Adult College Completion Tool Kit - – An Online Moderated Discussion with Lisa Rhodes, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid

To remain globally competitive through the 21st century and beyond, the United States must increase its skilled workforce. To do so, the President has called for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. He also has challenged all Americans to prepare for at least one year of postsecondary education or training.

The U.S. Department of Education is addressing this issue by simplifying the federal student aid application process; increasing funds for Pell Grants; and providing funds to states, postsecondary institutions, and organizations serving disadvantaged populations. Other support includes a variety of programs and initiatives supported by the Department’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) to help adult education state administrators and local practitioners better prepare their students for postsecondary education and training.

The Adult College Completion Toolkit is designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools resulting from the Department’s work. The Toolkit is available in the LINCS Resource Collection here.

Join Lisa Rhodes from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid in a discussion of the Department of Education's Adult College Completion Toolkit. Lisa has over twenty years experience working in higher education, primarily as a financial aid administrator and outreach.

As you explore the Toolkit, please feel free to begin posting your questions to this thread. The discussion itself will occur February 4-8, 2013. 


I've had some time to review the toolkit and it is truly a comprehensive, detailed document.  I work with Career Pathways programs and this toolkit could really apply to a lot of what I do.  However, given the extent of the document, I would be curious to learn what are the recommended big key points that I should be bringing with me to my work.

The Federal Student Aid website is very informative, but it still doesn't seem to answer the question I'm getting the most which is: Will refugee students no longer be eligible for Pell Grants since they don't have US high school degrees? Will a high school degree from another country be considered equivalent and what will students have to show to prove they have a high school degree from their country?

Can you discuss planning in Federal Financial Aid policy to support:

  • Adult students who are unable to complete a standard high school diploma or GED program but are able to participate in workforce trainings offered by post-secondary institutions.
  • Unemployed adults without a standard high school diploma or GED attempting to increase their skills and return to work.


Hello Terry, Priyanka Sharma, and Robin.

Thank you for your questions. I am here this week to discuss the Adult College Completion Tool Kit and tools that Federal Student Aid offers to support your work with adult students.  I will be happy to research your questions and respond to your request at another time.

Also, if you haven't looked at it yet, the high school diploma information in the Federal Student Handbook is in Volume 1, pages 6 and 7.

Thank you.

Lisa Rhodes





Hello Terry.

Please try the link below and contact me if you have any problems with it.



Lisa Rhodes






Hi Jessie,

Thanks for posting the new discussion thread link: Everyone, if you have additional questions for Lisa, please post them in the new thread! Lisa is available today and tomorrow to answer your questions. Thank you for the questions you posted here in the pre-activity thread.


Sarah Binder