An Analysis and Illustration of US Adult and Workforce Education Policy Academic Article uri icon


  • Systematic policy analysis regarding the area of adult and workforce education (AWE) in the United States is limited in the literature. This article presents the results from a historical analysis of federal-level U.S. policy documents spanning the years 1914-2014. We performed a systematic content analysis utilizing a context justification approach to analyze 19 pieces of U.S. legislation to discern broad patterns and trends in the area of AWE policy development. The benefits of examining policy through a lens of governance and system-level trends include gaining a clearer understanding of the evolution of key policy dimensions and how they contribute to shaping current circumstances in the field. Our analyses suggest the importance of historical conditions in shaping policy characteristics. We conclude that it is essential to understand these policy characteristics in order to seek the necessary information to more strategically advocate for AWE in the 21st century, and highlight areas where further inquiry is needed.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Roumell, E. A., Salajan, F. D., & Todoran, C.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Roumell, Elizabeth Anne||Salajan, Florin D||Todoran, Corina

publication date

  • November 2019