Making College Work for Working People

HLA Insights and Outlooks Making college work for working people Brooke DeRenzis and Rachel Vilsack

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the vital role that working people play in our nation and economy. Working people prepare hospital equipment and treat patients; they manufacture and distribute essential goods; they keep the internet and other critical utilities operating.  While scores of working people have kept our country running during the pandemic, millions of others…

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A Second Chance at Higher Education

HLA Insights and Outlooks A second chance at higher education Cordero Holmes

Growing up in a low socioeconomic area in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by gangs, violence, and drugs, I never thought that college was a place for me. Instead, as a teen, I envisioned myself selling drugs, robbing people, and spending most of my days in prison. So when I was 20 years old and was sentenced…

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Rethinking PLA: The Urgency of Counting Prior Learning

As the country works toward economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are at least 10 million unemployed Americans, many of whom are looking to higher education as a pathway to their next career step. Now more than ever, adult learners are keenly aware of the return of investment they receive from…

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Building a Packet for Success

Class of 2019 grad with two children

Back to school shopping should be an exciting time for many children and parents. Yet, for families that have to decide between a pack of binders or a pack of diapers for the week, it can be an extremely stressful time. COVID-19 has changed the landscape of what back to school shopping looks like. Forget…

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It’s Past Due for Online Education Students and Programs To Be Appreciated

person drinking tea while working on a laptop

Starting in the 1990s—which is a relatively long time ago for me and many Millenials (I went to elementary school in the ‘90s!)—the budding pathway of distance education and later online education for undergraduate and graduate degrees became one that students began to take at many institutions. In 1995, more than one-third of US institutions…

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A New Model for Adult Learners

man working in an empty office

Nearly half of the American higher education population consists of working adults—over age 24, attending college part time, and balancing family, work, and school. Most of these learners are seeking knowledge and skills that will enhance their professional lives. They see higher education as an adjunct to their professional development. For many of these students,…

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Remember the Working Adult College Student

cafe worker mixing drinks

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the fall 2019 college enrollment included 12.5 million students under age 25 and 7.4 million students 25 and older. If historical patterns hold about one-third of those enrollees will not earn a degree in eight years. According to the National Student Clearinghouse’s (NSC) 2019 report, Some College,…

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Listening to Learners: What Non-Completers Have to Tell Us About Education Policy

woman in a dress with laptop taking notes

Policymakers recognize that to remain competitive in a global, tech-enabled world, the United States will need an ever more educated and skilled population. For their part, states have increasingly focused on helping residents who started college, but left without a degree to return and earn a credential. And for good reason: 36 million Americans have…

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