Adult Learner Transitions to Postsecondary Education: Promising Practices for Programs Serving Incarcerated Populations
California’s correctional system works with regional adult education programs to offer incarcerated populations academic and skill-building opportunities that can provide rehabilitative benefits. The aim is to help adults gain competency for core academic (e.g., reading, language, math), vocational, and life skills while fostering self-esteem (California Department of Education, 2021).
Based on interviews with adult education professionals who run programs and teach in correctional facilities, this brief presents a snapshot of promising practices to inform research on adult learners’ transitions into postsecondary courses and support incarcerated individuals to access career and educational pathways.
The brief provides the following implementation strategies for other systems and institutions to promote transitions for incarcerated adult learners.
- Create collaborative structures.
- Provide relevant employment training and industry-recognized certificates.
- Identify staff who are attuned to the needs of the population.
- Build a coherent and overt transition plan that spans institutions.
We value these students, we believe in the work that we’re doing, we believe that encouraging these students to pursue education is helpful not only to them, to their families, but to all of us as a community.
— K–12 Adult Education Corrections Instructor
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