A Transformational Opportunity:
Over 26 million adults lack a high school degree, and 1.3 million young people drop out of high school each year. Only a fraction of the 93 million adults with low basic skills enrolls in Adult Basic Education programs–even though ABE is the first step back on the track to higher skills and postsecondary credentials. Few of the adults who do enroll in ABE ever enter credit-bearing postsecondary programs, and even fewer go on to earn a credential.
The core belief of Accelerating Opportunity is that postsecondary credentials are the gateway to family-supporting wages—and that those credentials are critical to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty in America. This exciting initiative represents an unprecedented investment in low-skilled adult learners, and its goal is to yield unprecedented results: a transformation of the Adult Basic Education system that will enable many more adults to earn credentials leading to family-sustaining careers.
Accelerating Opportunity builds on the foundation of two initiatives that have demonstrated success in getting more low-skilled adults into and through educational pathways: Breaking Through, an initiative of Jobs for the Future and the National Council on Workforce Education, and Washington State Board of Community and Technical College’s Integrated Basic Skills and Training (I-BEST).
Accelerating Opportunity is a community college initiative of Jobs for the Future in partnership with the Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the National College Transition Network. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation have all invested in this initiative.