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ERIC Number: ED516252
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Crossing the Finish Line: Helping Adults with Significant College Credit Get Back on Track to a College Degree. Complete to Compete Briefing Paper
Michelau, Demaree K.
National Governors Association
Nearly all states are grappling with the question of how to boost college attainment to meet workforce needs with the resources available. For many states, that task is complicated by the fact that the young adult population is projected neither to grow nor decline over the next several years. There is a significant opportunity, however, for states to increase degree attainment even in the face of those challenges. According to Lumina Foundation for Education, more than 22 percent of working-age adults in the U.S. (more than 37 million Americans) have attended college but have not earned a degree. A subset of this group--those who are close to having earned a degree but have not yet returned to college--offer a particularly rich opportunity for states to increase degree attainment. Also known as near-completers or ready adults, these potential students generally are a lower risk investment for states and institutions because these students have already demonstrated success in college. While the gains from serving these potential students are significant, to do so effectively requires a willingness to do business differently. Returning students face a host of challenges, but states and institutions serving them face challenges as well. Several states have been involved in significant efforts to reach this population, and many have experienced success. For the last several years, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has led a Lumina Foundation-funded effort, Non-traditional No More: Policy Solutions for Adult Learners, which has worked closely with six states to identify their ready adults and reduce the barriers to success through comprehensive policy and practice changes at the state and institutional levels. This paper presents several promising state strategies for addressing the needs of ready adults. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Governors Association. 444 North Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20001-1512. Tel: 202-624-5300; Fax: 202-624-5313; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: National Governors Association