Lifelong Learning

Becoming a Member

Who may join the LLI?
The LLI is open to anyone who is retired or 55 years of age or better with a sense of curiosity and a love of learning. The LLI welcomes all members, from those whose education ended early to those who have earned advanced degrees. Members include retired business people, teachers, Fulbright scholars, homemakers, union members, professionals, and farmers.

Where does the LLI meet?
Unless otherwise noted, sessions meet in the Holmes Student Center (HSC) on the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb. LLI members may park in the nearby visitor parking lot at a reduced rate. Various eating places in the center provide places for members to talk and socialize over lunch.

What does the LLI offer?
Various study groups and workshops are offered each term, with the current term's offerings described in the catalogue and on our web-site. A curriculum committee of LLI members chooses subjects, primarily from members' suggestions, based on perceived levels of interest and the availability of conveners.

Study groups, which may meet for as many as eight sessions, have considerable member participation. Much discussion occurs; a straight lecture format is rarely used.

Workshops are hands-on programs that usually involve learning a skill or gaining practical information and generally have fewer sessions.

The NIU Notables “Brown Bag” Lectures are given by NIU faculty whose outstanding research and teaching interests often coincide with study group themes. Question-and-answer sessions follow the lectures. Some LLI members join just to attend the NIU Notables Series. Members also enjoy excursions to regional sites of historical, political, or artistic interest.

Members may enroll in study groups and workshops, take advantage of just the lecture series and excursions, or participate in all LLI activities. Regular attendance is encouraged, but we know LLI members have busy schedules. Early registration is recommended since class size is limited. LLI programs, with the exception of the NIU Notables “Brown Bag” Lecuture Series, are open only to LLI members.

Who are the LLI instructors?
Every study group or workshop has a member convener who may also lead some classes. Some groups also have an instructor; other groups divide tasks among their members. Some leaders are retired educators; others have had little or no teaching experience but are willing to share their vocational expertise, hobbies, experiences, talent, or knowledge.

When does the LLI meet?
Study groups and workshops are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings and afternoons. The NIU Notables “Brown Bag” Lecture Series is on Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m.‑1 p.m. There are four terms per year, winter, spring, summer, and fall. Traditionally, winter and summer terms last four weeks and spring and fall terms span eight weeks. Special programs may take place at other times.

How do I become an LLI member?
You become an LLI member by completing an application form and paying a fee. This fee entitles you to enroll in unlimited study groups and workshops and attend the lecture series on a term-by-term basis. You are also eligible for discounts on other special events which may carry additional fees.

If you have already joined LLI at NIU, mark the registration form as a 'renewing member' if you wish to participate in the current term activities.

LLI study groups are open to all who wish to participate; scholarships may be available for those needing financial assistance. For information, contact the LLI through Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming. All requests are confidential. Please inquire about special registration fees available for persons in the LIHEAP program.

Where can I get more information and/or register?
Call Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming at (815) 753-5200
E-mail the NIU LLI at
Check the LLI website at
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