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ERIC Number: EJ1094320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0737-7363
The Plus 50 Population in Higher Education: Challenges and Triumphs
Barr, Jason
Journal of Continuing Higher Education, v64 n1 p51-55 2016
As the economy in the United States continues to emerge from a recession and as jobs become more technologically advanced rendering other jobs obsolete, more and more Americans over the age of 50 are now attending college for a variety of reasons. Around 77% of the so-called Plus 50 students were enrolled in two-year public institutions. Other statistics emphasize the trend, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction that the number of workers ages 55 to 64 may rise by as much as 36.5% (Hoover, 2009). This is not a new trend, and it continues to grow. Yet, community colleges and other higher education institutions, as well as researchers, have generally neglected this growing population. Although there is plenty of data, there has not been much interpretation of the data and there has been precious little research that would allow practitioners to address Plus 50 student needs. Indeed, a majority of the research that currently exists on Plus 50 students is years, if not decades, old. In addition, there has been little attempt to successfully "name" this group of students As the population of Plus 50 students grows, and as more of these students seek training and retraining opportunities, especially in community colleges, higher education institutions are scrambling to meet the specific needs of this unique set of students. As a result, the numbers of grant programs and support apparatuses have increased (Burnett, 2008). These older adult learners bring a variety of needs and goals to their chosen institution. This unique subset of the college population brings with it diverse life experiences, educational experiences, prior knowledge, and viewpoints. Likewise, Plus 50 learners possess diverse motivations pertaining to postsecondary education. This article addresses ways community colleges can deal with the challenges in serving this group of learners. In addition, specific recommendations for identifying, recruiting, retaining, and awarding 50 plus learners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A