Published on Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Cape Cod Community College has been named one of only five institutions nationwide to serve as a mentor institution for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) as it launches a national “Plus 50 Initiative” in response to the largest generational shift in our nation’s history.
Because of its long and very successful history of academic, workforce training, and personal enrichment support for older adults, Cape Cod Community College has been awarded a 3-year, $70,000 grant, to expand its own services to “plus 50” students, and to mentor other institutions within the AACC initiative, as they replicate its success and create innovative new programs for students over the age of 50. The award is made as part of a $3.2 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.
“This grant award identifies the College as a leader among its peers, and we look forward to assisting community colleges nationwide as we all more deeply engage the “baby boomer” generation and beyond,” noted College President Kathleen Schatzberg. “This is an outstanding opportunity for the College to grow an even deeper relationship with our plus-50 population, and to share our success with other colleges across the nation. We’ve been offering programs for older adults through more than two decades of collaborations and partnerships with the Academy for Lifelong Learning (A.L.L.), Computers for Seniors (CFS), and the Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), among other initiatives,” she concluded.
One of the College’s first goals is to develop a talent bank to coordinate volunteers and service-learning opportunities for “plus 50” individuals participating in its programs. Harvey Irlen, Immediate Past President of the Academy for Lifelong Learning, has been deeply involved in helping to build the College’s plan to work with the AACC. He sees significant benefits ahead for the area’s older adults, and the organizations they will support.
“There is a major untapped resource for civic and social service agencies among the “plus 50” population, and exciting learning experiences awaiting that group within these organizations. A.L.L. members already volunteer in a number of human-service, civic, educational, and arts organizations across Cape Cod. They will be a ready source of information, introductions, and mentoring as the College expands its service-learning opportunities,” he stated.
According to American Demographics, Barnstable County is the fourth most mature Metropolitan Statistical Area in the country, and that trend is projected to continue throughout the entire region. With the boom in its older adult population, the Cape, Islands and parts of Southeastern Massachusetts regions are already facing the challenges and possibilities that other areas will face in the next ten to fifteen years.
According to the Barnstable County Senior/Elder Population Projection Model, it is estimated that1,500 persons aged 55 or older will establish new permanent residences on Cape Cod each year for some years to come. Currently, adults aged 60 and older make up 26.8 percent of the population on Cape Cod, compared to 16.3 percent nationally. Sixty percent of households in the county include at least one adult aged 55 or older.
The next step for the College is to assemble its team and then begin forming a strategy and process to engage its partner institutions within the AACC initiative.
Michael R. Gross
Director of College Communications
Cape Cod Community College
2240 Iyannough Road
West Barnstable, MA 02668-1599
508-375-4003 - office
508-375-4057 - fax
508-648-2051 - cell
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