Adult Learner Outreach Associate 

September 8, 2023

Achieving the Dream

A growing number of colleges across the country are dedicating one or more employee to lead outreach efforts for potential adult learners in their communities. While they may go by different titles, these campus team members are commonly referred to as adult learner outreach associates.


  • Intentionally and explicitly identify outreach strategies, locations, and partners that meet diverse adult learner populations where they are.
  • Provide a clear point of contact who can help adults navigate college programs and application and enrollment processes.
  • Connect adult learners to specific support services as they enroll that will make college easier to work into their busy lives.

Strategy Features

Clear Job Description

Adult learner outreach associates should understand the expectations of their position, including when to move learners to other departments, what goals and outcome metrics are used to measure success, and which processes they should use to support prospective learners from interest to enrollment.

Focus on Relationships

The adult learner associate role is designed to build relationships with community partners, employers, and potential adult learners. This should inform the hiring process and lead associates to spend a significant amount of their time at community events or partner sites.

Intentional Community Partnerships

The college should provide adult learner outreach associates with guidance on whether a formal memorandum of understanding is needed with a partner and the process the associate should follow in those instances.

Implementation Tips

Provide Comprehensive Training and Support

Onboarding for adult learner outreach associates should include dedicated time for relationship-building with key personnel. They should also receive comprehensive professional learning on college programs and services, adult learner needs and goals, and institutional processes.

Clarify Role Function at Partner or Community Sites

Adult learner outreach associates should know if they are expected to help learners complete their applications on site or connect learners to other staff who will help them enroll.

Hire Someone Who Deeply Understands the Local Community

Associates with a deep knowledge of the local community or who have personal history as an adult learner can leverage their experiences and existing relationships to expand the college’s outreach into new neighborhoods and build trust with potential learners.

Create a Tiered Approach to Partnerships

The number of potential partners in the community can be overwhelming. Colleges can support this role by mapping all potential employer and community partners and prioritizing them based on target adult learner populations and potential impact on enrollment numbers.

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