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LSCS Joins Program to Train 10,000 Older Workers for New Jobs

Baby boomers to earn certificates or degrees in healthcare, education or social service occupations

Lone Star College System (LSCS) was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in healthcare, education, and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The college will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers for baby boomers.

Lone Star College System will prepare older adults for careers as a substitute teacher.  This program encompasses teaching strategies, classroom management techniques, experience with lesson plans and guidelines for decision making.  After completing this program, 50-plus students will be prepared to confidently walk into a classroom as a substitute teacher and/or a teacher aide.

“Our former students of this program have stated that they felt well prepared to go into the classroom and they especially appreciated the classroom management techniques.” said Jennifer Leadbetter, program manager. “Lone Star College System’s experience with working with the 50-plus student population has illustrated a need to provide these retired and semi-retired individuals with courses that prepare them to quickly return to the workforce.  These students are eager to update their skills and be retrained.”

LSCS is one of 36 new colleges recently selected for the project. Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have worked with baby boomers and helped them prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college work force training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.

“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills. Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably, while completing a marketable degree or certificate,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

In addition to receiving grant funds to augment training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They’ll also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust. The Plus 50 Encore Completion program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials.  In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

For more information, contact Lone Star College Alternative Teacher Certification Program for more information ATCP@LoneStar.edu or 281-312-1716.  For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC, see http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu.

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar.  Classes are offered days, evenings, weekends and online. For more information on how to register online, visit LoneStar.edu/registration. For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit LoneStar.edu/Kingwood.

Lone Star College has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSC remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization representing the nation’s close to 1,200 community, junior, and technical colleges and their over 13 million students. Community colleges are the largest sector of higher education, enrolling almost half of all U.S. undergraduates. For more information about AACC and community colleges, visit www.aacc.nche.edu.

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