Giving Compass’ Take:
• Education Dive explains that the best way to create an effective promise program for adult learners is to address the unique challenges they face when going back to school, such as financial support and customized resources.
• What are some effective promise programs that work now? How can higher education institutions improve their outreach to adult learners and address the gaps that exist?
The bulk of promise programs so far target traditional-age students for several reasons, the report notes. Among them, doing so makes program costs more predictable, many groups outside higher education are not aware of the large number of adult students and because it can be easier to find high schoolers and connect them with information about college. However, with students older than 25 accounting for 40% of undergraduates, more states are exploring promise programs tuned to their specific workforce needs.
Successful promise programs for traditional-age students may have components that make them unsuitable for adult learners, the report notes. The Tennessee Promise Program, for example, fills in the gaps for high school graduates’ unmet financial needs if they meet with a mentor, maintain a certain GPA and complete community service. Adult students may have work and family obligations that make time commitments such as performing community service a barrier to participating in a program. To address the different needs of adult learners, Tennessee developed a separate promise plan for nontraditional students in 2017, dubbed TNReconnect, focused on veterans and service members, those returning to college and those attending college for the first time.
Read the full article about creating a promise program for adult learners by Halona Black and Natalie Schwartz at Education Dive.
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