Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)


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Authors Smith Jaggars & Bailey (Community College Research Center) discuss in their paper July 2010 Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta-Analysis whether complete on-line learning is beneficial to all students:


 while advocates argue that online learning is a promising means to increase access to college and to improve student progression through higher education programs… some evidence …suggests that, without additional supports, online learning may even undercut progression among low-income and academically underprepared students.”


What do you believe is a better way to train and educate our young people?  On-line?  In person? Or a hybrid between the two?

On June 30th, the Pew Justice Center released an extensive report:How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America”. The wide-ranging study echoes previous research that changes in the unemployment rate have not been distributed equally:

“The impact of a recession usually differs across groups of workers. Workers with lower levels of education or in blue-collar occupations tend to lose jobs in greater numbers. And because men are relatively more concentrated in production work, they often are on the front line of jobs lost. The same is true of minorities and younger workers… Changes in the unemployment rate by age group show clearly that being young in the Great Recession is a severe disadvantage.” (p. 22)

While this finding reinforces previous research, the survey tells us more about how many young adults (18 – 29) have managed to survive:

 “Young adults stand out in a couple of specific areas. Among those under age 30, 42% say they borrowed money from a family member or friend to help pay the bills. This compares with 28% of those ages 30-49 and only 12% of those ages 50 and older. In addition, 24% of those under age 30 moved back in with their parents after living on their own.”  (p. 54)

Besides the borrowing, that’s about one in four young adults moving back home. The study also surveyed rates of borrowing by across family incomes:

 “In much the same way that older adults were shielded from the effects of the recession, upper-income Americans have been protected…; while 8% of upper-income Americans [$75K ] say they had to borrow money from a friend or family member to make ends meet… 42% of lower-income Americans were forced to do that.” (p. 54)

What about the exponential effect on individuals who are both young adults and from low-income families? The survey raises important questions:

  • What is the “borrowing rate” of young adults from low-income families?
    Given that 42% from each sub-group report that that they are borrowing from family and friends “to make ends meet”, how high is the combined rate? ...60%? ...70%?
  • What is the “move-back-home rate” of young adults from low-income families?
    If nearly 1 in 4 young adults are moving back home, how much higher is this percentage for those from low-income families?  …1 in 3? ...40%?
  • What is the net family impact of that strain? The community impact?

While the report does not specifically answer these questions, it provides valuable insight on a recessionary ripple effect where families with the least are supporting young adults the most.

Many of our troops coming home are under the age of 24.  These young men and women, as well as their families,  need support.


Created for wounded warriors, transitioning Service Members, Veterans, and their families and caregivers, the new National Resource Directory has proved to be a useful tool for service providers who support the military and Veteran communities.


The NRD provides access to thousands of services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.


NRD assures users they can trust the content on the NRD as resources are reviewed regularly by a content management team that includes several Veterans and subject matter experts.


If you are, or are woking with returning troops, utilize this new and improved resource.


For more information, visit