CSM’s Plus 50 Encore College Completion Program Gives Seasoned Adults Career Alternatives

The College of Southern Maryland is joining 100 other colleges in the Plus 50 Encore College Completion Program

            The College of Southern Maryland joined 100 colleges nationwide in a three-year initiative called the Plus 50 Encore College Completion Program, with a mission to help 10,000 students age 50 and older who are seeking a career change. Led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the program is poised to help adults chart their next steps in life by offering easy access, flexible schedules, long and short-term programs, and a wide range of opportunities.

            CSM is hosting a kick-off for the program from 5-7 p.m. on April 15 at the La Plata Campus.

            “Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new [fields] 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 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), manager of the program.

            During CSM’s free kick-off event, registered participants will complete a career assessment profile and learn about the college’s Career Starters programs, certificate programs, degree program options and classes for personal enrichment.

            “Many baby boomers are seeking to transition to a next or new career and this program will help them rediscover a passion they may have put on hold while they were working and/or raising a family. We want to build a cohort who will make the best use of the college’s available resources. Future plans include several workshop options and guest speakers, as well as classroom options for updating technology skills, resume writing and interviewing techniques. In addition, we also offer wellness and fitness opportunities for the Plus 50 community,” said CSM Community Education Director Vickie Grow.

            The program will offer skill updates and career makeovers for those who want to venture into careers such as dental hygienist, dialysis or EKG technician, nurse, pharmacy technician, physical therapy aide, sign language teacher, social work assistant or substitute teacher.

            “With solid employment track records and years of experience, boomers, with updated technical skills, will position themselves for successful second and even third careers—rewarding careers,” said Shaunda Holt, personal enrichment department program coordinator for adults.

Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have helped adults prepare for new careers. An independent evaluation of AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative found that 89 percent of students agreed that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.

Event is free but registration for the April 15 launch is required at http://www.csmd.edu/CommunityEducation/WFR/plus50encore.html. Light refreshments will be provided. For information contact Holt at 301-934-7652.




CSM Plus 50 Encore Program Kick-off.  5-7 p.m., April 15. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. This kick-off to the Plus 50 Encore Program will introduce registered participants to CSM credit, non-credit and personal enrichment opportunities available to people age 50 and older who are looking to transition to another career. Participants will complete a career assessment profile and meet with representatives from Career Starters, Career Services and individual programs of study. Free but registration is required. To register, visit http://www.csmd.edu/CommunityEducation/WFR/plus50encore.html, 301-934-7652.