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New England Learner Persistence Findings

The New England Learner Persistence (NELP) Project was a collaboration between the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC)/World Education and its member states.  The goal of the project was to improve adult learner persistence and outcomes in order for adult learners to meet their educational and related life goals.

Over the spring 2008 semester, 18 New England programs implemented one or more new persistence strategies and documented the qualitative and quantitative impact on student persistence. This report synthesizes the results of those investigations.

NELP Report Cover

The project found six underlying drivers of persistence that explain the positive effect of varied persistence strategies.

The 18 participating program teams were guided through a professional development process that prepared and supported them in their program-based research. They:

  • Participated in a 3-session NCSALL study circle on adult student persistence
  • Self-assessed their own program implementation of persistence strategies
  • Attended a kick-off conference on persistence and action research
  • Identified 1-3 strategies they felt held promise for their program contexts
  • Implemented their chosen strategies over the spring semester
  • Documented quantitative changes in attendance and completion rates
  • Documented qualitative changes in students, classes, and staff

Participating programs received a $3,000 mini-grant and technical assistance through the NELRC.

The interventions of the 18 New England programs impacted 755 unique students and resulted in measurable improvements in the rates of attendance and course completions.