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CAEL Newsletters

Fall 2023 Newsletter

New from CAEL and WICHE: First-Ever CPL Equity Awards

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a powerful tool that supports adult learner engagement and completion, particularly for underrepresented populations in postsecondary education. CAEL and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s research has found, however, that many of the populations that can most benefit from CPL — particularly Black and lower-income adult learners — are those least likely to have earned such credit. These findings have been discussed in 2020’s The PLA Boost: Results from a 72-Institution Targeted Study of Prior Learning Assessment and Equity Paradoxes in The PLA Boost: Adult Student Outcomes and Opportunity Unrealized for Some Students despite the Potential for Improved Credit Completion.

CAEL and WICHE are following up this research with the inaugural CPL Equity Awards, which will recognize strategies that have been proven to put CPL in reach of key sub-populations and/or increasing their CPL-credit earning. The goal will be to identify effective strategies that can be replicated by other institutions focused on improving equity in their CPL programs.  The grand prize is $10,000, with runners-up receiving $5,000 or $1,000 awards. For more information, please read more here

CAEL Announces Partnership To Operate The Graduate! Network

CAEL’s strategic partnership with The Graduate! Network promises to bolster the capacity of both organizations to support economically vulnerable adults along rewarding education and employment pathways. Two prominent examples are TGN’s Data That Move Us and Bridging The Talent Gap offerings. Data That Move Us is a comprehensive data collection and tracking platform that offers biannual data verification through the National Student Clearinghouse and KPI dashboards on returning adult learners. Much like CAEL’s Adult Learner 360, Bridging The Talent Gap leverages parallel surveys (employers and employees), creating deep insight about recruiting, retention, and learning aspirations. Read more about TGN@CAEL




Advancing Equity Partnership To Launch Inaugural Cohort for Equity Leadership Academy During CAEL Conference

CAEL and the National Association of Workforce Boards look forward to kicking off the inaugural Equity Leadership Academy, a product of the two organizations’ recently announced partnership. To help develop the Academy, CAEL and NAWB convened a “Master Class” of high-performing senior workforce board leaders who lent their experience and expertise advancing workforce development with equity-focused initiatives. The Academy offers workforce board leaders and staff who are dedicated to making a difference and creating lasting, equity-focused impact in their communities a collaborative learning experience to proactively and constructively address critical challenges related to racial, gender, and other disparities in employment, career advancement, and economic growth. The first cohort will begin during an onsite event at the CAEL conference on November 7, 2023, and will continue through April 2024.


NAWB & CAEL Join Forces


Share your Educational or Professional Story with High-School Students!

Would you be willing to sit with us for a 60-second video interview at the CAEL Conference? CAEL is curating short stories for our "virtual mentor" database.  By sharing a little bit about your high school or postsecondary education, and/or your professional career, you can help “humanize” the XP platform and provide real-world context for students navigating their own pathways.

How it works:

  • Fill out this form.
  • Sign up here to make a video at the conference.
  • After the conference, we’ll ask you to “approve” your profile so that we can publish it to the platform.
  • This is NOT a real mentorship program where mentors meet or engage with students in any way.

Learn more at: https://www.cael.org/xp

Free Financial Services Career Training Marks Kickoff of CAEL’s Where It Starts: Build Better Careers Program in Miami

CAEL has launched the Miami phase of Where It Starts: Build Better Careers, a national project funded by the Truist Foundation. Over the next five years, CAEL, along with its national and regional Build Better Careers partners, will work with diverse local stakeholders in the Miami region, including educators, trainers, and employers. Their collaboration will focus on improving equitable economic mobility and regional business performance by connecting underserved communities with career paths to in-demand occupations in banking, insurance, and other financial-adjacent industries.  To advance this work, Build Better Careers will bring financial resources and other support to the Miami region.

On Oct. 9, OIC of South Florida, CAEL’s primary Build Better Careers implementation partner in Miami, began offering BankWork$ training, which brings a nationally proven holistic development approach to upskilling and reskilling. The eight-week program, which is free to adult learners, is initiating education and training pathways for each Build Better Career region. BankWork$ provides expert-led sessions via online and in-person formats that help individuals develop the practical competencies needed to pursue rewarding careers and advance in the dynamic financial services sector. It also offers career coaching and placement assistance.

EPCE Announces 2023 Learner of the Year

The winner of the second annual Energy Providers Coalition for Education Adult Learner of the Year award is a maintenance supervisor who is using the education benefits available through EPCE and her employment at Nine Mile Point, a Constellation nuclear energy facility in Oswego, New York to power new pathways of opportunity. (Read more).

