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Why We Need Adult Learners to Shape Tomorrow’s Economy

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Dec 12, 2016 11:15:27 AM

Topics: Workforce Development, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning

As 2016 comes to an end, many Americans are continuing to discuss the implications of this year’s election results. What will our country look like in the year—and years—to come? When it comes to higher education and our economy, it’s clear that the adult learner will play a key role in the shape of things to come.

CAEL’s president and CEO Pamela Tate recently shared her thoughts with Governing Magazine on how adult learners will lead that direction—and why they deserve full support from institutions, foundations, businesses and policymakers alike.

“Today, there are more than 36 million adults in this country with some college education but no degree, compared to only about three million new high-school graduates,” Tate writes. “Yet higher education and its governing state policies remain focused on this younger, smaller group while neglecting to place the necessary emphasis on adults. If we are to create a workforce that can fill these jobs, we must change the way we think about adult learners.”

As we’ve discussed, while there’s no panacea for post-election conflict between those with competing ideologies, increasing access to higher education for all benefits everyone.  

To read Tate’s article, “Adult Learners’ Critical Role in the New Economy,” click here.