World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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College and Career Readiness

Approximately two-thirds of adults age 25 or older do not persist in postsecondary education long enough to earn a credential, and many others do not even enroll (Camille and Siebens 2012). These adults are less likely to succeed in the labor market than are those with postsecondary credentials, earning up to 40 percent less than those who earn an associates degree (Baum, Ma, and Payea 2010). Future labor market demand is expected to favor workers with higher levels of education (Sommers and Franklin 2012).

For adults with low literacy and numeracy skills and those learning English as a foreign language, the transition to and completion of postsecondary education and training can be difficult. They face a range of challenges, including a lack of academic preparation for college and knowledge of and access to financial aid and other supports.

World Education defines college and career readiness as consisting of four interconnected elements all of which must be addressed for adult learners to succeed in postsecondary education and training:

College and Career Readiness Diagram

Personal Readiness
  • Anticipating challenges, securing supports and services proactively, and juggling multiple commitments while managing stress and time;
  • Accessing income supports, benefits, and supplementary assistance as needed; preparing for the added financial costs of education, including transportation, books, childcare, reduced work hours; and financial planning, budgeting, and timely completion of financial aid applications;
  • Communicating needs and concerns, self-advocacy and conflict resolution skills.
Career Readiness
  • Growing awareness of one’s skills, interests, values, and priorities as they relate to career exploration and planning;
  • Understanding occupational profiles, labor market data, education and training requirements and identifying the steps along one’s education and career pathway;
  • Setting realistic goals that include specific action steps and timelines;
  • Acquiring resume writing and job search and interview skills.
Academic Readiness
  • Gaining adequate reading, writing, math, and algebra skills for placement into college level classes;
  • Developing a repertoire of academic vocabulary;
  • Developing study and test taking skills and technology skills including how to create study schedule, organize study materials, prioritize tasks, and complete assignments on time.
College Knowledge Readiness
  • Understanding the array of campus functions, resources, how to access and seek out help, and how to communicate proactively and appropriately with faculty and staff;
  • Knowing how to navigate the college culture, environment, and procedures;
  • Gaining familiarity with college admissions and financial aid processes;
  • Understanding college terminology and the rules and codes of postsecondary institutions;
  • Knowing how to use course catalogue to locate course information, registration policies and other information.

World Education/US increases the capacity of adult education systems, programs, and educators to address all four areas of college and career readiness with adult learners. This work is carried out by World Education’s National College Transition Network.

Featured Projects

View details: College Success for Single Mothers

College Success for Single Mothers

World Education’s National College Transition Network (NCTN) with funding from the ECMC Foundation, is investigating program strategies and models that address the needs of students who are single mothers.

View details: SABES Program Support Professional Development Center

SABES Program Support Professional Development Center

The SABES Program Support PD Center provides support in program management and educational leadership, career pathways, advising, digital literacy, cultural competence, ADA resources and training, and professional licensure support

View details: Technology Testing for Adult Learning and Employment

Technology Testing for Adult Learning and Employment

To maximize the impact of tech tools that ETF invests in, we are field testing the tools and advising the developers on improvements and adaptations.


Featured Resources



View details: GED Enhanced Program Graduate Finds College Success

GED Enhanced Program Graduate Finds College Success

David Kabanda is a recent graduate of NCTN's GED Enhanced Program.

View details: Mentor Support for Adults Transitioning to College

Mentor Support for Adults Transitioning to College

Mentors play a crucial role in our personal and professional growth. The National College Transition Network (NCTN) is developing a mentoring model for mentoring adult learners transitioning to college from adult basic education programs.

View details: Going Online with Professional Development!

Going Online with Professional Development!

The U.S. Division of World Education is seeing increased use of online courses, webinars, virtual professional learning communities (PLC), and other virtual resources for professional development.