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State Data and Policy Indicators on Adult Learners: New Tools for Decision Makers Cheryl Blanco Vice President for Lifelong Learning Policy and Research
Introduction to CAEL • CAEL is the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning • Non-profit, international organization; 33 years of experience • Headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Philadelphia, PA; Denver, CO; New York, NY; and Norwalk, CT • Nearly 700 college & university members; corporate membership in early stages and growing – primarily HR leaders
CAEL’s Mission Statement CAEL’s Mission • To advance lifelong learning in partnership with educational institutions, employers, labor organizations, government, and communities • To remove barriers and expand lifelong learning opportunities for adults
Why are adult learners now getting more attention? • Pipeline of young college graduates will not meet workforce skills demands. • Many current entry and mid-level works have necessary skills, but lack credentials. • Baby boomers will "retire" from current job, then launch into “encore” career • Many limitations in the ‘pipeline’ metaphor as it applies to adult postsecondary learning
Barriers facing adult undergraduates: • Adult obligations • Financing • Course choices • Self esteem • Counseling and advising
An Alternative Pipeline CAEL/NCHEMS/Lumina Project New Tools to Understand State Performance in Serving Adult Learners • State Measures • Policy Framework
An Alternative Pipeline State Measures • Level of educational attainment • The current size and shape of adult provision and participation • Barriers to adult participation • Policy framework Deliverables • Monograph with national analyses • State-by-state profiles
I. Level of Educational Attainment • Population with a high school credential, an associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree as a proportion of the population and the change in this percentage from 2000 to 2005. • Percent of the adult population with less than a high school diploma and no college – and the change in this percentage from 2000 to 2005. • GEDs awarded as a percent of the population with less than a high school diploma.
II. Current Size and Shape of Adult Provision and Participation Who participates in education and how • Provision • Participation • Completion
Provision Providers: for-credit and non-credit programs offered by regular colleges and universities, state/public efforts like ABE and vocational training, corporate and contract training, the for-profit sector, etc. • Listing these sources descriptively. • Descriptions or diagrams of the “infrastructure” for adult learning including organization and governance, principal programs and their sources of funding (e.g. ABE, GED, WIA, etc.) • Numbers of providers receiving federal and state grant funds to support adult education (ABE, ESL, ASE) • Numbers of participants by type of provider or provision.
Participation • Enrollment in college • Characteristics of the adult learner population by gender and race/ethnicity. • Enrollment in Adult Basic Education programs (federally funded) • Enrollments by adults in non-credit programs at accredited institutions • Enrollments by adults in employment-related training provided by employers or other providers as a proportion of all adults in the population.
6. Enrollments by adults in literacy, ESL, or similar non-college training provided by public agencies (training centers, prisons, etc.) 7. College-going rates of GED recipients. 8. Proportion of non-credit enrollees that subsequently enroll for credit in a postsecondary program. 9. Reasons for adults participating in postsecondary education. 10. Participation of employed adults in work-related training by selected forms of employer support.
Completion • Bachelor’s and associate degrees awarded to students aged 25 and above • Completions as a proportion of numbers enrolled in adult non-credit literacy programs (i.e., ABE, ESL) • Certificates awarded as a proportion of total enrollment in non-credit job-related certification programs • Adult GED completions as a proportion of population aged 25 to 64. • Progression by level in basic literacy training.
III. Barriers to Adult Participation Academic Preparation: What prior educational experiences and basic skills deficiencies serve as barriers to higher education for adults? • Performance on the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). • Enrollment in ABE programs. • Remedial program availability and support. • Recognition for prior learning. • Businesses meeting literacy needs.
Affordability: What are the cost barriers for adults? • Percent of family income needed to pay tuition. • Financial aid for less-than-full-time students. • Percent of Pell aid devoted to adults. • State support for ABE, ESL, and other literacy programs as a percentage of all postsecondary spending. • State support for ABE, ESL, and other literacy programs as a percentage of the population in need. • Corporate tuition assistance. • Union contributions to employee training.
Access: Are programs and courses delivered in a manner that allows adults to participate readily? • Employed adults participating in education for work-related reasons. • Proximity to a postsecondary institution. • Bachelor’s programs at public universities offered through community colleges or joint-use facilities. • Programs offered in an evening, weekend, or accelerated format. • Programs offered online. • Adults participating in online courses.
An Alternative Pipeline CAEL/NCHEMS/Lumina Project: Policy Framework • 10 policy areas that may impact adult learners • Document review and analysis • Recommendations/observations Deliverable • Policy Framework document
Major Components of a Policy Framework • Strategic Plans & Accountability • Has any state agency been charged with coordinating adult learning resources? • Has the state established specific goals for educational attainment of adults? • How does the state analyze regional differences? • How does the state track, report & benchmark measures for adult performance? How does the state use national benchmark data?
Major Components of a Policy Framework • Educational Programs and Academic Policy • How does policy support portability of credits and credentials among public state institutions? • What institutional financial incentives are targeted to adults? • How does the state support institutions for various other forms of “non-credit” instruction?
Major Components of a Policy Framework • Financing and Student Financial Assistance • How are adult learning and workforce training programs funded and at what level? • What funding policies have a positive or negative effect on the state’s commitment to adults (i.e., funding of remediation, continuing education, literacy at the workplace, tax incentives, etc.) • Do state grant and loan programs accommodate year-round processing of applications for adults? • Are part-time students eligible for primary merit and need-based programs in the state?
Major Components of a Policy Framework • Interagency Cooperation & Stakeholder Involvement • How has the state arranged for collaborative programs between and among agencies? • How does the state assess views of employers? How is their responsiveness? • Are stakeholders (employers, unions, trade groups, CBOs) involved in development of programs for adult learners?
Major Components of a Policy Framework 5. Consumer Information • Does the state offer a place of comprehensive information for adult learners? • Has the state sponsored marketing efforts for adult learners? • Has the state taken initiative to recruit underserved adult populations?
Policies CAEL supports • Student aid to support life-long learners • Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) – requires at least 3 credit hours per term, are need-based grants • Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) to leverage private investment in education and training • Demonstration projects—like Northeast Indiana’s, which targeted the public and manufacturing sectors—serves 150 workers and is sponsored by 8 manufacturers and 5 municipalities • A state-based system for Prior Learning Assessment • Pennsylvania is creating a PLA system to allow working adults to accelerate education and recognize experiential learning
Policies CAEL supports • A data-drive approach to inform educational policy • Kentucky, Louisiana, and other states are collecting more data on adult learners • CAEL’s “indicators project” to measure state performance in serving adults • Strategic partnerships between higher education and business • Business Leadership Groups to benchmark, recognize and share winning employee learning strategies that build a culture of performance, productivity and pride, enhancing the competitive edge in human capital with positive business results. • New services and programs for mature workers • National awareness campaign highlighting mature learners