Latest News



December 1, 2016

Stay up-to-date on what is happening with COABE by reading the December issue of the membership update. In this issue, you can register for the the COABE 2017 Conferencesign up for a FREE Professional Development Webinar, learn more about the December VIP Vendor-PrepPath, read COABE’s Government Relation Report, find out more about the Research to Practice Initiative, and much more!


December 1, 2016

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


December 1, 2016


Castle Software Inc., the maker of PrepPath, has provided online instructional support to millions of teachers and students over the past 25 years. We’re passionate about supporting teachers in efforts to teach, inspire, and empower their students.  

PrepPath is born out of the belief that all people have the ability to achieve and succeed. Our HSE preparation platform incorporates our vast experience and supportive material in all core academic areas and Spanish. We go to work every day to empower students at every learning level to confidently move down the path toward their high school equivalency and career goals.

PrepPath is born out of the belief that all people have the ability to achieve and succeed. Our HSE preparation platform incorporates our vast experience and supportive material in all core academic areas and Spanish. We go to work every day to empower students at every learning level to confidently move down the path toward their high school equivalency and career goals.


  • Assessment preparation material for all major components of the HSE exam.
  • Over 1500 educator-designed assignments designed to pinpoint target deficiencies identified in the GED™ Exam.
  • Statistics on individual student growth to provide valuable, just in time insight and quickly identify growth opportunities for students.
  • Live support team available via chat or phone.

Finish Your Diploma Campaign

November 26, 2016

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Ad Council launched new public service ads (PSAs) on behalf of the Finish Your Diploma campaign. The ads provide adults with the information and encouragement needed to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The new PSAs celebrate adult learners and reinforce the idea that no one does it alone.
As literacy champions, we wanted to share the campaign materials and toolkit with you. We hope the toolkit and fun social media opportunities are useful for you organization's efforts to inspire others and increase awareness for the cause. We also hope that like us, you are inspired by the stories of the four individuals featured in the campaign who recently finished their high school.


Integrated Education and Training Model Survey

November 20, 2016

The National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC), CLASP, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) have teamed up to find examples of how states and local areas are implementing the integrated education and training (IET) model in the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, including how IET is provided under the Integrated Education and Training English Literacy and Civics program. 

We want to hear from practitioners on the kinds of  Integrated Education and Training (IET) Models they have in their adult education programs.  If you are a classroom teacher, administrator, or partner, your work is important in defining IET.  Please take a few minutes to share your work via this survey and build up a network of peer learning to support one another as we undertake IET under WIOA. 
Results from this survey are intended to support the implementation of IET in areas where efforts are just underway and to share practices with those already implementing. Results submitted may be used in publications (after permission is received), to support professional development efforts supported by the NAEPDC, and to support the development of future guidance and policy.  

This survey is designed for local adult education programs to complete. Please complete as much of the survey as you are able and skip questions for which you do not have information. Providers with IET programs in multiple occupations may repeat the survey. State program staff may complete this with information from local programs.

We Need YOUR Help to Ensure Adult Education is Funded

November 14, 2016

Congress will shortly reconvene in a "lame duck session" to determine spending levels for FY 2017. We need to do whatever we can to ensure that, at a minimum, Adult Education funding is not cut, in the best of possible worlds, gets the increase Congress assumed when it passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
The next years are going to be challenging - pressure to cut federal funding will grow, while demand for Adult Education services is likely to increase. We need to work together to protect and grow funding for Adult Education so that more under educated and/or disadvantaged adults are able function effectively and get family supporting jobs or access post-secondary education.
In March, the new Administration will unveil its first budget. We need to make sure that it adequately funds Adult Education. Then, in April the Congress will begin the annual Appropriations process. Congress also needs to gets the message that Adult Education is a key component to any growth agenda.
We are asking you to weigh in now with Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees who will be making these decisions in the weeks and months to come. Please click HERE for a letter that you can use to send to your Senators and Representatives.
We are convinced that if we continue to work together, we can make good on COABE's mission of advocating for more services, more funding, and less waiting.

If you are interested in helping out with this, please notify us by clicking HERE.


November 11, 2016

The 2016 national election results are in, and Donald J. Trump is President-elect and Governor Mike Pence is Vice President-elect. In addition, since the Republicans maintained their majorities in both the Senate and the House, for the first time since 2010, one party will control both the White House and Congress.

Membership Update November 2016

November 1, 2016


Stay up-to-date on what is happening with COABE by reading the November issue of the membership update. In this issue, you can learn how to apply for a mini-grant to attend the COABE 2017 Conference, register for FREE Professional Development Webinars, learn more about the November VIP Vendor-Steck-Vaughn, read COABE’s Government Relation Report, find out more about the Research to Practice Initiative, and much more!

Fall Virtual Conference

November 1, 2016

Dear Members,

I'm delighted to share that, while our first Fall Virtual Conference has concluded, you can still register if you have not done so already. Sessions have been archived and will be available to registrants to review for the next six months. Register HERE! Additionally, mini grant recipients were announced HERE, so if you applied for a grant, be sure to see if your name is on the list.

