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Adapting Today’s Higher Education Policies for Today’s Students

Much has been made about changing face of higher education. In fact, CAEL’s very existence is owed to the recognition that the number of older learners in pursuit of a postsecondary degree or credential is growing and needs support. Yet as this recognition becomes increasingly mainstream, one facet of adult learner support continues to lags behind, says Peter McPherson: higher ed policy.

McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and president emeritus of Michigan State University, recently shared his thoughts with the Washington Post on the need for higher education policy to catch up to our evolving understanding of today’s population of learners.

Specifically, McPherson draws attention to the number of obstacles, unique to nontraditional students, that must often be overcome to achieve academic goals. As we know, these potential obstacles are many, including juggling full-time employment, raising a family and coursework; tuition costs and financial aid considerations; insufficient or inaccurate data with which to make informed education choices, and more.

McPherson’s call to arms: Higher education institutions and policymakers alike must come together break down those barriers that stand between students and educational attainment. While institutions are adapting to meets adult students’ needs, McPherson suggests that federal higher education policy must also be updated to aid those efforts. 

As a vocal advocate for nontraditional students, CAEL works with higher education institutions, government and other stakeholders in advocating for many of the policies McPherson seeks. On June 20, CAEL will be hosting a webinar, Policy and Advocacy Agenda for 2017, that will detail CAEL’s current policy priorities and strategies for policy change. The webinar will be provided at no cost for CAEL Members.

For more information on the webinar or to register, click the button below.


To read McPherson’s full article from the Washington Post, click here.


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