Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education: The Relationship Between Teacher Characteristics and Students’ Transitions Into Postsecondary Education
One of the roles of the U.S. adult education system is to increase the number of nontraditional learners who transition to postsecondary education. Unlike transition services for high school graduates, the transformation of adult education programs to include transition services for adults is an emerging area of concern for the field of adult education. Although federally funded adult education providers served more than two million eligible adults who lacked basic literacy and/or English language skills in program year (PY) 2011–12, only one in four with less than a high school education at entry went on to participate in further education or training, including credit-bearing postsecondary education. The percentage was substantially higher—56 percent—among the learners who indicated that postsecondary education enrollment was their goal for participating in adult education.
While a few studies examined various models of college transition programs in adult education, little information is available on the role of teacher characteristics—including professional qualifications—in transitioning adult students into postsecondary education. This brief examines the relationships between teacher characteristics and student transitioning into postsecondary education and finds that they were often not consistent across students with different educational functioning levels or were not substantively meaningful. The analyses reported in this brief are based on student-level data obtained from one state governed by the community college system with a large urban population.