Serving adult learners in the 21 st century
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Serving Adult Learners in the 21 st Century. The National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning 2012 Judy Wertheim Vice President, Higher Education Services. Today’s Session will:.

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Serving adult learners in the 21 st century

Serving Adult Learners in the 21st Century

The National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning 2012

Judy Wertheim

Vice President, Higher Education Services


Today s session will
Today’s Session will:

  • Review the document “Focusing on Adult Learners in Postsecondary Education: Responding to the Challenge of a New Age”

  • Suggest additional recommendations, with a particular focus on PLA

  • Brainstorm about how to influence policy and practice at all levels to integrate PLA in postsecondary education and help ensure success for adults.


Relation of today s session to some of the alfi principles
Relation of Today’s Session to Some of the ALFI Principles

ALFI = Adult Learning-Focused Institution

Identifies 9 principles that are essential for effectively serving adult learners


Alfi principle 2
ALFI Principle #2

ALFI Principle #2

Life and Career Planning

  • The institution addresses adult learners’ life and career goals before or at the onset of enrollment in order to assess and align its capacities to help learners reach their goals.


One best practice life career planning
One Best Practice: Life/Career Planning

Opportunity for credit for work-related credentials


Alfi principle 4
ALFI Principle #4

ALFI Principle #4

  • Assessment of Learning Outcomes

    • The institution defines and assesses the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired by adult learners both from the curriculum and from life/work experience in order to assign credit and confer degrees with rigor.


Alfi principle 5
ALFI Principle #5

ALFI Principle #5

  • Teaching/Learning Process

    • The institution’s faculty use multiple methods of instruction (including experiential and problem-based methods) for adult learners in order to connect curricular concepts to useful knowledge and skills.



To serve adult learners in the 21 st century
To Serve Adult Learners in the 21st Century

Priorities for Transforming Institutions to Serve Adult Learners*

1. Provide help for adults in navigating education and career information

2. Launch a national marketing and communications campaign

*From Lumina/CAEL convening and CAEL conference, 2011


Priorities cont d
Priorities (cont’d.)

3. Recognize learning outcomes (vs. seat time), as well as the assessment and validation of all types of learning

4. Conduct more research – and establish a better understanding of what we know already

5. Focus on financial aid and institutional financing


Priorities cont d1
Priorities (cont’d.)

6. Integrate learning and work

7. Recognize the importance of local and regional drivers

8. Develop a credit bank for students

9. Focus on technology as an integral part of adult learning


Action plan
Action Plan

A National Learning Recognition Agenda for Adults

  • Establish a National Education and Career Navigation Service

  • Launch a campaign to educate students and faculty about PLA


Action plan cont d
Action Plan (cont’d.)

  • Advocate for institutional, government, and accrediting policies focused on learning outcomes and recognition of prior learning

  • Carry out research to support adult learner success and institutional transformation


Action plan cont d1
Action Plan (cont’d.)

  • Link with metro and urban strategies focused on Talent Dividend and postsecondary education attainment

  • Develop new strategies to reach rural adults


Next steps
Next Steps

◆Explore the creation of a National Leadership Commission on the Adult Learning Recognition Agenda to oversee and publicize the work


National institute on the assessment of adult learning 2012
National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning 2012

  • Additional Recommendations

  • Reactions to the Recommendations

  • Reaction to Action Plan

  • How to Implement Next Step(s)



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