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About Plus 50
Our Accomplishments 

Our Accomplishments

Plus 50 Encore Completion Program: 2015 Process and Outcome Data Results, December 2015
This final report for AACC’s Plus 50 Encore Completion Program summarizes the program’s nationwide efforts through community colleges to help adult learners age 50 and above complete degrees or certificates that improved their career prospects in health, education, and social service fields. One hundred colleges participated in the program. Approximately 15,800 students have taken workforce training through the program, and 9,075, or 57%, completed their program and earned a degree or certificate. Community colleges seeking to improve services and programs for adult learners can learn a great deal from this report about efforts taken by colleges to assist plus 50 students and strategies utilized to support completion efforts. This report covers the period from July 2012 to June 2015.

Plus 50 Programs in Practice: How AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative is Helping Community Colleges Transform Programs and Services for Adults Age 50 and Over, January 2015
AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative supports community colleges in creating and expanding campus programs engaging students age 50 and over, while encouraging them to complete high-quality credentials or degrees. Since 2008, the program has given grants to 138 community colleges, who collectively enrolled 37,494 plus 50 students in workforce development programs. The program’s impact on students has been significant, with 12,192 baby boomers completing a degree or certificate since 2010-2011. This publication tells the story of the initiative from 2008 to 2014 and examines how the program has evolved over time. Evaluators discuss in the publication how the initiative has impacted how community colleges serve students age 50 and over, how participating in the program has changed the lives of baby boomers, and how the initiative has sought to refine and replicate its learnings. One of the more interesting elements in the publication, is how the program nimbly repositioned itself during its early years. As the Great Recession led thousands of older workers to seek job training at community colleges, the Plus 50 Initiative retooled from a broader approach to focusing heavily on workforce training. That commitment to supporting plus 50 adults seeking job skills and training stuck with the initiative as it focused in its later years on certificate and degree completion. Community college program managers, leaders and faculty will find this publication to be a useful resource for understanding the initiative and will be inspired by the program highlights and quotes from students who participated.

Plus 50 Encore Completion Program: 2014 Process and Outcome Data Results
, November 2014
This evaluation report discusses the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program led by the American Association of Community Colleges from July 2012-June 2014. Utilizing 100 grantee community colleges, this program is dedicated to providing increased career prospects for adult learners  age 50 and over in three high-demand fields that contribute to the greater social good: health, education, and social services. This report examines key evaluation findings, progress made in implementing plus 50 programs at the college level, what workforce programs at the colleges are like, what types of courses are offered, the support services available to plus 50 students, and completion and employment outcomes. Evaluators found that across all participating colleges with workforce programs in 2013-14, 2,550 students attained degrees, credit certificates, and non-credit certificates, up from 765 in 2012-2013.

Plus 50 Completion Strategy: Year Four Evaluation Results, September 2014
In only four years, 17 community colleges participating in the “Plus 50 Completion Strategy” have assisted thousands of adults age 50 and over going to college and striving to complete certificates or credentials that lead to employment, says this evaluation report. Researchers found that the community colleges assisted 20,514 baby boomers participating in workforce training programs and inspired 8,877 (43% the program participants) to complete degrees or credentials. Researchers discuss the strategies used by the colleges to support completion, outreach efforts by the colleges, targeted course offerings, and prior learning assessment. The program was funded by Lumina Foundation.

Plus 50 Encore Completion Program: 2013 Process and Outcome Data Results
, November 2013
This evaluation report examines the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program and how community colleges across the country are helping adults age 50 and over train for new careers in education, health care and social services while completing degrees or certificates. Evaluators examined data from 62 colleges between June 2012 and July 2013. They found 1,074 students at 50 colleges had participated in 615 workforce training programs and 765 students had completed certificates or degrees. Approximately 175 students found employment during the period evaluated. The report describes the most popular programs offered.  The most commonly offered workforce program were medical records, health information technician and medical transcription.  Tailored English, math and computer courses were offered by many of the colleges to assist plus 50 students in adjusting to college-level work. Support services, such as financial aid, career development, and completion coaches and advisors, helped many older adults navigate the complexities of going to college later in life.

