Flexible and Innovative

Adult Pathways System

Flexible and Innovative Adult Pathways System

Only 25% of adults (25+) in Elkhart County have a post-secondary degree. These adults are at a significant disadvantage in the labor market. As a community, our county’s low educational attainment puts our future prosperity at risk.

Improving the educational attainment of our county’s adult population requires a flexible and innovative system that provides multiple points of entry and diverse delivery systems that meet the needs of adult learners.

HEA News: Adult Pathways

Transformed – Collaboration is our most important work

School counselors from every public school in Elkhart County, representing all seven school corporations, pose for a group picture after a Comprehensive Counseling Collaborative of Elkhart County work session in July 2019. The CCCEC is a product of a collaborative...

Transformed – Investing together in education and training

By Brian WiebePresident/CEO of HEA This is the start of a new blog/vlog series entitled “Transformed,” where I’ll share my thoughts about Elkhart County’s journey toward becoming a "world-class place to live, learn, work and play," which is HEA's official vision...

HEA Adult Pathways office to close for COVID-19 concerns

ELKHART -- The Horizon Education Alliance office for adult education programs in Elkhart is pausing in-person instruction and testing as of Nov. 23, 2020, for an indefinite amount of time due to the latest rise in COVID-19 cases in Elkhart County and surrounding...

Bio Greer and Beth Rodriguez, recent graduates of Horizon Education Alliance’s High School Equivalency (HSE) program, reflect on the unique supports they received that helped them be successful. To progress in their careers and do what they loved doing, Bio and Beth needed their high school diplomas. Horizon Education Alliance provides free bi-lingual teacher, coach, and tutor supports for adult learners in Elkhart County.

HEA Approach to Adult Learning

HEA assists community partners in developing Networks and Initiatives to provide pathways to high-demand post-secondary credentials, advanced careers, and increased earnings while responding to the workforce needs of local industry.

Adult Pathways System


  • Lumina Adult Attainment
  • Advanced Manufacturing Sector Partnership (AMSP)
Adult Pathways System


  • Certified Production Technician Program
  • HSE and Literacy Programs
  • English Language Learning Programs

The Challenge

Elkhart County’s post-secondary attainment rate has historically lagged compared to the state and nation, and our percentage of adults without a high school diploma remains alarmingly high considering the limited economic prospects for this population.

Our county is committed to increasing the percentage of adults with a high school diploma and increasing post-secondary attainment rates through our integrated adult pathways programs.

The Solution

HEA supports our partners in developing immediate solutions to the current shortage of qualified workers through our innovative adult pathways programs.

An unprecedented collaboration between industry, adult education programs, government, and post-secondary institutions is leading to new opportunities for all adults, regardless of educational level, to pursue meaningful career pathways or advance their current careers.

Indicators of Success


Enrollment in high-quality, industry-recognized credential programs

Our networks are working to expand the types of post-secondary options open to adults so more adults can take the first step on their career pathways. These options include certifications and other industry-recognized credentials focused on preparing adults for high-demand careers in our local community.

Adults with a high school degree or above

A high school degree is essential for long-term financial and career success and stability. Adults without a high school degree are especially vulnerable to economic downturns. As a community, we are committed to ensuring all adults have the opportunity to earn a high school degree or equivalent.
Adult Pathways - Horizon Education Alliance

Community Priorities for
Student and Adult Pathways

  • All students will graduate from high school and attain a post-secondary credential or degree within six years of high school graduation.
  • Elkhart County has a creative, educated, and skilled workforce.
  • Elkhart County has a culture of lifelong learning.

Research Tools

Kindergarten Readiness

HEA has developed a county assessment tool to understand children’s social-emotional and physical development skills at kindergarten entry. Local kindergarten teachers helped develop this tool by identifying skills that are most important for school success. HEA combines data from this assessment with schools’ existing assessments to inform early childhood efforts.

Student Engagement

Elkhart County is working towards a countywide implementation of the Gallup Poll for 5th, 8th, and 11th-grade students. The goal is to understand students’ attitudes about school and their sense of belonging. Both factors have a known effect on achievement.

Student Achievement

HEA tracks 3rd-grade reading and 5th-grade math and English language arts assessments. These tools provide important indicators of future success, including high school graduation and post-secondary success and point to areas of need.