The core outcomes graph also shows changes in adult learners who earned a GED or secondary credential (the green line) and who entered postsecondary education (the purple line). From 2007-8 on, these changes mirror each other - that is, when more adult learners earn credentials, fewer go to college, and vice versa. At first glance this interaction is counter-intuitive. One possible explanation is that adult learners seek credentials more for employment reasons than to go to college. Another explanation may be that adult learners entering college may already have credentials (for example, if they entered the adult education program to learn English or to gain skills even though they completed high school through a special education certificate).

Research Allies for Lifelong Learning