Reviews findings from the 3-year project, Plus 50 Initiative, which supports community colleges’ ability to substantively and continuously engage in helping learners over the age of 50.

"The American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Plus 50 Initiative (2008‐2011)...was created to build the capacity of community colleges nationwide to develop programming that engages the plus 50 learner. The Initiative supported a pilot group of 13 two‐year institutions to develop or expand college offerings in three areas: workforce training and career development; learning and enrichment; and volunteering. It was later expanded to include affiliate colleges that were paired in learning partnerships with experienced Plus 50 colleges. (Results in this report focus primarily on the 13 pilot grantees; however, the impact on affiliate colleges is discussed as well.)" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

"The Plus 50 Initiative has had tremendous impact on community colleges. Data from the initiative show that grantee colleges have increased their portfolios of learning and enrichment courses, with dramatic growth in workforce training courses. As a result of the Initiative, more students received courses and services tailored to their learning needs. Amidst expansion, which sometimes creates growing pains, and the economic downturn, which increased the demand for courses and services, colleges were able to maintain high quality programming and services and participant surveys demonstrated high satisfaction across the board. The critical internal stakeholder support built during the Initiative also supports the current and future impact of plus 50 programs. Gaining the support of stakeholders throughout the college means that staff in other departments can leverage existing resources to support ongoing efforts to meet plus 50 learners’ needs" (p.27). (Abstractor: Author)