Blue-Collar Boomers Take Work Ethic to College by Libby Sander Essay

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In the article, “Blue-Collar Boomers Take Work Ethic to College” from Writing Now, author Libby Sander talks about workers in the baby boomer generation that are attending college to get new skills for the new jobs they hope to land. Sander says that middle aged people coming back to college is becoming more common as they become unable to do physical demanding jobs but are too young to retire (Sander 642).
Sander starts with the story of Russell Kearney who, after ten years of working, ruptured a disk in his back. He continued with the same job for five more years when he finally said, “I just couldn’t do it anymore.” Kearney decided to go back to college to get a job which would be less physically demanding (Sander 642).
The amount of people working into their retirement age is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that by 2014, 41 percent of adults aged 55 and older will still be in the work-place. The Metlife foundation and Civic Ventures found that 66 percent of adults age 50 to 59 plan to keep working during their retirement years and 15 percent of those say they will never retire (Sander 643).
The boomer students are yet another example of a “non-traditional” student. Jan Abushakrah, a sociology professor in Oregon, says that a student out of high school taking four years to complete a bachelor’s degree- “just doesn’t exist anymore. Many colleges still assume that that’s the typical student and all other people are exceptions. But the exceptions are becoming the rule.” (Sander 643).
Community colleges are changing their programs to make them more accessible to older adults. The boomer students utilize community colleges because they adhere to the community. This makes them a great way to transition to jobs that r...

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...s while mixing in two other anecdotes. By transitioning back and forth between a story and information, Sander enhances the reader’s interest and understanding (Sander 642-645).
Sander uses several writing strategies very well. All of which help to keep the reader informed and interested. She makes sure to use credible sources and dialogue from these sources. Real people telling their story is a source that Sander utilizes to create interest. She matches these stories with information about the big picture. The way these things are organized keep the reader interested. Sander gets the facts of boomer students across in a way that keeps the reader reading by giving examples and expert analysis.

Works Cited

Sander, Libby. "Blue-Collar Boomers Take Work Ethic to College." Writing Now. Ed. Lee Odell and Susan Katz. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 642-645. Print.

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