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ERIC Number: ED506591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct-8
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Education and Postsecondary Success. Policy Brief
Reder, Stephen
National Commission on Adult Literacy (NJ1)
This Policy Brief takes a first look at a newly identified national population of GED holders, who are compared with their counterparts who received a high school diploma as well as with their counterparts who have no high school credential. The focus of these comparisons is on long-term postsecondary education outcomes. Because these postsecondary outcomes are vital for the economic well-being of individuals and society, the Brief considers carefully the role that adult literacy development plays in postsecondary education, not only for GED holders, but for those with high school diplomas and those without any secondary credentials at all. Far too many individuals in all three groups are shown to lack the skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education. These findings indicate that our adult education system needs to be substantially expanded and restructured, not only to increase the number of individuals it serves, but also to raise the skill levels of students well above the passing level of the GED if they wish to succeed in postsecondary education. The Brief identifies other important barriers besides academic skills that need to be addressed in order to increase substantially the number of students obtaining college degrees. There is a surprisingly large unserved target population of adults who already have the basic skills needed for success in postsecondary education but face many of these other barriers to college entry and completion. Arguing for a broadened and restructured adult education system, the Brief suggests segmenting the target population for adult education into three groups: (1) adults without secondary credentials needing improved basic skills to pass the GED, essentially the current target population for adult education; (2) adults with or without secondary credentials needing improved basic skills to complete a 2-year college degree; and (3) adults who already have the necessary basic skills to complete a 2-year college degree but may need other skills or persistence supports to succeed in college. (Contains 17 figures, 2 tables, and 46 notes.)
National Commission on Adult Literacy. Available from: 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; High Schools; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Commission on Adult Literacy
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests