This paper explores some of the barriers adult basic education students face in obtaining postsecondary credentials. We locate community college-based adult education within the broader context of ABE and examine the outcomes of these programs. We then highlight the various challenges faced by community college-based ABE programs. Many of these challenges have their roots in the structure of the colleges and ABE within various states, and the policy landscape under which ABE and community colleges coexist.
We offer concrete suggestions to policymakers that can be used to improve the outcomes for ABE students by describing the lessons learned from three state-level policy initiatives and then providing specific suggestions for federal support of similar efforts. Finally, we conclude with recommends for an enhanced federal role in ensuring more significant ABE outcomes to benefit both students and the nation's economy. (author abstract)