Grant Helps Thousands of Age 50+ Learners

For adults age 50 and up, getting back on the job is no easy matter in times of high unemployment rates.  Thanks to a new grant from Lumina Foundation for Education, they’ll be getting more help from a network of community colleges with a proven track record helping plus 50 adults complete college and attain the skills they need to get hired.

The grant to American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is part of a commitment by Lumina Foundation for Education involving 19 organizations working strategically to help adult learners complete college.

With the aid of the four-year grant, AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative will work directly with 20 community colleges to increase the number of students age 50 and up, especially those with some prior college credits, to complete credentials and degrees that can help them get hired.

“With support from AACC, community colleges will be able to improve services for thousands of plus 50 adults seeking credentials,” said Dr. George R. Boggs, president of AACC.  “Our participating colleges know the specific needs of plus 50 learners and are eager to expand their work helping older adults complete degrees and certificates that are marketable in the workplace.”

The community colleges beginning the project include: Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable, Mass.), Clover Park Technical College (Lakewood, Wash.), Metropolitan Community College (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Green Bay, Wis.), Pasco-Hernando Community College (New Port Richey, Fla.), Santa Fe College (Gainesville, Fla.) and Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh, N.C.). An additional 13 colleges will be selected by AACC to be involved in the project within the first two years of the four-year grant program.

The Lumina Foundation grant builds on the successful Plus 50 Initiative launched by AACC in 2008 and funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Support from The Atlantic Philanthropies will augment the new Plus 50 Completion Initiative.

The Plus 50 Initiative at AACC has focused much of its efforts since 2008 on training and re-training programs to get unemployed older adults back on the job. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that plus 50 work force training helped them acquire new job skills and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.

About Lumina Foundation for Education
Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. To learn more about the Lumina Foundation for Education, visit

About AACC
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is the leading advocacy organization representing close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest sector of higher education, enrolling 11.8 million credit and non-credit students each year. To learn more about the AACC, visit

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.  Atlantic focuses on four critical social problems: Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, and Reconciliation & Human Rights.   Programs funded by Atlantic operate in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam.  To learn more, please visit


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