Commission for Adult Learners honors initiatives for adult learners

Apryl Kadish, admission counselor at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, has been awarded the Superior Service to Adult Learners Award, and Penn State Altoona is the recipient of the Outstanding Adult Learner Recruitment or Retention Program Award from the Commission for Adult Learners. The commission presented its 2010 awards during the recent Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference.

The Superior Service to Adult Learners Award recognizes an individual or team that has positively affected adult learners through direct service or by improving the campus environment for adult learners. Kadish’s nominator praised her for “her passion and drive to make our environment friendly and welcoming to nontraditional students.”

Among Kadish’s accomplishments during the past year are the creation of a CLEP testing site that enables students to earn credits through College Board exams, playing a key role in bringing the Intermediate Unit 1’s offices on campus to make it easier for adult learners to participate in remedial courses, serving as the campus’ liaison with Pennsylvania Career Link, being the TAA/TRA (federal programs) adviser, assisting with the transition of policies related to provisional admission and helping to restart the campus’ Bachelor of Organizational Leadership program.

The Outstanding Adult Learner Recruitment or Retention Program Award highlights an outstanding program that provided significant benefit to adult learners during the 2009-10 academic year. Penn State Altoona’s Adult Recruitment and Retention Committee is comprised of co-chairs Kathy Eberhardt and Anna Rose Eckenrode, and members Rick Shaffer, Jim Caltagirone, Sean Kelly, David Pearlman, Shannon Corrigan, Harriet Gaston, Ashley Martin, Barbara Wiens-Tuers and Deb Hommer.

One of the committee’s major accomplishments was developing free noncredit math courses to prepare adult learners for the course MATH 021. The campus’ comprehensive survey of adult learners identified this critical need and also found that financial hardship was preventing some students from taking these remedial courses. Because of the success of the noncredit math courses, the Commission for Adult Learners has also awarded the committee an incentive grant to develop a similar free noncredit English proficiency course.

The committee also sponsored a faculty training colloquium to help faculty better understand and relate to adult learners in the classroom and led the development of a computer skills training program for adult learners in response to learners’ requests. In addition, the committee is creating a Peer Mentors program for adult learners.

The committee’s nominator said, “The efforts of the committee are a source of pride for Penn State Altoona and enable our adult learners to achieve a standard of academic excellence that inspires the entire campus community.”

Commission for Adult Learners members have been dedicated to improving the adult learner experience at Penn State since 1998. For more information about awards and incentive grants visit http://www.outreach.psu.edu/commission/ online.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010