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News/Research

Here's where you'll find articles about transitioning adults to college and about online teaching and learning. If you come across interesting articles that you'd like us to share with others, send them to gploetz@comcast.net.

We begin this library of news and research with two reports, both of which focus on the need for developing transitional pathways to post-secondary education for adult learners. We'll be adding articles dealing with teaching approaches soon.

Transitioning adults to college: Adult Basic Education Program Models

The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) is a federally funded research and development center focused entirely on adult learning. This site is a rich resource of research and publications dealing with improving practice in educational programs that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills and those without a high school diploma.

Go to http://www.ncsall.net/index.php?id=15 You'll find a list of "Occasional Papers." Click on Transitioning adults to college: Adult Basic Education Program Models.

The article's abstract states: "While the majority of adults who take the General Educational Development (GED) test do so in order to continue their education, few go on to enter postsecondary education ( Tyler, 2001). Yet these same adults stand to make substantial economic and personal gains when they use their adult secondary credential to move from the ranks of high school dropout to postsecondary graduate, with the possibility of going from low-wage jobs to careers with a livable wage and benefits. Unlike transition services for high school graduates, which are well-established, the transformation of adult basic education (ABE) programs to include transition services for adults is an emerging area of concern for the field of adult education."

This is a long report, but if you go to page 30 you'll find a discussion of college preparatory models.

To Ensure America's Future: Building a National Opportunity System – Strengthening Links Between Community Colleges and Adult Basic Education

The Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) brought together educators from higher education and adult basic education to study key issues related to postsecondary transitions and make recommendations to address their concerns. Their report calls for close collaboration between community colleges and ABE programs – from joint programming efforts to curriculum articulation. You can read the report at: http://www.caalusa.org/ensureamericasfuture.pdf

The following paragraphs were taken from the opening sections of the study.

"This report is a call to arms. It comes at a pivotal time for both the adult education system and the community college sector.

The gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" in American society is growing, and the main pathway to the education and training needed to hold decent jobs and function well as parents and citizens is through the community college door. This has long been the case, but we are at a historical juncture. We ignore present realities at our own peril. We can't afford to keep doing business as usual. A growing number of adults lack a high school credential. Too few adults are enrolled in ABE, ESL, and GED or other diploma programs, and too few are making the transition to community colleges. We are reaching only about three million adults with current programs, a fraction of the need. Moreover, efforts to address the challenge are fragmental and underfunded.

…The skill's gap has many causes but only one solution. We urgently need a National Opportunity System that allows all adult Americans to obtain the knowledge and skills they require. At present, we have a wide range of education and training systems, but we lack an overall opportunity system that knits them together. We need seamless pathways of opportunity that allow individuals to progress up the ladder of education and training as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Furthermore, we urgently need pathways that give all Americans the opportunity to attain much higher levels of education and training than most have attained in the past. In today's economy, high-opportunity jobs require some form of postsecondary education or other specialized training, and an increasing number require postsecondary academic degrees or certification. Important as it is, education at the high school level is no longer enough to meet national workforce needs or to ensure individual well being. We must build a National Opportunity System that provides seamless paths to postsecondary achievement for all adults who aspire to this goal."

Check back here for more articles on transitioning adults to college and incorporating online resources into your program.

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