- Several higher education advocacy organizations have united to form a new organization supporting the development of adult learners in higher education.
- The National Adult Learner Coalition, a joint venture created by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), President’s Forum, and University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), seeks advocate for policies and initiatives to benefit more than 17 million non-traditional learners.
- In a white paper, the group outlines ways to address obstacles for adult learners to find credentialing programs and information on regional labor trends, while supporting efforts to expand broadband access and prior-learning assessment for college credit consideration.
Leaders of institutions can leverage the data and advocacy to help make adjustments to their own campus environments to better support this demographic of students who are becoming the new majority on campus. While the coalition makes the case to state and federal lawmakers to expand college access and affordability, campuses can take advantage by boosting marketing with adult learners for on-site and distance learning programs.
It is up to college leaders to embed advocacy reports into their own legislative testimony, appeals to federal agencies and to use key stats in marketing to help these causes. Additionally, direct outreach to specific industries like military, stay-at-home parents and mid-level corporate employees must become a stronger part of the student recruitment strategy.