Launched in 2011, the Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative aims to increase the ability of students with low basic skills to earn valued occupational credentials, obtain a well-paying job, and sustain a rewarding career. AO is encouraging states to change the delivery of adult education for students interested in learning career skills by enrolling them in for-credit career and technical education courses at local community colleges as they improve their basic education and English language skills. The Urban Institute and its partners—the Aspen Institute and the George Washington University were contracted to carry out an independent evaluation of the initiative. The Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative is co-leading the implementation component of the evaluation with the Urban Institute.
This report highlights findings from the first year of implementation.