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November 15, 2012

Plus 50 Bridge students complete new noncredit program

Participants in the University of Alaska Anchorage Community & Technical College’s (CTC) Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program celebrated last week when they became the first students to complete the 120-hour noncredit program.

Four participants of the Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program with
Diana Carpenter, Plus 50 program trainer (middle). From L to R: Edward Bouwens,
Debra McClarrinon, Larry Huselton, and John Williams.
Geared specifically toward adults over 50 whose goal is to attend college and/or become actively employed, the program includes instruction and training in technology, math, communications, personal financial management, and job search preparation.

“It virtually brought me up to date with math and English,” said Edward Bouwens, one of the program’s participants. “The computer program far exceeded my expectations. The instructor put us through a step-by-step process in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. It will help me present myself to employers.”

Students earn noncredit instructional units on a UAA transcript. Currently, CTC is developing a noncredit workforce credential. Once approved through the required university review processes, the workforce credential will be made available to program participants.

The program partners with state and local agencies to help train older workers including the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training (MASST) program.

 Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program partners.
From L to R: Robert Barton and Rita Bowen of MASST,
Kevin O' Connor, Plus 50 Completion coordinator, and
Diana Carpenter, Plus 50 program trainer.
“The Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program prepares participants for success in college or in the job market,” said Stephen Strom, associate dean of CTC’s Extended Studies & Workforce Development. “Although the program is currently restricted to adults age 45 and above, once the noncredit workforce credential is approved, the training will be open to students of all ages.”

The Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program resulted from the Plus 50 Completion Strategy coordinated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and funded by the Lumina Foundation.

CTC is one of 18 community colleges participating in the Plus 50 Completion Strategy, which helps baby boomers complete degrees or credentials. AACC’s original Plus 50 Initiative began with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

For more information about the Plus 50 Bridge to College & Careers Instruction Program, visit www.uaa.alaska.edu/ctc/plus50.