Access to Opportunity


Access to Opportunity served more than 450 Boston area adult learners enrolled in high school equivalency; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); and college transition programs, and ultimately college. In designing and implementing this project, the NCTN team worked closely with 12 Boston adult education programs and three postsecondary institutions. Through direct exposure to postsecondary education via college based events and peer mentoring, this project enhanced access, persistence and success of participants in postsecondary education and training.

Access to Opportunity has two components: College for a Day, and Adult College Engagement (ACE).

College for a Day

College for a Day enhances adult education programs’ ability to provide learners meaningful exposure to the college environment in a way that is more cost-effective and educational than what individual programs can do on their own. These experiences built awareness and aspirations. Also, participants learn about how they can apply to college, and how to access the resources available to them. The promising practice College for a Day: Simulating the College Experience was the catalyst for this project.

Adult College Engagement (ACE)

ACE strengthened the persistence and success of the adult learners who participated in this promising peer mentoring model. Two community colleges collaborated in ACE. The mentoring program offered services to 16 adult learners who were enrolled in college transition, high school equivalency, and ESOL classes from three Boston-area adult learning programs. 14 of the 16 participating mentees (88%) started their first term of college, and upon the successful completion of their first term, all 14 enrolled in their second semester of their respective college. The project refined a replicable, scalable model for peer mentoring for adult education programs to customize for their learners.

Further Information

Learn more about NCTN’s tools and approach by:

Project Director: Priyanka Sharma, NCTN Coordinator

Funder: The Shapiro Foundation