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Workforce Readiness

Achieving the Dream Funds Adult Ed Innovations at 20 CCs

A group of education organizations are working together to increase adult participation in credential and degree programs. Using funding from the Lumina Foundation, Achieving the Dream (ATD) has issued grants to 20 community colleges in eight states, to support programs that use "promising strategies" for boosting enrollment, especially among Black, Hispanic and Latinx students aged 25 and over.

ATD leads a network of more than 300 community colleges committed to helping students — particularly low-income students and students of color — achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth and economic opportunity. Lumina Foundation is committed to supporting programs for making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.

The "Prioritizing Adult Community College Enrollment" (PACCE) initiative will support the colleges over two years, to "scale and institutionalize" their various strategies. Each school will receive a grant worth up to $75,000 as well as technical assistance and program support from several partners. ATD has teamed up with ideas42, rpk GROUP and Equal Measure to work with the institutions.

Eventually, ATD will produce a digital toolkit for the broader higher education community, to share the most promising adult learning practices.

"Community colleges play a vital role within higher education to act as open-access hubs of growth and opportunity for the diverse students they serve," said Karen Stout, president and CEO of ATD, in a statement. "We are excited to support these institutions as they develop strategies to better serve adult learners, a priority that aligns with ATD's deep commitment to building stronger pipelines to and through postsecondary education."

"Helping more adults earn credentials of value starts with having labor-market-aligned programs that adults can enroll in and succeed," added Chauncy Lennon, Lumina's vice president for learning and work. "The colleges receiving grants are prioritizing adults by strategically supporting their participation at scale."

The 20 colleges receiving PACCE grants are:

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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