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ERIC Number: ED511354
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Changing the Odds: Informing Policy with Research on How Adult Learners Succeed
Condelli, Larry; Kirshstein, Rita; Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi; Reder, Stephen; Wrigley, Heide Spruck
American Institutes for Research
Research has identified the barriers adult learners face in attaining their education and English proficiency goals, entering and advancing in employment, succeeding in postsecondary education and training, and navigating service systems. Most adult learners face long odds in trying to meet these goals. What would it take to address these barriers and produce better outcomes? What policies, focused investments, and public-private partnerships would help change the odds? The American Institutes for Research (AIR) hosted a Symposium, "Changing the Odds: Informing Policy with Research on How Adult Learners Succeed", on September 16, 2009. The panelists and participants discussed innovative solutions and collaborations for supporting today's low-skilled adult learners and challenges to improving adult education and workforce development outcomes facing the nation. Stephen Reder opened the Symposium with a keynote address that discussed the importance of building a "ladder of opportunity" to improve adult learning in the 21st century. Participants also expressed an immediate need for leadership and evidence, and acknowledged that the workforce in adult education and vocational programs has many unmet professional development needs and little infrastructure available to meet them. This paper explores these challenges and solutions in more detail, offering many ideas and alternatives for program delivery and policy infrastructure that could change the odds for adult learners in the United States. Based on the research, it is clear that reforms need to be undertaken to ensure that the potential of the low-skilled adult population can be realized. An evidence-based reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, now seven years overdue, will help "change the odds" for millions of adults. (Contains 7 charts and 63 footnotes.)
American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Workforce Investment Act 1998