Pathways to Align Career and Educational Choices for Adult Learners

Going back to college as an adult can be daunting, but for many adults that step is essential. More than ever before, more jobs today require at least some college-level education, and that demand is expected to increase. Employment requiring a high school diploma only is rapidly disappearing; such jobs, for example, comprised some 80 percent of the more than 7 million jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. In contrast, 99 percent of jobs created during the recovery from that downturn require at least some college-level training. Given these trends, it is clear that ensuring that an ample supply of individuals are able to earn college credentials is an imperative for a prosperous economy and society.

This exploratory study focuses on three areas critical to encouraging adult learners to engage and ultimately succeed in postsecondary education: prior learning assessment, resources specific to adult learner needs, and the pathway approach.

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