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79 Gretchen T Bersch

Page history last edited by Donna Faza 8 years, 10 months ago

 Born:  May 9, 1944





Personal Data

Born: May 9, 1944

Children: Chris, Eddie and Jennifer 




1967  -  B.S. University of Alaska, Fairbanks

1973  -  M.Ed. Master of Education, University of Alaska, Anchorage

1990  -  Ph.D.  Adult education, Florida State University





Junior high Math Teacher, Poulsbo, Washington & Taught GED, Little Boston Indian Reservation



Writer/Researcher for an adult basic education project, Anchorage Community College



Coordinated & Taught statewide GED by TV/ Satellite programs to ABE teachers from villages, Alaska-Anchorage



Faculty Member teaching beginning algebra, Alaska-Anchorage



Credit for Prior Learning, Alaska-Anchorage



Active in International Adult Education

Teaches annually at Northern International University and Magadan, Russia. 

U.S. Representative to the UNESCO conference on adult learning, Germany



Created & coordinated a master’s program at UAA, Alaska in Anchorage



Built a retreat center at her family homestead on Yukon Island

Hosts noted scholars, courses and provides retreats on adult education and learning, archaeology, geology, botany and marine biology, wellness and Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and writing.



Professor Emerita, Adult and Developmental Education



Taught part time but worked full time, UAA, in Anchorage





Awards and Honors

1996        Alaska Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation  


1996        Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence from the University of Alaska Foundation


1997        U.S. Representative to the UNESCO conference on adult learning, Germany


1991         Taught at the Northern International University in Magadan annually


1996          She established and funded an Outstanding Teacher of the Year at NIU 


2001          Awarded Honorary Professor of NIU


2006          The adult education collection in the Consortium Library at UAA was named for her


2008          Inducted into the Alaska Women"s Hall of Fame 


2008          Inducted into the (IACE) International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame




Membership-Professional Organizations

 Bersch is director and founder of (OLL) the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute




17 works in twenty publications

Bersch, G., ( 2006, May) Education and Lifelong Learning: Theory and Practice. Adult Education Quarterly, 56 (3), p.224.



Professional Interest Areas


History of Adult Education Scholars


 International Adult Education


 Retreat center at her family homestead on Yukon Island that hosts noted scholars.

 Retreats held focused on adult education and learning ever since 1992.



Major Contributions to Adult Education


She created and produced a video (DVD) series entitled Conversations on Lifelong Learning. 

Bersch filmed interviews of noted national and international adult education scholars. To date eighty scholars have been interviewed and forty finished programs are available. 


Her role in International Adult Education



Created and coordinated an adult master's degree program  



Additional Resources




Photo Gallery



Gretchen Bersch waits on the beach as OLÉ! guests arrive by water taxi from Homer in

July. Bersch hosted the visitors at the Yukon Island Center for Research and Education

for a three-day learning retreat OLÉ!, which stands for “Opportunities for Lifelong Education,”

is known for the classes it offers at low cost for Anchorage area adults age 50 and older.

It also organizes field trips like this one, adding adventure to the education. 




Bersch, G., (n.d.). Conversations on Lifelong Learning.  

Retrieved from http://www.conversationsonlifelonglearning.com/audio_clips.htm;








Interesting Facts

  • On her career, Bersch says, "if there is one thing I would like to do, it is to break down the barriers and fear of learning."


  •  Her great-great-grandmother was one of three who started the Oregon Women’s Suffrage Association in 1870.


  •  Her grandmother served on the Seattle City Council for 20 years and is the longest-serving woman on this council.


  •  Bersch continues her legacy in adult education by organizing adult education activities through her learning retreat center on Yukon Island.




 Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. (2012). Gretchen Bersch.

      Retrieved from http://alaskawomenshalloffame.org/2012/02/04/gretchen-bersch/



Barske, D., (2012). OLLl : Great opportunities for lifelong learrning. Retrieved from 

      http://www.seniorvoicealaska.com/story/2013/08/01/breaking-news/olli-unique-opportunities-for- lifelong-learners/195.html



Bersch, G., (n.d.) Conversations on Lifelong Learning: Audioclips.

      Retrieved from  http://www.conversationsonlifelonglearning.com/audio_clips.htm;



Bersch, G., (n.d.). Welcome to Conversations on Lifelong Learning. 

       Retrieved from  http://conversationsonlifelonglearning.com/



Bersch. G. T., ( 1973-2008). Guide to the Gretchen T. Bersch Papers. University of Alaska Consortium Library, 

       Special Collections, Anchorage, AK.  Retrieved from  http://consortiumlibrary.org/archives/FindingAids/hmc-0666.html



International Adult and Continuing Education. (2008).  

       Gretchen T.Bersch.  Retrieved from  http://www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/2008/Bersch.html



Western Region Research Conference on the Education of Adults. (2007). Gretchen T. Bersch, PhD.

        Retrieved from  http://www.wwu.edu/wrrcea/Bersch.html




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