Student support and persistence strategies encompass a variety of different research based approaches and activities that empower students to engage and persist in attaining their educational and career goals. As defined by John P. Comings in “Persistence: Helping Adult
Education Students Reach Their Goals,” “[p]ersistence is a continuous learning process that lasts until an adult student meets his or her educational goals… Persistence ends when the student decides to stop learning.”
According to Comings, there are two major approaches to increasing persistence in adult students. The first is to add persistence supports to existing program processes and structures. The second is to make changes to program processes and structures such that student participation in pursuit of their learning goals is easier. These approaches can include changes or additions to the intake process; increasing ongoing support via changes in classroom structures, formats, etc.; and adding to or adjusting existing processes and structures related to reengagement in order to facilitate students returning to programs after a period of absence.
Implementing and improving upon these strategies helps to ensure both that learners achieve their goals, and that programs meet the target of post-testing 70% of all WIOA Title II participants by the end of a block of instruction. For more information on post-testing requirements, please consult the Assessment Policy (PDF).
Because of the positive impact these strategies have been shown to have, grantees are expected to implement and improve upon support and persistence strategies in their program. Grantees will be supported in the implementation and improvement of these practices through technical assistance from AEI Program Coordinators. This technical assistance will be provided throughout the program year.