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Join us in Chicago from November 6 to 8, 2019 for our annual CAEL Conference!Register Now

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My Learning Matters—Colleges and Universities Should Not Dismiss Diverse Learning Experiences

Posted by Sean Hudson on May 31, 2019 11:17:00 AM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success

As an adult, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve acquired a decent amount of your knowledge and skills from experiences that took place outside the classroom. Whether you learned about software programming from helping your mother access her music on her computer or you’re a pro in Microsoft Excel from your years of designing pivot tables, the way you gained your abilities is derived from your life experiences. Many colleges and universities will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your existing skills through different methods of examination known as prior learning assessment (PLA). For example, you may take a standardized test (e.g., the College-Level Examination Program [CLEP] exam) to demonstrate your mastery in a particular subject, such as history. Or, you may put together a portfolio showcasing your years of work experience as, say, a researcher, to demonstrate that you don’t need to take a college-level statistics course.

So, imagine going back to school and attempting to get PLA credit for knowledge you already have, only to be told, “Sorry, that experience doesn’t count.” That would seem quite unfair, right? Well, that’s what’s happening for some native and heritage speakers of non-English languages.

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CAEL President Marie A. Cini Discusses the New Normal College Student

Posted by Brian Sorenson on May 23, 2019 2:44:40 PM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Employee Training, Adult Learning Success, Skills Gap

Is it obvious to most observers that the way college is depicted on the silver screen is only a pale imitation of what higher education truly offers to learners, especially when it comes to so-called nontraditional students? (Think: Melissa McCarthy's character in the 2018 comedy "Life of the Party.") Hollywood continues to perpetuate the enduring perception that college is still merely a haven for young people to let loose, and that narrative comes at the expense of a rising tide with more and more adult students. We need to stop thinking of these students as fish out of water and realize that they represent the new normal of higher education.

CAEL President Marie A. Cini is responding to that narrative with one of her own.

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Florida group supports expansion of PLA across the state

Posted by Josh Klein on Mar 13, 2019 10:55:51 AM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Best Practices, Trends in Higher Education, Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), Adult Learning Success

Complete Florida was created in 2013 to help the millions of adults across the state who have earned some college credit, but not a degree. The services offered by Complete Florida are completely free for participants, and they help individuals to complete a certificate or degree program. Ultimately, this boost can make it possible for participants to achieve employment in high-demand occupations.
 
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) plays an integral role in the Complete Florida framework. Through assessments that evaluate students’ existing skill sets, the state of Florida recognizes the importance of adults being able to obtain credit for their years of on-the-job experience.

 

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Adapt and Pivot: Talking Strategy on the Eve of the Inaugural Latino Adult Student Success Convening

Posted by Rafael Pasillas on Feb 12, 2019 11:37:10 AM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning Success, Adult Learner 360, Adult Learner Academy

In August 2018, CAEL launched an ambitious new project to improve outcomes for adult Latino students in higher education. The Adult Learner 360 Academy for HSIs is an ongoing initiative to work with 15 Hispanic-serving institutions from across the country:

Austin Community College, TX
Bronx Community College, NY
California State University-Sacramento, CA
Estrella Mountain Community College, AZ
Florida International University, FL
Lehman College, NY
Phoenix College, AZ
Richard J. Daley College, IL
South Texas College, TX
Texas A&M University-San Antonio, TX
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, TX
Union Institute & University, OH
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, TX
University of Wisconsin-Parkside, WI
West Los Angeles Community College, CA

Funded by generous support from The Kresge Foundation, Ascendium Education Group and Greater Texas Foundation, this three-year project, in partnership with Excelencia in Education, will help the participating HSIs identify areas where they can enhance their services. CAEL will provide professional development, tools and research to support the participants.

As part of the program, the partner HSIs will come together annually with CAEL and Excelencia in Education for the Latino Adult Student Success Convening (LASSC). With our first convening for the initiative on the horizon later in February, we asked our funders what drew them to this project and why they’re involved in the cause to support working adult Latino students.

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A Modern-day Rosetta Stone for the Future of Work

Posted by Michelle R. Weise on Oct 17, 2018 9:25:33 AM

Topics: Talent Management, Adult Learning, Employee Training, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Skills Gap

Michelle R. Weise is a higher education expert who specializes in disruptive innovation and the future of learning and work. She is the senior vice president of workforce strategies for Strada Education Network and is also the Chief Innovation Officer. Her research focuses on the future of the workforce and how to connect students more directly to promising and meaningful employment pathways throughout their working lives.
 
