Recruitment, Screening, and Retention

What processes are in place to ensure students are set up for success?

Maximize the power of social media

See this report from Workforce GPS, 2019, United States Department of Labor, on the potential of social media to recruit new learners.

As part of a TechHire grant, Clackamas Community College (CCC) has seen significant increases in enrollment in the TechHire Clackamas program since establishing a robust social media strategy. This brief seeks to help fellow grantees and partners learn about the specific social media strategies CCC has used to target and support youth and young adults ages 17-29. Through effective social media outreach, they are helping their TechHire participants stay engaged and work toward completion and transitioning into employment.

Work with partners to advertise programs

Potential partners who can support student recruitment:

  • Community Colleges and other training providers
  • Local school system
  • Virginia Career Works One Stops
  • Local Workforce Boards
  • Community-based literacy organizations
  • Employers

Utilize appropriate strategies to reach and attract new learners

  • Tips and strategies for engaging adult learners: This site includes tips and strategies, based on their research of adult learners in higher education settings, for reaching students through messaging that communicates the flexibility of programming, an understanding of the emotional toll that taking on this opportunity may require, and a focus on work-based outcomes rather than the learning environment as a way to attract learners who may have mixed experiences with formal education.
  • Strategies for Recruiting & Retaining Adult Learners: This presentation from Florida’s Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center outlines research study findings on effective strategies for recruiting adult education learners.

Screening Strategies

  • Utilize student surveying
    • Identify education and workforce goals
    • Identify barriers to success and work together to identify support systems
  • Create a multi-step process to ensure commitment
    • Application
    • Assessment
    • Interest Meeting
    • Orientation
    • Interview
    • Learner commitment form
    • Ongoing goal-setting
    • Establishing a support network of services and peers


Learner Persistence and Motivation

These resources focus on strategies to engage adult learners to identify their education and career goals and to identify their motivations for persisting in education, training, and work.

In partnership with Virginia’s Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, adult education practitioners engaged in a four-day Motivational Interviewing training to learn principles behind and strategies for “evoking change talk” in adult learners.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

“…is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”

(Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd ed.)

Five core principles make up the Motivational Interviewing (MI) Framework:

  • Develop discrepancy
  • Express empathy
  • Amplify ambivalence
  • Roll with resistance
  • Support self-efficacy (Braastad, n.d.)

Principles and Techniques of Motivational Interviewing, an explanation of the principles, along with sample scripts and actions from the Australian Institute for Professional Counselors

Motivational Interviewing Core Skills, a checklist of to-do actions for motivational interviewing

Motivational Interviewing Strategies and Techniques: Rationales and Examples, a summary of strategies and techniques for motivational interviewing

For a deeper dive into MI:

Videos of motivational interviewing:

Additional Resources: