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New National Survey Details Plus 50 Programs at Community Colleges

ANNANDALE, Va. – Move over 18-year-old high school students. There’s a new student on campus, and she might be your mom. A new survey by the Plus 50 Initiative at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) finds that community colleges are reaching out to students over the age of 50 and planning to expand programs for them.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) participated in the survey, and the results were not surprising. Eighty-four percent of the 204 community colleges participating in the survey reported that their institutions offer programs for students over the age of 50. Ninety-three percent of these colleges perceive a demand for this type of programming – predominantly from people age 50 and up in their community, but from business and community organizations as well.

Many community colleges reported that they plan to expand their offerings for plus 50 students. Seventy percent of colleges offering enrichment courses for plus 50 students said that they plan to expand their offerings. Half of the 14 percent that do not currently have enrichment offerings for baby boomers plan to add them in the future.

At NOVA, our Plus 50 program will focus on the baby boomer generation in areas of workforce training, career development, personal enrichment and volunteering. More specifically, our workshops and courses will address:

  • Challenges and difficulties one may be feeling in their personal and professional life and how to effectively manage stress.
  • Making second career choices and upgrading workplace skills.
  • Multigenrational workplace issues: boomers, generation X and GenNext
  • Dealing with personal journeys and discoveries aimed at participants who are at a crossroads in their life or simply wondering what’s next in life for them.
  • Facing retirement living and the complexities of choosing, living and working in a retirement community.
  • Cover special education concerns, health concerns and concerns at home with other siblings and present coping strategies.
  • Encourage participants to get started, make progress and enjoy the progress of recording one’s own story.

NOVA will be hosting a Plus 50 Ageless Learning Resource Symposium on Tuesday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our Alexandria Campus, 3001 N. Beauregard St. for anyone interested in networking and learning more about our program and course offerings.

For more information about NOVA’s Plus 50 program, please go to http://www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/plus50/ or call Keith Wynn at (703) 845-6326.

For an executive summary and a full report detailing the survey’s results, please go to http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.