 of our members have no   access to a computer.
 2. The member places an 'x' by each course registered for on the   form and mails/hand delivers the registration form to the LIR office.
 3. We have a half-time office assistant that we pay for. This   assistant also works half-time for the University and has an office   area in the Continuing Education and Extension department. LIR has
  no specific office space dedicated to them.
 4. Course enrollments are entered in a course system which we   share with the University.
 5. Some courses have enrollment limits (all bus tours and others)   and members are entered into the system on a first   come- first- served basis. Late registrants are kept on a waiting list.
 6. Some courses, such as bus tours, have specific course fees to be   paid. Payments are not accepted with registrations but are handled   only after a letter is sent to the registrants of the specific course
  with the fee. Fees also are processed on a first-come-first-served   basis at that time. Hope this helps.

From Ken Bukowski, LIR, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

I am the president of the LIR at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay. We do have a half time person in our office and at registration time she is supplemented by another paid staff member, who also works half time. In addition, we do have some unpaid LIR members help out with some of the registration busy work on a volunteer basis. We have 750 members and conduct between 70 and 90 courses in any given semester, so registration is a big job for us. We do a first-come, first-served basis, which I oppose but have been defeated in my attempts to have a grace period before taking registrations.

From Julie Friedman, ILR, University of Wisconsin, Parkside
We have a paid administrative assistant who works 2 mornings a week and she handles all the registration and monies that come in for each course or day trip. We do put it in first come, first served. Most of our classes are unlimited to numbers so there is no great problem with this. She makes up a list of paid registrants and gives to the committee for attendance. Day trips are limited to the tickets we have or the bus capacity. We do maintain waiting lists in case someone has to drop out.

From Kathleen Swan, ILR, Harper College, Palatine, Illinois
Registration is handled through the Continuing Education registration office. Our members receive a semester preview and can register before the CE brochure is received by the community.

From Janice Sawyer, SOAR, SUNY Potsdam, NY
We have a Board Member who has long acted as Registrar and who trains member-volunteers in entering data from Registration Forms onto a computer dedicated to that function. A part-time Administrative Assistant enters financial information in a window on the Regis. Form when the form and check come in the mail. We accept membership checks at any time and there is one fee, best paid in the fall that covers two (Sept. forward and March forward) 10-week sets of courses usually numbering between 35 and 40. Members may sign up for as many courses as they wish. Presenters are volunteers and may or may not be SOAR members. Our membership is just under 300 and has grown moderately each 'semester' over the five years we have been here.

From Mary Gardner, WALLA, Purdue University, Indiana
At Purdue the LLI is under the auspices of Continuing Education. I am an employee of Purdue University, and one of the founders of our LLI. Registrations come to me and they are entered into CE's database by personnel in our business dept. They, then, supply us with name badges, rosters, etc. They do not deal with any of the details of classes, etc.; they don't handle the fees. Even though I am an official retiree I am provided an office, computer, phone--all the comforts of home in a closet! Because of my connection we can use PU's buses when needed for out-of-town travel. We can use their printing services, etc. Our organization rents office space in the old elementary school where our classes are held and it is staffed 4 mornings a week with a volunteer. Some of them are computer-literate, and they are responsible for the newsletters published, but I am responsible for getting details done for classes, registrations, etc. There is no space available on campus for classes and parking is practically non-existent so this school space is great. We have purchased our own AV equipment. If we could be on campus that would be available for us--however, being 2 blocks from campus means that many of our presenters are PU faculty and they can walk to our classroom. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

From Marvin Schlaffer, OLLI, Rutgers University, NJ
We register as received - Brochure is on line and hard copies - Registrar is paid part-time from host University staff utilizing University registration system - Follow up problems with OLLI-RU paid staff.

From Bev Koutny, LLI, Chemeketa Community College, Woodburn, OR
Our registration is handled by the office staff of our Community College.

