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CAEL Joins Adult Learner Advocates to Create National Adult Learner Coalition

CAEL is proud to announce that it is part of a group of four associations that have joined together with a unified message advocating for adult students and the higher education institutions that serve them. Along with support from Lumina Foundation, CAEL is joined by the Presidents’ Forum, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) to form the National Adult Learner Coalition.

The Coalition’s mission is the same that has driven CAEL since its founding in 1974: advancing the adult learner agenda to expand post-secondary education and credentialing opportunities that will strengthen our communities, regions and national economy. Collectively, the Coalition’s founding members represent more than 1,000 higher education institutions throughout the United States that have long been leaders and innovators in expanding opportunities for adult and contemporary learners.

The Coalition will promote policies that align post-secondary education and America’s workforce development goals to produce better outcomes and access for the majority of today’s students.

The Coalition’s goals are to modernize federal education and workforce policy to reflect the reality that the adult learner is the new normal; educate stakeholders on the value and needs of adult learners and innovative ways to serve them; and mobilize colleges and universities, employers, government and other key constituencies to advance the adult learner. The Coalition will also work to increase awareness of the need for support for innovative directions such as competency-based education, prior learning assessment and alternative credentialing, all of which hold great promise for reaching adults.

“We must invest in adult learners to meet our country’s need for skilled workers, said CAEL’s President and CEO Pamela Tate. “CAEL has been working for over 42 years to realize its vision of meaningful learning, credentials and work for every adult. This coalition will help advance the adult learner agenda and we are proud to be a part of it.”

The Coalition unveiled an important white paper, entitled “Strengthening America’s Economy By Expanding Educational Opportunities for Working Adults,” which outlines some of the issues facing adult learners including confusing or incomplete information, patchwork of regulations and a need for more flexible and impactful educational offerings.

To review the full white paper, “Strengthening America’s Economy By Expanding Educational Opportunities for Working Adults,” click here.


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