Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Instructors and Coordinators

What is the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at Miami University?

Miami’s ILR, founded in 1997, is a non-credit program for senior learners, age 50+. The purpose of these classes is to expand knowledge and explore ideas in an informal, flexible and non-competitive environment. There are no prerequisites, no exams, and no grades — only the opportunity to learn with contemporaries and to meet friends, old and new.

Our Mission Statement reads: The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at Miami University provides opportunities to explore, develop, and share knowledge and skills in a wide variety of topics. Courses taught by volunteer instructors, complemented by a variety of special events, enable participants to broaden their horizons and engage with other lifelong learners.

How is ILR organized?

ILR is a member-driven organization. A 12-member Board of Directors oversees the program. There currently is only one full-time Miami staff member, the ILR Program Manager. All members of the board and committees as well as instructors, speakers, and presenters are volunteers.

How is ILR funded?

ILR is self-supporting. While we receive office space, classroom space, equipment, student workers, professional development and access to departmental support (accounting, registration, etc.) from Miami University, we do not receive financial support. Those registering for ILR courses each semester are considered ILR members. Semester membership is currently $145 and entitles those registering to attend as many classes as they wish. Extra fees may be charged for books or to reimburse instructors for provided supplies, etc. All monies collected through membership are used to cover ILR expenses.

What is the difference between an ILR instructor and coordinator?

An instructor is the person who will be teaching the class. A coordinator is someone who, rather than personally instructing the course, gathers a variety of speakers and/or presenters for a course, such as a lecture series.

Are ILR instructors and coordinators compensated?

All ILR instructors and coordinators are volunteers. Volunteer instructors may be retired educators, experts with vocational or professional credentials, or people whose experience, hobbies, or interests have provided them with knowledge they can share with others. Those who teach or coordinate a course four or more weeks in length receive free ILR membership for the semester in which they teach/coordinate, entitling them to attend as many ILR courses as they wish. If they co-teach/co-coordinate, each co-instructor/co-coordinator receives a 50% semester fee waiver. Speakers (one-time lecturers) do not receive waivers.

Are there other benefits to teaching for ILR?

Most instructors report that teaching for ILR provides an experience of richness they had not anticipated. Many instructors offer to teach repeatedly, stating it is a joy to teach to a classroom full of interested, enthusiastic and engaged learners. In fact, many instructors have stated that they feel they gain even more than they give.

When, where and how often are ILR classes offered?

Five-week classes are offered during the University's fall and spring semesters. Each class is offered once per week—typically for a period of 75 minutes--in a regular time slot, Monday through Friday (although Saturday is an option). However, the length of the class and number of weeks it is held is up to the instructor.

ILR courses are now offered on five sites: Fairfield, Hamilton, Monroe, Oxford and West Chester. Some are offered in Miami classrooms, while others may be held in local libraries, senior centers, retirement communities, etc.

How do I propose a course for ILR?

How do I contact ILR?

Judy Macke
(513) 529-8602
ILR Program Manager
Institute for Learning in Retirement

106 MacMillan Hall | 531 E. Spring Street | Oxford, OH 45056
(513) 529-8500 Office
(513) 529-5896 Fax