From Joe Kabat, RISE, Rivier College, Nashua, NH
RISE (Rivier Institute for Senior Education) at Rivier College in Nashua, NH has one person enter registrations on Microsoft Access software. She is a volunteer and also our Treasurer. We print and mail out a "Brochure-catalog" in Spring and Fall about 4 weeks before classes. We hold and "Open House/Course Preview" about two weeks before classes and that is last day to register for classes that might be full. We had a lot of full classes this Fall.We then have a lottery system which is blind and assign people registered up to the Open House day. Those not selected are put on a waiting list. After the first week of classes we check attendance and call those not attending and then call on the waiting list people if appropriate.

From Laura Kelley, LLI, Indian River Community College, FL
We have a printed schedule and registration form sent to members first. They may register by phone or mail. We have one person staff and two part-time 10 hr. per week assistants. We have our own Access database

From Anita Dittrich, Minnesota State University for Seniors, MN
We at MSU for Seniors in Mankato, MN do it the "old-fashioned" way by mailing out the 2-page schedule and asking for the registration forms to be returned by mail along with their check. It seems to be working well in our group.

From Judy Phillips, LIFE Program, Cheyenne, WY
Our registration is on a first come first serve basis and our college does the registration for us.

From Joan Dunlap, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI at Penn State)
We have 2 computer knowledgeable volunteers whom we sometimes have enter registrations into our database. We also have two part-time staff Administrative Assistants and most of the registration is taken care of by them. Members have a choice of enrolling from a tear-off registration form included in the catalog which they can mail in or personally deliver to our office. This form is also available for printing from our website. In addition, we also have a telephone line dedicated to registration for courses and trips so many of our members call in their enrollment requests. This telephone line is monitored several times a day by the two part-time Administrative Assistants. Registration for courses is manually entered into our database. We do this by a lottery system at the beginning of our registration period. For example, since our catalog is bulk mailed from our State College, PA post office, those people who live in State College usually receive their catalog the day after mailing but many people in outlying towns do not receive it for perhaps 5-7 days after mailing. We hold all enrollment forms until about 7 days after the catalog is mailed, manually shuffle them and then start entering enrollments into our database. The only people who are given priority at this time are those who may have been waitlisted for an identical course in a previous term. After this initial lottery enrollment is done, we then enter registrations on a first come, first serve basis.

From Bill Daney, Peer Learning Partnership (PLP) , Anne Arundel Community College, MD
In the case of our LLI, we have one computer knowledgeable volunteer and a part time person in charge of registration. Members send in their course choices from a tear off page in the catalog, which is available on line and which must be printed out from the website. At registration, registration information is manually entered in a database. We maintain priority lists for active volunteers and they are given first choice in registering for courses. Actual registration does
not start until a week after the deadline, we do not register on a first come first served basis.

From Myrna Vallette, Lifetime Learning Institute, Bard College, NY
Our senior college publishes a course booklet for each of its three terms. Members submit their course choices using a registration form that they can remove from the center of the booklet. At this time, we do not have a registration form available on line. Enrollment is strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis only, beginning when the booklet is mailed. Registrations are entered manually into Excel spreadsheets by the paid office manager, or one of two student workers (college students in a work study program). You mentioned that you enter registration info into a database – what kind of database? UMF does not support MicroSoft Access, and I don’t know what other options to pursue.

From Tom Dicristo, LIR, Waukesha, WI

I'm currently president of the Learning in Retirement organization in Waukesha, Wisconsin. We do our own registration for a three term year (fall, winter and spring). It is done mainly by our paid office staff but also by volunteers. A brochure of courses is sent to each member and those requesting one. There is a form that needs to be completed and returned to our office of courses that a member wishes to take. It is very time consuming and tedious work. We do not get help through Waukesha County Technical College for registration processes but they do give us free office space, a liaison and other types of assistance (mostly non-financial). We have a $35,000 budget this year and so far it looks like we should be fine in adhering to that budget. Our greatest expense is the office staff of three who are paid a total of approximately $25,000.

 







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