CCCS Chancellor’s Summit on Adult Education Returning for a Fourth Year


The Chancellor’s Summit on Adult Education, a statewide convening hosted by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), is returning to the Auraria Campus in Denver on Thursday, May 30. Funded by the Lumina Foundation REACH Collaborative, the summit is free to attend and open to any higher education or workforce development professional who serves learners ages 25 and up. Register here!

Last year, attendees heard from keynote speakers on fostering belonging among adult learners and designing pathways for “skill builders,” among many other topics. We sat down with Dr. Ayelet Zur-Nayberg, CCCS Director of Adult Student Success, to learn what participants can expect from this year’s summit.

What is the goal of the Chancellor’s Summit, and what will attendees take away from it?

The summit provides a forum for educators, administrators, and stakeholders to highlight successful strategies, innovative ideas, and lessons learned when working with adult student populations. That includes insights from all 13 CCCS colleges gained through their Lumina Foundation grants. Other goals include following:

  • Understanding Adult Learners: Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and needs of adult students, who often balance work, family, and other commitments alongside education. The summit will address issues like accessibility, flexible learning models, and support services tailored for these learners.
  • Addressing Equity: One of the main focuses of the summit is closing equity gaps within higher education, particularly for adult learners of color. We will explore strategies for removing barriers and ensuring these students have the support needed to succeed.
  • Networking and Collaboration: The summit fosters connections between colleges, community organizations, and policymakers. This collaboration can lead to new partnerships, shared resources, and a more systemic approach to supporting adult learners.
  • Advancing Policy and Advocacy: We hope that the summit will spark discussions on policy changes needed to better serve adult learners. By raising awareness of their needs, we can advance efforts that improve funding, support systems, and legislation.

I hope that attendees leave with actionable steps to refine their adult learner strategies and feel more equipped to empower these students.

How does the Summit address the needs of adult learners from rural communities?

Participants choose from presentations that are most relevant to their specific college environment. Additionally, sponsors will demonstrate how tools and strategies can be adapted to benefit adult learners in both rural and urban settings.

Why is it important to focus on adult learners?

Adult learners represent a critical part of Colorado’s workforce. With adult enrollment declining, and less than 42% of adult learners of color earning credentials, we must act. This Summit is about empowering community colleges and other higher education institutions to upskill this population, meet workforce needs, and carry out the mission of equitable educational access.

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