Oakmont Lifelong Learning began in 2005 as a subcommittee of the Long Range Planning Committee headed by Carol Cotton. The purpose was to find an educational institution to offer classes in Oakmont. After many meetings and much exploration, Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College were selected.
In 2007, the OVA Board approved the charter for Lifelong Learning and made it a standing committee of the board.
The positive response from Oakmont residents was immediate. A crowd of over 200 people attended the first Open House in November 2006 to hear about proposed course offerings. In January 2007, Professor Bill Garrett’s class on Islam and the West had an overflow attendance of 292 people.
Class continued to be so popular that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in July 2008 by the presidents of both SSU and SRJC. While a few classes were taught by SRJC, the vast majority were offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning program at SSU until March 2018 when SSU severed ties with Oakmont Lifelong Learning.
The Board of Directors was quick to act. By August, they had changed the legal status to become Oakmont Lifelong Learning, LLC, a federal 501(c)3 corporation. They had also finalized a memorandum of Understanding with Santa Rosa Junior College to provide four semesters of classes on the Oakmont campus. A Music & Culture Committee also offers concerts, lectures and workshops throughout the year.
In the almost 12 years of operation Oakmont Lifelong Learning has offered approximately 100 six week courses that have been attended by over 12,000 students. The current Oakmont Lifelong Learning Board of Directors is committed to continuing this tradition of bringing exceptional educational opportunities to the residents of Oakmont.