Plus 50 Completion Strategy: Year Three Evaluation Results
, August 2013
This evaluation report examines AACC’s Plus 50 Completion Strategy, an adult completion project funded by Lumina Foundation involving 18 community colleges’ work to help adults age 50 and over complete degrees or certificates enabling them re-enter the workforce or improve their careers. The primary goal of the Plus 50 Completion Strategy is that grantee community colleges will serve 9,000 adult students over the age of 50 across 4 years, with 3,600 (40%) completing a degree, certificate, or not-for-credit certificate. To date, evaluators found that the colleges involved in the Plus 50 Completion Strategy have exceeded those goals, as they have served 16,507 plus 50 students, and 7,192 (44%) of these students have completed a degree or credential. The 22-page report includes data on outreach strategies, course and plus 50 student enrollment, additional program components supporting completion or employment, and completion and employment outcomes.

Plus 50 Completion Strategy: Year Two Evaluation Results, August 2012
This detailed evaluation report examines the success of AACC’s Plus 50 Completion Strategy in year 2 of implementation (2011-2012). Funded by the Lumina Foundation, AACC aimed to involve 9,000 students age 50 and over across four years at 18 colleges.  A goal was set that 3,600 (40%) of the students would complete a degree, certificate or not-for-credit certificates during the course of the grant.  The evaluation reveals that the 18 college involved in the program have already exceeded this goal two years early.  The colleges served 9,292 plus 50 students in the first two years of the grant period and 4,243 (46%) of these students have completed a degree, certificate of not-for-credit credential already. The evaluation bodes well for the remaining two years of the program. Colleges seeking to improve and coordinate their program serving older adult learners will find useful information and ideas throughout the evaluation report.

The Plus 50 Initiative Evaluation: Initiative Impact
, January 2012
This 29-page report summarizes the growth and development of AACC's Plus 50 Initiative from 2008 through 2011. Working in partnership with community colleges across the country to improve programs and services for plus 50 students, evaluators found that the initiative touched thousands of lives and improved college programs serving adults age 50 and up. More than 1,000 workforce training courses targeting plus 50 adults hard hit by the recession, were added by colleges. Seventy-two percent of participating plus 50 students agreed that these workforce training programs have helped them get hired for a job. By identifying best practices and nurturing sustainability, the Plus 50 Initiative has had a lasting impact on colleges across the country, and is now poised for future growth.

Plus 50 Completion Strategy: Year One Evaluation Results, August 2011
Finishing up a college degree or certificate after years away from the classroom can be tough. This insightful evaluation report details the work of eight community colleges working to support plus 50 adults as they complete their educations. This 10-page report discusses outreach strategies, workforce development courses, refresher workshops, support services and student outcomes. College staff and faculty working with plus 50 students and completion initiatives will find helpful information in the report. For many, a college degree or certificate is critical to get a new job, remain competitive in the workforce, and keep their skills current in a rapidly changing job market. These colleges are part of the Plus 50 Completion Strategy, and 11 additional colleges have joined their efforts to help students age 50 and up, especially those with some prior credits, complete their degrees or certificates.

Plus 50: Impact Report, November 2010
Gain an understanding of the results of the Plus 50 Initiative's work over the last three years through this report and discover useful resources. The report focuses on the impact of the Initiative's work to develop and expand programs for plus 50 students at community colleges. It discusses program implementation within the pilot colleges and describes their impact on plus 50 students. It also documents the institutionalization and sustainability of Plus 50 programs at pilot and affiliate community colleges. The report provides a summary of the resources and tools developed through the Initiative that are available for all community colleges to use to build or expand their plus 50 programs.

Plus 50: Comprehensive Implementation Results, November 2010
The graphs and charts in this document provide information on the change in enrollments, courses and support services at the pilot community colleges during the three-year Initiative. The report also discusses the Plus 50 elements that are embedded in the participating colleges and will be sustained beyond the three-year initiative.

Plus 50: Year One Evaluation Report, November 2009
Are you involved in getting your college's plus 50 program off the ground? You'll find this report particularly helpful. The Year One Evaluation Report provides an in-depth look at the results and changes that happened within the early phase of the Plus 50 Initiative. College beginnings are benchmarked for reference, and readers can see the changes taking place. Voices from plus 50 students and Plus 50 implementers tells the story of the Initiative at community colleges in its first year. Increases in plus 50 student enrollments and the increasing number of available courses are described.

The Plus 50 Initiative: Executive Summary of the Year One Evaluation Report, October 2009
The executive summary highlights year one accomplishments, provides an overview of the initiative and discusses factors contributing to successes.