The New England ABE-To-College Transition Project Evaluation Report
In spring 2003, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation commissioned Julia Gittleman, Ph.D., to evaluate its New England ABE-to-College Transition Project, document the key findings, and provide recommendations for program improvement and further evaluation. The College Transition Project is a comprehensive college transition model that aims to bridge the gap between GED-level and college-level academic work through direct instruction and counseling that addresses the social barriers experienced by nontraditional adult students. The evaluation was aimed at increasing the understanding of how the project is meeting the needs of nontraditional learners. Four questions were examined:
- Who are the program participants?
- Do program participants enter college at higher rates than comparison students?
- What can be learned from the most successful programs about their relationship with their college partners?
- What was the experience of dropouts?
The evaluation included a quantitative analysis of data gathered from students at enrollment and program completion, a qualitative analysis of three programs and their graduates’ experiences in enrolling and remaining in postsecondary education and a secondary analysis comparing the data gathered through this evaluation with related research being conducted on nontraditional adult learners and their experiences transitioning to and attending postsecondary education. The report also includes relevant case studies, key findings, recommendations, and student focus group excerpts.
Useful features of this document include the content/data analysis which can be utilized by state and local program staff to determine the effectiveness of the ABE-to-College Transition Project. The results of this study will be useful to program administrators in establishing best practices regarding transitioning adult learners from adult education programs to postsecondary education.
The extensive and specific details on how the study was conducted and its somewhat limited conclusions, make this a paper more for researchers than those presently active in the field. It would be a good stimulus to more research on what can be done to facilitate student entry and success in postgraduate education.