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?”