Transition to College

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Resources for Transition Program Development

  • Transitioning Adults to College: Adult Basic Education Program Models by Cynthia Zafft, Silja Kallenbach, and Jessica Spohn. This NCSALL Occasional Paper describes the five models—Advising, GED-Plus, ESOL, Career Pathways, and College Preparatory—and the themes and recommendations that others contemplating adult college transition services might find helpful. To download the paper, go to
  • GED PLUS College Preparation Program in Florida. [1]
  • Focus on Basics issue on Transitions [2]
  • Case study by JFF, Year Up, an innovative IT training program for low-income, urban young adults that also prepares students for college. [3]
  • Career Pathway Toolkit by the Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) [4]
  • Searchable program database for postsecondary education. Improving Lives: State & Federal Programs for Low Income Adults [5]

Promising Practices

  • NEW Backpacks to Briefcases College Transition Program [6]
  • Using Syllabi in Transition Classes to Build College Knowledge [7]
  • Math Curriculum Alignment [8]
  • Preparing Students for College-level Math [9]
  • Working with Young Adults in College Transition Programs [10]
  • Don't Take No for an Answer: Questioning as a Self-Advocacy Tool for Transition Students [11]*

Research on Transition to College

  • Especially for Counselors...a careful look at the real benefits of college certificate and associate degree programs at [12]
  • To Reach the First Rung and Higher: Building Healthcare Career Ladder Opportunities for Low-Skilled Disadvantaged Adults (Chisman and Spangenberg, 2005). Produced by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) and based on various CAAL activities including in-depth review of six exemplary career ladder programs offered in various institutional settings: a union, a hospital, a community-based organization, and three community colleges in partnership with an array of medical centers. [13]
  • Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy (Jenkins, 2006). [14]
  • How many GED students go on to participate in postsecondary education? How many complete a two-year degree, and how many complete a four-year degree? GED postsecondary
  • The web site of Research Allies for Lifelong Learning (R-ALLY) offers new GED credential-to-college research
  • Alamprese, Judy. Helping Adult Learners Make the Transition to Postsecondary Education November, 2005. [15]* Prince, David and Jenkins, Davis. Building Pathways to Success for Low-Skill Adult Students: Lessons for Community College Policy and Practice from a Statewide Longitudinal Tracking Study April, 2005 [16]
  • To Ensure America's Future: Building a National Opportunity System for Adults, Results of a two-year study by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy, conducted to examine the role and potential of community colleges in ABE. 2005. [17]
  • Adelman (1998) The Kiss of Death? An Alternative View of College Remediation. Student graduation rates based on number of remedial classes taken. The take home message -- students need to come to college as prepared as possible, especially in reading. [18]

Discussions on Transition to College

The Transitions to Post-secondary Education Discussion List operates in partnership with the Center for Literacy Studies, University of Tennessee, under the LINCS Program Management Resource Collection grant project and is moderated by Ellen Hewett from the National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc.

The purpose of this list is to provide an on-going professional development forum for practitioners, administrators, researchers, and policy-makers from the Adult Secondary Education (ASE), English Language Acquisition (ELA), post-secondary education, and workforce development fields. This list promotes the sharing of information, research, expertise, and resources to help bridge the gap between what ASE and ELA programs traditionally offer and what most adult learners need to succeed in post-secondary education. Topics such as curriculum and instruction, college readiness, counseling, assessment, program development, career awareness, data collection, and partnerships will be explored.

You can join a Community of Practice discussion on transitions by visiting the LINCS page at

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