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non-traditional students

This article examines the role counseling plays in adult learner transitions from adult education programs to postsecondary education. In recent years, there has been a growth in the research on adult learner transitions to postsecondary education. In this brief, the research findings and recommendations are shared on the role of counselors in successfully transitioning adult learners to postsecondary education and ensuring they are successful in meeting their educational goals of entering postsecondary education.

Cherise G. Moore, Ph.D.
California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project

Integration of academic and vocational curricula is missing from most American classrooms because integration that is rigorous, authentic, and sustained is much more difficult than most advocates imagine. The difficulty arises because teachers must do the following: keep integration sharply focused on clear, well-defined educational objectives; find legitimate applications that really excite students; and be able to meet the demands of time, expertise, and resources that are beyond the reach of most teachers. Academic and vocational curriculum should be integrated to increase student achievement, especially for those students who have not fared well in the traditional curriculum, and to benefit all students. Whatever form integration takes, it should begin by clearly specifying the educational goals: clearly targeted, well-defined educational objectives; use of academic and industry skill standards to direct integrated learning; and teachers who remain focused on primary learning objectives, so that any decisions to temporarily diverge from these aims are made consciously, explicitly, and with a better understanding of the costs of the benefits. Requiring increasing degrees of planning, coordination, and commitment, the four different forms of integration for teachers to consider are as follows: course-level integration, cross-curriculum integration, programmatic integration through career clusters and industry majors, and schoolwide integration, such as academies and other models.

Gary Hoachlander
National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, Berkeley

As part of the Emerging Pathways project funded by Lumina Foundation, this paper focuses on the need to recognize adult learners as a diverse and complex set of individuals with widely divergent aspirations, levels of preparation, and degrees of risk.

Brian Pusser, David W. Breneman, Bruce M. Gansneder, Kay J. Kohl, John S. Levin, John H. Milam and Sarah E. Turner
Lumina Foundation for Education

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.

Brandon Roberts and Deborah Povich
Working Poor Families Project

This brief provides an overview of state adult education policies and programs and recommends ways they can be strengthened to provide better job advancement opportunities for lower-skilled adults and older youth.

Amy-Ellen Duke and Evelyn Ganzglass
Working Poor Families Project

This brief describes changes in the recent reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that affect postsecondary access and success for nontraditional students.

Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Julie Strawn
Center for Law and Social Policy