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ERIC Number: ED506583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-9
Pages: 117
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
To Ensure America's Future: Building a National Opportunity System for Adults. Strengthening Links between Adult Education and Community Colleges. Summary Report of the CAAL Project on Adult Education and Community Colleges
Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (NJ1)
A widening skills gap is at the heart of many of the major economic and social challenges the United States faces today. Too many Americans lack the basic skills and educational attainments required by a postindustrial economy. This places severe limits on the American economy to innovate, grow, and compete in the global marketplace. It relegates many millions of citizens to low-wage, low-opportunity jobs, as well as to increasingly marginal positions in the nation's social and political life. If present trends remain unchecked, children will inherit a nation that has declined from international preeminence to the ranks of a second-rate economic and political power. The skills gap has many causes but only one solution: we urgently need a National Opportunity System that allows all adult Americans to obtain the knowledge and skills they require. Constructing the National Opportunity System that is essential for our nation's future requires radical, results-oriented thinking about how to reconfigure, augment, and link our present education and training systems. It requires breaking down boundaries to construct new pathways. An increasing number of states have recognized this imperative and are engaged in strategic planning toward the desired new goals. This report is concerned with one aspect of the challenge faced by states, educational institutions, and the nation as a whole. Its focus is on strengthening the linkage between adult education and community colleges. It explains in some detail how pathways of opportunity can be constructed to allow adults with low basic skills to progress up the educational hierarchy. This critically important component of building a comprehensive National Opportunity System has not been well understood in the past. This report is the first comprehensive examination of linkages between colleges and adult education. Its purpose is to add a new dimension to thought and action about what must be done to close the skills gap in America. Based on the study findings, the report concludes that the adult education and literacy system and community colleges will have to find new ways to work together to bring about the National Opportunity System envisioned in the paper, a system needed for the functioning of our democracy, for the U.S. to remain globally competitive, and to ensure essential workforce development. The report gives numerous recommendations to federal and state government, community colleges, and the adult education community. (Contains 108 endnotes.) Appended are: (1) Research Titles in the CAAL Community College Series; (2) Community College Study Task Force; and (3) Endnotes: Notes and Sources.
Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy. 1221 Avenue of the Americas 46th Floor, New York, NY 10020. Tel: 212-512-2362; Fax: 212-512-2610; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy
Identifiers - Location: United States