Partnerships Play Key Role in Innovative Practices in Adult Education Announced by Manhattan Strategy Group

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The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project will feature five innovative practices in adult education during a Career and Technical Education Month showcase webinar.

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education
“These innovations underscore how partnerships can support adult learners as they build skills and earn the credentials they need to progress along a pathway to better jobs and better wages,” said Cheryl Keenan, Director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education.

Manhattan Strategy Group announced today the second round of innovative practices in adult education, as selected by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). Five practices that enable adult learners to obtain the academic and occupational skills needed to succeed in college or advance in their careers were identified. The practices will be featured in a live showcase webinar with OCTAE leadership on February 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET during Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, to underscore the importance of partnerships between adult education and the CTE community.

“Today, we are recognizing five adult education programs that built partnerships between academic institutions and workforce partners to improve advancement of adult learners,” said Cheryl Keenan, Director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education. “These innovations underscore how partnerships can support adult learners as they build skills and earn the credentials they need to progress along a pathway to better jobs and better wages. The practices highlighted here can serve to inspire other programs to innovate.”

Innovations in adult education remain critical to helping adult learners build skills and make connections that will help them achieve personal and economic well-being as the country recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The five adult education practices highlighted employ innovative approaches and partnerships that support adults’ development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to enroll and be successful in postsecondary education or occupational training, earn short-term credentials, and obtain employment. The programs, which are part of local school districts, have developed strong partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including community and technical colleges, universities, workforce development providers, and employers. The five practices are:

  • Bridges to Careers Expansion at Rochester Adult Literacy at Hawthorne in Rochester, MN — This bridge program is a partnership between Rochester Adult Literacy, Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC), Workforce Development, Inc., and local employers to expand pathways in healthcare to include non-patient care. Learners in the program earn short-term, industry-recognized certificates, and earn up to seven credits upon enrollment in RCTC.
  • Career Pathways at South Bay Adult School in Redondo Beach, CA — This integrated education and training (IET) program prepares adult learners to complete one of five career pathways at El Camino College: Construction Technology, Machine Tool Technology, CISCO Networking Administration, Emergency Medical Technician, or Child Development. The program culminates in learners earning an El Camino certificate of achievement, an industry-recognized credential, employment, or apprenticeship opportunities with partner employers.
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant at Jennings County Education Center in North Vernon, IN — This IET program helps adult learners to develop reading and math skills while pursuing a Clinical Medical Assistant certificate issued by the National Healthcareer Association, which enables learners to obtain jobs that are above entry-level. The approach to partnerships with Vincennes University, WorkOne, and local healthcare employers provides critical support to adult learners in a rural community, which does not have easy access to other programming.
  • Connections 101 at Great Falls Career and College Readiness Center (CCRC) in Great Falls, MT — For this bridge program, the CCRC partners with Great Falls College Montana State University (GFCMSU) and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to offer Connections 101, which provides multiple pathways aligned to local labor market needs, including healthcare, business, trades, education, technology, and hospitality. Upon completion, adult learners can earn up to seven college credits at GFCMSU.
  • PluggedIn Virginia (PIVA) Boot Camp at Peninsula Regional Education Program in Newport News, VA — This bridge program prepares lower-skilled adult learners and those with other barriers to employment for postsecondary training, credentials, and employment in high-demand fields. The program has a flexible model that can be used in a range of industries and with a range of occupational training partners. Learners earn a Career Readiness certificate and a Northstar Digital Literacy certificate when they complete the Boot Camp.

To learn more, visit the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project.

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About the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project is a five-year effort to identify and highlight innovative practices in adult education that lead to improved outcomes. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), and is executed by Manhattan Strategy Group and Abt Associates.

About Manhattan Strategy Group

Manhattan Strategy Group (MSG) is a social sciences and management consulting firm that brings professional services, approaches, and innovative solutions to the areas of education, workforce development, and human services. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Bethesda, MD, MSG specializes in research and evaluation, technical assistance, and communication and information services.

About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations in education and workforce development, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—Abt partners with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. 

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Adriana Spikes-Freeman
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