Given the importance placed on participantsí perspectives throughout this study, much of this report consists of excerpts taken directly from interview transcripts. While the individuals represented in this section are composite characters, their stories reflect the everyday experiences of the individuals we interviewed and, we believe, are representative of many undereducated individuals across the state.
As these stories demonstrate, everyday challenges and opportunities
provide a complex climate for educational decision-making.
Our research analysis indicates that commonly held assumptions regarding
adult education influence how these challenges and opportunities are
The following sections will explore the themes illustrated by the above
stories and further demonstrate the multiple perspectives under-educated adults
hold toward educational opportunities and credentials.
In addition to the major themes of age, gender, and local economic
context, we will also discuss the complicating issues of poverty, learning
problems, health, ESL, and family concerns.
Following this discussion, we will return to these assumptions regarding
under-educated adults and further explore how adult education is perceived in
these local settings, what programmatic issues this raises, and how these
findings might be applied to future policy initiatives.