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Our Work

CAEL Standards

Our Theory of Change highlights CAEL’s primary objective of providing all adult learners with an equitable opportunity to successfully obtain credentials and skills that lead to good jobs, increased economic mobility, and an improved quality of life.

For more than 50 years, CAEL has developed and upheld evidence-based standards that secure successful education and employment outcomes for adult learners and workers. Continuous and extensive analysis of established and emerging practices informs CAEL’s research and guidance, such as the Adult Learner Leaders for Institutional Effectiveness Framework, or ALLIES Framework

The ALLIES Framework guides institutions through the change management process for effectively meeting the needs of diverse adult learners within digitally dependent learning environments and evolving labor markets.

CAEL standards provide quality assurance guidance through:

CAEL also pursues industry-leading standards in other areas of our work, such as Adult Learner-Friendly Workplaces, Industry Partnerships and Equity Analysis and Implementation.

The new Adult Learner Centered & Equity Framework for Community Colleges in a SNAP Network (ALCEF) is a national coalition of 80 community colleges exploring, developing best practices for, and connecting to their local SNAP E&T programs. Its purpose is introducing more adult learners to SNAP E&T benefits within the community college environment. To do so, it will build and foster holistic collaboration among community colleges, workforce development boards, employers, workforce and human service providers, and other components vital to an effective and equitable education-employment ecosystem. This inclusive strategy aligns with student success measures important to CAEL and its members, including retention, academic success, completion, and post-completion outcomes.