Adult Reengagement

Adult Reengagement Summit

On November 28, 2018, the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) convened over 200 leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities to increase educational attainment of adult learners in Washington State. Visit the event archive to learn more and access materials from the 2018 Adult Reengagement Summit.

Washington's Adult Reengagement Framework

The Washington Adult Reengagement Framework will provide the infrastructure and support for adults without a degree or meaningful postsecondary credential to achieve their academic and career goals, earn a living wage, and contribute to Washington’s vital economy. 

The Need for Action

Over 300,000 adults in Washington have one year of college but no degree.

Though many adults understand the benefits of higher education, significant barriers stand in their way. For example, financial constraints and family obligations make it hard to return to college. Those same barriers can result in further delays or abandonment of their educational aspirations. 

If Washington adults do not have accessible and affordable options for postsecondary education, they risk continued underemployment without the many benefits that come from earning a postsecondary credential.

Pathways for Returning Adults

The completion of a postsecondary credential is critical for participation and success in the 21st century economy. Empowering adults to return to the classroom, complete their credential, and advance in their careers can have profound benefits on Washington’s families, our communities, and state’s economic and civic health.

The Critical Framework Components

The following three components are critical to the development of an Adult Reengagement Framework:

  1. The communications component develops an online tool, leverages existing tools, and implements targeted outreach to connect returning adults to programs.  

  2. The cost component addresses affordability-related barriers, including access to financial aid and prior debt accumulation.

  3. The completion component supports the development of regional, career-focused, adult friendly pathway; addresses enrollment barriers; and expands supports to returning adult students.

Washington is Ready

Washington, with its strong foundation of work and commitment to an inclusive and responsive higher education system, is well-positioned to develop a framework to reengage adult learners. Washington:

  • Ranks first in the nation in need-based financial aid per undergraduate enrollment.
  • Serves nearly 70,000 students (over 42 percent aged 24 or older) through the State Need Grant.
  • Provides strong pathways for transfer students and returning students, including policies to support students in receiving credit for prior learning.
  • Supports a number of policies that increase the access to and the affordability of higher education.

Poised for Success

To meet this need for skilled employees, Washington adopted a goal of at least 70 percent of all adults (ages 25-44) completing a postsecondary certificate or degree. Work on the Adult Reengagement Framework is an essential step to reaching the educational attainment goal.

Success will hinge on continued partnerships with key stakeholders from higher education, businesses and employers, targeted regions of the state, state agencies, and policy makers, who together will strengthen and define our shared commitment to serving adult students.


Advisory Team


July 31, 2018

April 20, 2018

August 1, 2017

  • Washington Student Achievement Council, Olympia
  • Agenda  I  Presentation  I  Meeting Notes

June 15, 2017

March 31, 2017

Reports and Resources

Reports and Resources 

Technical Team


February 26, 2018

December 11, 2017

October 6, 2017

July 31, 2017