A new report highlights several recommendations for higher education leaders wanting to redesign practices and policies for returning adult learners.  Often termed “Comebackers,” many communities are exploring ways to improve access and completion for adults that have had some college experience but have yet to earn their first credential.  “Over 6 million Californians ages 25 to 64 have completed some college but have not yet earned a credential,” the report reads.

California Competes partnered with California Attain and several institutions in the North State Together Talent Hub to complete the study.  The group trained current adult leaners to conduct semi-strucutred interviews with other current and/or potential Comebackers to explore ways institutions might improve policies and practices.

The recommendations are sorted into four categories:

  1. Adapt to meet the needs of Today’s Students
  2. Conduct strategic outreach
  3. Remove re-enrollment barriers
  4. Provide ongoing support

Some recommendations require larger administrative changes (e.g., redesigned payment plans, institutional debt forgiveness) while others are easier to implement (reframing academic probation, intentional outreach to students have stopped out).

Read the Report

Improving Equity & Completion: An Adult Learner Toolkit

As system leaders explore policy and budget changes to better support currently enrolled and prospective adult learners without postsecondary credentials, college leaders are well-positioned to take immediate action for their communities. This toolkit was designed to guide colleges through a self-reflection of their strengths and weaknesses in serving this population to improve equity and completion.

CivicLab Introduction

Learn more about CivicLab, a institute dedicated to advancing civic collaboration.