In a review of regional, state and national adult college completion programs, a recent report from Higher Ed Insight takes a closer look at lessons learned from 10 large-scale projects funded by Lumina Foundation from 2010 to 2014.

The report includes research, data and survey results as a result of Higher Ed Insight’s evaluation of the Lumina-funded programs, some of which took place in Florida.

Project Win-Win (Broward College, Indian River State College and St. Johns River State College) for example resulted in 4,550 new associate’s degrees to students who met graduation requirements, but left their institution without a credential. While the program resulted in more degree completions than the other projects, the work revealed how difficult it can be to find former students just a few credits away from graduating. Some of the barriers identified by students who were found were missing math and/or English coursework, low grades, outstanding debt to their college and time expired credits.

Another program highlighted in the report was the Plus 50 Completion Project, which works with colleges to develop programs that help workers over age 50 complete postsecondary degrees or certificates. Older adults face many challenges in returning to college, including financial challenges, a lack of experience with technology, and anxiety about returning to school and/or making a career change.

Since 2010, the 17 colleges in the initial Plus 50 cohort have helped nearly 8,900 adults age 50 and older graduate. To date, the program has extended to 88 colleges nationwide, including eight in Florida where older adults are receiving support in completing high-demand postsecondary credentials in health care, education and social service fields (Indian River State College, Miami Dade College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Tallahassee Community College).

Other programs featured in the report with Florida partners included the Talent Dividend Prize and Network (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL; Orlando-Kissimmee, FL; Sarasota-Bradenton- Venice, FL; Lakeland, FL), (Argosy University, Bethune-Cookman University, Lynn University, Saint Leo University, Tallahassee Community College) and (Florida Virtual College).

In addition to lessons learned from the 10 Lumina-funded adult college completion programs, the report synthesizes information on adult learners that can be helpful to policy makers, higher education leaders and others interested in improving outcomes for these students.

To see how many adults in Florida have some college credit but no degree, view Florida CAN’s interactive data dashboard with historical county and state-level degree attainment data.
To learn more about all Lumina-funded adult college completion programs, view Higher Ed Insight’s full report.


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