• March 7, 2018

    The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) facilitated the work of the Adult College Completion Network (ACCN) with funding from Lumina Foundation from 2011 to 2016. The network concluded operations in 2016, after the project's grant funding came to a close.

    WICHE deeply appreciates the contributions of the institutions, organizations, and agencies that participated in this collaborative learning network over the years. Together, we made significant progress in discovering, building, and scaling programs, policies, and initiatives that successfully served returning adult learners. This website contains a record of this work and visitors are welcome to explore the network’s resources.

  • June 1, 2016

    Today we welcome Sophia Laderman, a data analyst with the national association of State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), to share a recap of the group's recent convening to explore possible designs of a pilot program for a state-level adult-focused promise initiative.

    Adult Promise Pilot Program – Design Convening
    May 3-4, 2016
    Boulder, Colorado

    This meeting was made possible through a grant from Lumina Foundation

    Over the last year, a number of states have begun to consider “Promise Programs” as a cost-effective strategy to encourage postsecondary enrollment and improve degree attainment. These programs offer free college tuition and fees for a specific subset of students in a state. In some states, these programs include a strong mentoring component, designed to help students navigate postsecondary education and succeed. The programs underway are geared towards recent high school graduates at a certain income threshold and below, in other words, “traditional students”. However, serving traditional students is not enough to meet state attainment goals and create the educated workforce critical for strong state economies.

  • May 12, 2016

    Learn how competency-based education (CBE) helped one Texan (an adult, veteran, fully-employed, grandparent) achieve another important title: college graduate. Thank you to Judith Sebesta, Institute for Competency-Based Education, Texas A&M University-Commerce for contributing this inspiring story. This is a repost of an item that originally appeared in WCET's Frontiers Blog.

    In his harangue against the complexities of “modern,” early-twentieth century American society, The Simple Life, Charles Wagner wrote, “Education, like the mass of our age's inventions, is after all, only a tool; everything depends upon the workman who uses it” (p. 10). Scott Noffsinger is an exemplary student/“workman,” showing just how effective a tool education – and, more specifically, competency-based education – can be.

  • April 5, 2016

    To share lessons learned from the Adult College Completion Network’s 2015 Annual Workshop, the ACCN has released Exploring, Engaging, and Expanding with the Adult College Completion Network.

  • March 10, 2016

    As stakeholders across higher education—from institutional leaders to policymakers—become increasingly aware of the importance of adult learners in meeting their attainment goals, some states have launched coordinated outreach efforts to attract adults who have left postsecondary education to return and complete a credential. The webinar will feature an overview of Indiana’s You Can. Go Back. campaign and Tennessee’s Drive to 55 initiative as it related to adult learners.  Representatives from Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education and Tennessee’s Higher Education Commission will discuss how they developed effective messaging, built relationships with participating institutions, and how they are tracking the success of their respective efforts. 

  • February 25, 2016

    Report Cover Student Success for Adult LearnersThe Ohio Department of Higher Education’s most recent report on the condition of higher education in their state focuses on success for adult learners. The report includes an eye-opening analysis of credential attainment for Ohio’s adult students in comparison to their traditional-aged counterparts, as well as an overview of current efforts to serve adult students and suggestions for more effectively serving this population moving forward.

  • December 4, 2015

    WICHE’s Senior Research Analyst Peace Bransberger breaks down the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and what it could mean for higher education in a new policy brief. Peace joins us on the ACCN blog to describe the brief below, though we encourage you to read the brief in full for an excellent primer on a complex piece of legislation.

    In July 2014, Congress enacted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaced the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), reauthorizing the federal workforce system, the nation's primary source of funding and programming for unemployed and lower-skilled workers. This reauthorization was lauded for its bipartisan intent to make services provided through American Job Centers and adult education programming (among others) more attuned to local labor markets and demonstrably beneficial to customers in terms of streamlined services, improved access to relevant short-term training, credential attainment, and close monitoring of employment results. The impact these programs could have for lower-skilled adults continues to be constrained by limited funding. But WIOA's strategic and procedural improvements provide numerous opportunities for states' public workforce and postsecondary education systems—particularly community colleges—to work together and exploit training opportunities for working and low-income adults.

  • November 23, 2015

    Over 80 members of the Adult College Completion Network (ACCN) gathered in Denver on November 10 and 11, braving snow and sleet to come together and share their challenges and successes in serving adult learners. Attendees spent a packed day and a half swapping strategies, learning from subject matter experts, and discussing everything from digital badges to rehabilitating federal student loans.  

  • September 17, 2015

    This fall the Adult College Completion Network convened practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the field of adult college completion in Denver, Colorado. The Annual Workshop featured a variety of sessions designed to share promising strategies for increasing the completion rates of returning adult students and facilitated networking opportunities for attendees.

  • September 10, 2015

    The Illinois Community College Council on Adult Student Recruitment and Retention (ICCCASRR) was formed in July 2013 to address the unique challenges and need of growing adult student enrollment on community college campuses. What is ICCCASRR’s mission? It works to share best practices to increase adult enrollment and improve retention at member institutions, enhance student services, provide networking opportunities, and build stronger relationships with our community college counterparts.

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