Miami's Scripps Gerontology Center awarded $1.4 million grant
Phyllis Cummins, senior research scholar, Scripps Gerontology Center
Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center is the recipient of a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The money will be used to research older learners and their ability to complete college programs.
“Our research focus is community college students ages 40-64,” said Phyllis Cummins, senior research scholar at Scripps. “The age group is an important component of Ohio’s labor force and an under-studied group in terms of education and labor market outcomes.”
Cummins is primary researcher of the project, Mapping Barriers to Community College Completion among Older Learners: Identifying Malleable Factors to Improve Student Outcomes.
She said middle-aged and older workers represent a substantial segment of the labor force, and their primary vehicle to improved employment prospects is education. More than 15 percent of students at Ohio’s 23 community colleges are older learners.
“The overarching goal of the project is to identify factors that are easily influenced to improve the educational and labor market outcomes for older students in community colleges,” said Cummins.
The factors researchers will examine are the institution in general, the classroom, the educator and student levels.
“A better-educated workforce is essential to filling high-demand jobs in Ohio and to keeping the state competitive in a global economy,” said Chancellor John Carey of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “Improving employment opportunities for our citizens who continue to work at older ages is an important aspect of Ohio’s economic health.”
The 3-year grant, which starts July 1, will use data collected by the Ohio departments of Education and Jobs and Family Services and is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the independent and non-partisan statistics, research and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education.