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Economic/Workforce Development--Value of an Education


Staying the Course: Factors in Influencing L2 Learner Dropout and Suggested Remedial Actions - This paper examines the reasons why adults drop out of language courses and explores the proposed interventions for improving adult language learner retention rates as found in the literature. (Timothy Jilg, Cardiff University, September 2009)...

Reinvesting in the Third Age - In 2004, 54.2 million people in the United States were between the ages of 55 and 79, constituting about 19% of the American population, and that number is rising. This report describes the changing demographics of adults aged 55 to 79, their motivations for participating in higher education and the obstacles that prevent broader participation. (American Council on Education, October 2007)...

The Career Pathways How-To Guide - Career pathways are distinct from most educational efforts in their dual focus on advancement to higher levels of both education and employment. The goal of this report is to share knowledge of the “why and how” of career pathways projects currently up and running. It sets out a step-by-step protocol for building career pathways on the local level and discusses how state-level officials can support local efforts.(Davis Jenkins and Christopher Spence, Workforce Strategy Center, October 2006) ...

Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy - This paper discusses career pathways, a framework or approach by which regions can better align publicly supported systems and programs to build a knowledge-economy workforce customized to the needs of local labor markets. Career pathways are a series of connected education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in that sector. Each step on a career pathway is designed explicitly to prepare the participant for the next level of employment and education. The first in a planned series of reports, this report lays out the economic justification for career pathways, describes the process involved and sets the stage for the remaining reports. (Davis Jenkins, Workforce Strategy Center, August 2006) ...

Adult Education Participation in 2004-05 - This report presents selected data on adults’ participation in educational activities in the United States, excluding full-time only enrollments in college/university or vocational/technical credential programs, over a 12-month period from 2004-05. The report examines: overall participation; reasons for participation; sources of financial support and out of pocket expenses; the type of provider; time spent in coursework, classes or training; and distance education and informal learning activities for personal interest. (Kevin O'Donnell and Chris Chapman, National Center for Education Statistics, May 2006) ...

A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century - This report examines results of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, which measured the English literacy of America's adults, those 16 and older living in households or prisons. Results for adults' literacy in three areas – prose literacy, document literacy and quantitative literacy – are examined by race/ethnicity, gender, age, language spoken before starting school, educational attainment and disability status. (Mark Kutner, Elizabeth Greenberg and Justin Baer, National Center for Education Statistics, December 2005)...

Building Pathways to Success for Low-Skill Adult Students: Lessons for Community College Policy and Practice From a Longitudinal Student Tracking Study - As the American workplace grows more complex, improving adult education opportunities in the states is of increasing importance. According to this report from the Community College Research Center, nearly 42% of adults in the United States between the ages of 25 and 64 have no more than a high school education. This brief focuses on the role of community colleges in preparing adult learners for success in a information-based economy and a learning society. It helps to identify critical drop-out points for adult students and offers some suggestions about how to bridge achievement gaps. (David Prince and Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center, 2005)...

Financing Lifelong Learning: Potential of and Problems with Individual Learning Accounts in Three Countries - Lifelong learning has prominently risen to the top of policy agendas in many countries, and academic literature has focused on many aspects of a system of lifelong learning. The difficulty of estimating the approximate cost of lifelong learning, the principles by which these costs are to be distributed among the various stakeholders and, finally, the problem of translating these principles into viable financing schemes, pose considerable challenges. This paper discusses the main characteristics and models of lifelong learning, briefly presents and analyzes the main financing systems that have been suggested for a lifelong learning system, and elaborates on the more recently emerged model of Individual Learning Accounts and discusses their potential and actual role for financing lifelong learning. (Hans G. Schuetze, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, November 2005)....

Participation in Adult Education for Work-Related Reasons: 2002-03 - This report provides general findings from the Adult Education for Work-Related Reasons survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program. The report finds that 40% of adults participated in some type of formal adult education for work-related reasons during a 12-month period in 2002-03, while in the same period 58% participated in informal work-related learning activities. Data are disaggregated by a number of indicators, including age, race, gender, highest level of education completed and household income. (Brian Kleiner, Priscila Carver, Mary Hagedorn and Christopher Chapman, National Center for Education Statistics, November 2005)...

Reasons for Adults' Participation in Work-related Courses, 2002-03 - In 2002-03, approximately 68.5 million people took formal courses or training that were not part of a traditional degree, certificate or apprenticeship program for reasons related to their job or career. This brief examines these adult learners’ reasons for participating in such formal, work-related courses and disaggregates data by age, sex, race/ethnicity, highest education level completed, employment and occupation, and household income. More than 90% of adults reporting taking formal work-related courses did so to maintain or improve skills or knowledge they already had, while fewer than 20% took such courses to get or change a job or career field. Among employed adults, the majority took courses because their employer required or recommended participation. (National Center for Education Statistics, May 2005)...

Highlights from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) Survey - This brief provides key findings from the 2003 ALL survey, an international comparative study providing participating countries with information about the skills of their adult populations. The brief’s findings include overall literacy and numeracy performance of U.S. adults ages 16-65 compared to their peers in five other countries, breaking scores down internationally by gender and additionally by race/ethnicity in the United States. (National Center for Education Statistics, May 2005)...