Each session was packed with attendees; and our statistics indicate that there were over 2,000 presentation reviews, with participants downloading over 4,000 resources and engaging in chat conversations throughout the sessions. 

Nine states (Delaware / DAACE; Texas / TALAE; South Dakota / SDALL; Connecticut / CAACE; Illinois / IACEA; Louisiana / LAPCAE; Maine / MAEA; New Mexico / NMAEA; and Iowa, through the Iowa Department of Education) provided this opportunity to all members in their state. If you are a member of a state association which paid your way, you may automatically access these outstanding professional development sessions! 

I would like to thank our corporate partner, McGraw-Hill Education, for sponsoring this professional development activity, as well as our national strand partners HERE, who provided national level presenters and a virtual booth throughout the conference.

On a separate note, plans for our national conference in Orlando, FL, on April 2-5, 2017, are underway! Accommodations will be provided at the beautiful Disney Coronado Springs Resort, and our mini grant registration process is now open HERE

In the meantime, don't forget to check out our all-new and exciting Research to Practice initiative HERE, which is generously funded by Essential Education

Now that I have shared professional development opportunities with you, I would like to highlight our leadership opportunities, as five positions are opening up on our board of directors, on July 1, 2017. They are president-elect, secretary, and regional representatives 1, 3, and 5. Learn more HERE. If you or someone you know is interested in serving the field at the national level, join us for an interactive discussion, on 11/11/16, at 2EST. Please contact me to reserve your seat! This and ongoing leadership opportunities are generously funded by GED Testing Service, corporate sponsor of our leadership initiatives.

Sharon Bonney
Executive Director


November 1, 2016

Steck-Vaughn High School Equivalency Test Preparation for all learners-Give your learners the tools they need to complete their HiSet® Exam or TASC™ Assessment now!  The NEW Steck-Vaughn® High School Equivalency Test Preparation series offers updated in-depth coverage of all the subject areas (Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies) to reflect the most recent specifications of the HiSet Exam.

Southwest Adult Basic Education agency has received national attention

November 1, 2016

Our local Adult Basic Education agency has received national attention. An official with the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) invited Pat Thomas, director of Southwest ABE, to present to a national forum on how her agency is able to help more people by collaborating with a variety of community partners. COABE's virtual conference took place October 25 and October 26. COABE is the largest adult education professional organization with 15,000 members and has an in-person conference each spring. This is its first virtual conference.

"I had originally thought they just wanted me to showcase our adult/youth career pathway work, but when they became aware of other things we are doing in a collaborative fashion from low literacy to college bound, they asked that our focus be one of sharing the various collaborations we have going on," Thomas said. "A big reason for this is the new federal WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) law that was signed (in 2014) giving the directive for Workforce and ABE to be more collaborative to serve individuals better."

Is there Public and Private Funding to Address the Digital Divide in Health Literacy?

October 17, 2016

While the Internet access digital divide, including for adult basic skills learners, appears to be narrowing, we still have the digital use divide. This plays out, for example, when adult learners need to apply online for jobs, benefits, or college financial aid; or when they need to communicate with their children's teachers. Now there is research evidence that there is a digital divide in health literacy.

A new health literacy study concludes that "About half of Americans have low health literacy and struggle to find and use health information, which is associated with negative outcomes, including overall poorer health. Health information technology (IT) can be used to make health information directly available to patients via electronic tools, such as patient portals, wearable technology, and mobile apps." The study in Journal of Medical Internet Research "found that the use of health IT, such as fitness and nutrition apps, activity trackers, and patient portals, are significantly associated with improved health literacy, but patients with low health literacy were less likely to use health IT tools or perceive them as easy or useful. The study also explored whether health literacy is associated with patients’ perceived ease of use and usefulness of these health IT tools, as well as patients’ perceptions of privacy as offered by health IT, and trust in media, government, technology companies, and healthcare."

COABE Conference 2017 Mini Grants

October 15, 2016

COABE is pleased to offer mini grants to attend the COABE National Conference. This outstanding professional development opportunity is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida on April 2-5, 2017 in the beautiful Disney Coronado Springs Resort. Please note that all applicants will be notified of the status of their mini grant application by December 1, 2016 via our membership update and newsletter.


October 11, 2016

The Commission on Adult Basic Education is more than 15,000 members strong and growing. Our Board of Directors is seeking qualified candidates for the following positions that will open on July 1, 2017. 

a) President-Elect
b) Secretary
c) Regional Representatives for regions 1, 3, and 5

Candidates are encouraged to attend the COABE 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida where they will have the opportunity to meet with conferees and campaign for their vote. Funds are allocated for business travel on behalf of COABE. Nominations/applications for position on the Board of Directors will be accepted until January 15, 2017.


