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CAEL Newsroom

CAEL Awarded Grant in Support of Lumina Foundation’s HBCU Adult Learner Initiative

CAEL’s work will support institutional sustainability through improved student outcomes, particularly adult learners

INDIANAPOLIS – CAEL has received a grant from Lumina Foundation to support a cohort of five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina selected to participate in the Foundation’s HBCU Adult Learner Initiative. The institutions include Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Shaw University, and Winston-Salem State University.

CAEL will further the initiative’s work to help the institutions dismantle obstacles to student success and implement or enhance resources that support adult learners. “Our partnership with these institutions will focus on channeling mindsets and capabilities toward the realization of improved performance as evidenced in enhanced capacity leading to stronger enrollment and post-completion outcomes for their students,” said Earl Buford, CAEL president.

“Student success is at the heart of the programs we support,” said Dr. Jasmine Haywood, strategy director for student success at Lumina Foundation. “We are thrilled to collaborate with CAEL and North Carolina HBCUs to build the capabilities of these institutions to fill equity gaps to support adult learners and, by extension, the communities in which they can thrive."

CAEL’s support to each university will include a full-day Adult Learner Summit and ongoing technical assistance and coaching provided by a slate of CAEL experts specializing in key areas of adult learner success. While CAEL will tailor its support to the individual challenges and opportunities present at each institution, focus areas will include credit for prior learning; adult learner enrollment, completion, and workforce development strategies; change management; implementation of CAEL standards for effectively serving adult learners; and enhancing institutional mindsets around equity.

Joining CAEL in the development of this work are the Center for Postsecondary Innovation at the University of South Alabama, which will collaborate with CAEL as a technical assistance partner, and the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, which will help assess and publish outcomes of the initiative. At the conclusion of the project, CAEL expects to capture and report advances in institutional capacity that can yield more equitable outcomes for students enrolled at the partner HBCU institutions in North Carolina and offer insight to adult learning practitioners across the country.

About CAEL
Recognizing that adult learners are the backbone of the U.S. economy, CAEL helps forge a clear, viable connection between education and career success, providing solutions that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. CAEL opens doors to opportunity in collaboration with workforce and economic developers; postsecondary educators; employers and industry groups; and foundations and other mission-aligned organizations. By engaging with these stakeholders, CAEL fosters a culture of innovative, lifelong learning that helps individuals and their communities thrive. A national membership organization established in 1974, CAEL is part of Strada Collaborative, a mission-driven nonprofit. Learn more at cael.org and stradacollaborative.org.