Promising State Strategies for Certificate and Degree Completion by Adult Learners

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1 Promising State Strategies for Certificate and Degree Completion by Adult Learners Improving College Completion - Ensuring Student Success Susan Kannel for Amy Sherman CAEL October 9, 2009

2 What Adults Want A recent Kentucky survey found that adults want: Financial aid programs specifically for adult part-time students College credit for learning from work (Prior Learning Assessment) Greater accessibility through online learning programs Source: STAMATS research study, Study of Kentucky Adults With Some College February 4,

3 Reaching Stop-Outs Project Graduate Collaborative effort between the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and 12 institutions Direct mailing students who had earned 90 or more credit hours with personal messages from local institutions Used Facebook, U Tube, and other social networking strategies Institutions offer a variety of adult-focused services such as after-hours intake and counseling, free applications, study skills support, 153 graduates as of May 2009 since program launch in

4 Supporting the Part-time time Student Illinois Monetary Award Program Illinois resident At least 3 hours per term in a degree or certificate program Financial need and cost, up to $2,484 Cut in half this year by budget constraints Arkansas Workforce Improvement Grant Program Must be at least 24 years old Define FTE as 3 credits or more Maximum award is $2,000 per year with a maximum of $8,000 per student Washington s State s Opportunity Grant WA resident at or below 200% poverty Tuition and fee for approved programs in high-wage, high demand career pathway programs College receives $1,500 per FTE for support services Opportunity Partnerships with industry mentors and work experience Indiana Part-Time Grant Program Indiana resident Term based award set by institution Part-time students 3 credits but less than 12 Grants for certificates and degree programs 4

5 Proportion of Need-Based Aid Distributed to Part-Time Students Reported that aid was available for Part-Time Students, but couldn t break the data out Non-zero Source: NCHEMS Student Financial Aid Survey 5

6 Credit for What You Know Prior Learning Assessment The rigorous evaluation for college credit of the knowledge and skills gained from life and work experiences (or from non-college instructional programs) including employment, parenting, travel, hobbies, and volunteer service. 1. Transfer credit Transcript evaluation 2. Institutional challenge exams 3. Standardized national exams (CLEP / DANTES) 4. American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations 5. Portfolio offered through an instructor-led course 6

7 PLAs Promote Retention and Success Increased retention 2001 Simpson College study: 75% retention for those students with PLA vs. 38% for those without PLA Better performance Portfolio PLA students tend to show higher cumulative GPAs Studies in 1992 at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and in 2003 among 1600 students in 4 Illinois public colleges Increased acceptance from Institutions 2006 CAEL research found that more institutions are accepting different types of PLA 7

8 PLA examples Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Administrative procedure requiring all system institutions to establish and promote PLA policies Includes 32 institutions throughout the state Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana (CALL) Joint initiative between the Board of Regents, SREB, and the Consortium for Education, Research and Technology of North Louisiana to promote degree and credential completion Website provides extensive resource page on PLA Member institutions now offer online programs 150 graduates in two years Pennsylvania Part of Governor s Job Ready PA Initiative DOL-led taskforce to develop statewide policies and standards to be submitted to Governor and Board of Higher Education 8

9 A New Kind of College Credit Ohio Career-Technical Credit Transfer Initiative State-supported colleges and universities can grant college credit for industry based, career-technical coursework West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education Created a Board of Governor s Associate s of Applied Science (AAS) degree based on experiential practices and credit for prior learning. Articulates fully into the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree 9

10 Online Learning Indiana University Kokomo Project Complete: recruiting stop outs Started in 2003 and scholarship program started in 2007 Offers online learning and accelerated evening online hybrid classes More than 500 students have returned Of those, 350 are seeking General Studies Degrees and 60 percent have completed their degree Florida Distance Learning Consortium Distance Learn.org: user-friendly database Lists all degrees offered, courses, and delivery methods offered by member institutions 66 participating institutions, including 2-year and 4-year schools Common course numbering system facilitates transfers between public schools and 2 private institutions 10

11 Advancing the Agenda for Adult Learning Step 1: Recruit high level representatives from diverse sectors State policymakers State agencies Postsecondary education leaders (including community/technical colleges and universities) Education leaders focused on adult literacy, English language learning, and high-school equivalency Educational foundations and non-profits focused on economic and workforce development Business and labor 11

12 Advancing the Agenda for Adult Learning Step 2: Uncover more information to explain the data. Use activities described in CAEL s Policy Framework to learn more about: Demographic realities and trends The number and location of education providers Economic conditions in different regions of the state State policies that create incentives for or barriers to adult learning participation and success Ascertain areas of program overlap and lack of coordination, or collaboration 12

13 Advancing the Agenda for Adult Learning Step 3: Develop a plan of action Create a legislative agenda for adult learning Engage employers in vetting and moving the agenda Establish data collection processes to monitor changes over time Create benchmarks by which future efforts can be evaluated Publicize results 13

14 Contact Information Susan Kannel Senior Director Online Programs Amy Sherman Associate VP for Policy and Strategic Alliances CAEL (312)

15 Resources Arkansas Workforce Improvement Grant Program, Breaking Through Helping Low-Skilled Adults Enter and Succeed in College and Careers, FullReport.pdf?sequence=8 Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Illinois Monetary Award Program, Indiana University Kokomo, Project Complete, Job Ready Pennsylvania, Jobs for the Future, Kentucky Project Graduate, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, Reach Higher, Southern Good Faith Fund (Arkansas Career Pathways), State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI), Washington s State s Opportunity Grant, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, 15

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