Washingtone Monthly Establishes List Of "America's Best Colleges For Adult Learners"

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald August 31, 08:46 pm

Jennifer Groh, Associate Vice President of Higher Education at Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), announced that Washington Monthly has prepared the first-ever list of schools for college students aged 25 or older in conjunction with expertise provided by CAEL. Although nearly half of all college students today are 25 or older, no publication has ever ranked the top schools for this particular market segment.

In making the announcement Groh said, "We are thrilled that Washington Monthly has included us in the development of this inaugural ranking. As a significant and growing part of college enrollments, adult learners typically balance their education with life and work commitments, bringing these and other prior learning experiences to the classroom. Adult learners also tend to be result-oriented. The new ranking gives adult learners a way to evaluate schools based on programs and services that align with their learner experience, needs, and goals."

Becky Klein-Collins, Associate Vice President of Research and Policy Development at CAEL, was one of the advisors who identified the appropriate metrics to use in the rankings. In discussing her work for the publication, Klein-Collins said, "I drew heavily on the Nine Principles for Effectively Serving Adult Learners which are the foundation of CAEL's Adult Learning Focused Institution (ALFI) survey toolkit. As a result, the final ranking incorporates a number of metrics that reflect CAEL's definition of an effective adult learner focused institution."

The announcement comes as Jennifer Groh joins the CAEL team as Associate Vice President, Higher Education with more than twenty years of leadership experience in a variety of roles and industries. Most recently, she served as dean of accreditation and outreach at DeVry University, leading strategies that successfully demonstrated academic quality in multiple site visits, substantive changes, self-studies, and licensure applications. Groh is a PhD candidate in Organizational Leadership at Concordia University Chicago, with a research focus on how leaders manage the organizational change associated with higher education innovation. She holds a Master's in Business Administration from Concordia University Chicago. 

Concluded Groh, "The landscape of higher education is shifting, and the needs of today's adult students are very different than those of previous generations. This ranking makes it easier for adult learners to identify schools that are focused on helping them to return to college and obtain their post-secondary degree or credentials."

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Chicago, Illinois that assists adults with their educational endeavors, finding practical ways to help them earn college credit for learning acquired through life and work experiences toward the completion of a postsecondary degree. CAEL works with the public sector, private sector industries, and higher education institutions to ensure that adult students receive the most efficient training and education to occupy a meaningful professional place in a 21st century economy. Since 1974, CAEL has assisted colleges and universities to develop programs that evaluate adults' non-collegiate learning for college credit. CAEL is the recognized national expert on a method known as portfolio assessment, and its Ten Standards for Assessing Learning are used by colleges and universities, as well as accrediting organizations, across the country. More information is available at here. Follow CAEL on Twitter at here. or like us on Facebook at here.

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