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OWLS School is back for its 24th year!

Posted on July 15, 2019 in OWLS School

Learning doesn't have to stop after graduation. In fact, the more we grow in learning and new skills, the more we can expect to mature and broaden our horizons! We strive to continue providing our residents with the resources to live life to the fullest every day...for the rest of their lives. Here at Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber, we believe in helping our residents maintain their independence, ultimately allowing them to develop holistically. We believe in active aging.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "the active ageing framework acknowledges that lifelong learning, along with formal education and literacy, is an important factor that facilitates participation, health and security as people grow older.... The active ageing framework advocates optimising opportunities for ‘health’, ‘participation’ and ‘security’ – three key determinants of the quality of later life. It also advocates recognising physical health, mental health and social connections as equally important elements" (WHO ).

Dr. Andrew Jenkins of University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (London, England) explains that, "given the context of global ageing, it becomes more important to investigate the latter effects of learning, which can be quite invisible, yet play an important role in maintaining autonomy, health and quality of life among older adults" (Jenkins A. 2011). 

"Over the last decade, a growing body of literature in adult education has found psychological wellbeing and health to be an important part of the wider benefits of lifelong learning. Large-scale studies in the UK and Europe have unanimously supported the positive link between lifelong learning participation and psychological wellbeing and health among adult learners" (Dolan, Fujiwara and Metcalfe ; Feinstein and Hammond ; Feinstein et al. ; Field ; Manninen et al; Schuller et al).

OK, OK, OK... we get it--lifelong learning is important... But what's O.W.L.S. School??

Older. Wiser. Lifelong. Scholars.


Every October since 1995, Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber has been offering top-quality classes. For $25 per course, you can take up to seven college-level courses for the whole month of October. The best part is--there are no exams and you get to socialize and meet like-minded peers! Every year the OWLS board develops a curriculum based on these essential issues and themes: 

  • National and World Issues
  • Exploration and Challenging Ideas
  • Morality and Belief Systems
  • Literature
  • The Arts
  • Practical Skills
  • Special Interests

Each course has four 2-hour sessions for a total of eight hours per course. Instructors come from local colleges and universities, from prestigious organizations and even from out of state, and are chosen for their teaching skills and expertise in a specificed field.


OWLS School Mission:

To provide intellectually enriching educational opportunities through college-level courses for age 55+ learners of Central Ohio.

Sign up for classes now!



Photo Credit: Jilbert Ebrahimi

World Health Organization (WHO) 2002. Active Aging: A Policy Framework. Available online at [Accessed on May 23, 2009].

Jenkins A. 2011. Participation in learning and wellbeing among older adults. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 30, 3, 403–20. [] [Ref list]

Dolan P., Fujiwara D. and Metcalfe R. 2012. Review and Update of Research into the Wider Benefits of Adult Learning BIS Research Paper 20, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, London. Available online at [Accessed on July 15, 2015].

Feinstein L. and Hammond C. 2004. The contribution of adult learning to health and social capital. Oxford Review of Education, 30, 2, 119–221. []

Feinstein L., Budge D.,Vorhaus J. and Duckworth K. (eds) 2008. The Social and Personal Benefits of Learning: A Summary of Key Research Findings. Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, Institute of Education, London. []

Field J. 2009. Well-being and happiness. Inquiry into the future for lifelong learning. Thematic Paper 4, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, Leicester, UK.

Field J. 2011. Adult learning, health and well-being – changing lives. Adult Learner (0790-8084), 13–25.

Manninen J., Sgier I., Fleige M., Thone-Geyer B., Kil M., Mozina E., Danihelkova H., Mallows D., Duncan S., Merilainen M., Diez J., Sava S., Javrh P., Vrecer N., Mihajlovic D., Kecap E., Zappaterra P., Kornilow A., Ebener R. and Operti F. 2014. Benefits of Lifelong Learning in Europe: Main Results of the BeLL Project: Research Report. Available online at [Accessed on July 7, 2015].

Schuller T., Preston J., Hammond C., Brassett-Grundy A. and Bynner J. (eds) 2004. The Benefit of Learning. Routledge Falmer, London. []

owls school, owls, lifelong learning, Active Aging