NCTN National College Transition Network
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ABE to College Transition

New England ABE-to-College Transition Project

This demonstration project, conducted from 2000 to 2007, had the goal of enabling adult basic education graduates to prepare for, enter, and succeed in postsecondary education to help them improve their own and their families’ lives. Over the seven-year life of the project, it grew from five to 25 programs partnering with over 40 postsecondary institutions in the six New England States. Implementing what we’ve come to call the comprehensive “College Prep” model, these programs provided free instruction in academic reading, writing, math, and computer and internet skills to adult learners with traditional or non-traditional high school diplomas to help them access and succeed in college. Students also learned study skills and received general, educational, and career counseling, as well as assistance with navigating the college admissions and financial aid processes.

The 22 programs for which comparable data could be aggregated served a total of 3,740 students, 67% of whom completed the program, with 67% of that group going on to postsecondary education. The New England Literacy Resource Center at World Education served as an intermediary for the funder, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, providing professional development and technical assistance to the programs and managing the project for the Foundation. Most of the 25 programs continue operating with state or other private funding, and we continue to provide technical assistance to the states as they work to institutionalize the programs with public funding. Four out of six states have already done so: Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS)

The goal of the Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS) study is to inform policymakers, adult educators, students and potential funders about the impact of the New England ABE-to-College Transition Project on its participants’ postsecondary academic success, labor market gains, and educational planning for their children. This five-year, mixed-method research project is documenting the educational trajectories of a sample of 300 transition program participants from 11 different programs. It is being conducted by the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and runs from fall 2007 through 2011. The study is funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

Watch NCTN's 2-part webinar: Findings from the Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study presented by Cristine Smith.

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