Blending College Preparation and Career Development for Adult Students in New England
An evaluation of the two-year Transition to College and Careers demonstration project, which addressed academic and non-academic barriers to college for adult learners in six adult education centers across New England.
Transition to College and Careers (TCC) was a two-year demonstration project that addressed the academic and non-academic barriers to college experienced by many adult learners. The programs were designed to foster college and career readiness skills in four areas: personal readiness, career readiness, academic readiness, and college readiness and knowledge. One innovative program feature was an online "Introduction to Health Science" course that students from all programs took as a cohort.
Of the 397 adult learners who enrolled in one of the six participating TCC programs, 66% completed the progam, 69% attained college level reading skills, and a majority enrolled in college afterwards. Participants reported that the main reasons for non-completion of the program were a lack of reliable transportation and health issues. These findings support a program design that emphasizes students’ personal readiness, math, online learning, pro-active counseling and advising, and engagement with career centers and employers.
This article appears in an issue of the COABE journal. This article begins on page 4.
The ideas in this article will be helpful to ABE programs and colleges in designing or evaluating college transition or bridge programs. It describes a holistic college transitions project that considers academic readiness as one of the components for success along with personal readiness, career readiness, and college readiness and knowledge. The key elements for student success are laid out with the importance of each component and strategy clearly described. Project findings identify elements that promote student success and provide concrete suggestions for building or evaluating a college transitions program as well as challenges to be overcome. Consequently, the article could be used as a blueprint or discussion points by a staff, advisory board, or planning committee.
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