Adult Learners Need to Complete One Year of College and a Technical Certificate to see Real Wage Gains

From CAREER PATHWAYS TOOLKIT Six Key Elements for Success, September 2011 p. 35

“Research done in the state of Washington found that low-skilled adult learners need to complete one year of college and a technical certificate to really begin to see considerable wage gains. Reaching this “tipping-point” is also strongly associated with a learner’s likelihood of continuing to achieve two years of occupation-specific postsecondary education.6 Likewise, pro-grams leading to industry-validated certificates and credentials support employer recognition of an individual’s work-readiness and level of competency. For these reasons, it is important to design education and training programs that lead to career-enhancing credentials.

For more information, see Building Pathways to Success for Low-Skill Adult Students: Les-sons for Community College Policy and Practice from a Longitudinal Student Tracking Study (The “Tipping Point” Research)

A study by David Prince of the SBCTC and Davis Jenkins of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) that tracked the educational and labor market outcomes of the system’s basic skills students found that students who went on to earn at least one year of college-level credit and a credential within a five-year period earned substantially more than students who did not make it to that “tipping point” (Prince & Jenkins, 2005). The study also found, however, that few basic skills students advance to college-level courses, much less reach the tipping point.” From How IBest works, p. 5

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