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November 17, 2023

MDHEWD hosts strategic planning session focused on helping adult learners explore pathways to further education

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) hosted its second strategic planning session on Thursday at Columbia College in Columbia, bringing together more than 60 individuals representing higher education institutions, community organizations, business and industry, and state agencies to develop a shared vision and plan to help adult learners in Missouri.

The event, hosted by MDHEWD, the Missouri College and Career Attainment Network (MOCAN), and Education Strategy Group, included panel discussions and breakout sessions with employers, community-based organizations, and higher education institutions. Sessions allowed participants to provide input on how the state can reach its goal of being the best among Midwestern states in educational attainment and labor force participation by 2030.

“We have set an ambitious goal to help 60 percent of adult learners in Missouri attain a postsecondary credential by 2030,” explained Dr. Bennett Boggs, commissioner of higher education. “Support from community partners and stakeholders will be vital as we work to reach this goal, and we appreciate the opportunity to develop strategies together that will help foster prosperity and opportunity for all Missourians.”

Last year, as part of its strategic plan to provide pathways and reduce barriers to educational attainment and workforce participation, MDHEWD launched the Adult Learner Network to support the development of educational opportunities that match the unique needs and goals of adults. This network will serve as a key group for scaling the strategies and ideas shared during the event. Adult learners include anyone between the ages of 25 and 64 without a postsecondary credential or degree.

For more information about MDHEWD’s strategic plan, visit dhewd.mo.gov/strategicplan.php. More information about the Adult Learner Network can be found at dhewd.mo.gov/initiatives/AdultLearnerNetwork.php.