Virginia Western Workforce Solutions

Plus 50 Encore Completion Grant

About Plus 50

The Plus 50 program was started nationally in 2008 to help laid-off workers get back to the labor force. It has expanded beyond workforce training and career development to include learning and enrichment and volunteering for the group often referred to as “age-less learners.” More than 21 percent of Virginia’s part-time college students are over the age of 40, according to the American Association of Community Colleges 2012 statistics.

Going to college at any age can be a challenge. For those returning to school after years of working a job or managing a home and family, even going through the enrollment process can be demanding. Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) recognizes this, which is why in spring 2013 the college became part of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Plus 50 Initiative.

For Students

If you're one of 37 million adults age 50 and older who have never attended college or who attended but never received a degree — or one of millions more who need a new skill for a changing job market - Virginia Western can pave the way to completion.

Plus 50 Considerations

Key questions to think about. For answers to many of these questions, please refer to the Plus 50 Ageless Learner guidebook.

  • Why am I going to college? What is my goal? Complete this statement as part of your planning your college time: "I want to .... "
  • Will I need financial aid? (Plus 50 does NOT include tuition support)
  • How many hours a week do I have for school? For study?
  • Am I up-to-speed on computer use? If not, do I have access to a computer to practice? Are there classes available to improve my skills?
  • Do I have transportation concerns?

Suggestions for ageless learners from VWCC’s New Student Advising Center:

  1. Don't doubt your abilities.
  2. Expect teachers to be glad to see you.
  3. If school seems stressful, enroll part-time.
  4. Enlist the support of a spouse, partner, or family member.
  5. Consider weekend or evening courses.
  6. Develop peer support by sharing your plans with friends or coworkers.
  7. Take review courses or a course in how to study.
  8. Be realistic about how much time you have to devote to school.

While Plus 50 does NOT include tuition support, Virginia Western Community College does provides services that make it easier than ever for adult learners to earn credit for their past education and work experience. So take your knowledge to the next degree. Contact Virginia Western today.

Additional Information...

Please see Navigating Virginia Western Community College: A Guide for Ageless Learners (PDF).


For more information, please contact one of our Adult Career Coaches:

Amanda Decker, 540-857-6279,
Debra Squire, 540-857-6296,