Using Libraries to Bridge the Information Gap for Adult Learners

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The mission of a local library is to promote reading and learning, offer patrons access to information, and become a community-gathering center. As author David VinJamuri states,   libraries are dynamic, versatile, community centers. More than half of young adults and seniors living in poverty used public libraries to access the Internet to find work, apply to college, secure government benefits, and learn about critical medical treatments. For all this, public libraries cost just $42 per citizen each year to maintain. So, how do we harness all of these resources to assist patrons achieve their High School Equivalency Certificates? The answer is working with librarians!

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If you were asked the question, “When should you begin thinking about student retention?” The answer may be…

  • When the student begins attending classes
  • When the student begins to show at-risk behaviors such as missing classes
  • When the student goes trough orientation

The truth is retention begins with marketing. How often do we tell potential students that earning their high school equivalency is free and easy? Let’s ask ourselves – “Is it really free? Is it really easy?”

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Retention Plans That Foster Student Success

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Retention is often discussed in adult education as program administrators, instructors and support staff plan and integrate retention practices designed to lower student attrition. What are the elements of a strong, research-based and successful retention plan that is realistic to implement? It begins with defining retention, creating a marketing plan, developing a student screening and placement process, implementing a comprehensive orientation, and connecting instruction to student goals. When combined, these individual components fit into a solid, organized, and detailed plan that will foster student success.

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Using i-Pathways as a Classroom Supplement


Integrating i-Pathways as a classroom supplement will aid in student retention and prepare students for their High School Equivalency Exam. Using i-Pathways in conjunction with traditional classroom instruction will optimize a student’s time within the adult education program.

As Linda Crooks, an instructor from Rock Valley College, shared, “I’m trying to think about everything that has come up with my i-Pathways program this semester, and what I’m trying to accomplish with my classroom students and just getting them more computer literate. Big job! The online students are making much better progress than the classroom students. I haven’t had any classroom student test, but the online ones are, and I expect to have some graduates.”

The following steps will provide a blueprint for integrating i-Pathways as a classroom supplement.

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