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The Resource Library is a compendium of tools and resources selected specifically for the Accelerating Opportunity initiative. You can navigate the Resource Library by topic, or by key word (or tag).

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Starts with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

This report was developed as part of the Postsecondary Success initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The paper provides a summary and analysis of promising policies and practices that could be beneficial in helping adults advance from adult education to postsecondary education. Data were collected by telephone interviews with 17 state adult education directors, postsecondary staff, and 1 – 2 program directors that were recommended by the state director.
The report summarizes and describes findings in the following categories:

  • Planning and partnerships
  • Models of college and career readiness
  • Assessment and advising
  • Comprehensive supports
  • Acceleration strategies
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Youth-specific issues and models.

The paper begins with an overview of adult education college and career readiness efforts and includes a particular focus on youth in adult education, ages 16 to 24. In addition to basic skills instruction, most adults, regardless of age, could benefit from college and career readiness services by helping them prepare for postsecondary education. The author describes a multitude of approaches taken by participating states in providing these services and also discusses challenges and opportunities that emerged in planning for and implementing the services. In addition to stating that the adult education system reform efforts should include a shift and expansion "beyond the GED", the author provides recommendations for learners of all ages in adult education programs and closes by discussing youth-specific issues and approaches to developing and implementing youth-focused programs in 4 of the 17 states. The recommendations for adult education leaders and private and public funders are framed around partnerships, strategies, and needed research.

2010
Cynthia Zafft
National College Transition Network

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) calls for states to offer programs of study (POS), which local educational agencies and postsecondary
institutions may adopt as an option for students participating in career and technical education (CTE). Each local recipient of Perkins IV funds must offer at least one
POS that, at a minimum:
• Incorporates and aligns secondary and postsecondary education elements;
• Includes academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses;
• Offers the opportunity, where appropriate, for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits; and
• Leads to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

The intent of this guidance is to clarify and offer suggested criteria for states to consider as they identify and certify whether a local POS provider is ready and has sufficient capacity
for full POS implementation. Implementation of the intentional POS structure that incorporates the statutory requirements will be confronted with a need to develop
a number of supporting elements. These supporting elements will aid and support POS implementation by addressing the system elements that comprise a fully developed
program of study. A self-assessment of these supporting elements makes up the content contained in this POS readiness and capacity review guide. Each of the elements are addressed individually, but work in concert with each other to help support full implementation of a program of study.

2010
MPR Associates, Inc.
MPR Associates, Inc.

This report is a follow-up to California’s Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success initiative and provides an overview of practices and strategies for transitioning adult education students to postsecondary education. A series of literature reviews began in 2007 with the publication of Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community College (Center for Student Success, 2007). This report is one of a number of follow-up projects to the initial literature review.
The report begins with an overview of educational levels and enrollment of students in adult education, GED, and community colleges.  The author discusses advantages of additional educational achievement, the role of community colleges in serving adult education students, and the importance of collaboration among adult education and community colleges.
Strategies and practices in transitioning students from adult education to postsecondary education were identified and are described in four areas:  organizational and administrative practices; program component practices; staff development practices; and instructional practices.  Practices and models from adult education programs throughout the United States provide practitioners with an array of strategies and examples that could be implemented in adult education and community colleges.

2009
Sharon Seymour
Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges/Center for Student Success

Federal and state financial aid programs are designed with traditional students in mind, which results in less financial aid for low-income, working adults pursuing postsecondary educations. This report highlights state financial aid policies that support adults who work while attending school part-time. 

2008
Radha Roy Biswas, Victoria Choitz, and Heath Prince
Jobs for the Future and the National Council for Workforce Education 

This Policy Brief focuses on helping adults with lower skills and/ or limited English proficiency earn postsecondary credentials that open doors to family-supporting jobs. It examines obstacles to moving toward this goal -- with major attention to lack of alignment between federal and state adult education efforts, job training services, and postsecondary education policies.

2007
Julie Strawn
Center for Law and Social Policy

Prepared for the Achieving the Dream national initiative, this report identifies essential features of a system to measure the performance of state community colleges.  It also describes the essential features of state data systems to support performance measurement.

2007
Susan Goldberger
Jobs for the Future

States increasingly see performance-based funding in adult education as a way to distribute resources fairly, promote accountability, and strengthen local programs. It is intended to assist state policymakers and adult education administrators in making more informed decisions when designing state allocation formulas using performance funding. To gain a better understanding of how these systems operate, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, commissioned a study of adult education fiscal policies in selected states using PBF to allocate program resources. This cross-case analysis report summarizes findings from case study site visits conducted in three states—Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri—which are among the most experienced in using performance-based funding to allocate federal, state, or both, types of resources. 

MPR also developed a literature review and theoretical framework on performance-based funding, available here.

In 2008, OVAE introduced its Technical Assistance to States on Performance-Based Funding initiative and contracted with MPR to provide training and TA. MPR worked with 12 states to help them develop or revise funding formulas to incorporate performance-based funding. Each state received customized technical assistance that involved convening a state task force, aligning state goals with funding criteria, modeling funding formulas, and creating a plan to introduce PBF to adult education programs. The final report from this project, available here, profiles the 12 states that received TA.

2007
MPR Associates, Inc.
MPR Associates, Inc., prepared for: U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education Division of Adult Education and Literacy

This policy brief summarizes how colleges and state policymakers can ensure that nontraditional students complete their educations. It offers a range of suggested policy improvements.

2006
Brandon Roberts and Deborah Povich
Working Poor Families Project

This brief offers a two-track approach to ensuring that low-income adults maintain access to, and success in attaining, a secondary credential. First we provide an overview of the GED test and a primer outlining the changes that will be made for 2014 and offer ways states can prepare for them. Next we describe alternatives to attaining a high school equivalency diploma (HSED) that states may want to provide. The HSED overview is based on an analysis done by the Center for Law and Social Policy, with descriptions of secondary equivalency programs that are already in place in some states and are worthy of consideration. The brief then summarizes actions states need to take to ensure that those with the most need and least resources, low-income adults, are not shut out of the education system.

Carol Clymer
The Working Poor Families ProjecT