Helping Adult Learners Achieve Higher Education

Toward Meaningful System Change in Philadelphia’s Workforce


  • David Castro I-LEAD
  • Cynda Clyde Program Director, I-LEAD, Inc.
  • Fernando Castro Research Assistant, Intern, I-LEAD, Inc.


Higher Education, Anti-Poverty, Social Mobiity, Family Earning Wages, Economic Equity


Higher education attainment provides the most powerful potential to address deep poverty in Philadelphia, but meaningful progress will require programs that reach the long term pool of Philadelphia's undereducated workforce. Sole focus on the pipeline of students flowing into the workforce is not likely to achieve system transformation.  This article provides an analysis on the current systems and programs and concludes that to reduce poverty in absolute terms we must consider alternative ways to make a bachelor’s degree a staple of the labor force, in Philadelphia and the rest of the country. Therein lies the potential for real progress.




How to Cite

Castro, D., Clyde, C., & Castro, F. (2020). Helping Adult Learners Achieve Higher Education: Toward Meaningful System Change in Philadelphia’s Workforce. Social Innovations Journal, 2(2). Retrieved from