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Learn more now about the 2023 CAEL Conference in Baltimore, MD!

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Fall 2020 Newsletter

New Keynote Event Added to CAEL’s 2020 Conference

Online Learning Webinar Facilitated Great Conversation!

Listen! Here's a GREAT podcast about Online Learning!

Thirty-Ninth VHEAG Meeting Focuses on Diversity and Inclusion

CAEL Launches Alliance for Veterans in Higher Education

What Surveying Our Customers Taught Us About Our Adult Learner Survey Tool 

The PLA Boost to Credential Completion is Strong - A New Research Report from CAEL and WICHE

CAEL Launches Microcourse Series

Remembering Arthur W. Chickering

Recent CAEL Appearances

Welcome New Members!

COVID Wisdom - CAEL Investigating Impact of COVID-19 on Adult Learners

Recent Blog Posts and Other Articles

How Can We Help?

New Keynote Event Added to CAEL’s 2020 Conference

How can we make sure students develop the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow? On Nov. 6, Dr. Shanika Hope of Amazon will cover specific use cases of how combining the four Cs (collaboration, curiosity, critical thinking, and communication) with the power of technology can help transform learning and prepare students for the future of work. Dr. Hope joins keynote speakers from Strada Education Network, the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University of Technology, and Student-Ready Strategies, LLC.

As a reminder, access to live conference events is free to all CAEL members, with opportunities to purchase all-inclusive access passes that grant unlimited replays of all conference content through May 31, 2021. 

Check Out This Lineup of Sponsor Sessions!

We are so grateful for the support of our sponsors who support adults navigate lifelong learning and career pathways. A big 'Thank You' to the generous support of Strada Education Network and all of our sponsors, with their support, we are able to offer free access to our virtual conference to all CAEL members.

Don’t miss out of the opportunity to learn more about some of our sponsors and their thought leadership by adding the below sessions to your schedule.

Strada Education Network: A New Learning Ecosystem for the COVID Era | Emsi: Mapping Cirriculum to the Language of the Labor Market | InsideTrack: The Positive Impact of Employer Education Benefit Programs | Guild Education: Working Adult Learner Support | Ease Learning: Using Learning Design to Reimagine the Student Experience | AWS Academy: Preparing Students for the Future of Work | StraighterLine: Model Pathways | uConnect: Why Attracting and Retaining Adult Learners Starts with Exceptional Career Services | Student Opportunity Center (SOC): Virtual Project Based Experiential Learning for Adult Learners | Cambridge Assessment International Education: Texas Two Year College Perceptions of Prior Learning Assessment | Max-Grad: Recruiting, Re-engaging, and Re-enrolling Stopped Out Students Amidst Covid 19 | The EvoLLLution: Continuing Education's Role in Defining Higher Ed's New Normal | Capital Education: A Real Conversation About Online Pedagogy and Partners

Online Learning Webinar Facilitated Great Conversation!

On October 8 CAEL partnered with CapEd to offer a webinar, Effective Remote and Online Learning for Adult Learners: Taking Online Learning to the Next Level of Excellence.” Four hundred people registered to discuss ways to successfully guide students to curriculum outcomes using remote and online learning practices that are proven winners.

Listen! Here's a GREAT podcast about Online Learning!

In this episode, Dr. Tammy Shelton, who also hosted the webinar above, helps us pull back the curtain in online learning to better understand what goes into it from a teacher's perspective, as well as what learners should expect and even demand from their education. You’ll learn the difference between online and remote learning, hybrid versus high flex, and explore the future of higher education in its new normal.

Access the podcast here.

Thirty-Ninth Chicago-Area Student Veterans Coordinator Meeting Focuses on Diversity and Inclusion

On September 30, CAEL's Veterans Higher Education Affinity Group (VHEAG) held its 39th meeting. Postsecondary education experts in diversity and inclusion shared their unique perspectives addressing the challenges minority and LGBTQ+ students face when pursuing a degree. Since issues of equity and inclusion extend far beyond military-connected students and veteran-serving faculty and staff, an engaging panel discussion helped faculty and staff work across the institution to cultivate a culture of inclusivity. Members were able to choose to attend breakout sessions focusing on:

  • What is and is not acceptable language and behavior in our higher ed community, especially as institutions navigate a complicated political climate. 
  • Using collaboration as a tool for crafting antiracist action plans.
  • Perspectives from a first-generation, military-connected, Latina student.

