COABE National Awards, Grants, and Scholarships

Nominations Now Open!

We're committed to honoring the best of the best in our field! That's why we recently sought additional funding for our national award program. We are pleased to announce that thanks to generous funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, our award stipend for each of the three categories (Adult Learner of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year) has been raised from $1,000 each to $10,000 each! 

Each year at our annual conference, COABE gives the following awards:

  • Adult Learner of the Year
  • Administrator of the Year
  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Award recipients in each of these categories are recognized at the annual COABE national conference during the awards luncheon and receive a $10,000 financial award to help defray costs associated with conference attendance, including transportation and hotel accommodations. As an added bonus the successful nominators receive a complimentary conference registration for the conference where the award is presented.

Additionally, scholarships and incentive grants are available. Scholarship recipients receive a $2,000.00 financial award. Incentive grant recipients receive a $1,500.00 financial stipend and $750.00 travel stipend to present on his/her project at the annual conference. 

The deadline to submit an award is January 31, 2017. Winners will be honored at the COABE national conference at Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida on April 3, 2017.

Sponsored by Dollar General Literacy Foundation


Adult Learner of the Year

The Adult Learner of the Year Award is provided to a student who has demonstrated leadership within the formal or non-traditional learning environments.  This award is given to a student who has overcome difficult circumstances to pursue adult learning, who has supported other adult learners, and who has managed significant adult responsibilities such as those related to employment, family or community.

Award Criteria:

  1. The nominee must be an adult as defined by the sponsoring organization. He or she must have significant adult responsibilities, such as those relating to employment, family, or community.
  2. Has improved the life situation(s) of self/others as a result of learning experience.
  3. Has demonstrated leadership within formal or non-traditional learning environments.
  4. Has maintained family, civic, or employment responsibilities while concurrently pursuing educational goals.
  5. Has overcome difficult circumstances in order to pursue adult learning experiences.
  6. Has been supportive of others engaged in adult learning.
  7. The nominee must have been a student or self-directed learner within 12 months prior to the nomination date.

Deadline to submit a nomination is January 31, 2017. Note: Self nominations will not be accepted


Teacher of the Year

The Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Edgar M. Easley Award is provided to a practitioner with five or more years of adult education teaching experience that participates in school and community activities.  This award is given to an individual who understands the characteristics of the adult learner and who is committed to the adult/continuing education profession.

Award Criteria:

  1. A current practitioner with five of more years of adult education teaching experience.
  2. Participates in school and community activities.
  3. Communicates effectively with learners, colleagues, and supervisors.
  4. Committed to the adult/continuing education profession.
  5. Committed to his/her own lifelong learning (evidence of professional development).
  6. Understands the physical, psychological, social, and cognitive characteristics of the adult learner.
  7. Accepts the learner’s cultural and ethnic uniqueness.
  8. Provides a non-threatening, supportive atmosphere for learning, which fosters freedom of thought and expression.
  9. Assists learners in formulating personal learning objectives and assessing progress towards those objectives.
  10. Uses the instructional methods, techniques, materials, and resources most appropriate for the learning tasks and characteristics of the adult learner.

Deadline to submit a nomination is January 31, 2017. Note: Self nominations will not be accepted


Administrator of the Year

The Adult Basic Education Administrator of the Year Award is awarded to an adult education administrator with five or more years of experience who has made an outstanding contribution toward fostering the concept of education as a continuing life-process. The awardee must demonstrate a contribution to adult education at the community, state, and/or national levels.

Award Criteria:

  1. The nominee has five or more years of experience in adult education. 
  2. The nominee has made outstanding contributions to adult education
  3. The nominee has a clear understanding of adult education and literacy not only as a process, but also as a concept that continues throughout life.
  4. The nominee has demonstrated leadership qualities at all levels (local, state, and national levels) and is a strong advocate of adult education and literacy.
  5.  The nominee has proven results and is respected by his colleagues.
  6. The nominee has received awards and recognitions for his/her work. 

Deadline to submit a nomination is January 31, 2017. Note: Self nominations will not be accepted


Incentive Grant Winner

The COABE Incentive Grant Award is presented to recipients to support activities or projects in the field of adult basic education through the secondary level. Deadline: January 31, 2017


Scholarship Winner

Scholarships from COABE fund, or partially fund, college level courses of study that will advance the professional standing of COABE practitioners.  Examples of scholarships include employees or volunteers in the field of adult basic education earning a degree or a state certificate/credential; obtaining an ESL certificate; teacher/counselor obtaining counselor/administrative credential; earning an advanced degree in adult education. Deadline: January 31, 2017


Sponsored by Dollar General Literacy Foundation