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Tallian seeks to expand opportunities for adult learners

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INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier adults returning to school could access more financial aid and other resources under a plan announced Tuesday by the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition and endorsed by state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes.

The proposal calls for part-time learners to be eligible for additional state financial aid programs, permits vehicle purchases using funds from tax-advantaged savings accounts and requires state agencies and universities develop consistent programs and credential management systems.

"People going to college are no longer strictly high school grads getting out and going to college at age 19," Tallian said. "It's time that we realize that we have to take care of a different demographic group that's going back to school or that's starting school."

Tallian said working adults have different needs than traditional college students even though they may be in the same classrooms, and it's in the state's best interest to help adult learners earn their degree or an appropriate credential.

She also said adults with on-the-job experience should receive college credit for that experience when appropriate, such as a trained paramedic returning to school for a nursing degree.

The plan devised by the bipartisan Skills2Compete Coalition requires approval by the General Assembly and governor to take effect.

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