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My Degree Matters announces Colorado-wide adult education symposium

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The backbone of Colorado's Talent Dividend efforts is My Degree Matters CO, an initiative which seeks in part to motivate employers to invest in adult education by emphasizing the link between higher education and business success.
This month, MDMCO announces a statewide adult learning conference that organizers hope will move the state closer to its overall goal of increasing degree completion by one percent -- or 16,000 additional degrees -- by 2014.

Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia will provide keynote for the one-day event, which will be held Monday, July 29 at Regis University.
The symposium will convene more than 100 state policy makers, administrators, and adult education/training professionals. The agenda will include:
  • Panel discussions around sharing best practices and moving from policy to practice, as well as instruction on building partnerships within higher education, business, and the Colorado workforce
  • Presentations from key players in adult education on a number of topics
  • Breakout sessions to address niche topics such as services for veterans, financial aid, reaching Hispanic adult learners, and more 
"As the first-ever Colorado convening on adult learning, the objective is to provide participants with a better understanding of adult learning in Colorado today, and to generate ideas and connections for moving the needle in adult college completion," says Devon Coombe, Director of Business Planning for the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). "If this event is successful, we will build on it in future years."
The impetus for this event also stems from Colorado's passage last year of important Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and reverse-transfer legislation.
"With many robust initiatives already in place for supporting college enrollment and completion for high school and traditional-aged college students in Colorado, My Degree Matters Colorado made a decision in 2011 to focus on the adult learner," says Coombe.
My Degree Matters Colorado will host the event with sponsorship from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Regis University, CAEL, and the Colorado Community College System, among others.

Sources: Devon Coombe, Shawn Hulsizer and Susan Kannel, CAEL 
Writer: Hannah Purnell
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