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Fifty Years as a Teacher and Counting: The Benefits of Continuing Education

Barbara Vigano

Morningside of Fullerton resident Barbara Vigano has been teaching for more than 50 years. She continues pursuing her passion as a professor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State Fullerton. Photo curtesy of The Orange County Register reporter Lou Ponsi.

Continuing education is a popular pastime for the residents of Morningside of Fullerton, as many of them understand the significant health benefits of intellectual wellness. Studies show continuing education slows age-related memory decline and provides beneficial social interaction.

Resident Barbara Vigano knows those benefits very well, as she continues to teach into her 50th year. Barbara teaches two French courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State Fullerton.

Vigano doesn’t make a penny from her teaching at OLLI. There are no credits. No assignments. And no grades required. The students in her class are there to learn.

“When you have people going back (to school) as mature adults, you have a different group,” said Vigano. “You only have students who want to learn French. They all want to be there for one reason or another, either because they’re preparing for a trip to Paris, or they learned it when they were young and want to refresh.”

Vigano retired as a professor from the university 10 years ago. She soon found herself continuing her career after being offered a job at OLLI. She said the decision was made easier after she moved to Morningside. The drive to the campus is short, and she’s happy to be able to continue pursuing her passion for teaching.

Along with teaching, Vigano is involved in the Morningside food committee and swims nearly every day. “I have a very busy lifestyle at Morningside,” she said. “I enjoy being involved in the community and staying active.”

In 2018, Vigano’s extensive teaching career caught the eye of The Orange County Register. You can read more about her passion that spans five decades here.

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