This week’s episode of The Key assesses the state of adult students in higher education, why they sometimes struggle at traditional colleges and universities, and what institutions can do to serve them better.

Adult students are key to meeting the postsecondary attainment goals in many states and the U.S., given the projected enrollment declines in traditional college-age Americans. Yet adults remain underrepresented in higher education, and they’ve been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic and ensuing recession.

This episode of The Key explores the landscape of current and prospective adult learners, examining why they often struggle to find their way to and through college, the institutional practices and government policies that can hamper them, and possible approaches to eliminating those obstacles. We talk with Su Jin Jez, executive director of California Competes, whose recent report looks at the state’s nearly 7 million adults who could be “prospective graduates,” and provide a national perspective from Lisa Soricone, senior research director at Jobs for the Future.

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman.

Episode Transcript

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