Category Archives: Baby Boomers

‘Music, Magic and Movies’ on March 14

Experience memories and magic as Richland College Emeritus plus 50 Program presents “Music, Magic and Movies,” a special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 14 in Fannin Performance Hall.

This one-time event will feature Dallas’ own The Levee Singers (Ed Bernet, Dick Bernet, Ralph Sanford and Ralph Lindsey), who will thrill the audience with the melodies of yesteryear. Magician and motivational speaker David Hira will amaze and inspire guests with dazzling illusions and words of wisdom. Film critic and humorist Larry Ratliff will highlight unforgettable cinematic moments as well as serve as the the master of ceremonies for the event.

The admission price to “Music, Magic and Movies” is $15, which includes box lunch. Call 972-238-6147 today to register. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road in Dallas.


This week’s RLC update – Plus 50 volunteer fair to connect seniors with opportunities

Sustainable Community Building — As part of Richland’s Emeritus Program ongoing services to the community, Richland and AARP Texas are hosting a Volunteer Connection Fair for Plus 50 adults on Aug. 12 to allow area senior citizens to learn about volunteer opportunities in our community. A number of community agencies will be present to recruit adult volunteers to serve in their organizations. Participants will be treated to agency information, refreshments, and door prizes.


Richland Sponsors Volunteer Connection Fair

If you’re a mature adult looking for volunteer opportunities in your community, attend the Richland College Volunteer Connection Fair. The fair is a joint effort between Richland’s nationally recognized Emeritus Program and AARP. Several organizations will be on hand to sign up volunteers.

Teresa Love, the Outreach Coordinator for Richland’s Emeritus Program, said the fair’s main purpose is to promote volunteerism for mature adults.

“This is for the person who is 50 years old or older who may be retired or their children are out of the house and they’re looking for a way to give back to the community,” she said.

This is the second year the fair has been held and the goal is for it to become an annual event. Last year’s fair boasted over 150 attendees, with 32 community agencies represented and rave reviews on evaluations.

Love said partnering with the AARP brings additional resources to the table such as a direct mail campaign to promote the event. She said it’s also a good thing for the Emeritus Program.

“This is really a win-win for us because our program received a grant, part of which includes providing training and re-training for mature adults. So we get the opportunity to recruit for that as well.”

The Volunteer Connection fair will be held from 4-7 p.m., August 12 in Richland’s El Paso Hallway and it’s free. For more information, call 214-265-4078 or log on to http://www.richlandcollege.edu/boomers/volunteer.


Richland College Staff Contribute to National Standards at Conference

AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative Develops National Standards of Excellence to Help Colleges Better Serve Baby Boomers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Programs and services for baby boomers at community colleges nationwide will get a boost, thanks to efforts by local Richland College staff, who recently attended the third annual conference for the Plus 50 Initiative at the Washington, D.C., headquarters for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Community college staff, including Mitzi Werther, Director Emeritus Program and Teresa Love, Outreach Coordinator of Richland College attended the two-day meeting, where they helped develop Standards of Excellence that will be shared with community colleges around the country.

The standards are much-needed. Enrollment continues to soar at community colleges with baby boomers seeking to train for new careers, upgrading their skills, or trying to “recession-proof” their resumes.

It’s not uncommon for plus 50 adults to encounter a range of obstacles when going back to college. They often must navigate a college admissions system designed for high school seniors, not people with 35-year-old transcripts. And they must decide on a path of study that will lead to a new career and re-cultivate study habits left behind decades ago.

“Community colleges have long offered continuing education and job training programs. Many colleges are helping unemployed plus 50 workers expand their skill sets and re-invent themselves for new careers,” said George Boggs, AACC President and CEO. “With the Plus 50 Initiative, colleges are offering accelerated courses, computer training, job fairs, and advising services tailored to the needs of plus 50 students.”

The Standards of Excellence will offer community colleges practical advice on how to improve programs and services for baby boomers. The standards will be published online later this year and shared at the AACC national convention in 2011.

At Richland College, based in Dallas, Texas, staff is reaching out to baby boomers with computer classes designed specifically for mature adults. These classes are offered at a variety of times including afternoon, evening and weekend.

“One idea we shared at the conference for the Standards of Excellence was our successful Volunteer Connection Fair held in partnership with AARP Texas,” said Teresa Love, Outreach Coordinator. “This event helped bring together mature adults with community agencies with volunteer opportunities. “We hope to continue to expand the Plus 50 Initiative throughout the region using the resources provided by the AACC.”

They were joined at the conference by 40 community college representatives from around the country. Their efforts are part of a three-year, nationwide initiative launched in 2008 by AACC with funding support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. The initiative announced its expansion from 15 campuses to dozens of additional affiliates in June 2009 and added 32 more colleges in April 2010.


