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).
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.
This Brief, based on a longer review that considers the hypothesis that low-skilled students can learn more effectively and advance to college-level programs more readily through contextualization of basic skills instruction, presents two forms of contextualization that have been studied: “contextualized” and “integrated” instruction. There is more descriptive work on the contextualization of basic skills than studies with student outcome data. In addition, many studies with quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of contextualization have methodological flaws that limit conclusions. Further, only a small number of studies are with college students. However, despite these problems, contextualization seems to be a promising direction for accelerating the progress of academically underprepared college students. The method of contextualization is grounded in a conceptual framework relating to the transfer of skill and student motivation; practitioners who use it observe positive results, and the available quantitative evidence indicates that it has the potential to increase achievement.