WICHE’s Senior Research Analyst Peace Bransberger breaks down the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and what it could mean for higher education in a new policy brief. Peace joins us on the ACCN blog to describe the brief below, though we encourage you to read the brief in full for an excellent primer on a complex piece of legislation.
In July 2014, Congress enacted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaced the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), reauthorizing the federal workforce system, the nation's primary source of funding and programming for unemployed and lower-skilled workers. This reauthorization was lauded for its bipartisan intent to make services provided through American Job Centers and adult education programming (among others) more attuned to local labor markets and demonstrably beneficial to customers in terms of streamlined services, improved access to relevant short-term training, credential attainment, and close monitoring of employment results. The impact these programs could have for lower-skilled adults continues to be constrained by limited funding. But WIOA's strategic and procedural improvements provide numerous opportunities for states' public workforce and postsecondary education systems—particularly community colleges—to work together and exploit training opportunities for working and low-income adults.
Over 80 members of the Adult College Completion Network (ACCN) gathered in Denver on November 10 and 11, braving snow and sleet to come together and share their challenges and successes in serving adult learners. Attendees spent a packed day and a half swapping strategies, learning from subject matter experts, and discussing everything from digital badges to rehabilitating federal student loans.
This fall the Adult College Completion Network convened practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the field of adult college completion in Denver, Colorado. The Annual Workshop featured a variety of sessions designed to share promising strategies for increasing the completion rates of returning adult students and facilitated networking opportunities for attendees.
The Illinois Community College Council on Adult Student Recruitment and Retention (ICCCASRR) was formed in July 2013 to address the unique challenges and need of growing adult student enrollment on community college campuses. What is ICCCASRR’s mission? It works to share best practices to increase adult enrollment and improve retention at member institutions, enhance student services, provide networking opportunities, and build stronger relationships with our community college counterparts.
By Kevin Ezzell Director of Accelerated & Graduate Programs, Albright College Board Member, Council for Accelerated Programs
Leaders from accelerated programs in 17 states and one United States territory convened in Denver, Colorado August 4-6 for the Council for Accelerated Programs (CAP) annual conference. Having attended a number of conferences focused on adult education, the CAP conference always stands out as one that prioritizes collaboration, where all participating institutions are working towards implementing best practices in accelerated and online learning.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is the primary source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary institutions in the United States. The system is managed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and provides publically available data on all postsecondary institutions which participate in federal student financial aid programs. NCES collects data on a variety of topics—such as enrollments, institutional prices and graduation rates—from institutions through a system of interrelated surveys. While IPEDS contains a wealth of information and serves as an important resource, it has long had a serious drawback for those interested in returning adult students. Critical topics such as graduation and retention rates have been calculated using only “first-time, full-time” students, excluding those with prior college credit who return to complete a credential. However, NCES will implement a new Outcome Measures component including non-first-time and part-time students in their 2015-2016 Winter data collection.
A new report from Higher Ed Insight finds that, while interest in adult college completion is at an all-time high, colleges and universities must change their policies and practices to better serve students who return to college as adults. Using data from a range of sources, the report explores the challenges adult students face when returning to college and identifies effective practices for supporting these students when they do return to school. The report also examines the role of local, state, and national partnerships that bring together higher education and workforce entities to engage this prospective student population, recognizing the importance of employment and career advancement to many returning adult students.
This year’s National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning convened adult learning experts, practitioners, and enthusiasts in Philadelphia for a deep dive into Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). As a first time attendee, it was fascinating to learn about the many different ways institutions are leveraging PLA to attract, retain, and graduate adult students. Below are two key takeaways from my time surrounded by PLA experts (though it should be noted these were limited by my inability to attend all of the concurrent sessions).
WICHE's latest publication "POLICY EXCHANGES - Collaboration and Coordination to Improve Adult College Completion Efforts" explores research on the common characteristics of effective multi-stakeholder collaborations, with a particular focus on initiatives working to tackle complex social challenges. The brief includes examples of collaborative efforts that are uniting diverse stakeholders to support adult degree completion at the state and local level.
A number of new reports with relevance for those working with returning adults have been released this spring. This week’s post provides an overview of two of these, a policy brief from the Education Commission of the States on state financial aid and a report on the results of a recent survey of adults’ perceptions of the costs and benefit s of postsecondary education from the American Enterprise Institute.