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Our Impact

Adult Learner Stories

CAEL strives to honor the work of individuals, institutions and programs that commit to adult learner excellence, innovation and impactful, outstanding programs. Our shared mission prospers when we recognize and encourage individual, organizational and institutional excellence in supporting  adult learners. Every day, you see their work in action and no one is more qualified to identify the latest heroes than the CAEL community. 

Learner of the Year

CAEL’s Learner of the Year is a lifelong learner who has successfully navigated the winding path that adult students face on the road to meeting their educational goals. We present the award to an individual who has overcome multiple barriers and has successfully returned to a learning environment. In doing so, we not only recognize and celebrate the individual learner and his or her own commendable achievements, but also those of the millions of other adults striving for excellence in higher education.

2023 Learner of the Year Award
Honoree: Don Khan Huai

Don Khan Huai-1

Morris T. Keeton Award

CAEL established the Morris T. Keeton Award in 1989 to honor our founding president for his independent voice for innovation and improvement in education. We present this award to a leader who is committed to making experiential learning an integral part of education, to increasing access for adult learners and minorities to postsecondary education, and to improving the theory and practice of assessment, teaching and learning.

Morris T. Keeton Award
presented to Alan Mandell


Community Impact Award

Community Impact Award
Honoree:  Employ Prince George's

Employ Prince George's mission is to improve the local economy by creating a demand driven workforce system in Prince George’s County, and workforce development programs that deliver qualified workers to businesses, improves the productivity of businesses, and provides job seekers with opportunities for careers in high demand/high growth industries.

Earl & Walter-1

Adult Learner Impact Award

CAEL presents the Adult Learner Impact Award to recognize institutions and organizations that have provided outstanding programs and services for adult learners. It recognizes the significant impact institutions and organizations create for adult learners and embodies CAEL’s vision that “Every adult has a pathway to lifelong learning and meaningful work.”

Adult Learner Impact Award
presented to Rio Salado College

Loyce Joyce-1

Pamela Tate Rise Award

This award, named after the former longstanding CAEL president, recognizes those who forge connections between higher education and the workplace with incredible tenacity, enhancing both the lives of adult learners and our nation’s workforce. We present this award to an individual who has forged important connections between education and the workplace in support of  adult learners.

Pamela Tate Rise Award
presented to Aysegul Timur