Tuesday, March 08, 2011
* New program helps baby boomers stay or get back into the workforce
Many baby boomers nearing the Golden Years don’t plan on retiring any time soon. Recognized as hard-working, competitive and goal-oriented, the ‘Boomer Generation’ just isn’t ready to leave the workforce; in fact, statistics by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) reveal that 4 out of 5 of the 78 million baby boomers closing in on retirement status are choosing to continue working either full- or part-time. That is why Shoreline Community College added the Plus 50 non-credit program last fall.
Launched by the AACC, the goal of the Plus 50 Initiative is to keep baby boomers in the workforce, saying that they “represent a tremendous resource to the nation in terms of experience, skills and leadership.” Many people born between 1946 and 1964 need training or re-training and that is why Shoreline Community College joined other colleges across the country to provide a Plus 50 curriculum.
“The Plus 50 program provides a great framework to meet the varied goals of the baby-boom generation,” said David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. “Many in this generation aren’t looking to slow down; they’re looking for something to do, which may mean acquiring new skills for new interests or new employment.”
Shoreline’s program was designed carefully, with consideration on how to best help students get the current skills and tools needed in today’s workforce as quickly as possible, and for that reason, many courses can be completed in only one or two sessions. In addition to computer and math refresher courses, spring quarter classes include unique classes such as how to start a business, web site development for a personal business and how to create a profitable pet sitting business. Also on the line-up are classes that provide tips on job seeking techniques and how to organize both personal and professional lives. Other classes provide help making good financial decisions that support retirement planning. The Plus 50 program is also designed to focus on volunteer, civic, and service activities, which Shoreline has integrated into its curriculum.
Claudia, a Shoreline resident, decided to leave her job as a receptionist at a veterinary hospital in Seattle a couple years ago when a merger of several hospitals took place. “Everything changed and some of my responsibilities were moved to another administrator,” she said. “My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I realized it was time to move on.”
She found a number of job openings via online searches but soon realized that her skills needed a boost. “It dawned on me that employers were looking for the cream of the crop, and I really needed to update my skills.”
The 50 year-old says that the evening and weekend schedule made it easy for her schedule and that the one-on-one help from the instructor was very helpful.
She completed the two-day Word 2007 Level 1 course in the fall and learned basic desktop publishing skills from an instructor who has more than 20 years experience in instructional design. She says she really liked the class, noting that the instructor was very nice to work with and very personable. “She made it easy to follow and learn.” Claudia has already enrolled in her second ‘Plus 50’ class, an Excel class, which she will start later this month.
With things going so well, she thinks it won’t be too long before she is ready to start looking for work again and notes that being a baby boomer is to her advantage in many ways.
“Why wouldn’t they be interested in us?” she asks, referring to herself and classmates. “We have the maturity and work ethic that make us stand out.” Claudia plans to look for work in the medical industry later this year.
Plus 50 classes are offered evenings and weekends and range from one or two days to several weeks. In addition to content classes, some courses were specifically designed to help students take charge of their working future. In the course, ‘Staying in Charge as We Age,’ students focus on planning and decision making skills such as setting priorities and developing alternatives. In ‘Get Organized for Work,’ students learn tips on organization in the workplace and learn how to break old habits that are no longer effective in the workplace. Students will also learn techniques to keeping track of the job hunting process.
Learn more about the classes and registering at: http://www.shoreline.edu/Plus50/default.aspx or calling 206-533-6706.
Monday, August 02, 2010
* Budget cuts hit Shoreline's continuing education program
In response to state-mandated budget reductions, big changes are coming for the Center for Business & Continuing Education (CBCE) at Shoreline Community College.
“State budget cuts have real impacts,” said Shoreline President Lee Lambert. “Shoreline’s share of the state cuts for the year starting July 1 was about $1.6 million. Cuts that deep, combined with reductions in previous years, mean the college had to make some adjustments.”
“The structure, scope and scale of CBCE operations will be changing in the fall of 2010 as a result of these budget cuts,” said David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. After Aug. 31, the schedule of non-credit, continuing-education classes offered under CBCE will be significantly reduced. “As budgets get tighter, we have to focus on those things that either helps us reach our state-mandated student targets or otherwise help our bottom line,” Lambert said. “Unfortunately, that means we have to scale back in some areas.”
The CBCE will continue to provide assistance to community members through programs such as the Small Business Accelerator, a business consulting program offered in collaboration with the City of Shoreline and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. The college will shift its focus to the national “Plus 50” program, a program aimed at helping the mid-life unemployed gain new skills and get back to work. The college will also continue to provide contract training to industry, such as the 6,000-10,000 automotive technicians that take classes at Shoreline every year.
