AO offered career and technical education (CTE) courses to students with low income in order to provide credentials designed to enhance their educational and employment outcomes.
AO offered students career pathways culminating in one or more credentials in high-demand fields, including health care and manufacturing. Instructional courses were delivered at local colleges using team teaching of basic skills, CTE, and basic skills instruction delivered using meaningful content. AO also provided academic services, such as tutoring and academic advising, and supportive services, such as transportation and child care assistance, to students. The pathways consisted of about 12 academic credits. Most of the pathways lasted one academic year or less. The program was offered to English-speaking students enrolled in adult, developmental, and CTE education programs who had scored at the 6th- to 12th-grade level on a math, reading, or writing test. AO was implemented at several colleges across seven states (Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi) but was only evaluated in four states (Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana).