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ERIC Number: ED559305
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 57
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The First Year of Accelerating Opportunity: Implementation Findings from the States and Colleges
Anderson, Theresa; Eyster, Lauren; Lerman, Robert I.; Clymer, Carol; Conway, Maureen; Montes, Marcela
Urban Institute
Launched in 2011, the Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative aims to increase the ability of students with low basic skills to earn valued occupational credentials, obtain well-paying jobs, and sustain rewarding careers. AO encourages states to change the delivery of adult education for students interested in learning career skills by enrolling them in for-credit career and technical education courses at local community colleges as they improve their basic education and English language abilities. The initiative promotes and supports the development of career and college pathways that incorporate contextualized and integrated instruction, team teaching between adult education and college instructors, and enhanced support services at community colleges. AO is also designed to change how states and colleges coordinate with government, business, and community partners and reform policy and practice to fundamentally change how students with low basic skills access and succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. Four states--Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina--received grants to begin implementing the AO model in the 2012 spring semester and oversaw the development of career pathways in 33 community and technical colleges. A fifth state--Louisiana--began implementation in the 2012 fall semester at nine additional colleges. In the first year of implementation, these 42 colleges enrolled nearly 2,600 students and built capacity to provide team teaching with college and adult education instructors, offer comprehensive support services, and develop and strengthen partnerships to support the sustainability and scaling of AO. As a part of a rigorous evaluation of the AO initiative, this first report assesses the implementation of the initiative during its first year, which consists of the spring, summer, and fall semesters of 2012 in the original four states and the fall 2012, spring 2013, and summer 2013 semesters in Louisiana. The data presented in this report come from a survey of all AO colleges, site visits to the five states, grant documents, and quarterly calls with AO states and colleges. This report provides key findings from the early implementation that have helped the AO initiative develop strategies for its continuation and offers lessons for other states and colleges considering the AO model. The following is appended: Required Elements of AO and Theory of Change.
Urban Institute. 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-467-5775; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Elementary Education; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Urban Institute; Aspen Institute
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; North Carolina