NCTN National College Transition Network
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Adult College Engagement (ACE)

starRead an interview with two students in the project, Vania Estanek and Guerda Fevrier!

starMentoring for Student Success is an article written by Ellen Hewett, NCTN Director, at the beginning stages of this project.

Project Description

This project increased persistence and success of adult high school equivalency, ESOL, and college transition learners in postsecondary education and training. This project piloted and refined a replicable, scalable system-wide model for peer mentoring of Boston-area adult learners. Through peer mentoring, the ACE project aimed to increase the resilience, college navigation skills, and persistence of adult learners as they transition to college.

The National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education partnered with three Boston-area adult learning programs - Asian-American Civic Association, X-Cel Education, and Cambridge Community Learning Center - and two community colleges: Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College.

student and mentorThis project provided mentoring services to 16 adult learners who were enrolled in college transition, high school equivalency, and ESOL classes in the three Boston-area adult learning programs. Mentoring was provided to these adults as they completed their final semester in the adult learning center, transition to college, completed their first semester and enrolled in the second semester. Mentors were adult learning center graduates/alumni, who had successfully transitioned to college, and completed at least one year of postsecondary education.

NCTN developed a Mentoring Toolkit, trained the mentors, and provided ongoing support to mentors and mentees along with working with the adult learning program staff. NCTN also used social networking and technology-based tools to engage and support the mentors and mentees.

Project Outcomes

Out of the 16 participating mentees, 14 (88%) enrolled in college for their first semester of study. As they completed their coursework for the Fall 2014 semester, all 14 of these mentees had enrolled in their second semester at their respective colleges.

The Mentoring Toolkit served as the central document for the implementation of this peer mentoring program. The Toolkit has all of the resources, forms, and handouts used in the execution of the project and can serve as a guide for adult education programs that are interested in replicating this promising mentoring model. NCTN shares this free resource to encourage the development of other peer mentoring programs. Click here to access and download the Mentoring Toolkit.

Informed by the lessons learned and inspired by the initial success of the project, the goal is to build a system-wide model for peer mentoring of Boston-area adult learners as they transition to postsecondary education and training.

For more information about Adult College Engagement, contact Priyanka Sharma, psharma@worlded.org. This project has received generous support from the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation.

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