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Mapping Barriers to Community College Completion among Older Learners: Identifying Malleable Factors to Improve Student Outcomes

Primary Investigator(s): Peter Bahr

Funding Agency: Miami University/IES

Period: 7/1/2016 - 6/30/2019

Peter Bahr receives $1.4 million IES research grant to study educational and labor market experiences of older adults in community colleges

In this three-year study, CSHPE Associate Professor Peter Riley Bahr, in collaboration with Phyllis Cummins at the Scripps Gerontology Center (Miami University), will identify malleable factors and propose corresponding testable interventions to improve the educational and labor market outcomes of older community college students. Individuals aged 40 to 64 years represent a substantial segment of the labor force in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of workers. Older adults, especially those with limited education, face significant barriers to remaining competitive in the labor market and, in some cases, remaining in the workforce at all. For these, community colleges are the primary vehicle to improved employment prospects and life chances. Indeed, older adults are a large and growing segment of the community college student population, magnifying the importance of this research.