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ERIC Number: ED509537
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
Plus 50 Students: Tapping into a Growing Market
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
At 78 million strong, the baby boomer generation is bringing a surge of older students to campus. In a national survey by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), 93% of the institutions reported demand for plus 50 programs and services. Community college is particularly appealing to this student population: half of all adults over age 50 who are pursuing higher education are choosing to enroll at community colleges, according to the American Council on Education. The number of adults over age 40 attending community college has doubled in the last decade, and these numbers are only going to increase. Many observers see the arrival of plus 50 students as the beginning of a new chapter in the community college movement, as education becomes more widely available to a broader range of students. "Reaching out to plus 50 students fulfills the long-standing community college mission to take education into the community," said Dr. George R. Boggs, AACC's president and CEO. "This new brand of student is going to revolutionize and reenergize community college campuses." To help community colleges meet student demands, AACC launched its Plus 50 Initiative in 2008, supported with a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies. Interest among community colleges was so high that more than 60 colleges applied to be part of the project. AACC is currently working with 15 community colleges to develop model Plus 50 programs and benchmark best practices. This paper discusses why plus 50 students are drawn to community colleges, what benefits they can bring, and how community colleges are transforming to meet their needs.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20015. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges