CWU News

CWU Partners with WSAC on New Online Tool to Help Adult Learners Attend College

Central Washington University has teamed with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) on a new online tool—College & Career Compass—that makes it easier for adult learners to connect with college degree programs in the state of Washington.


“The College & Career Compass tool is designed to assist working-age adults navigate the process of finding the right college and program that can meet their career goals,” noted Ediz Kaykayoglu, CWU’s interim associate provost for extended learning and outreach. “Nearly half of all working-age adults in the state don’t have a postsecondary credential, which can prevent them from entering a field in which they are interested. This program makes that process much easier.”


The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), which developed College & Career Compass, launched it this month with an email campaign to more than 100,000 adults who don’t have a postsecondary credential. The campaign urges people to visit the new online tool, learn about how colleges and financial aid have changed to be more supportive, and reconsider the prospect of finishing a credential.


“Central is unique in that we have a variety of pathways and entry points for adults to return to school,” added Lauren Hibbs, executive director of extended learning and outreach. “In additional to our residential campus, CWU is unique in having eight regional university centers and sites and robust online program offerings.”


According to WSAC, College and Career Compass allows users to search through a wide range of schools and programs to match their goals with the appropriate educational opportunity. They can filter results by location, online and evening/weekend programs, or transfer options.


Users can also review and save articles covering topics such as financial aid, what to do about past debt, refreshing core skills like math, childcare resources, how to transfer any previous credits, and more. Each article has tips for taking the next steps and questions to ask a campus.


When users find programs they’re interested in, they can permit the tool to share their contact information with colleges. Campuses will receive these referrals and follow up with users about programs of interest and topics that may be areas of concern.


When students enroll, they may become eligible for a Washington College Grant one of the most generous and flexible financial aid programs in the nation. The grant is a guaranteed benefit to students of any age who qualify. It could cover full or a partial amount of tuition, depending on students’ income.


College & Career Compass is a statewide network of 51 campuses that are committed to meeting the specific needs of adult learners. Of these, a growing majority (currently 41) have agreed to evaluate adult learner practices and support students who connect through the online tool. These campuses understand that adult learners are a critical population, and Compass will be vital to providing information and support.


For more information, College & Career Compass. Learn more about the initiative at


Media contact: Katie Stephens, Senior Marketing Manager, Sites and Centers, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2147,