The five HBCUs in this grant initiative have compiled a comprehensive set of best practices for inclusion in other higher education institutions’ curricular and co-curricular programs and policies. Drawing on their experience with Black adult learners, they have outlined a series of recommendations to enhance the educational journey for adult learners across the board.

  1. Include adult learners in the strategic plan. Colleges and universities should rethink their curricular and co-curricular policies and programming with the adult population in mind. This consists of reviewing their strategic plan to ensure this demographic is included in key strategic initiatives.
  2. Fund positions and offices that center on the needs of Adult Learners. The adult learner population’s college experience is unique. Establishing an office and leadership team to advocate for this population’s needs creates advocates who can prioritize adult learner programming. The expertise of this office and leadership team should be valued and included in critical strategic development initiatives.
  3. Encourage cross-collaboration amongst departments. Cross-collaboration is essential in meeting the unique needs of adult learners. For example, admissions, financial aid, and advising departments should work collaboratively to onboard this population successfully. Once onboarded, cross-collaboration between student and academic affairs is critical to ensure that student affairs services and courses are available outside of traditional campus hours.