Thoughts From Encore College Leaders

“Working with learners over 50 is gratifying because of their enthusiasm, diverse work
experience and genuine desire to teach. I truly believe that second-career teachers are the ones who are going to change the face of public education. These are people that have valuable experience and really want to come back and make a difference.”  Rebecca Waters, former program manager, EducateVA Career Switcher Program, Virginia Community College System

“There’s a magic that happens when students realize ‘I own my education. I’m doing this so I can achieve my goals. And I have someone who cares, coaching and helping me.’”  Jan Abushakrah, gerontology program director, Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon

“This is a rare opportunity to attract a brand new demographic to community colleges. That doesn’t happen often in the community college world.”  Dr. Eugene Giovannini, president, GateWay Community College, Phoenix, Arizona

“The time is ripe for harnessing the expert skills and knowledge of these individuals and steering them toward service-oriented careers in fields like community medicine, education, nonprofit management, or social entrepreneurship.” Larry Whitworth, former president, Washtenaw Community College, Ypsilanti, Michigan

“It's not too late for… professionals who want to leap into new sectors. Someday, we imagine, every seasoned executive will pause and consider when and where they might want to go back to school to prepare for their next phase of life.”  Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Author, Professor, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

“Adding Envision 50+ to our Prince George's Community College course offerings has been beneficial to both the college and a previously underserved student population – those over 50 years of age.” Yvette Snowden, interim dean of workforce development and continuing education programs, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, Maryland

“The 50+ work has been integrated into the culture of the college at every level and there will be a continued and strong presence.” Amy Riedel, coordinator for the Encore Alliance of Registered Nurses, Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, Washington

“I didn’t realize how unique the program was. We have found no other program in the U.S. that has explicitly targeted adults over 50 to train to be college instructors who then could skillfully integrate active learning with the use of educational technology.” John Hader, interim dean of career programs and continuing education, Harold Washington College, Chicago, Illinois

“As America’s 78 million baby boomers become senior citizens, the demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing. This will translate into expanded job opportunities for skilled, dedicated pharmacy technicians, particularly those with formal training. Anticipating the national trend, Joliet Junior College’s Workforce Development and Allied Health department have partnered to offer the Pharmacy Technician for 50+ program.” Kelly Lapetino, workforce skills manager, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois