~New report highlights what initiatives are currently underway and offers recommendations for improving success for non-traditional students~

imgTampa, FL– The image many of us hold of college-bound students is likely to soon change due a significant shift in postsecondary enrollment trends according to a report released today. According to research cited in a new policy brief by the Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!), growth in postsecondary enrollment by adults (aged 25-64) will increase by twice as much as recent high school graduates between 2009 and 2019. Previously, enrollments by recent high school graduates grew faster than enrollments by adults aged 25 and older. This national shift in postsecondary enrollment growth uncovers an urgent need for Florida to focus on establishing an effective framework for helping adults return to college and earn their degree.

Currently, more than 2.1 million Florida residents have completed some college without earning a degree— representing nearly 22 percent of the state’s working-age population. With recent research projecting 59 percent of all jobs in Florida requiring a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2018, it’s imperative Florida engage these former students and provide incentives and flexible reentry options for them to return to college and earn their degree.

The Florida C.A.N.! policy brief also provides information on initiatives currently underway in Florida to support adults returning to college and offers recommendations for reaching more adult residents.

“Florida will not reach the degree attainment rate required to compete in the new economy unless we do more to support adult students and re-engage former college students,” said Braulio Colón, Executive Director for the Florida College Access Network.

“We hope this report continues to raise awareness of the importance of this issue and encourages adoption of policies that lead to an increase in college degree attainment among adults in our state,” said Colón.

To view the entire report, which also includes a county-by-county breakdown of adult near-completers, click here or visit www.floridacollegeaccess.org.

Florida C.A.N! receives support from the Florida Department of Education, Helios Education Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education and the University of South Florida.

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