Adults Must Be College Ready Too

Blenda J. Wilson

A competitive workforce where the basic requirement is a college degree calls for adults, as well as teenagers, to be college ready. Adult learners face numerous barriers to college completion, including family and job responsibilities, and lack of confidence in their own abilities.
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) partnered with the New England Literacy publication Center to create the New England Adult Basic Education (ABE)-to-College Transition Project, which funded 25 ABE-to-college programs in New England. In this 2006 article, former NMEF President Blenda J. Wilson reflects on the difficulties of pursuing postsecondary education and the successes of these bridge programs and their learners.

Today, adults with only a high school education are seriously handicapped in the job market and are hard-pressed to take care of a family, have choices and keep a safe distance from the poverty line. New England's economy will be handicapped unless we help those adults find their way into college.