CAEL Launches Alliance for Veterans in Higher Education

CAEL is proud to announce the launch of the Alliance for Veterans in Higher Education (AVHE), a learning group convening central and southern Illinois stakeholders from higher education, state and local agencies, and veteran-service organizations to identify and address the challenges and barriers rural student veterans face when returning to postsecondary education. This group held its inaugural (virtual) meeting on Wednesday, October 28th. Please reach out to Dr. Amy Morys (amorys@cael.org) for more information. 

What Surveying Our Customers Taught Us About Our Adult Learner Survey Tool 

Most people would agree that hearing straight from your stakeholders is the best way to excel at meeting their needs. That’s why Adult Learner 360 is dedicated to translating feedback into meaningful improvement. Its parallel surveys capture institutional and adult learner perspectives. The survey data reveal institutional strengths, opportunities for improvement, and, often, disconnects between the two perspectives. 

Read more.

The PLA Boost to Credential Completion is Strong - A New Research Report from CAEL and WICHE

CAEL is pleased to share a new research report on the impact of PLA on adult student outcomes: The PLA Boost: Results from a 72-Institution Targeted Study of Prior Learning Assessment and Adult Student Outcomes. Through detailed data analysis of more than 230,000 adult postsecondary students, the report confirms that PLA reduces barriers to postsecondary education and improves credential completion, representing an opportunity for meaningful progress in closing equity gaps. And yet, only about one in ten students in our sample had any PLA credit. For PLA to benefit the students who need it most, postsecondary institutions should promote it in tandem with their degree programs.

The findings have a lot of implications for our work going forward, as outlined in the report’s recommendations for the field and for policy makers. Our website provides the full report, an executive summary, and a one-page fact sheet. Also there are two other recent PLA research briefs - one on the importance of PLA for our economic recovery, and the other on PLA and the future of higher education. 

CAEL held a webinar with some of the report’s coauthors and several other experts, who discussed the findings and how educators can influence PLA policy and practice. You can access the recording here.

CAEL Launches Microcourse Series

This fall, CAEL launched the first in a series of eight video-based microcourses for our members who support adult learners directly or indirectly. Self-paced and designed to be completed in less than an hour, each microcourse provides a high-level overview of a topic relevant to adult learner success.

Available now, Course One, "Roadmaps to Success: Understanding and Serving Your Adult Learners," is designed to build awareness and understanding of the challenges adult learners face and demonstrate the power that postsecondary professionals have to address and remove those barriers. Though courses 2-8 are exclusive to members, we are happy to make the first course available to the general public, and we hope you will share it with your colleagues.

Upcoming courses in this series include:

  • Improving Programs with Labor Market Data
  • Engaging Adult Learners as Consumers
  • Attracting Adults to Your Institution
  • Building Blocks for an Effective PLA Program
  • Developing and Strengthening Employer Partnerships
  • Stackable Credentials and Micro Credentials

CAEL's commitment is to help our members learn about new topics and issues, continuously improve their support of adult learners, and become confident, skilled professionals.  

Remembering Arthur W. Chickering

On August 15, the adult learning community lost a pioneering advocate. Arthur Chickering – known to his friends and colleagues as Chick – was instrumental in many of the principles that undergird the CAEL mission.  Catherine Marienau, Professor Emerita, DePaul University, and Beth Doyle, CAEL’s vice president for client success and operations, remember Art in these blog posts:

Art Chickering and the Adult Learner Movement: Reflections on the Modern American College and Its Connection to CAEL's Work Today (Beth Doyle)

A Tribute to Arthur W. Chickering (1927-2020) (Catherine Marienau)

Fans of Chick may also enjoy this video from 2014, in which Art talks about the importance of respecting each learner’s background and talents and how the recognition of prior learning and diverse competencies that arise from varied life experiences can benefit students and workers. 

Recent CAEL Appearances

Several members of the CAEL staff lent their expertise at recent industry and postsecondary events. They include:

Josh Klein, director - program design, presented “Upskilling and Reskilling for the New Economy” to the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Shawn Hulsizer, vice president - advancement and impact, and Christine Carpenter, vice president - engagement, facilitated “The Cycle of Working Adult Learners: Removing Barriers and Building New Pathways” in partnership with the League of Innovation in the Community College.

