New Paper on Predictors of Post-Secondary Success

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has just published a new brief that reviews various predictors of post-secondary success, according to research. The paper includes predictors of postsecondary success for adult education students. For what it’s worth, here are those predictors:

  1. Earning a GED.
  2. Achieving a CASAS score above 265.
  3. For those enrolled in an I-BEST model program (a very limited subset of the adult education population), the authors say that  enrollment with the intent of pursuing a vocational career—as opposed to simply for “academic purposes”—is also a potential predictor.

Not exactly earth-shattering news. And that last one… I haven’t reviewed the source, (note: laziness = excellent predictor of poor blog post quality), but I would think any highly structured program like I-BEST would look better in terms of outcomes than the general population of adult students enrolled, unless it was a total disaster of a program.

It seems likely to me that much more research is needed on this subject.

I’ve pulled out the relevant text from the report below:

For adult education, two indicators for success have been identified: obtaining a GED and receiving a Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) composite score above 256 (Wachen, Jenkins, & Van Noy, 2010). The CASAS assessment was designed to measure adult mathematics, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in order to identify career pathways that are best suited to students’ abilities.

Other potential factors that relate to postsecondary success are limited to the area of adult education and are largely dependent on data provided by workforce innovation agencies. Findings from research conducted on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model suggest that adult students who enroll in postsecondary programs with the intentions of pursuing a vocational career fare better in achieving their career-oriented goals when compared to other adult students enrolling in postsecondary programs strictly for academic purposes (Wachen et al., 2010).