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‘Conversations With CAEL’: Adult Learner Alphur Willock

Posted by CAEL

Topics: Adult Student Success, Employee Motivation, career development, Adult Learning Success, Student Stories

In between raising six kids, thwarting carjackers (more on that later), and working full time, widowed father Alphur Willock (who goes by “Slim”) has somehow found time to take advantage of work-based degree programs. Recently, he completed a B.S. in computer science from Pace University, a Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) institutional member. It was just the latest step in a learning journey that intertwines career and coursework.

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Amid the Confusion and Chaos of Current Events, Our Mission Has Never Been Clearer

Posted by Beth Doyle

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success, upskilling, reskilling

During a crisis, things can seem overwhelming. That’s always been the case. But it’s especially true in the age of social media and 24/7 news cycles. 

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Lifelong Learners: the Ultimate ‘Transfer Students’

Posted by Becky Klein-Collins

Topics: Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success, college completion, transfer students, articulation agreements

There has been recent discussion about the need for consistent, student-friendly policies for recognizing transfer students’ prior college credit. Otherwise, there is a danger that students could lose a lot of the time and money already spent on learning. In fact, a GAO study found that 40 percent of college credits are lost in transfer.[1] To mitigate this, some institutions have made their transfer policies more generous. Some have amplified these measures by establishing articulation agreements that, as the article linked above suggests, can be further strengthened through a consortium model.

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FIU Participates in Comprehensive Project to Discover Best Support for Adult Latinos

Posted by Complete Florida

Topics: Adult Learning Success, Latino Adult Student Success Academy, Excelencia, latino students, HSIs, Florida International University, Complete Florida

There are currently 2.2 million working-age adults in Florida who have started college and never finished. Complete Florida, an attainment program funded by the legislature, has a goal to help these individuals get the degrees they need for the jobs they want. This effort keeps talent pipelines filled with skilled employees that keep Florida’s economy stable. Part of these efforts require that Florida colleges and universities understand their adult learner populations. Who are they? What are their needs?

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How Shasta College is Helping Working Adult Learners to Come up ACEs

Posted by Carlo Bertolini

Topics: Workforce Development, Success Stories, Best Practices, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success, Adult Learner 360, Skills Gap, online learning, college completion, reverse transfer, accelerated program, degrees when due, degree reclamation

Shasta College successfully implements accelerated programs, gateway programs to four-year degrees, and a degree-reclamation program to help working adult learners achieve success in degree completion and work.

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Trauma Impacts Adult Learners: Here’s Why

Posted by Karen Gross, Author, Educational Commentator, and Senior Counsel at Finn Partners

Topics: Adult Student Success, Best Practices, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success

We live in a world surrounded by trauma. There’s no doubt about it.  The trauma comes from a myriad of sources including childhood adverse experiences, natural disasters and shootings in locations commonly considered safe.   The fact is that trauma produces symptoms. While symptomology differs from person to person (even within the same family), it affects the capacity of individuals of all ages to learn and retain information.   

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

Posted by Sean Hudson

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

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

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

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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