Examines the adult education career pathways progress made in three states from 2012 – 2014 and reviews how Shifting Gears influenced the national discourse on increasing skills and credentials for adult learners.

“The Joyce Foundation extended Shifting Gears funding from 2012 – 2014 (referred to as SG 3.0) in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These states had committed to expanding adult education bridge programs to increase the number of students transitioning into postsecondary education. Such bridge programs are designed to link and integrate basic academic skills with postsecondary occupational credit-based learning in key industry sectors. These bridge programs typically involve contextualized curriculum and instruction, career development, and enhanced student services and supports. Often they are directly connected with additional postsecondary courses as part of a career pathway that leads to postsecondary credentials and degrees.


This report provides details and insights on the efforts and progress made in [these states]. During this three-year period, the evaluation team conducted in-depth site visits and regular telephone interviews with key state staff and policy leaders as well as with local practitioners and stakeholders engaged in the Shifting Gears initiative. The evaluation team also worked with state data teams to help generate the data and analyses of adult basic education bridge programs and participant outcomes.


The report concludes with an assessment of the extent to which the three states have reformed their adult basic education, workforce and community and technical college systems to better meet the needs of low-skilled workers and employers, as well as a review of how the Shifting Gears work influenced the national discourse on increasing skills and credentials for adult learners” (p. 5).


(Abstractor: Author)


Full publication title: Building Career Pathways for Adult Learners: An Evaluation of Progress in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin After Eight Years of Shifting Gears