Four Organizations Partner on Public Policy for Adult Learners at June Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 24 - The organizations will be focusing on workforce policy, online education, and many other topics related to state and federal policy and higher education.

Four higher education organizations are joining together to host a June event focused on state and federal policy trends impacting higher education. The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) have partnered to address policy issues that are vital for adult and non-traditional students that now constitute more than 80% of today’s post-secondary learners. This is the first time these four organizations have joined together to focus on policy related to online and adult learners.

The Policy Track at the 2018 Summit for Online Leadership and Administration (SOLA+R) will include speakers from the Washington D.C. policy community, including experts on a number of issues like Net Neutrality, workforce policy, Open Educational Resources (OER), congressional action on reauthorization of HEA, and state trends. There will also be a working session during the event where attendees will help shape a shared agenda on topics of importance. The organizations will then create an advocacy brief from these working sessions and input from the partnering organizations.

“Policy is such an important aspect of serving the adult learner,” Bob Hansen, CEO of UPCEA said. “Issues at the federal and state level impact how institutions operate and integrate adults into their programs, which is why this focus at the Summit is so important, and this partnership strengthens the impact of these efforts.”

“There is nothing more impactful for the adult learner than to remove structural and financial barriers to learning and credential attainment -- and policy change is an important way to do that,” adds Pamela Tate, President and CEO of CAEL. “This Summit is pushing the boundaries of how we think about educational policy change -- from technology infrastructure to support for innovative cost-saving strategies.” 

“Policy remains an important issue for the adult learner population, which is why it is important for us to join with our partners in participating in the Summit,” said Kathleen S. Ives, DM, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Online Learning Consortium. “We are committed to educating our members and keeping them current with what is happening at both the federal and state level, and how it may impact institutions.”

“Innovation inevitably outstrips policy…and always will,” according to Russ Poulin, Director of Policy & Analysis for WCET-the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. “The partners in this Summit envision a space that will help attendees find pathways to manage existing policies, while informing and developing strategies that encourage new ways to support learners.”


For more information, contact Jordan DiMaggio at, 202-400-2689

About the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
Founded in 1974, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Chicago that assists adults with their educational endeavors, finding practical ways to help them earn college credit for learning acquired through life and work experiences toward the completion of a postsecondary degree. CAEL works with the public sector, private sector industries and higher education institutions to ensure that adult students receive the most efficient training and education to occupy a meaningful professional place in a 21st century economy. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @CAELNews.

About the Online Learning Consortium (OLC)
Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.

UPCEA is the association for leaders in professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UCPEA membership includes most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For more than 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities, and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues. Learn more at

About WCET
WCET – the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies - is the leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. WCET is a national, member-driven, non-profit which brings together colleges and universities, higher education organizations and companies to collectively improve the quality and reach of e-learning programs. Visit WICHE, WCET’s parent organization, is the leading agency serving states, students and institutions throughout and beyond the American West, and is one of four U.S. regional interstate compacts.