Moving from Analysis to Action

Achieving Measurable Outcomes for Colleges, Systems, and Low-Skilled Workers

Thousands of reports, data, workforce development analyses, and policy briefs have been issued by national think tanks and other workforce organizations pointing to the need for a more skilled workforce. A number of national and state committees, formed over several administrations, have called for a more coherent system. And many evidenced-based models are ready for implementation.

Through a joint focus on policy and program implementation, Accelerating Opportunity will change the way Adult Basic Education is structured, funded, and delivered at the state and institutional levels. 
This initiative will substantially increase the number of adults who can earn a GED and a credential and enter the workplace with competitive skills by creating effective pathways to credentials and careers for lower-skilled adults. This initiative will increase credential attainment using evidence-based instructional and organizational models (link to models page) and building on the successes of Breaking Through and Washington State’s experience implementing and scaling up Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST).

Accelerating Opportunity is a four-year initiative, launched in 2010. The partners selected the first set of participating colleges and states in 2011. By 2014:

At least fifty colleges across seven states will be implementing Accelerating Opportunity pathways in multiple professional/technical areas.

At least 40,000 students will be progressing through pathways to marketable, stackable, credit-bearing credentials.

At least 18,000 students will have in hand at least one marketable, stackable credit-bearing credential and at least one term’s worth of credit; they will also be ready to enter additional college-level programs without enrolling in developmental education.

States policies and financing models will sustain effective Accelerating Opportunity programs and expand them to assist many more adult learners in obtaining postsecondary credentials.

States will have engaged community colleges in a learning network to facilitate the adoption and scale-up of Accelerating Opportunity pathways.