For 90 years, the AACC has been the leading advocate for the nation’s community colleges, which currently number more than 1,173 and serve close to 12 million students annually. Its membership comprises 90% of all public two-year colleges — the largest, most accessible, most diverse sector of U.S. higher education. As institutions committed to access, community service and lifelong learning, community colleges have long-focused on the needs of adults who are already in the workforce, many of whom are seeking new skills and knowledge for changes in their lives and careers.

To learn more about the Plus 50 Initiative, visit http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu. To learn more about the AACC and The Atlantic Philanthropies, visit www.aacc.nche.edu and www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.


Richland reaches out to other Texas colleges to join Plus 50 Initiative

Richland College’s Boomers Program is helping other community colleges to engage the 50+ population.

In June, the college hosted a day-long Plus 50 Initiative Texas Expansion Conference for 14 community colleges, including DCCCD sister colleges. The conference, supported by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Atlantic Philanthropies, provided information for community colleges developing Plus 50 Initiative programs. Topics included collaboration between departments; marketing and promotion; obtaining college support; stakeholders; appropriate teaching styles; programs that work; and program challenges.

“We are excited to share information about the Plus 50 Initiative and to see the enthusiasm of other community colleges as they build or expand their Plus 50 programs,” Richland’s Boomers Program Outreach Coordinator Teresa Love said. “The conference included very informative panel discussions containing both students and faculty. During these discussions, the panelists addressed student motivation and effective teaching methods for Plus 50 students.”

AACC is expansion of the Plus 50 Initiative is to promote community colleges as the primary place where Plus 50s can learn, train, and find ways to contribute to society. Mary Sue Vickers, AACC Plus 50 Initiative director, said Richland is already a leader in reaching this age group and can help other colleges that are starting or adding to their programs.

“Two innovative topics on the agenda of Richland’s conference that I thought were most helpful for those beginning or expanding Plus 50 Initiative programming were on successful instructional practices for Plus 50 students and tips on assessing current administrative procedures from the point of view of the Plus 50 student,” Ms. Vickers said. “We are hopeful that the community colleges attending the conference will continue to work with Richland College and implement or expand upon their existing programming, providing additional options for plus 50 students at their community college.”

During the conference, Richland’s Boomers Program Director Mitzi Werther and Ms. Love discussed “How to Get Started” (obtaining institutional support, stakeholders, and assessing current administrative procedures). This segment included a panel of key, participating instructional department heads and a panel of Richland Plus 50 students and instructors. The panels addressed “What Works: Great Instructional Practices, Expectations, and Tips for Sustainability.” The afternoon concluded with Richland presentations on “Profiles in Excellence: Popular Class Topics;” “Volunteer Programs;” “Boomer News;” “Volunteer Connection Fair;” and “What’s Next?”

In 2008, Richland was one of 15 college chosen to pilot the Plus 50 Initiative. Since then, the program has grown to include dozens of colleges across the United States. From 2009 to 2014, the Plus 50 population in Richland’s service area is projected to grow by more than 102 percent, from 89,000 to 180,000. The Plus 50 population currently makes up 14 percent of Richland’s service area, and is projected to comprise 28 percent by 2014. To learn more about Richland’s Boomers Program (part of the college’s Emeritus Program), visit www.richlandcollege.edu/boomers.


This week’s RLC update – Emeritus program hosts Plus 50 Initiative conference to reach lifelong learners

Sustainable Community Building — Richland’s Emeritus Program hosted a day-long Plus 50 Initiative Texas Expansion Conference for 14 community colleges, including DCCCD sister colleges, on June 24. This professional development conference, supported by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Atlantic Philanthropies, provided information addressing areas such as collaboration between departments; marketing and promotion; obtaining college support; stakeholders; appropriate teaching styles; programs that work; and program challenges. The overall goal of AACC’s expansion of the Plus 50 Initiative is to promote community colleges as the primary place where Plus 50s can learn, train, and find ways to contribute to society. From 2009 to 2014, the Plus 50 population in Richland’s service area is projected to grow by more than 102 percent, from approximately 89,000 to 180,000. The Plus 50 population currently comprises 14 percent of the total population in Richland’s service area, and is projected to comprise 28 percent of the total service area population by 2014. AACC Plus 50 Initiative Director Mary Sue Vickers presented a general program overview, and Richland’s Emeritus Program Director Mitzi Werther and Associate Director Teresa Love discussed “How to Get Started” (obtaining institutional support, stakeholders, and assessing current administrative procedures). This segment included a panel of key, participating instructional department heads and a panel of Richland Plus 50 students and instructors. The panels addressed “What Works: Great Instructional Practices, Expectations, and Tips for Sustainability.” The afternoon concluded with Richland presentations on “Profiles in Excellence: Popular Class Topics;” “Volunteer Programs;” “Boomer News;” “Volunteer Connection Fair;” and “What’s Next?”


