The Cycle of Working Adult Learners: Removing Barriers and Building New Pathways*

Presented by the League for Innovation in the Community College in partnership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

The Learning Summit will focus on

  • How the future of work is shifting education
  • Defining the adult learner cycles and support
  • Meeting working adult students where they are
  • Reinventing approaches or initiatives for effectively serving working adult learners, especially considering COVID-19

    The structure of the virtual meeting will include virtual activities during each session to support interactive sessions. Opportunities include participant activities, breakout groups, report outs, and reflection.

    Times are Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-06:00)

    Monday, October 5

    9:00 - 9:15 AM                Welcome and Introductions

    9:15 - 11:15 AM              Defining Adult Learning Cycles for Today’s Working Adult Learners
                                               (10:15 - 10:30 AM   Stretch Break)

    To prepare working adult learners for the future of work it is necessary to better define adult learning cycles. The guiding questions for this session include: 

    • What are the emerging education needs of today’s adult learners?
    • How is COVID-19 impacting adult learning?
    • How are these learners identified, recruited, and supported through postsecondary education?
    • What are the postsecondary pathways (including on-ramps and off-ramps) that support the working adult learning cycle?
    • What are new learning pathways designed for adult learner success in a changing environment?
    • What are the opportunities and barriers associated with successful completion of learning goals for these adults?
    • How are educators preparing working adult learners for jobs that fill skills gap (upskilling and reskilling) through college completion initiatives?

    11:15 AM - 12:15 PM    Engaging Working Adults in a Lifelong Learning Cycle - Part 1

    Adult learners have expectations, motivations, lifestyles, and experiences that differ from those of traditional students and bring new challenges and opportunities to education providers. The guiding questions for this session include:

    • What are the best methods for engaging different types of learners from all backgrounds? 
    • What methods are being utilized to meet learners where they are in their learning journey to support gaining knowledge, skills and competencies for the future of work?

    12:15 - 12:30 PM            Reflection and Adjourn         

    Tuesday, October 6

    9:00 - 9:15 AM                Welcome - Day 2

    9:15 - 10:15 AM              Engaging Working Adults in a Lifelong Learning Cycle - Part 2
                                               (10:15 - 10:30 AM   Stretch Break)

    Adult learners come from different types backgrounds and experiences and it’s important to engage the modern learner. The guiding questions for this session include:

    • What instructional frameworks and methods are working to help adults succeed in the online, in-person or hybrid classroom?
    • What affective and academic adult learning support initiatives are influencing learners' success?

    10:30 AM - 12:15 PM   Developing Programs of Study That Recognize Prior Learning and Allow for
                                            Flexible Learning Ecosystems

    Flexible learning ecosystems can facilitate more seamless transitions for working adult learners. The recognition of prior learning, including looking at the skills sets and capabilities of adult learners, can support developing programs of study aligned to the needs of working adult learners. The guiding questions for this session include:

    • How do recognition of prior learning, CBE, and accelerated/flex delivery influence student programs of study?
    • How are alternative credentials positively disrupting the traditional pathway at your institution?
    • What are the challenges and opportunities associated with innovative program and course offerings that support alternative credential pathways?

    12:15 - 12:30 PM           Reflection and Adjourn

    *This schedule is subject to change.