The main reasons being:
1. Possibility of teaching as a career during retirement. We have been researching locations outside of the US to retire and becoming a teacher of language or business skills would be a natural progression in our lives.
2. Upgrading our computer skills. Even though our generation has grown up on the leading edge of computer advancement many of us have not been able to fully realize the potential. I am learning new skills every day through my blog/website activities and every day I realize how much more there is to learn.
3. Upgrading our business and social computer skills. If we plan, as Baby Boomers, to redefine our worth in the business community we had better well become educated in all aspects of the computer "office" skills needed in today's workplace. Sure we can send an email (maybe even with a file attached) but can you navigate in depth through an excel worksheet or develop an interactive power point presentation?
4. I really want to learn and better myself as a person. It's kind of ironic that I feel that way now after looking back and lamenting on my tragic, squandered and under exploited 12 years at college. Now that I realize the importance and worth of learning (as opposed to the importance and worth of smoking weed and listening to albums all day) I want to take full advantage of the resources available to me.
Four out of five boomers over age 50 say they will work in retirement, and most are planning on retiring later in life than their parents did.
Whether they stay in their current positions, re-skill for a changing career demands, or pursue new employment opportunities, the 50+ population is ready to explore new options and open new doors.
Why am I telling all of this to you today?
Well, there is a growing population of baby boomers that are turning to community colleges to refresh their job skills or retrain for new careers.
Last night I ran across a relatively quiet grass roots initiative that supports our desires to redefine ourselves, especially with the help of educational programs through the U.S. community college system.
It's called the "Plus 50 Initiative."
Until last night I had never heard of it.
Over the next few days I am going to do a "deep dive" and let you know if there are benefits available to you and how you can utilize them.
The Plus 50 Initiative is a project to benchmark and showcase the most current and innovative programs at community colleges that engage learners age 50 and over.
Organized by the American Association of Community Colleges, the Plus 50 Initiative invests in community colleges to create or expand campus programs that engage the plus 50 student population, with a focus on workforce training and preparing for new careers.
A 4-year project, the Plus 50 Completion Strategy involves 18 colleges focused on degree and certificate completion for plus 50 students, especially those with prior college credit.
It was launched in 2010 with support from the Lumina Foundation.
It reached its goals 2 years early and is expanding outreach efforts to baby boomers seeking to complete a postsecondary education credential or degree.
The most recent initiative expansion, the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, is reaching out to 100 community colleges across the country and is helping baby boomers earn high-value degrees or certificates in fields that give back (education, health care, social services) and are hiring.
The participating colleges offer workforce training programs that prepare older adults for careers such as early childhood educators, certified nursing assistants, substance abuse counselors, adult basic education instructors, human resources specialists, and positions in other in-demand fields.
Through the original program, and the subsequent expansions, the Plus 50 Initiative has served more than 24,200 students.
History of the Program
Beginning of the Program
The project began in 2008, with funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies and involved 15 community colleges.
Because of its innovation and documented successes, the program has continually attracted interest from additional community colleges and new grant funding.
The project began with a focus on learning, training and retraining, and civic engagement for baby boomers.
Expansion to Additional Colleges & Re-Tooling to Focus on Workforce Training
The economic recession hit after the program launched and put baby boomers out of work for lengthy periods of time.
People age 50 and over wanted to come back to college and retrain for new careers so they could improve their job skills and get back to work.
The colleges and organizers quickly re-tooled the program in 2009 from its broader three-pronged focus areas and zeroed in on helping people age 50 and over prepare for new jobs and careers at community colleges – because that’s where the need was in communities across the country.
This first expansion welcomed an additional 12 colleges to the initiative.
A second expansion in 2010 paired existing and more experienced Plus 50 colleges as learning partners with 32 new community colleges that became affiliates of the Plus 50 Initiative.
Other experienced colleges participated in the expansion of AACC's Plus 50 Initiative as regional conference hosts.
Additional community colleges served as Plus 50 Initiative Peer-to-Peer Ambassadors, expanding the network of Plus 50 colleges by reaching out to additional community colleges.
This peer learning initiative provided a vehicle for community college representatives to share knowledge on starting and sustaining quality educational programs for plus 50 students.
As part of the expansion, the association hosted a series of six webinars to facilitate learning and discussion for community college staff nationwide who were seeking to learn more about starting and improving college programs for plus 50 learners.
More than 300 administrators and faculty from 96 community colleges across the country participated in the live webinars, representing a wide range of campus divisions: workforce development, continuing education, communications and marketing, program operations, and community development.
Have you heard of it before?
Do you have any examples or stories of friends or relatives that have participated in this program through their local community college?
Please share them with us because I guarantee you everyone who reads this blog would like to hear about them.
Tomorrow, as promised I will offer up some of the "nuts and bolts" on how this program is running and where it is going in the near future.
If you found my blog interesting or helpful, I bet your friends would to.
Please forward it to them or tell them about it by clicking on the Google "G+1" and the FaceBook "Like" buttons.
The more Baby Boomers we can help the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................