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The economic impact of adult education

Hello colleagues, Judy Mortrude from the Center for Law and Social Policy's (CLASP) Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success has written a compelling article in the most recent COABE Journal on the importance and value of earning a postsecondary credential. Mortrude focuses on the role of adult education in supporting adult learners to gain that credential.

Here's an excerpt from Mortrude's article:

"Unfortunately, too many adult educators are still unaware of the changes WIOA performance brings to the federal investment and to aligned state accountability. And many educators resist these changes and remain skeptical of the ability of the WIOA performance measures system to tell the story of adult education’s impact. I understand that skepticism, but I encourage adult educators to jump into the effort. Join the conversation on how we can show the value of education for those with the courage to enter our programs. And, yes, I mean economic value. The people who come to our programs are making a choice to spend their time and their energy with us, and they deserve to get something of tangible value for that expenditure. I believe quality adult education has economic value for an individual and a family. I believe quality adult education is an anti-poverty and an anti-intergenerational poverty strategy. I believe quality adult education builds career pathway education and employment opportunities. As a profession, let us set out to prove that value to all those who invest their time with us and those who invest resources to support us" (p. 114).
What is your take on Mortrude's argument regarding adult education's role? Do you understand the skepticism she alludes to? Do you feel optimistic about the changes we are experiencing? How would you describe adult education's role? You are invited to share your thoughts here on LINCS.
Cheers, Susan Finn Miller
Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP


yacoub khoury's picture

Emphasized remarkable by Mrs. Mortrude, the article tackles significant and vital isuues. The role of WIOA is very urgent and essential nowadays. Referring to this point - as an inquiry- I see the office or members of WIOA should visit and interview some students regularly before the students drop from school due to lots of concerns or before students enter society and face lots of changes. It could be that students have the energy to jump and face society withought finishing what they start with!? Here, where is the teacher’s role ? Where does he/ she stand in this process, the retention is necessary , but in which ways... I have enjoyed reading this article taking some notes that will be utilized in a good way. Emphasizing the importance of time and energy students had during fiscal year is very vital in this process. However, why not this presence will be secured , sustainable, and guaranteed for better pathway - job or career after getting the HISET or GED.