The 49th Annual CAEL Conference Is Just Weeks Away

The CAEL Annual Conference  is fast approaching. But it’s not too late to register for this fantastic networking and learning opportunity. To sign up, or learn more about the conferenceplease click here. This year’s tracks include:

  • Approaches to Skills-Based Learning Models
  • Data & Outcomes
  • Adult Learner Ecosystem Models
  • Adult Learner Engagement: Enrollment, Recruitment, & Retention
  • Education & Economic Advancement
  • Equity & Access
  • Workforce Talent Solutions

Visit our conference site for more details, including our roster of keynote speakers and the complete conference agenda. 

We hope you join us Nov. 8-10 for three days of learning, networking, and collaboration with leaders from throughout the education-employment ecosystem. Register now at cael.org.

2023 CAEL Conference in Baltimore


CAEL Continues To Support Regional Upskilling Alliance in Pittsburgh

This summer, CAEL partnered with partners Pittsburgh ScholarHouse, the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education, and Vibrant Pittsburgh to continue its work in the Regional Upskilling Alliance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

The Regional Upskilling Alliance was established to provide education and training options to low opportunity populations in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Allegheny region. In Allegheny County, 30.4 percent of workers with less than a high school degree live below the poverty level. For workers with only a high school degree, 14.5 percent live below the poverty level as well. 

Upskilling this specific population could have significant impact on the region – moving these workers to educational attainment could improve the economic position of tens of thousands of workers, potentially moving over 7,700 workers from below a high school degree to having a diploma equivalency and some postsecondary training. It could also mean building skills and credentials for over 24,500 workers with no training after high school.

In early August, the “Maximizing Higher Education and Employer Partnerships Forum” was hosted by Pittsburgh ScholarHouse along with Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE). PCHE is the local association of regional higher education institutions, and Pittsburgh ScholarHouse is a nonprofit affiliate of the Family Scholar House, dedicated to using two-generation strategies to disrupt the cycle of poverty by enabling postsecondary educational attainment. This successful event gathered 30 regional education providers to understand the current educational landscape and share best practices to enhance post-graduate employment outcomes.

Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit with a mission to build a thriving and inclusive Pittsburgh region by attracting, retaining, and elevating a diversity of talent, hosted a second Employer Convening in late August, this time with the goal of strengthening partnerships between educational institutions and area employers. This event served as a collaborative space where representatives from training providers, higher education institutions, employers, and the workforce development board conferred on how their work could interact and how technology like Learner Employment Records (LERs) could increase the number of learners they could serve and more efficiently connect learners to jobs.

Our employer and educator convenings resulted in numerous employers, technology consultants, training providers, and higher education institutions attending, with a diverse group of employers, employer groups, and educators signing on to support the next phase. CAEL also shared a framework for the Regional Upskilling Alliance that lays the groundwork for the work in Pittsburgh and presents a model for replicating this work in other regions.

The RUA partners’ collective agenda is to work together to help adult learners, across their entire education-to-employment journey, navigate learning opportunities and credentials to living wage employment. Working as one entity and bringing together the members’ respective strengths and expertise, RUA plans to develop a model that can assist adult learners no matter where they are along their career path.

Welcome to Our Newest CAEL Employees!

Emmaline Armstrong, manager of initiatives
Shy Coleman, director of initiatives
William J. McKinney, senior director for higher education initiatives 

Newest CAEL Employees


CAEL Holds First Annual Member Appreciation Week

As a member organization, CAEL wouldn’t be able to advance our mission or deliver impact without our membership community. In honor of this growing network of adult learning advocates, CAEL hosted the first-ever CAEL Member Appreciation Week, Sept. 11-15, 2023. Throughout the week, members enjoyed networking opportunities, giveaways, professional development events, and more.

New Membership Benefits, Events and Publications

New Toolkits

CAEL introduced two new toolkits as part of Member Appreciation Week: 

  1. CAEL’s Ten Quality Standards for Assessing Prior Learning, including practical applications, tips, and job aids for guiding conversations within your organization around credit for prior learning.
  2. Workforce Ecosystem Job Aid, which supports the development of a state- and local-level workforce and economic ecosystem by helping you identify entities within your own ecosystem, as well as demonstrate how your organization fits in.

Coffee With CAEL and Workshop topics

  • America’s Hidden Economic Engines: The Role of Community Colleges in Driving Economic Mobility, with Rachel Lipson and Robert Schwartz, co-editors, and Dr. Ian Roark, vice Chancellor of Workforce Development & Innovation, Pima Community College.
  • Triumph Over Adversity: A Journey to Success featuring CAEL's Learner of the Year, Alphur "Slim" Willock, with Dr. Nancy Hale, associate professor at Pace University, and Jeffrey Batiste, senior manager of learning and development for Verizon.
  • Imagining the Future of the Learn-Earn Ecosystem, with CAEL’s VP of innovation, Genevieve Feliu.
  • Credential As You Go in Action: Lessons and Practices from the Field, with Dr. Nan Travers,
  • Potential for Greatness: What Postsecondary Institutions Need To Know To Help Military-Affiliated Learners Succeed, with Dr. Amy Morys.

