A Community Treasure: Chelsea’s Adult Learners Institute (ALI)


Chelsea’s Adult Learners Institute (ALI) provides a diverse selection of quality community-based learning experiences and camaraderie for adults in western Washtenaw County.

ALI is a collaborative project with the Chelsea Area Senior Center, which gives ALI an organizational home to conduct its business. The ALI Board is a working board with its committees constantly evolving to provide new programming and keep in step with today’s digital culture.

Chelsea’s Adult Learners Institute is modeled after the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI). The Road Scholar LLI Resource Network is a voluntary and dues-free association of more than 400 Lifelong Learning Institutes (LLIs) across the country. The Road Scholar philosophy is that lifelong learning isn’t just a hobby but a way of life.

With the help and support of the newly elected mayor, Ann Feeny, in 2004, Maurine Nelson proposed the program. She found a vibrant community ready for various challenges that could provide intellectual opportunities for senior citizens and social interaction.

Support came from Washtenaw Community College instructors and, until 2007, Sienna Heights University. Today, of the approximately 350 LLI chapters, Chelsea’s ALI is one of only twenty independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit programs in the United States.

ALI is geared toward retired and semi-retired people. The approximately 20 classes each semester are scheduled during the day and some evenings. There are two semesters annually, mirroring the public school calendar. Class fees are minimal.

Instructors are experts in their respective fields, providing a deep well of knowledge and experience for attendees.

Approximately twenty classes are offered each semester in a wide variety of interests taught by instructors who are not only experts in their fields but can also spark interest in those subjects. The high level of instruction has caused ALI to grow beyond Chelsea, attracting participants from the entire Five Healthy Towns area and beyond.

More information on classes, schedule, and registration, will soon be available at https://www.adultlearnersinstitute.org/

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