Join Michelle R. Weise this November at the 2018 CAEL International Conference as she explores key findings from recent research.
 

 
Policymakers, educators and employers are vigorously debating how best to prepare Americans for the future of work. There are those who believe that the “hard” skills of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are most critical to the future, and those who believe the uniquely “human” skills of the liberal arts are the ones that will endure in the face of automation. At Strada Institute for the Future of Work, we say, “both, and.” It is the integration of human and technical skills that will provide the best preparation for the future of work: programing and ethics; artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence; logic with values and judgment.
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How does your institution attract and engage adult learners?

Posted by Valerie Delleville on Oct 11, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Topics: Structural Approaches to Learning, Adult Learning

Adult learners are not a population to ignore: there are nearly 37 million of them in the U.S. with some college and no degree. This total doesn’t even consider the millions of adult learners who are seeking out first time enrollment in post-secondary programs. When compared to the expected 2019 high school graduation population of 3.6 million, it becomes obvious why adult learners are so critical to any institution’s sustainability.

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America’s Employers Value Skills and Experience

Posted by Carol D'Amico on Oct 8, 2018 10:32:00 AM

Topics: Employee Retention, Talent Management, Adult Learning, Employee Training

Carol D'Amico is the executive vice president of mission advancement and philanthropy for the Strada Education Network. She is is a nationally recognized expert in designing and leading strategies related to higher education, workforce development and business-led involvement in education reform.
 
Join Carol D’Amico this November at the 2018 CAEL International Conference as she explores these insights and shares new findings from Strada and Gallup’s research on pathways from education to employment.
 

 
There’s good news for experiential learners! Hiring professionals focus on a job applicant’s personal and technical skills, their interview presentation and previous work experience when making hiring decisions, according to a new national survey of employers commissioned by the Strada Education Network and conducted by Gallup. This will come as no surprise to CAEL members, who understand the often-overlooked value of previous work experience. This is just one finding about the value and relevance of experiential learning from the survey of employers commissioned by the Strada Education Network and conducted by Gallup.
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Is There an App for That? The New Age of Career Services Is here

Posted by Sean Hudson on Oct 4, 2018 10:40:00 AM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Student Expectations, Student Advising and Coaching, Advising Resource Center, Career Services

The old career services model—where students seek out help with job searches, resume writing and career preparation—was never all that exciting or engaging for students in years past, and chances are that many of the career services offered today haven’t changed much, other than using new high-tech tools and directing students to online job postings. The truth is that, historically speaking, colleges haven’t made career services a big priority.

Students can tell. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Strada Education Network and Gallup, nearly 4 in every 10 college students have never visited their colleges’ career offices or used their resources.

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What Happens When You Start Listening to the Adults in the Room?

Posted by Sean Hudson on Oct 2, 2018 10:47:00 AM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Student Expectations, Case Studies, Adult Learning, Adult Learner 360

We have been hearing more and more about “today’s students” and how they are much more likely to be older people who work and have significant family responsibilities. Some people also refer to these students as nontraditional, post-traditional or simply as adult learners. Regardless of what term is used, colleges and universities are starting to pay a lot more attention to these students, but many postsecondary institutions often wonder what they should be doing differently to meet the needs of today’s students.

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Modeling One's Own Racism

Posted by Stephen Brookfield on Oct 1, 2018 11:37:08 AM

Topics: Adult Learning, Employee Training, Student Stories

Dr. Stephen D. Brookfield is the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, where he recently won the university's Diversity Leadership Teaching & Research Award. In 2008 he was awarded the Morris T. Keeton Award from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning for "significant contributions to the field of adult and experiential learning."
 
He'll join us as a featured speaker at the 2018 CAEL International Conference in Cleveland, which runs from November 13 to 16.
 

 
Learning to lead, particularly where racist dynamics are concerned, is a complex task. Leaders are adult learners, constantly learning about the practice of leadership and also trying to support the learning of adult colleagues. But our attempts to help the people we work with to move forward in their understanding of racism can backfire if we are not critically reflective about our own practice. The brief story below illustrates this.
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