Not yet a CAEL member? To gain access to the items listed above and much more, join today

Celebrating our Members of the Month!

CAEL continues to recognize outstanding members of the month!

  • In August we featured Marije Thomas, coordinator for prior learning assessment at the University of Rhode Island.
  • In September we featured Employ Prince George’s, an industry-leading workforce development service provider for Prince George's County in Maryland (coinciding with Workforce Development Month!).

Welcome New Members!

CAEL welcomes new individual and institutional members from the following organizations:

Black Hills State University
Blackfeet Community College
Blue Ridge Community College
Bluegrass Community & Technical College System
Brightpoint Community College
Camp Community College
Cayuga Community College
Central Virginia Community College
Corning Community College
Danville Community College
Davenport University
Eastern Shore Community College
Edmonds College
Evangel University
Fort Peck Community College
Guttman Community College
Hagerstown Community College
Herkimer Community College
Indiana State University
Jamestown Community College
Jefferson Community College
Johnson C. Smith University
Lane Community College
Laurel Ridge Community College
Lemoyne College
LeMoyne-Owen College
Michigan Center for Adult College Success
Montclair State University
Mountain Empire Community College
Nevada State College
New River Community College
North Country Community College
Northern State University
Ocean County College, Workforce & Professional Edu
Onondaga Community College
Patrick & Henry Community College
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Pikes Peak State College
Rappahannock Community College
Reynolds Community College
Rogue Community College
Salish Kootenai College
Schenectady Community College
South Dakota Board of Regents
South Dakota School of Mines & Tech
South Dakota State University
Southern Connecticut State University
Southside Virginia Community College
Southwest Virginia Community College
St. John Fisher University
SUNY Oneonta
Tidewater Community College
University of Arkansas Community College at Bates
University of Northern Iowa
University of South Carolina Upstate
University of South Dakota
University of Texas - Arlington
University of Texas - Austin
University of Texas - Dallas
University of Texas - El Paso
University of Texas - Permian Basin
University of Texas - San Antonio
University of Texas - Southwest Medical Center
University of Texas - Tyler
University of Texas System
Virginia Community College System
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Washtenaw Community College - Ann Arbor, MI
Westminster College
Winthrop University
Wytheville Community College

Recent CAEL Appearances  



CAEL Involvement

Oct. 17

Partnerships That Drive Career Growth Presentation - Lumen Technologies

Earl Buford

Oct. 16-18


Scott A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Oct. 4-5


Scott A. Campbell, Ph.D.

Aug. 14

Revitalizing Hawai’i’s Economy and Communities by Upskilling the Workforce

Brooke Pirmann

Aug. 7-10


Scott A. Campbell, Ph.D., Matt Waltz, Doug Heckman, Rachel Hirsch

Aug. 4

Choose Your Own Hybridventure: An Interactive Webinar on Multimodal Course Design and Facilitation Support

Brooke Pirmann

Aug. 3

How They Pay: The Voices of Adult Learners on College Affordability, and How Institutions Are Responding

Becky Klein-Collins, Lana Munip

Aug. 2

Education 3.0: Yellowdig’s Learning Conference

Genevieve Feliú

Jul. 24

Maximizing Adult Learner Recruitment through Workforce System Partnerships

Mary-Celeste Slusser


Recent Blog Posts and Other Thought Leadership Articles Featuring CAEL

Goodwill partners with CareerWork$, CAEL to offer new career training program in banking 

TGN@CAEL: a Partnership Built to Scale

CAEL Helping Identify Training Needs for Biomass Energy Plant

An Achievable Completion Initiative at Elizabethtown College

When Impact Meets Reality

Two Networks, One Aligned Mission: CAEL and TGN

How EPCE's Learner of the Year Is Using Education Benefits To Make the Perfect Job Even Better

Incremental Credentials: Small Steps for Students, Giant Leaps for Adult Learning

Where It Starts: It Takes a Good Job to Build a Better Career

Credentialing: The New Focus For Workforce Training

CAEL Ambassador Sean Carey Revisits 1971 Book ‘Deschooling Society,’ Highlights Relevance to Adult Learning Today

Guidance From a Fellow Traveler: A College Student Pilots CAEL’s Career Navigation Platform

Q&A With CAEL Staff: Christopher Guidry

Welcome to CAEL’s Member Appreciation Week

CAEL Research Cited in Announcement of Grant Supporting Credit for Prior Learning

Member Matters July 2023

CAEL Now Accepting Applications for Equity Leadership Academy

Member Matters August 2023

Intersect With Earl August 2023

Intersect With Earl September 2023

Member Matters October 2023