Locals are rallying with the national group Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to bring courses to South Walton.

SANTA ROSA BEACH — Locals are teaming up with a national group to bring life-long learning courses to South Walton.


Beginning in February, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FSU, PC30A will offer classes for anyone looking to expand their education.


According to Steve Howard, chairman of the local advisory council, the group — which is a sub-chapter of OLLI at Florida State University — plans to tackle subjects including history, art, culinary, literature and film.


He added that OLLI is a national organization with more than 125 chapters, each affiliated with a university.


"Basically, it’s just learning for the sake of learning," said Howard, who added that the South Walton branch was formed by FSU alumni along 30A. "Our goal is to be a life-long learning organization."


Unlike other forms of education, OLLI has no credits, homework or tests. The local chapter operates under the motto "we do learning our way, along 30A." As of Tuesday morning, there were 25 members.


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"The more members we have, the more variety we can offer," Howard said. "We are (also) looking for (more) teachers and ideas for future programs."


Annual memberships are $95. There will also be cheaper options, but yearly memberships are recommended, he added. Students will then be able to register for classes, which cost about $55 each. The first semester will start next February and run until April.


According to a press release from the group, classes will be divided into two, four and six week courses with one class a week. They will be held at the St. Joe Watersound Parkway Campus, the Seaside Education Complex and Ohana Institute.


Looking ahead, Howard hoped students would be able to take field trips and travel internationally.


"It’s very exciting," he said, adding that the group uses FSU Panama City as its academic adviser. "The fact that 100 people showed up at our first meeting wanting to know what the class schedule was is pretty exciting."


For more information, follow the group on Facebook or visit pc.fsu.edu/olli.