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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adult learners

The Adult College Completion Toolkit was developed by the Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). OVAE developed the Toolkit to help policymakers at the state and local level implement practical evidence-based solutions that increase the number of graduates who earn high-quality degrees and certificates required to compete for good jobs in the 21st century global economy. College completion is a shared responsibility; this Toolkit also provides resources for adult education administrators, teachers, and students.

The Adult College Completion Tool Kit is designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department’s work. States can use this information to identify and implement state adult education leadership priorities, supported by federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funds, which encourage and support adult learners transitioning to college.

The tool kit focuses on three areas:

  • Access: Academic preparation, financial resources, and other support students need to enroll in postsecondary education programs.
  • Quality: Evidence-based practices used by programs to ensure their services prepare students adequately for postsecondary education.
  • Completion: Administrative policies and programmatic approaches to encourage student persistence in postsecondary education programs.
Michelle Tolbert, MPR Associates, Inc.,
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

This paper, prepared for the 2011 Fall Research Conference hosted by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, presents an overview of dual-generation strategies, including a conceptual framework and important components, an analysis of the major opportunities and challenges for these strategies, and thoughts on next steps for moving forward with a dual-generation agenda.

Christopher T. King, Tara Smith, Robert C. Glover
Ray Marshall Center, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin

This website provides support to adult education providers in designing, implementing, and improving Adult Career Pathway programs. The site provides access to resources including curricula and lesson plans as well as online courses. The Adult Career Pathways project is overseen by a Technical Work Group comprised of experts in career pathways from across the country.

Kratos Learning Solutions, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education

This report by FutureWorks and Jobs for the Future to the U.S. Department of Labor looks at innovative practices that offer adult learners more flexible access to postsecondary courses and help accelerate their progress through credential programs. The authors profile programs at community colleges, where most adult learners are enrolled, and conclude with strategies for addressing the barriers institutions face when developing and implementing programs targeted to adult learners.

Victoria Choitz and Heath Prince
FutureWorks/ Jobs for the Future

This resource explores the reasons that algebraic thinking is necessary for adults to enable them to meet the demands of the workplace of the future.  It further explores the reasons that algebraic reasoning needs to be integrated early into all levels of arithmetic instruction.

Myrna Manly and Lynda Ginsburg
National Institute for Literacy

Designed to be used by teachers and counselors in ASE, ABE, ESOL, and College Transition programs, this curriculum aims to encourage all students, at all levels, to begin thinking about and articulating short- and long-term career, educational, and life goals. It provides classroom-ready, flexible lessons, handouts, and online resources to prepare instructors and counselors to guide students through a supportive career awareness and planning process.

Martha Oesch and Carol Bower
System for Adult Basic Education Support and the National College Transition Network

This brief looks at how states can increase access to college for working adults by strengthening their state financial aid policies. It documents the gap between the need for financial aid and what states and federal agencies provide, and it highlights states with exemplary programs. It makes a series of recommendations for state policymakers and groups wishing to retool their financial aid programs to better serve low-income adults.

Derek V. Price and Brandon Roberts
The Working Poor Families Project

A benchmarking study of six highly adult learning focused colleges and universities then transformed the benchmarking study findings into principles of effective practice. This publication introduces eight "Principles of Effectiveness for Serving Adult Learners", which describe processes and approaches which could be adopted by colleges seeking to improve access by and quality for adult students.

Council on Adult and Experiential Learning
Council on Adult and Experiential Learning

This study focuses on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), as an important but often overlooked strategy for helping adults progress towards a degree. PLA is the process by which many colleges evaluate, for academic credit, the college-level knowledge and skills an individual has gained outside of the classroom (or from non-college instructional programs).

Council on Adult and Experiential Learning
Council on Adult and Experiential Learning

This paper explores the challenges and possible solutions of how adult learners succeed, as well as provides alternatives for program delivery and policy infrastructure. The authors provide a demographic landscape of the trends in various adult learner populations, including those who require English language learning, general and vocational education, and skill improvement.

Condelli, L., Kirshstein, R., Reder, S., Silver-Pacuilla, H., & Spruck Wrigley, H.
American Institutes for Research