Boomers Program, AARP Texas to host Volunteer Connection Fair

Richland College’s Boomers Program and AARP Texas will host a Volunteer Connection Fair for adults age 50 and older to learn about volunteer opportunities within the community.The free event will be from 4-7 p.m. on Nov. 12 in El Paso Hall.

Several organizations will be present at the Volunteer Connection Fair with information on volunteer opportunites and the event will feature AARP’s new Create The Good Web site.

“Part of Richland College’s mission is to encourage our students of all ages to become lifelong learners and global citizens, building sustainable local/world community,” said
Teresa Love, outreach coordinator for Richland’s Boomers Program & Emeritus Program. “We know that plus 50 adults have a wealth of experiences to contribute.”

The Volunteer Connection Fair also will feature door prizes and refreshments. For more information, call 214-265-4078 or visit www.richlandcollege.edu/boomers.


Community Colleges Offer Baby Boomers Hope in Hard Times

Richland College Participates in National Conference for Plus 50 Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The baby boomer generation may be faced with dwindling retirement accounts, an economy in distress and a stiff job market, but America’s plus 50 adults have an advocate on their side – community colleges. Community college staff, including Mitzi Werther, Director Emeritus Program and Teresa Love, Outreach Coordinator of Richland College recently attended the second annual conference for the Plus 50 Initiative at the headquarters for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The resources and strategies fostered by the Plus 50 Initiative can’t come soon enough. Enrollments are soaring at community colleges around the country, with students seeking to train for new careers, upgrading their skills to better match job prospects or trying to “recession-proof” their resumes by acquiring new skills.

At Richland College, based in Dallas, Texas staff members are reaching out to help baby boomers by providing resources to help those in job or career transition.

“Our college offers specialized re-training opportunities as well as customized courses to help plus 50 students improve their computer skills. “One idea we brought back from the conference is to have a special set of student advisors designated to assist our plus 50 students.

They were joined at the conference by more than 35 community college representatives from around the country. Empowered with a web site to foster resource-sharing, an evaluation team that tracks their progress, and communications help, the pioneering colleges in the initiative are developing and benchmarking models for innovative programs reaching students over age 50.

Their efforts are part of a three-year, nationwide initiative launched in 2008 by AACC with funding support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. The initiative announced its expansion from 15 campuses to dozens of additional affiliates in June 2009. Organizers at AACC and the colleges also re-tooled their efforts to focus more tightly on helping baby boomers cope with a rocky economy as the recession worsened.

Demonstration colleges involved with the Plus 50 Initiative are: Clover Park Technical College (Lakewood, Wash.), Joliet Junior College (Joliet, Ill.), Luzerne County Community College (Nanticoke, Pa.), Northern Virginia Community College (near Washington, D.C.), Richland College of the Dallas County Community College District (Texas), Santa Fe Community College (Gainesville, Fla.), St. Louis Community College (St. Louis, Mo.), Wake Technical Community College, (Raleigh, N.C.) and Western Dakota Technical Institute (Rapid City, S. D.)

Mentor colleges involved with the Plus 50 Initiative are: Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable, Mass.), Central Florida Community College (Ocala, Fla.), Century College (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Clark College (Vancouver, Wash.) and Community College of Spokane (Wash.)

Affiliate colleges joining the initiative due to the program expansion announced in June 2009 are: Metropolitan Community College- Longview in Lee’s Summit, Mo. (partnered with St. Louis Community College); Rose State College in Midwest City, Okla. (partnered with Central Florida Community College), and Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois (partnered with Joliet Junior College).

The Plus 50 Initiative’s reach is expanding. As many as 30 additional colleges in Washington and Oregon will attend a conference hosted by area Plus 50 Initiative colleges. Nine Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., community colleges will partner with Century College in a regional meeting, including: Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Anoka Technical College, Dakota County Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Inver Hills Community College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, North Hennepin Community College and Saint Paul College.

Additional community colleges from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana are expected to attend a conference being planned by Western Dakota Technical Institute to foster plus 50 student programs that lead to career opportunities at national parks.

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For 89 years, the AACC has been the leading advocate for the nation’s community colleges, which currently number more than 1,177 and serve close to 12 million students annually. Its membership comprises 90% of all public two-year colleges – the largest, most accessible, most diverse sector of U.S. higher education. As institutions committed to access, community service and lifelong learning, community colleges have long-focused on the needs of adults who are already in the workforce, many of whom are seeking new skills and knowledge for changes in their lives and careers.

To learn more about the Plus 50 Initiative, visit plus50.aacc.nche.edu. To learn more about the AACC and The Atlantic Philanthropies, visit www.aacc.nche.edu and www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.