Salt Lake Community College Joins National Program to Train Baby Boomers for Jobs

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SLCC was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Plus 50 Encore Completion Program

Plus 50 Encore Completion Program

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program represents a meaningful, national validation of the work the College’s Division of Continuing Education has undertaken. The program will support people who want to design a second career.

Salt Lake Community College was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The College will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers. Salt Lake Community College will prepare older adults for careers such as pharmacy or ultrasound technicians and medical terminology specialists. In addition, the College’s Transition to Teaching program is offered in partnership with the State Office of Education to prepare students as elementary and secondary educators.

“The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program represents a meaningful, national validation of the work the College’s Division of Continuing Education has undertaken. The program will support individuals who want to design a second career—either out of practical necessity or personal interest,” said Jennifer Saunders, Associate Dean of Continuing Education. “People returning for education and training at this stage of their lives are building on rich employment histories, valuable interpersonal skills, and knowledge achieved through experiential learning. These resources are then being coupled with the most current workforce education.”

The program will be implemented utilizing a variety of strategies, including accelerated classes, flexible scheduling and cohort models, which provide groups of students with similar goals an opportunity to move through a program together.

Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have worked with baby boomers to help them prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college work force training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.

“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills. Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

In addition to grant funds to augment training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They’ll also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust—supporting AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials. In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations, to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

While the AACC Encore Completion Program focuses on serving the Plus 50 population, Salt Lake Community College welcomes anyone interested in making a career transition to learn more about the broad range of training opportunities available at: http://www.slcccontinuinged.com.

For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, see: http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu.

The Encore Institute at Salt Lake Community College is an innovative program designed for adult learners who want to expand their knowledge through career and personal enrichment courses. The Institute offers flexible class scheduling, non-degree and degree learning experiences and affordable training to deepen or expand the personal and professional skills of students.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is a national organization representing close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling more than 13 million credit and non-credit students annually. More information is available at: http://aacc.nche.edu.

About the College: Salt Lake Community College is an accredited, student-focused, urban college meeting the diverse needs of the Salt Lake community. Home to more than 62,000 students each year, the College is the largest supplier of workforce development programs in the State of Utah. The College is the sole provider of applied technology courses in the Salt Lake area, with 13 sites, an eCampus, and nearly 1,000 continuing education sites located throughout the Salt Lake valley. Personal attention from an excellent faculty is paramount at the College, which maintains a student-to-teacher ratio of less than 20 to 1.

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