What We Do

At the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), everything we do supports one goal: Making it easier for people to get the education and training they need. We do this by finding practical ways to link people’s education to their jobs or future careers. We also support ways to link learning from their work and life experiences to their educational goals—so they earn their degrees and credentials faster.

Here are the specific ways CAEL works to help adults get the education they need:

College Credit

When more adult students graduate from college, everyone wins. CAEL helps adult students earn college credit for learning from life experience, saving them time and money. And we help colleges improve their adult student services, improving their retention and graduation rates.


Degree Completion

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment is the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training, military training, or open source learning from the web.

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Competency-Based Education

Instead of evaluating student progress on the amount of time spent in a classroom, competency-based education allows students to receive college credit based on their actual demonstration of skills learned. It can help many more adults to complete their degrees in less time and at an affordable price.

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CAEL’s advising services help people discover not only what they want to do and will find rewarding, but also what will lead to a career with a future. We also help them navigate the dizzying array of educational choices.


Career Paths

It’s hard to plan your education when you don’t know where it leads. By uncovering career paths, in all their upward and sideways complexity, CAEL helps people see the route they want to follow.



CAEL knows that every institution and organization is unique, and sometimes the only way to address specific challenges is with our customized consultation services.



CAEL works to bring together the higher education, public, and private sectors, because it’s only by working together that they can smooth the path to learning for adults.


Research & Publications

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) conducts research, creates webinars, and produces publications on ways to help adult learners access education—and connect that learning to work.

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Public Policy

Changing public policy to break down barriers to learning is not only good for individuals, but also for region, states, and the nation. CAEL influences critical public policy areas to help make education more accessible.