NCTN National College Transition Network
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Support Services

This section covers community efforts aimed at the seamless alignment of support services, and program practices to build adult learner's persistence and resilience.


Publication - Mentoring Toolkit
The Mentoring Toolkit contains the resources, forms, and handouts developed for and later informed by the implementation of a successful peer mentoring program. The toolkit is designed to serve as a guide for adult education programs interested in replicating the mentoring model. More details…

Publication - Aspirations Toolkit
The Aspirations Toolkit is a set of counseling and instructional practices and tools contributed by adult educators around the country. More details…

Publication - College and Career Navigator Trainer Manual
This manual was developed by the NCTN for Accelerating Opportunity, an initiative of Jobs for the Future. Its aim is to guide the emerging cadre of trainers' efforts to help strengthen the skills of practitioners whose primary function (regardless of job title) includes providing direct students support and guidance, as well as coordinating campus and community support services. More details…

Promising Practice - Wrap-Around Services
Capital Idea’s College Prep Academy provides comprehensive support services to its students, including a weekly meeting with an assigned career counselor. More details…


Community Resource Mapping
Mapping provides an alternative approach to the more common "deficit" models by identifying a community’s assets and resources to build a system. While this guide was originally designed to assist youth with disabilities, the tool provides the model and steps of community resources mapping useful in building a comprehensive student support system for adult learners.

Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century
This brief from the U.S. Department of Education documents the start of a study of noncognitive factors related to grit, tenacity, and perseverance.  While focused on the K-12 system, the psychological resources – academic mindset, effort control, and strategies and tactics are familiar to adult educators. The study also looks at environmental factors that support students.  

Using Noncognitive Variables in Assessing Readiness for Higher Education
This literature review by William Sedlacek illustrates the importance of  noncognitive variables in creating differentiating learning programs via differentiating assessments. Among the non-cognitive dimensions explored are: self-concept, positive self-image, handling system/racism, leadership, and community involvement.     

What We Know About Nonacademic Student Supports
This practitioner packet summarizes Community College Research Center and other research on nonacademic student supports. The packet is organized into three parts: What We Know About Nonacademic Student Supports, Designing a System for Strategic Advising, and Success Courses for Sustained Impact.

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