Lifelong Learning

Resources For Ongoing Enrichment

In this time of living longer, growing older now means we often can continue to thrive and enjoy life for many more decades than previous generations experienced.


expectancy is nearly 79 years – about 76 years for a man and about 81 years for a woman. More people are living to be 85 years old and older and the number of Americans living to be 100 or older continues to climb.
With more good years – and even decades – ahead, we have the opportunity to continue to learn new things, stay physically active and be socially engaged. And such life enrichment helps us remain healthy and productive in our elder years.
Lifelong learning and life enrichment feeds and nurtures our physical, intellectual, social and spiritual wellness. Here in Western North Carolina, several institutions offer high quality, life-enhancing programs for older adults. By their very nature, all these programs offer opportunities for socialization, volunteering, community building, life planning and networking. They can broaden your world, open your mind to new possibilities for your life, and ensure your upcoming years are rich and meaningful.

Located on Blue Ridge Community College’s Flat Rock campus, BRCLL offers a full slate of enrichment and educational programming. Participants can select from courses on a wide variety of topics—from history and culture to recreational pursuits to various dance, movement and exercise classes. The program also hosts a series of brown bag lunches with various speakers and EdVentures (Educational Adventures) – educational trips to local and regional places of interest. For BRCLL’s schedule of classes and events, visit or call 828-694-1740.

A program of Western Carolina University (WCU), LIFE offers noncredit classes for adults 50 years old and older. Courses range in topics from history and culture to health and science to geopolitical issues and legal topics. Current and retired WCU faculty teach classes.
Both WCU’s Cullowhee and Biltmore Park (Asheville) campuses offer LIFE courses. Visit or 828-227-7397 for more information and class schedules.

A nationally acclaimed learning community for older adults, OLLI offers opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership, community service and continued growth in a variety of settings. Founded in 1988 as the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement, OLLI’s programming today includes intellectual and cultural pursuits as well as social, physical and practical life courses such as life transition and retirement relocation planning, including its Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend (CREW). OLLI’s College for Seniors (CFS) program gives participants full access to the resources of University of North Carolina-Asheville. To find out more and get involved, visit or call 828-251-6140.

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Brett Hulsey

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Business Development