Dawn Lang, senior vice president - partnerships, presented “Strategies for Developing the Microelectronics Workforce of the Future” for SEMI, which connects more than 2,400 member companies and 1.3 million professionals worldwide to advance the technology and business of electronics design and manufacturing.

Scott Campbell, vice president - partnerships; Barry Nickerson, director - higher education consulting; and Online Learning Consortium CEO Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D., presented “Serving Adults at a Distance in a Digital World” at the ASU+GSV Summit.

Also at the ASU+GSV Summit: Becky Klein-Collins, associate vice president - advancement and impact; Patrick Lane, vice president - policy analysis and research at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE); Michele Rice, director of prior learning assessment at Penn State University; and Justin Garcia, dean of educational services at West Hills Community College District presented “What Matters Is What You Know, Not How You Learned It: Sharing Research Findings on the Impact of Prior Learning Assessment.” Finally, Wilson Finch, Associate Vice President - Consulting, presented “A Virtual Office Hour With CAEL," which covered the benefits and importance of recognizing prior learning -- in all of its forms -- and workshopped ways to remove barriers to scale.

Welcome New Members!

CAEL was honored to welcome its newest members, including:

  • Five Institutional members from the University of Nebraska System: University of Nebraska, University of Nebraska, Omaha University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • 28 Individuals from 21 institutions/organizations: College Board, Finn Partners, Success Center for CA Community Colleges, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Lassen Community College, Success Center for California Community Colleges, Northern Virginia Community College, Texas A&M University, University of South Alabama, College Unbound, Salt Lake Community College, Kansas State University, Price Talent Shop LLC, Jobs for the Future, Strategic Education, Inc., Salt Lake Community College, NASPA, Moraine Park Technical College, Empire State College, EDP University, University of Maine, Rutgers University

We are thrilled to continue to grow our community as we collectively work to meet the needs of the adult learner and help build innovative education-to-career pathways.  

COVID Wisdom - CAEL Investigating Impact of COVID-19 on Adult Learners

Supported by The DeBruce Foundation, KC Scholars, and the Urban Education Research Center (UERC), CAEL's Dr. Scott Campbell, along with researchers Dr. Royce Ann Collins and Jenny Frenzel, conducted 19 focus groups over the past 90 days with adult learners as well as faculty and staff from a variety of institutions in the Midwest. The goal was to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted adult learners' academic progress and what they need from institutions to be successful.  The results are being used to make student support and funding decisions for the Kansas City Scholars Network.

Recent Blog Posts and Other Articles 

The Future Is Here: New Brief Examines Enhanced Role of Learning Recognition

Inclusive Development Network Proving Timely and Effective

Reskilling Workforce Seen as Critical to ‘Manufacturing Marshall Plan’

Maybe Clayton Christensen Was Right … Disruption Is Coming to Higher Education

Newly Released Brief Argues for Expanded Offering of PLA and Greater Outreach to Students Who Can Benefit the Most

A Commitment to Doing More

New Great Plains IDEA Podcast Offers Faculty and Adult Learners Support With Distance Learning

CAEL-Hosted Regional Workforce Assemblies Held in September

How Colleges Can Make Prior Learning Assessment More Equitable

Prior Learning Credits Boost Completion Odds

Behind the Scenes With Five Experts Presenting at CAEL 2020

Survey: Adults Less Confident About Value of Higher Ed

Education and Work Without a Safety Net

CAEL’s 2020 Conference: Opening Access During the Shutdown

Back in School Decades Later

System Perspectives on Serving Adult Learners in the Wake of the Pandemic

Removing Barriers to Completion: How MCC Helps Students Finish What They Started

How Can We Help?

At CAEL, we link learning and work so that all adults have clear pathways to meaningful work. That means helping postsecondary institutions implement best practices for attracting and retaining adult learners and working with workforce and employment boards to illuminate clear paths to employment for their communities. We also support employers who want to give their employees stronger work-related skills.

With the current need for rapid re-employment, many of our conversations are taking place at the state level--how can state-wide credit for prior learning programs be implemented so adult learners get the appropriate credit for work-based learning, for example. If we can help you with your work supporting adult learners and getting our communities back to work, please contact us and we'll set up a time to talk.



Want to learn more? Let's talk!

If your institution or organization is seeking guidance, solutions, or support from CAEL, or if you have an idea for a future collaboration initiative with us, please reach out. We'd love to connect.

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