Research Allies for Lifelong Learning

Q10. How did learner outcomes change over time?

Job-related outcomes decreased proportionately from 2006 to 2010.

  • A higher percent of adult learners kept their jobs than got jobs 
  • Percents decreased from 53% to 43% across time for adult learners seeking a job, and from 58% to 53% for those wanting to keep a job. Decreases may be related to possible disparities between adult skills and employer needs. Even though a steady percent of adult learners wanted to get or keep a job, their skill levels may have deterred them as unemployment rates rose

High school diploma or equivalency outcomes fluctuated from 49% to 60% 

  • They increased through 2008-09 and dropped more than 10 percentage points in 2009-10. The drop might relate to a higher number of adult learners that year overestimating completion. Fluctuations might also be linked to state budget shortages, which might limit funds for adult diploma programs or test center capacity

The percent of postsecondary outcomes also fluctuated, from 49% to 57%.

  • Percentages increased through 2008-09 then leveled off. This trend tended to parallel secondary diploma outcomes. If adult learners did not get a secondary or equivalency credential, they might wait to enter college. Another potential explanation is the recession – perhaps fewer adult learners could afford a college goal after 2008-09 

Further state-level analysis of outcomes will allow us to look at these trends in more detail.