• March 24, 2015

    The Graduate! Network supports communities engaged in cross-sector initiatives to promote adult college completion, accelerating their progress through technical assistance and peer support. Graduate! Network President Hadass Sheffer and Senior Network Consultant Kathy Zandona will share the Network’s innovative strategies for building and growing local collaborations that support adult learners. The webinar will explore the Network’s approach to student advising, developing partnerships with higher education institutions, engaging the business community, and tracking and evaluating outcomes.

    To register for the webinar please click here.

  • March 18, 2015

    ACCN Blog Social policy research firm MDRC’s recent evaluation of the City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for Developmental Education Students has been making waves in the world of higher education since its February release – and with good reason. The program has demonstrated unparalleled results, nearly doubling the graduation rate for its participants.* Notably, the evaluation focused on low-income students with developmental education needs. Neither the study’s authors, nor the numerous experts who have commented on the results, can identify another program with anywhere near this magnitude of impact on community college graduation rates.

  • March 4, 2015

    ACCN Blog

    On February 25th, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) released a new report, Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States. Developed in response to international survey results which found that adults in the United States have low basic skill levels compared to their peers in other countries, the report examines the consequences of these findings and suggests seven strategies for improving adult skill levels. The authors stress sharing responsibility—across levels of government and sectors—for “upskilling” America’s adult population through effective learning and training opportunities. The report outlines broad-based approaches, highlighted by promising examples from around the country.

  • March 2, 2015

    Collective impact is defined by the Stanford Social Innovation Review as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.” Over the past few years, collective impact initiatives with a focus on improving educational attainment have sprung up in communities across the country, drawing significant attention from the media, researchers, and funders. This webinar will explore how collective impact work can relate to adult learners specifically and its potential for driving forward a completion agenda. The presentation will feature an overview of existing research on the topic and representatives from two city-level projects – San Antonio’s SA2020 and Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees – discussing how their communities have incorporated adult college completion into their city-wide collective impact strategies.

    To register for the webinar, please click here.


    Jeanne Russell, Strategist, SA2020

    Maria Fernandez, Community Impact Director, SA2020

    Mary Gwen Wheeler, Executive Director, 55,000 Degrees

    Kathleen Mandlehr, Interim Director, Degrees Matter: the Greater Louisville Adult Degree Completion Network

    Patrick Lane, Project Manager, Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

  • February 18, 2015

    ACCN Blog Historically, "reverse transfer" referred to when a student transferred from a four-year postsecondary institution to a two-year college. In recent years, however, this term has taken on new meaning. Today, “reverse transfer” more commonly means transferring credit from a four-year to a two-year institution, with the goal of awarding associate degrees to students who have completed the necessary requirements while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Over the past few years, initiatives built around this newer definition have been gaining steam. Reverse transfer initiatives typically target students, often adults, who earned the credits needed for an associate degree after transferring from a community college to a four-year institution – but ultimately did not end up completing a bachelor’s. Advocates argue that the reverse transfer process provides these students with a meaningful credential for their work and can also provide institutions with more accurate completion data.

  • February 4, 2015

    ACCN Blog On February 2, 2015, Pennsylvania’s community college system became the first in the country to introduce a statewide Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) initiative – the “College Credit FastTrack.” The state’s 14 community colleges — led by Montgomery County Community College — have agreed upon common standards for awarding PLA credits and created a website and e-portfolio platform for the state’s community college students interested in pursuing credit for past educational, workforce, and life experiences.

  • January 28, 2015

    ACCN Blog

    The President’s new plan for free community college—dubbed “America’s College Promise”—has generated a flurry of commentary within and outside of higher education circles. The administration’s proposal aims to make “two years of college as free and universal as high school,” by waiving tuition for any student enrolled in a community college at least half-time, who maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA, and is making steady progress towards completing their program. On the institutional side, the plan will only apply to “high-quality” programs, that is, those which provide academic programs that fully transfer to four-year institutions or occupational training programs with high graduation rates that offer degrees and certificates valued by employers. The federal government would fund 75 percent of program costs, with states chipping in the remaining 25 percent.

  • January 22, 2015

    ACCN Blog

    A new study released by a collaborative of higher education organizations working in partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse suggests a caveat to previous findings regarding the positive relationship between full-time enrollment and degree completion. Among non-first-time (NFT) college students, those using a “mixed” enrollment strategy—combining full-time and part-time enrollment over the course of their studies—were more likely to complete an associate degree and less likely to drop out than their exclusively full-time or exclusively part-time counterparts.
  • January 15, 2015

    Louisville, Kentucky’s 55,000 Degrees initiative—a multi-stakeholder effort to achieve 50 percent postsecondary education attainment among the community’s working-age population by 2020—recently released an updated Education Scorecard, highlighting their key findings from 2014.

  • December 18, 2014

    By Wendy Erisman
    Strix Research, LLC

    Jobs for the Future (JFF) has designed its multi-state Adult Completion Policy Project (ACPP) to use policy change at the state or system level to help community colleges increase credential attainment for low-skill adults. In each state that is a part of the project, JFF conducted a policy audit focused on areas of particular importance in supporting adult college completion, and the state or system then developed a workplan designed to improve selected policy areas. JFF staff also provided technical assistance in each state and hosted cross-state convenings throughout the four-year project.

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