November 30, 2023

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Adult College and Credentials Initiative (ACC)

5 min read

The Adult College and Credentials Completion Initiative

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE) Adult College and Credentials (ACC) Initiative seeks to encourage adult learners (either first-time or returning) to earn a degree or other postsecondary credentials.
Adult learners often face various challenges that keep them from completing their postsecondary goals. In January 2014, OSSE convened a working group comprised of 10 adult-friendly community and postsecondary partners aimed at providing stronger institutionalized and community-based support for adult learners. The working group designed a district-wide campaign to educate adult learners about the available paths for college completion.

The ACC Initiative helps promote a collaborative approach to increasing adult college completion and brings the student-centered perspective to the forefront of college completion work.

2022 ACC Working Group Members:

  • DC ReEngagement Center (DC REC)
  • DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG)
  • DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking – Student Loan Ombudsman
  • Educational Opportunity Center
  • OSSE Division of Early Learning (DEL)
  • Reach 4 Success – College Information Center
  • Trinity Washington University

Upcoming Event(s)

Are you age 18 or older and interested in going to college or earning a postsecondary credential? Did you start college but were unable to finish? Do you want to earn a training certification but don’t know where to start?

If that’s you, join us for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE’s) Virtual Adult College and Credentials Fair.

OSSE’s Virtual Adult College and Credentials Fair

Saturday, April 23, 2022, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Register Today

Join us at the fair for:

  • Conversations with representatives from organizations, workforce development programs, and local colleges and universities that offer credentials, certifications and associate and bachelor’s degree programs that cater to adult learners.
  • Scholarship and resource information from organizations that support adult learners who are pursuing postsecondary credentials and higher education degrees.
  • Discovering options to finance your postsecondary education including student loan management.
  • Workshops designed to provide you with everything you need to know to successfully enroll in workforce development programs, training and apprenticeship programs, and certification programs.
  • Sessions created to help residents learn how to return to college or enroll in college for the first time.

Attention Early Childhood Workforce:

Representatives from local universities that offer the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and associate and bachelor’s degree programs will be on hand to assist you as well!

It’s your time for a fair shot at:


For more information or questions, contact Joi Jones at [email protected].

Adult-friendly Colleges and Universities

Your gateway to college is the admissions office. The links below will take you to admissions websites for the major colleges and universities that are featured at OSSE’s Annual Adult College and Credentials Fair. Please note that these are postsecondary institutions in the Greater Washington area that serve adult learners:

Adult-friendly Community- Based Organizations

Many community organizations within the District offer certificate training programs, college counseling, adult education programs and financial aid and scholarship opportunities for adult learners. The community-based organizations listed below have been featured at the Adult College and Credentials Fair in previous years. Please visit their websites for more information on programs and services.

Revisiting the Dream

Have you gone as far in your career as you can without a college degree? Or is your dream to transition to a career that requires postsecondary education? Whether it’s job-related or for personal development, obtaining a credential or graduating from college opens up a new world of potential for your life.

Follow These Steps to Ease the Transition to College:


It is important to understand your options regarding financial aid to pay for college. Financial aid applications can be complex and adult resources are limited. Start now.

Federal options

  • To explore federal financial aid opportunities, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The FAFSA application opens on Oct. 1 of each year and students should submit by March 1. Your school’s deadline may be earlier, so be sure to ask. Visit to access the FAFSA application.

District Options

  • DC TAG – If you are under the age of 24, you may be eligible for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG). This program provides additional financial support at specific colleges and universities. Please contact the DCTAG office at (202) 727-2824 for more information.
  • The Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program provides need-based funding, to cover tuition and fees, for eligible DC residents pursuing their first undergraduate degree at a select public or private college or university in the DC metro area. Please visit for more information.
  • DC Futures Program – The DC Futures Program (DC Futures) is a newly created program that aims to help DC college students complete their first associate or bachelor’s degree by providing a last-dollar scholarship (tuition, fees, and cost of attendance) at three local universities in addition to college coaching and support services that will address personal and financial barriers to completion for all participants. Please visit the DC Futures Program webpage for more information.
  • Many community organizations within the District offer scholarships to adult learners. Please visit the following websites for more information:
  • Public Allies
  • Generation Hope Scholarships
  • The Herb Block Foundation
  • Tuition Assistance Program Initiative for TANF (TAPIT)

Institutional options

  • Contact the financial aid office at your prospective school and request a full list of scholarships available. Talk to a financial aid counselor about how to find scholarships, fellowships, grants and other sources of free aid. The less you have to pay out of pocket and borrow, the better off you’ll be.
  • Also, check with your academic advisors, as sometimes an academic college or department will offer scholarships.

Employers & organizational options

  • Many employers and organizations offer tuition assistance and reimbursement; check with your human resources department.


Make an appointment with an admissions officer to review enrollment information.

Complete the application process

  • Be sure to mark application dates and deadlines on your calendar so you won’t miss them. Submit your admissions application and any separate department or program applications as early as possible, and well before any deadlines.
  • If you have earned college credits from previous institutions, you will need to request your official transcripts from the office of the registrar of each college you have attended. The transcript must be mailed directly from the college you attended to the college you are applying to.
  • Once you have been accepted, be sure to register for classes as soon as possible. Attend orientations and explore campus and community organizations. The more involved you become the more likely you are to succeed.


  • Many schools have special offices or advisors for adult students. These professionals can tell you what programs and services are specifically available, such as day care, career counseling and financial aid.


Work with academic advisors to design a class schedule that works for you.

  • Whichever schedule option you choose, be sure to follow your degree plan.
  • Generally, you should allow six hours of study per week for each three-credit-hour course.

It’s never too late to #BeAFinisher


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