Explores the current state of adult education and highlights examples of promising practices and programs from across the U.S. in GED/Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and Developmental Education.
“This paper was one in a series that addressed key issue areas of the Career Advance demonstration by The Community Action Project (CAP) of Tulsa County, Oklahoma” (p.v). In 2009, CAP launched the CareerAdvance project, which “offered a multi‐faceted approach to job development and economic security based on an emerging model of workforce development that was sector‐driven, provided comprehensive training (including occupational skills, work readiness skills, and contextualized adult basic education), offered intensive individualized services, featured supportive peer communities, and built employer relationships through industry intermediaries” (p.vi). This paper responded to challenges faced by adult learners who participated in the program, provided an overview of the current state of adult education in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the United States as a whole, and highlighted examples of promising practices and programs from across the country in GED/adult basic education, English as a second language, and developmental education (p.vi–vii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“While the challenges related to adult education are significant, a review of recent research suggests that there are promising practices and opportunities to improve both the adult education system and student outcomes. The impetus for change, however, is unclear. Funding for adult education programs and community colleges is not tied to performance, and community dialogue often focuses almost exclusively on K–12 education and traditional‐age college students rather than adult learners. There are gaps in the research literature that, if filled, might provide the foundation for systems change” (p.27). Gaps noted by authors include: large-scale demonstration studies, teacher training and professional development, engaging employers, collaboration and coordination, and funding for innovation and systems change (p.27–28). “Beyond that, there are specific recommendations for Tulsa that might improve outcomes in the Career Advance project and, potentially, the broader community” (p.27). Additional findings and recommendations are detailed on pages 27–29 of the report. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)