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Join us in New Orleans from November 3 to 5, 2020 for our annual CAEL Conference

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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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Accelerated Programs: A Critical Piece of the Adult Learner Equation

Posted by Jeannie McCarron on Sep 21, 2018 5:02:08 PM

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

Jeannie McCarron is currently the Director of Higher Education at CAEL and serves on the Executive Board for CAP. She'll join us as a featured speaker at the 2018 CAEL International Conference in Cleveland, which runs from November 13 to 16.

CAP officially joined CAEL on July 1, 2018.


I had the wondrous opportunity to work with accelerated program leaders, administrators and faculty when I served as Director of the Council for Accelerated Programs (CAP) for almost 12 years. I was continually struck by the sheer tenacity of this group—a group of resilient professionals whose work was often viewed as “lesser quality” compared to those working in traditional programs. I watched this group hold firm in their beliefs that these programs were of the highest possible quality and served a population of learners who needed this format to achieve their goals and earn the credentials they deeply desired. Although there were times of enhanced scrutiny due to new regulations and a focus on the credit hour and Carnegie Unit, this team of warriors held steadfast and kept going, improving, serving. These professionals kept their eye on the ball and kept playing—and achieving.

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Making Higher Education More Accessible

Posted by Scott Campbell on Aug 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Topics: Adult Learning Success

In 2014 at the CAEL International Conference CAEL’s past CEO and President Pamela Tate delivered her vision for CAEL when it reaches its 50th anniversary. She envisioned a time in the not-so-distant future where adult learners would no longer face the barriers they currently face. She saw a time when most colleges and universities will recognize learning from all sources; a time where adults from all socio-economic classes can build the skills they need for a lifetime of employment; and a nation that would recognize that adults are as important as traditional students in the workforce pipeline are.

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The Benefits of Collaboration in Higher Education

Posted by Scott Campbell on Jul 27, 2018 11:45:00 AM

Topics: Best Practices, Adult Learning Success

Collaboration and innovation are the new buzzwords in higher education. However, what do they really mean to the faculty and staff on the ground at higher education institutions? There is more than a little fear associated with these words. These words often come with change and people are resistant to change. According to the Harvard Business Review, people see change through the lens of uncertainty, loss of control and potentially, more work.

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Optimism in Higher Education; Reshaping the Narrative

Posted by Laurie ShoulterKarall on Jul 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning Success

HundrED, a non-profit organization that discovers inspiring innovations in K-12 education, has a list of the top 100 worldwide education innovations for each year. They seek out innovations in K-12 to document and share in the hopes of inspiring other schools to copy or create new ones. Meanwhile, the reports about post-secondary education seem to be mired in unsolvable problems, attacks from politicians and the general outlook that it is the end of higher education.

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You Say You Want a (Learning) Revolution

Posted by Laurie ShoulterKarall on Jun 1, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Topics: Structural Approaches to Learning, Adult Learning Success

The PEW Research Center rocked the higher education universe last year when it published the results of a survey titled Sharp Partisan Divisions in the Views of National Institutions (PDF). While the report looked at a variety of institutions, including the news media and religious organizations, colleges and universities drew the most explosive response. The survey results indicated that, while 55 percent of the public saw the positive effects of colleges and universities, 58 percent of the Republicans polled reported that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the United States. Immediately, institutional leaders, politicians, scholars and policy advocates chose sides and took up arms. The revolution had begun.

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The Huge Costs of the PROSPER Act for Students, Institutions

Posted by Scott Campbell on Dec 13, 2017 12:47:05 PM

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

“Results are what you expect, and consequences are what you get.” While the author of that quote is unknown, he or she might well have been looking at the proposed rewrite of the Higher Education Act. The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform or PROSPER Act has advanced from the House education committee to the full chamber. In the tumult of Tweets, elections, tax reform and resignations, this 500-page plus act has received very little public review. There are positive elements but there are also actions that could have dire consequences for higher education institutions and the students who attend them.

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