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Council for Adult and Experiential Learning to Host 46th Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony

Postsecondary, Business, and Economic Development Experts Will Lead Collaboration on Linking Lifelong Learning and Work to Sustain Equitable Economic Growth

INDIANAPOLIS – The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) will host its annual conference Nov. 4-6. Reimagined as a virtual gathering in 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis, the conference will gather educators, employers, government and community leaders, workforce and economic development partners, and other stakeholders who recognize the importance of adult learning for community prosperity. For the first time in annual conference history, CAEL is making registration free to all members, thanks to the generous support of Strada Education Network and other conference sponsors and donors. Reduced pricing is available for non-members. Registration details are available at conference.cael.org

“As always, our focus will be on advocacy for adult learners,” said Christine Carpenter, vice president of engagement for CAEL. “The pressures they face to continuously upskill in preparation for the future of work are not new, but the level of urgency is. The COVID-19 crisis has made equitable access to education, training, and coursework aligned to in-demand skills in growing careers more critical than ever.”

More than 100 experts will lead workshops, keynote speeches, and collaboration around best practices and common challenges in how learning providers, employers, technology, and data can work together to meet the evolving needs of learners and workers in the COVID-19 era. Keynote speakers include Heather McGowan, adjunct professor at the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarah Ancel, Founder and CEO at Student-Ready Strategies, and Scott Fleming, executive vice president and chief commercial and product officer for Strada Education Network.

The conference also will feature a conference session on “The PLA Boost: Results from a 72-Institution Targeted Study of Prior Learning Assessment,” a new study that CAEL will release Oct. 15 in partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The report continues groundbreaking original research by CAEL that quantifies the many benefits of recognizing knowledge and skills gained outside of classroom environments. These include improved retention and completion rates and savings in time and financial resources. The conference session will feature discussions with institutions about the implications of the report’s  findings and how they plan to use them in their work. 

CAEL will present several annual awards during the conference. They include Adult Learner of the Year; the Pamela Tate Rise Award, which recognizes those who forge connections between higher education and the workplace; the Morris T. Keeton Award, which recognizes a person whose work, commitment, and ideals reflect and extend the values of CAEL’s founding president; and the Adult Learner Impact Award, which recognizes the significant impact institutions and organizations create for working adult learners and embodies CAEL’s vision that “Every adult can navigate lifelong learning and career pathways that fuel social mobility and community prosperity.”

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