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ERIC Number: EJ786622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-8
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Why Colleges Should Welcome the Return of the Boomers
Wofford, Harris
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n22 pA1 Feb 2008
Nine years ago, the American Association of Retired Persons officially shortened its name to its abbreviation, AARP. One big reason was that so many of its older members balked at the notion of a "retirement" that connoted time spent only on leisure activities, when so many of them were continuing to work longer--in the same career or in a new one, as an employee or as a volunteer. With the first of the boomer generation already receiving Social Security checks, the demographic wave is already landing on the shores of our society. So far, most of the talk and planning has been about the burden the boomers' large numbers will impose upon the younger generations. That focus on the negative misses the great opportunity boomers represent. If their talent, knowledge, time, and energy can be tapped, they can become major contributors to efforts to strengthen our communities and enrich our nation. For that to happen, we must see them--and they must see themselves--not as problems and burdens but as solutions and assets. College leaders at all levels, both administrators and faculty members, should recognize and embrace the boomers as a new student constituency. Higher-education institutions can take the lead in encouraging legislators and other policy makers of the need for programs and support. At a minimum, colleges should be advocates for lifelong-learning accounts and other government policies that support training and educational programs for older Americans.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A