Adults Completing Degrees—How Tackling A Persistent Problem Creates New Value

The urgency to integrate adult learners into national and regional economic growth plans is—finally—tangible. Colleges and universities are reporting lower enrollments and are looking to adult learners to fill seats. Employers are looking for candidates with postsecondary credentials and national funders are looking for solutions to the persistent Some College No Degree problem. These adults themselves are looking for ways to make a “comeback” to postsecondary education to upgrade their knowledge and skills in order to be more competitive in the job market. Lumina Foundation estimates that in the last 20 years, more than 31 million students started school but did not make it to graduation. 3.8 million had earned two years or more of college credit, and are identified by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center as Potential Completers. This population, now in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or older, is the enticing “low hanging fruit” everyone is reaching for.

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In Time for Spring Training, Baseball Brings People back to College

In Cleveland, it doesn’t matter if it’s Thursday.

If the Indians are in town, it’s time for the grownups to play hooky. In their red T-shirts and baseball caps, fans of the team pack the trains, heading towards Progressive Field, with Cleveland’s skyscrapers near enough for envious office workers to almost field a fly.

Doesn’t matter either if the season ended as this year’s did, with mid-September’s hope for a postseason spot dying one sad game after another.

Win or lose, the Indians never have a problem recruiting employees – drawn by the romance of the game, plenty of college graduates are eager to work in baseball.

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Two unique programs are helping Nashville adults go back to school

Even in a region experiencing unprecedented job growth and a city where unemployment is at a historic low, there are residents of Nashville, Tenn. still being left behind. Nashvillians understand the need for education beyond high school, but for many, the journey to a higher education degree or credential is complicated by barriers such as lack of transportation or reliable child care and balancing work, school, and family. Too often, they are left disconnected from vital resources that could support their goals.

Nashville is now working to close these equity gaps through a “sorting in” approach for education beyond high school. With the help of two novel programs— Reconnect Cafés and Reconnect Ambassadors—people can move into jobs with clear paths for growth in position and salary.

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Some college, no degree: Getting Louisville’s adult learners across the finish line

It’s not always easy to finish what you start – especially when you’re picking up where you left off decades ago.

That’s why it’s so inspiring to hear stories of Louisville adults who, years after leaving college, return to complete their degrees. Like the 45-year-old who wanted to finish not only for her own job security but to set an example for younger members of her church. Or 60-year-old university employee, passed over again and again for promotions, who finally completed her own degree. Or the multitude of parents – from their 20s to their 40s – who fell off track but returned to school to create a more fruitful future for their kids.

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Pilot Program Helps KY Adults Complete GED, College Degree

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky is the first state to participate in a pilot program aimed at helping adult learners choose the best path toward obtaining their GED, certificate or college degree. The program trains local volunteers to reach out to prospective adult learners in their communities.

Jen Schramm is a labor market issues expert with the AARP Public Policy Institute. She said currently 7 million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled because employers can’t find qualified workers. At the same time, many workers, often age 50 or older, are stuck in a field or can’t move into a higher-wage job because they lack credentials or the degree required.

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1A Kicks Off Year Two of “55 by 25” Initiative at Summit on Friday, January 10th

LAFAYETTE – On Friday, January 10, One Acadiana (1A) will join partners from across the region and state at the UL Student Union for a summit to kick off year two of the 55 by 25 educational attainment initiative.

The 55 by 25 initiative’s goal is to increase the proportion of working adults in Acadiana with postsecondary degrees, certificates, or other high-value credentials to 55% by 2025. As of the most recent Census data, Acadiana’s current rate is about 38.5%. Looking ahead to year two, a primary focus of the 55 by 25 initiative will be supporting adult students, particularly the nearly one in five adults who have earned some college credit but no degree.
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Summit Features New Award and Strategies to Support Adult Learners

LAFAYETTE, La. – One Acadiana (1A) hosted partners from across the region and state at the UL Lafayette Student Union for a summit to kick off year two of the 55 by 25 educational attainment initiative.

More than 150 stakeholders attended the summit, including K-12 school district superintendents, higher education leaders, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and other public officials.

The 55 by 25 initiative’s goal is to increase the proportion of working-age adults in Acadiana with postsecondary degrees, certificates, or other high-value credentials to 55% by 2025. As of the most recent Census data, Acadiana’s current rate is 38.5%, reflecting a 0.5 percentage point increase over the prior Census year.
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Adult education to be focus in second year of One Acadiana’s 55 by 25 initiative

In year two of the mission to increase the number of adults who benefit from higher education, the focus turns to attracting non-traditional students to earn college degrees or professional credentials.

“A valuable credential can change lives,” said Dakota Pawlicki, strategy officer for community mobilization at Lumina Foundation.

Today, 47% in Louisiana and nearly 39% in Acadiana have a high school diploma or less. One Acadiana is spearheading efforts to change those statistics, a goal of 55% of Acadiana adults who have earned degrees or credentials by 2025.
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With just five years to reach its goal, One Acadiana’s 55 by 25 initiative making progress

With one year down and only five to go, One Acadiana’s goal of getting 55% of Acadiana adults to earn a postsecondary degree or certification is making slow, but steady progress, One Acadiana officials reported Friday.

Across the nine-parish region, the 55 by 25 initiative has seen growth and collaboration, growing from 100 to 160 participating businesses in the first year. However, there is still a ways to go over the next five years for Acadiana to reach One Acadiana’s lofty goal, said Natalie Harder, chancellor at South Louisiana Community College.

“We all recognize across Acadiana that we have got to fix this issue. We’ve got to address this crisis,” Harder said. “Our individual organizations and companies and us individually can’t do this alone. We have got to stick together and stay focused.”
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