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Brian Sorenson

Recent Posts

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As Americans Lose Faith in College, Let’s Change Their Understanding of What College Can Be

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Sep 13, 2017 1:23:49 PM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning

Last week, results from a poll conducted by NBC News and Wall Street Journal highlighted a finding that is sure to unnerve, if not surprise, advocates for higher education: For some populations, the prospect of earning a four-year college degree is no longer seen as being worth the effort.

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Congratulations to Washington Monthly’s 2017 Best Colleges for Adult Learners!

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Aug 31, 2017 10:27:47 AM

Topics: Success Stories, Best Practices, Adult Learning

Last September, Washington Monthly made waves in the world of adult learning when it released its inaugural ranking of Best Colleges for Adult Learners. The ranking was important for many reasons. For the millions of adult students in the U.S., the ranking served as validation that their needs deserve to be met by higher ed institutions. By issuing the rankings, Washington Monthly also gave mainstream recognition to the idea that adult learners really are the “new normal” when it comes to student demographics.

This week, Washington Monthly released its annual college guide and rankings, again including Best Colleges for Adult Learners rankings for two- and four-year colleges

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How Collaboration Can Win the Day for Competency-Based Education

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Aug 16, 2017 10:10:39 AM

Topics: Competency Based Education (CBE), Partnerships

Since its founding 43 years ago, CAEL has advocated for solutions to link learning and work. As the concept of the knowledge economy (PDF) increasingly motivates higher ed institutions and employers to innovate learning opportunities, colleges and universities are implementing solutions that get at the heart of this relationship between higher education and the workforce.

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New University of Wisconsin-Extension Case Study Looks at Competency-Based Education Success

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Aug 9, 2017 3:49:42 PM

Topics: Competency Based Education (CBE), Case Studies

Like its cousin prior learning assessment (PLA), competency-based education can be a highly effective model for helping students earn credit by demonstrating college-level learning gained from outside of the classroom. Also like PLA, to be successful, CBE must receive the right institutional support from stakeholders throughout a given college or university.

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Reaching the Promise of the Pell Grant

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning Success, Tuition

The Pell Grant has been a vital form of financial assistance for millions of students since the program was first offered to students in 1972. But as the national conversation on higher education continues to focus on increasing access for underserved populations, advocates for affordable postsecondary education are raising awareness for the need to better support the Pell Grant.

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New CAEL Report: The Case for Prior Learning Assessment Financial Aid

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 25, 2017 12:38:47 PM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, CAEL News, Tuition

Prior learning assessment (PLA) works.

For decades, PLA has proven to be an effective method for helping students meet completion goals, increasingly the likelihood of graduation to a rate of two-and-a-half times greater than that of non-PLA students. Students who take advantage of PLA have also shown on average to take an additional 9.9 credits more than their counterparts who have not made use of PLA¹.

Yet despite these benefits, there has yet to be a policy to provide federal financial assistance for PLA.

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The Unsung Hero for Adult Students: Child Care Services

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 24, 2017 10:32:24 AM

Topics: Best Practices, Student Expectations

A 2014 study (PDF) by the Institute for Women's Policy Research showed that almost five million undergraduate students—26 percent of all students—are raising children. This, Women Employed senior policy associate Sarah Labadie says, makes a recent budget proposal which would end the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program especially harmful for adult learners.

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GI Bill Update Would Increase Access to Higher Learning for Veterans

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 21, 2017 9:35:31 AM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Veterans, Military-Connected Student

First offered in 1944 to assist veterans returning from duty during World War 2, the GI Bill has helped millions of veterans buy homes, start businesses and complete degree programs. This week, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Veterans’ Affairs met to discuss changes to the bill to make taking advantage of its tuition benefits easier for veterans.

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CAEL and CAP: A Unique Partnership Brings CAEL’s Adult Learner Academy to Philadelphia

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 12, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Topics: Success Stories, Adult Learner Academy

Next month CAEL’s Adult Learner Academy will come to Philadelphia, courtesy of a special partnership that will shed light on some of the most effective ways to reach adult students. CAEL will be hosting the professional development workshops along with The Council for Accelerated Programs (CAP), a membership organization that serves professionals who lead, teach and conduct research in accelerated programs in higher education.

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Introducing Graduate-Level Prior Learning Assessment

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Topics: Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), CAEL News

Since the concept was developed in the 1970s, CAEL has been a leading advocate for prior learning assessment (PLA), a method of awarding credit for demonstrated evidence of prior learning. Now, building off its reputation as a leader in PLA development and advocacy, CAEL is introducing a PLA solution for a new audience: graduate students.

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