Independent Undergraduates: 1999-2000 - This report provides a comprehensive look at independent students enrolled in postsecondary education in the United States and Puerto Rico in 1999-2000. Independent students – who comprised 52% of all undergraduate students in 1999-2000 – are those who are either at an age at which they are expected to be financially independent or have family responsibilities or other characteristics that require institutions and financial aid administrators to treat them as adults with certain needs that differ from those of dependent students. (Christina Chang Wei, Stephanie Nevill, Lutz Berkner and C. Dennis Carroll, National Center for Education Statistics, September 2005)...

Investing Wisely in Adult Learning Is Key to State Prosperity - Seventeen percent of young adults in Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) states did not complete high school, and under 1% of these adults earn the GED credential in any one year. This brief discusses the tremendous individual and societal benefits that come from helping working-age adults complete high school equivalency programs and enroll in postsecondary programs. These benefits include: (1) higher income, which translates into higher tax revenues; (2) better health, which lowers related state costs; and (3) greater civic responsibility. The brief provides recommendations on what states can do on page 11, and examples of promising state practices in SREB states, starting on page 13. (Southern Regional Education Board, May 2005)...

Labor Force Participation in Formal Work-Related Education in 2000-01 - This report examines how adults in the labor force use formal education and training to acquire and maintain their workforce skills. The report examines: (1) labor force participation in work-related education, (2) the role of postsecondary education in work-related education, (3) employer support for work-related education and (4) the role of employment-related inducements to participation. Participation in work-related education was fairly common, with 47% of adults engaging in one of six types of learning activities, with training courses being the most common, followed by postsecondary courses and programs. (Lisa Hudson, Rajika Bhandari, Katharin Peter and David B. Bills, National Center for Education Statistics, September 2005)...

One Day I Will Make It - Although research indicates that adults need 100 to 150 hours of literacy instruction to raise their skills by one grade level, adult literacy students participate in instruction for an average of only 70 hours per year, with many dropping out after a brief period or attending only sporadically. This report is the final in a four-part series examining the implementation and effects of the Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative in nine library literacy programs over four years. The report includes chapters detailing the participants in the library literacy programs, and the factors that influenced their persistence, the challenge of improving student persistence and pathways to persistence. (Kristin E. Porter, Sondra Cuban, John P. Comings and Valerie Chase, MDRC, January 2005)...

Tabular Summary of Adult Education for Work-related Reasons: 2002-03 - This report presents data on adults' participation in work-related educational activities in the United States, including formal and informal learning activities. Over the 12-month period of this survey, 40% of adults in the United States took part in one or more formal adult educational activities for work-related reasons. This report examines: (1) the reasons for participation, outcomes of participation and perceived usefulness; (2) sources of financial support and out-of-pocket expenses for work-related education; (3) type of provider; and (4) time spent in coursework, classes or training. Data are disaggregated by a number of indicators, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, highest education level completed, marital status, employment/occupation and household income. Report highlights are listed starting on page one. (Kevin O'Donnell and Chris Chapman, National Center for Education Statistics, August 2005)...

To Ensure America's Future: Building a National Opportunity System For Adults - This report is the first comprehensive examination of linkages between community colleges and adult basic education, adult secondary education (including GED) and pre-collegiate English as a second language. The study looks at the scope and funding of the adult education services provided by community colleges, adult education students’ transitions to postsecondary education, the obstacles to those transitions and how they can be addressed. Examples are given on how states are providing linkages, and the report recommends ways community colleges, adult education programs, states and the federal government can strengthen these linkages to further national economic and social interests. A 14-page executive summary also is available. (Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, February 9, 2005)...

Breaking Through: Helping Low-skilled Adults Enter and Succeed in College and Careers - Traditional degree programs are not designed to reflect the realities of life for low-skilled working adults. This report examines whether – and how – innovative community colleges can significantly improve the odds that low-income, low-skilled adults can earn college-level occupational and technical credentials. The report provides examples of promising state policies, and part II examines four synergistic, high-leverage strategies to increase access and success: (1) integrated institutional structures and services; (2) accelerated learning; (3) labor market payoffs; and (4) comprehensive supports. [Free registration required to access report.] (Marty Liebowitz and Judith Combes Taylor, Jobs for the Future and National Council for Workforce Education, November 2004)...

Low-Income Adults in Profile: Improving Lives Through Higher Education - This report from the American Council on Education presents data about low-income adults and adult college students, including background characteristics, academic profiles and the policy and institutional obstacles faced by low-income adult learners. The report also features an essay by economists Anthony Carnevale and Donna Desrochers outlining the economic and social imperatives of investing in the education of low-income adults. (Bryan Cook, with Jacqueline E. King, American Council on Education, February 2004)...

The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills - This report presents a demographic portrait of adults in the United States with limited English proficiency and their situation in the workforce and society. The authors identify workforce training program components that have had a positive impact on these adults’ job and income prospects, and provide recommendations on developing programs to meet the unique needs of this sector of the workforce, as well as recommendations for state and federal policy. The appendix offers brief descriptions of different types of local programs nationwide that are effectively serving the needs of adults with limited English skills. An eight-page policy brief also is available. (Heide Spruck Wrigley, Elise Richter, Karin Martinson, Hitomi Kubo and Julie Strawn, Center for Law and Social Policy, August 2003)...

Adult Learners and State Policy - Adult learners are increasingly vital to the health and vitality of state economies. This report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association (SHEEO) reviews adult participation in higher education and offers strategies states can use to improve the capacity and quality of their workforce. (Richard A. Voorhees and Paul Lingenfelter, SHEEO and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, 2003) ...


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