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Counseling & Support

What does this section include?

This category is about providing counseling and other non-instructional supports that help enrolled students feel more connected to the program and each other, better understand the supports and barriers to their learning, and build confidence in pursuing their life goals. See also the “Intake and Orientation” section for related work.

This category also covers re-engagement strategies that entail contacting students who have stopped out or are at risk of stopping out to offer support and help them make a sustainable learning plan that takes into account their current life circumstances. The plan might result in re-entry into the program or independent study through on-line work, study packets, or drop-in to a study/resource center.

What is the connection between counseling and support and persistence?

Adult education students have many competing priorities and life challenges to deal with in order to persist with their learning. Without ongoing support and reminders of the resources available to them, many lose their way. Counseling, peer networks, and other non-instructional supports can help students address barriers and stay motivated and focused on their learning.

Programs are finding that the risk of dropping out increases when students approach completion of their studies. Students often leave programs after passing four of five parts of the GED test, or just a small number of credits shy of achieving an adult high school diploma. Programs that intervene with these students, before or after they have stopped out, are able to coach them through the final phases of earning a credential. Others, who have stopped out because of any number of possible persistence barriers, may need encouragement, problem-solving support, or an opportunity to do independent study.

For a description of the counseling and support strategies investigated by programs, see page 50 of the New England Learner Persistence Project report.

For a description of the re-engagement strategies investigated by programs, see page 58 of the New England Learner Persistence Project report.

:::Read more about specific strategies or take the counseling and support self-assessment.