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Knowledge From the Field

Innovations in College Access: Including Adult Learners, Strengthening Student Success

Published: November 2010

Publisher(s): Working Poor Families Project

Author(s): Hilliard, Thomas J.

Funder(s): Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joyce Foundation

View Report (11 pages; 250KB; PDF)

Innovations in College Access: Including Adult Learners, Strengthening Student Success

Area of focus: Preparation for College


This report outlines the College Access Challenge Grant Program to fund state initiatives for increasing college access and graduation among low-income students. The report also examines how states have used the grants so far and suggests including initiatives aimed at low-skilled adults.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=The College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG) has become the federal government’s leading initiative to foster innovative policies and practices around college access.

=Expanding college access and success among adults as well as young people is necessary to ensure that the United States can field enough skilled workers to power its economy over the next generation.

=A handful of states with notable adult learning initiatives, such as Washington and Kentucky, do not include these initiatives in their CACG plans.

-The majority of states are devoting their entire CACG grants to improve college going rates among a narrow population: middle and high school students, which leaves no funding for focus on other population groups such as working adults.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Low College preparation; increasing college graduation among at-risk students; post-secondary education for low-skilled adults; increasing college graduation rates; College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG); adult learning initiatives

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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