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February 26, 2024

MDHEWD hosts workshop to reduce barriers for adult learners

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) hosted a Student Journey Mapping Workshop on Feb. 22-23 in Jefferson City to help identify and reduce barriers to higher education for adult learners. Representatives from nearly a dozen Missouri colleges and universities spent the two days focusing on ways they can help adult learners have smooth paths toward postsecondary credentials and degrees.

The workshop is part of MDHEWD’s Adult Learner Network, an initiative MDHEWD’s Office of Postsecondary Policy launched in 2022 to help institutions implement strategies for serving adult learners and put them on a path to learn, work, and prosper.

“Assisting adult learners is one of the keys to improving educational attainment and workforce participation in Missouri,” said Dr. Bennett Boggs, Commissioner of MDHEWD. “The Adult Learner Network strives to bring institutions together to make sure Missourians who previously stopped their education journey but desire to pursue higher education do not have barriers keeping them from achieving their life and career goals.”

The workshop included guest speakers and content experts from MDHEWD, Educational Data Systems, Inc., Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation, Missouri College & Career Attainment Network, University of Central Missouri, Jefferson College, and Missouri Southern State University. The first day focused on establishing a common language around process mapping and the second day focused on identifying reoccurring issues, communication gaps, and barriers.

Participating institutions included Columbia College, Chamberlain University, Central Methodist University, Jefferson College, Kansas City Medical Coding, Lincoln University, Moberly Area Community College, Missouri State University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and William Woods University.

The workshop will continue April 10 with presentations of student journey maps and discussions about how to implement new paths for adult learners.

More information about the Adult Learner Network can be found on the ​MDHEWD website.