The CBCE reductions don’t impact traditional for-credit classes.
These changes mean that some CBCE employees will lose their jobs and some will be transferred to other duties. “This is not a step we take lightly,” Lambert said. “This isn’t just a Shoreline problem, colleges across the state are facing similar difficult decisions to reduce offerings and meet budget constraints.”
Ultimately, Lambert said, the college had to reduce costs to reach the state-required budget target.
For the past decade, Shoreline has leased space inside the Lake Forest Park Town Centre mall for a satellite campus that has housed CBCE. College officials are looking at options for that space, but no final decisions have been made.
With the reduction in offerings, the college doesn’t plan on publishing the traditional separate class schedule for CBCE, according to David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. “We’ll be reviewing next steps in the coming months,” he said. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this difficult time.”
* New education and training program is a real Plus for boomers
It may not be the new 30, but 50 isn’t over the hill, either.
Shoreline Community College is launching a new program in the Seattle area aimed at ’boomers who don’t see themselves drifting quietly toward retirement or accept a layoff, but are still looking to make some noise.
“The ‘Plus 50’ program provides a great framework to meet the varied goals of the baby-boom generation,” said David Cunningham, Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education. “Many in this generation aren’t looking to slow down, they’re looking for something to do, which may mean acquiring new skills for new interests or new employment.”
The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), which is also providing a grant to help Shoreline start the program. Cunningham recently attended a two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., where he helped develop standards and guidelines for the program.
As economic pressures mount, enrollment continues to soar at community colleges with baby boomers seeking to train for new careers, upgrading their skills, or trying to “recession-proof” their resumes.
Plus 50 adults can encounter a range of obstacles when going back to college. They often must navigate a college admissions system designed for high school seniors, not people with 35-year-old transcripts. And they must decide on a path of study that will lead to a new career and re-cultivate study habits left behind decades ago.
According to the AACC, the 78 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) have a wealth of experience, skills and leadership and the Plus-50 program can help leverage this enormous capacity. Four out of five people over age 50 say they will work in retirement, and most are planning on retiring later in life than their parents did. Whether they stay in their current positions, add skills for a career change or pursue new opportunities, this group is ready to explore new options and open new doors, according to the AACC.
Colleges across the state and country are participating in the program. Shoreline is partnering with the Community Colleges of Spokane, while Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood is working with the other community colleges in Pierce County, including Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College, Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom and Pierce College-Puyallup.
Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., is working with Centralia, Lower Columbia, Olympic and South Puget Sound community colleges.
“We’re gearing up now,” said Cunningham, adding that the college hopes to have classes available this fall. “We look forward to offering this innovative program to the community.”
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
* Learn gardening tips at class at Shoreline Community College
Learn how to make your garden more drought tolerant and easier to maintain at a gardening class at the Lake Forest Park campus of Shoreline Community College. “Victoria’s 12 Step Program for a Fabulous Garden,” taught by Master Gardener and garden designer, Victoria Gilleland, will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 13 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 16, 2009. The class fee is $59.
Call 206-533-6700 to register and for more information or visit the Continuing Education website at www.shoreline.edu/ce for further information.
Shoreline Community College’s Lake Forest Park campus is located at 17171 Bothell Way NE in Suite A220.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
*Open House at Center for Business & Continuing Education
LAKE FOREST PARK -- There may be “no free lunches,” but there are free classes at Shoreline Community College.
The public is invited to attend a FREE CLASS (choose from three) at an Open House on Thursday, September 18th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the college’s Center for Business & Continuing Education located at the Lake Forest Park Towne Centre. Put your vision of your business plan on paper in the One Page Business Plan class, get going on designing your web page in the Introduction to Web Design class or learn how to shoot compelling photos from award-wining photographer, Bob Stahl in Photo Tips. (Registration is required for the Open House free classes before September 18. Call (206) 533-6702.)
Also, meet the new center Director, Cynthia Johnson, tour the facility, and talk one-on-one with business management, green living, computer skills and creative arts instructors at the Open House. Mark McVeety, consultant for the new Small Business Accelerator program, will be on hand for free business plan consultations.
Check out Tai Chi, fencing, and belly dancing performances by some of the most popular Continuing Education instructors from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Third Place Commons stage and enjoy cheese tasting throughout the evening with our wine and cheese instructor, Tod Daniels. Raffle ticket winners will win a variety of local products from merchants of the Lake Forest Park Towne Centre.
For more information about the Open House, please call the Center for Business & Continuing Education at (206) 533-6700 or visit the web site at www.shoreline.edu/ce for complete schedule and details. SCC at Lake Forest Park is located at the Lake Forest Park Towne Centre at 17171 Bothell Way NE, #A-220.