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ERIC Number: ED517015
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Complete to Compete: Improving Postsecondary Attainment among Adults
Hoffman, Linda; Reindl, Travis; Bearer-Friend, Jeremy
NGA Center for Best Practices
The U.S. labor market is increasingly demanding a more educated workforce. Of the 48 million job openings projected for the next eight years, 63 percent will require some postsecondary education. For many of these job openings, workers will need at least a high school diploma but not necessarily a four-year degree. To successfully increase the proportion of postsecondary degree or certificate holders in the United States, the focus must be on "adult" learners. Meeting the education and training needs of the future via investments in adult learners is not a simple task. Numerous challenges exist for adults wanting to increase their education and skills. Approximately 88 million adults in the United States have at least one major barrier to success in the labor market, such as failure to attain a high school diploma, no postsecondary degree or training, or inability to speak, read, and write English well. Despite these challenges, states can implement policy and program changes that result in a more skilled workforce with a higher proportion of adults with postsecondary education and training. To improve postsecondary credential attainment rates for adults, state institutions will need to: (1) Provide flexible and integrated learning environments; (2) Offer comprehensive support services; (3) Use cross-institutional data to track performance; and (4) Create financing structures to incentivize improved performance. As used in this guide, the term "postsecondary credential" includes traditional degrees, such as an associate or a bachelor's degree as well as occupational certificates that are industry-validated. This guide also focuses on credentials that are recognized as valuable by employers and hold financial reward in the labor market for workers. (Contains 2 figures and 47 endnotes.)
NGA Center for Best Practices. 444 North Capitol Street Suite 267, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-624-5300; Fax: 202-624-5313; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: National Governors Association, Center for Best Practices
Identifiers - Location: United States