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Programs Developed to Guide Adult Students

As the non-traditional student population continues to grow, associations and institutions in the higher education marketplace are developing new strategies to reach out to these learners.

The Center for Innovative Professional Development, established by Pine Manor College, is targeted towards professional working adults and is set to begin in the fall. The program caters to adult learners who have already obtained an associate’s degree or have completed at least two years of college course credits.

“Our goal from the beginning was to create a program that would address the time and cost of completing your bachelor’s degree,” Charles A. Tweedly, dean of the Center and faculty member at Pine Manor College, said in a press release.

The initiative features a “project-based” approach to its educational delivery style that allows students to build practical skills that can be immediately applied to the workforce.

In addition to higher education institutions creating unique programs for adult learners, associations closely tied to the industry are also taking leaps to help adults ease the burdens of returning to school. The Learning Counts program is a new initiative launched by the Council for Adult Experiential Learning (CAEL) that targets adults, especially veterans.

“Our nation’s veterans need career and educational guidance — to translate military experience into civilian jobs and college-level learning, to navigate postsecondary education and most importantly, to obtain recognition of their military learning for credit,” Pamela Tate, chief executive officer and president of CAEL, said in a press release.

CAEL’s new program is intended to provide assistance to adult learners to explore their educational options by finding the best ways to turn previous working experience and skills, including military service experience into credits that allow for faster, easier degree competition.

“Adults know their knowledge comes from more than just a course, a classroom or a lecture, and we know it too,” she said.