Working with Adult Learners: The Importance of Educational Background

 WIA has been criticized for failing to link its training to meaningful careers for its clients, and for not offering counseling that determines whether a client’s training is a good match, gauges his or her training progress, and prevents clients from picking substandard, even fraudulent schools, and incurring debt.

This ACC initiative, unlike traditional WIA training, is based on the idea that learning and acting on the educational background of a client is just as important, perhaps more important,  than finding out about a client’s employment background, in terms of helping that client to receive good, cost-efficient training, and to find and keep a good job.

A workforce center can play an important role in helping adult learners to attain their degrees. But it is important to remember a few key points about adult learners:

  • Knowing and acting on the details of clients' educational backgrounds is as important as learning their employment backgrounds.
  • College completion can be a short-term training option for those clients who are fewer than two years away from completing a degree.
  • Many clients are very close to finishing a degree but don’t realize it or don’t think college is any longer within their reach.
  • Clients may not understand the pay-off or advantages that finishing a degree can give them in finding a job or earning higher wages.
If a workforce center can assist individuals who are near college completion, help these clients attain the highest degree possible, and use the same or less funding than current ITA policies permit, the center will help both that individual and his or her community.  

More Pages:

Home Page | Degree Completion? Its Importance for Workforce Centers

Seven Steps to Enhance ACC | Working with Adult Learners | Strengthening Ties with Higher Ed

Lessons Learned | Resources for Workforce Centers | Adult College Completion Glossary | FAQs