Day Four: Impact of Adult Basic Skills Program Participation – Postsecondary Engagement
Submitted by Cynthia Zafft on October 22, 2015 - 10:01am
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Greetings and welcome to Day Four of our discussion of the research findings from the LSAT, the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning, with Steve Reder. Today, I would like to begin with the finding from the postsecondary engagement Research Brief: The Impact of ABS Program Participation on Long-Term Postsecondary Engagement. The central finding of this Research Brief is the robust impact of ABS program participation on engagement in postsecondary education.
Study participants have high levels of postsecondary aspirations at the start of the study, both those who participated in ABS programs and those who did not:
Individuals (all were without a high school credential) were asked in the first round of interviews (Wave 1 interviews) about their educational aspirations. Two-thirds of the LSAL population (66.9%) indicated they wanted a college degree (either a two-year, four-year, or graduate degree). An even larger group (81.6%) indicated they wanted at least some postsecondary education (a college degree, a certificate, or college courses). Despite this apparent widespread interest in postsecondary education, relatively few individuals had engaged at all in postsecondary education by Wave 6, eight years later.
Here are some of the main findings that Steve highlighted in the webinar:
- 82% of the study participants were interested in some postsecondary education
- 28% rate of credit attainment for study participants after 8 years
- ABS program participation had a substantial impact on postsecondary engagement, not just at the 100+ hour mark
- very low rates of degree/certification completion
- other supports apparently needed for postsecondary completion in this population
So, while it looks as though ABS programs serve as an on-ramp to postsecondary education, adult learners have low levels of completion.
Question for STEVE
Steve, I’m curious if the data were/was broken out in terms of type of postsecondary institution and if the graduation rates for the general population at those institutions was examined and, if so, how the rates compared.
Questions for the COMMUNITY
- What "other supports" are you finding make a difference in moving adult learners toward completion of postsecondary education? How do you know?
- What impact to you think free community college may have on adult learner completion?
Postsecondary Completion Moderator