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Focus Magazine, Spring 2023: Short and Sweet

April 3, 2023
Shortcomings associated with short-term credentialing programs have for years been neglected. Too often these programs have led to low-wage jobs, including some that workers could have found with no credential at all. People who are Black and brown were routinely tracked into career and technical programs rather than directed toward programs leading to college degrees.…

Young Adults in Registered Apprenticeship

Nov. 8, 2022
Young adults are invaluable members of our labor market and bring critical talent, capacity, skill, and innovation to the workforce. However, many young adults—especially those ages 16-24 from low-income communities—face significant barriers in the labor market. This fact sheet from Jobs for the Future provides resources, key metrics, and more information about how Registered Apprenticeship…
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Part-Time Students Must Be a Full-Time Priority

Aug. 1, 2022
Acting on data about both part-time and full-time students is essential to moving the needle on college completion. It also is an equity issue. Part-time student attainment rates severely lag behind those of their full-time counterparts, regardless of sector or timeframe. And part-time students are disproportionately BILPOC (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color) students, community…
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Targeting the Technical

Jan. 7, 2022
Degree reclamation is a proven strategy to capture the momentum of existing credits and put “some college no degree” (SCND) students back on track to a degree. This report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy offers recommendations to help colleges and universities implement practices that yield the greatest benefit to current and former students.


Nov. 12, 2021
Low-income older workers have largely been left out of the dramatic shift toward remote work, potentially cutting off valuable opportunities for greater productivity, flexibility, and economic advancement. This report from Jobs for the Future explores how to make remote work more accessible to these workers as part of the new pandemic-fueled economic landscape.
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Adult Enrollment Design Guide

Aug. 26, 2021
Many states are working to increase college attainment among their residents, and for good reason: College degrees create significant economic opportunity for degree-holders and their communities. But reaching these attainment goals will be impossible if states focus only on recent high school graduates. Increasing attainment among adults is essential as well.

The Comebacker’s Odyssey

Aug. 16, 2021
Forty-five million adults 25 and older in the United States have some college credit but no degree. This relatively invisible group represents 20 percent of the adult population. This report from The Graduate Network! explores the “comebacker’s journey” and the top policy and communication priorities that can help these students return to college and complete…

The Transfer Reset

July 23, 2021
Countless students would agree: The transfer process does not work. Despite sustained efforts to “fix” transfer over the past several decades, the current system continues to produce dismal, inequitable outcomes and unnecessary roadblocks that thwart students’ educational goals. A new report from HCM Strategists, Sova and the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program examines efforts to…

Get Ready

May 19, 2021
California faces a shortfall of more than two million degrees and certificates to meet employers’ needs and promote economic mobility for its residents. This report from California Competes examines which groups of California adults intend to enroll in higher education or training; which types of institutions they are interested in; whether they are interested in…

Busy With Purpose

March 18, 2021
A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research describes common challenges to persistence and college re-entry faced by adult students with children, factors that allow them to go back to school, and, in student-parents’ own words, tangible actions that policy and education leaders should take to better support their success.

A Portrait of Student Parents in the California Community Colleges

March 11, 2021
The path to and through college is challenging for many people, but the challenges are especially acute for students seeking a credential or degree while also raising children. This report from Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research includes details about how student parents differ from their non-parenting peers in their demographics, their…

How Guided Pathways Reforms Can Improve Support for Adult Students

Jan. 11, 2021
Guided pathways reforms are emerging as a promising strategy for improving student outcomes and closing equity gaps at community colleges, but little is known about how the guided pathways approach can help address challenges facing adult students. Drawing on interview data, this report from the Community College Research Center discusses strategies that three guided pathways…

The PLA Boost

Dec. 1, 2020
Adult students who receive college credits for prior learning are more likely to complete academic programs than their peers without prior learning assessment (PLA) credits, suggests this report from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Students with PLA also save time and money in earning their degrees, according to the study.