October 4, 2016

Today we are pleased to announce that COABE and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education are partnering in an advocacy effort to strengthen and grow Adult Education.
COABE is organized to advance national and international adult education and literacy opportunities for all persons. Its more than 15,000 members include adult educators, administrators, and mentors working to improve educational outcomes for adults.
The purpose of the NCSDAE is to attend to its members legislative needs and concerns, to work with other adult education organizations to exchange ideas and solve common problems, and to establish and maintain a nationwide communication network regarding national policy and legislative issues. Learn more...


October 1, 2016

Stay up-to-date on what is happening with COABE by reading the October 2016 issue of the membership update. In this issue you will learn how to submit a proposal to the COABE 2017 Conference, , find information on FREE Professional Development Webinars, learn more about the October VIP Vendor-Essential Education, read about Student Success Stories, read COABE's Government Relation Report, how to register for COABE's Virtual Conference, find out more about the Research to Practice Initiative, and much more!


October 1, 2016

Essential Education  was founded in 2004 to improve the completion rates of adult learners.  Using innovative adaptive learning technology and situational instruction systems, Essential Education’s courses have helped over 1.5 million people make fundamental change in their lives. Our comprehensive suite of adult education solutions are designed to build core academic skills while also teaching computer literacy, critical thinking, and workforce readiness skills.  We believe it is our responsibility to educate the learner to be completely workforce ready.


September 26, 2016

It’s Adult Education and Family Literacy Week! Advocates around the country are marking this week with events and activities that celebrate the achievements of adult learners and the contributions of adult educators.

National Skills Coalition is joining in the celebration with a brand-new fact sheet highlighting the critical role of adult education in helping workers prepare for middle-skill jobs. Such jobs require more than a high school education, but not a four-year degree.

More than 24 million US workers lack key foundational skills in reading, math, or spoken English, and would benefit from adult education to help them build the skills needed to pursue occupational training and compete for these jobs. 

Adult education models such as Integrated Education and Training (IET) have a proven track record in helping adult learners acquire key skills, earn secondary and postsecondary credentials, and obtain middle-skill employment.

The fact sheet highlights four federal policies that can support the implementation of adult education program models such as IET, and provides examples of states that are capitalizing on these policies to do just that.

Among the examples highlighted is the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides support for low-income families, including through the provision of education and training to help adults find employment and move off of public benefits.

Advocates interested in how TANF can help support skill-building opportunities can review the nationally recognized Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative, which provides a broad range of support to assist low-income individuals in obtaining in-demand credentials and employment.

See more examples of support for adult learners’ skill-building activities in NSC’s Adult Education and Middle-Skill Jobs fact sheet.

Rebuild Louisiana Adult Ed Schools

September 30, 2016

As you are likely aware, Louisiana has been hit hard by flooding. 5 adult schools were completely wiped out. COABE and LAPCAE would like to work together to help these schools. We will each (both LAPCAE and COABE) match up to $1,000 per school.

COABE, Commission on Adult Basic Education 

LAPCAE, Louisiana Association for Public, Community, & Adult Education 

Help spread the word!

Capitol Hill Day

September 29, 2016

Dear Members,
COABE hosted its second Capitol Hill Day, on September 28, 2016, during Adult Ed and Family Literacy Week.

With special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, COABE brought together state association leaders from around the country in an effort to impact our legislators in a more meaningful way. Over 120 visits with legislators were made, and state leaders received training and materials that they can bring back to their state associations and professional development agencies. You can join the discussion and share the joy of advocating for our teachers and students on our App (HERE) and social media channels (HERE). A short video about this exciting Capitol Hill Day will be released soon.

Plans are already underway for our next Capitol Hill Day which will take place early next year in collaboration with the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium, also known to many as the state directors. Stay tuned for more details! 

Sharon Bonney
Executive Director 

Capitol Hill Day is provided by a partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Research to Practice

August 27, 2016

On September 15th COABE will be launching it's new Research to Practice. We will be sending out free journal e-blasts on the 15th of each month that will include a specific topic focus for that month. These e-blasts will be paired with a webinar from some of our top rated national presenters and resources from our Adult Educator's Resource. Join in on the discussion via social media and our COABE App by using #COABEJournal.

This month's topic is WIOA. Here is a teaser as to what will be feature in our journal e-blast:

The 2014 WIOA legislation has a number of potential drawbacks, including undermining access to services for adult learners who struggle with basic reading skills and the perpetuation of racial disparities in adult education services. In this month's Forum pieces, Amy Pickard describes and the specifics of these potential negative impacts on low-scoring adult readers and the programs that serve them. Debra D. Bragg responds, taking a somewhat more optimistic position on the impact of the new legislation.

This Research to Practice is provided by a partnership with Essential Education.


August 25, 2016

Since Congress is on its extended summer recess (also called District Work Week in the House and State Work Period in the Senate), we thought it would be a good idea to review how our laws get made. This information is important because it helps to inform COABE’s legislative strategy, Hill visits, and your education and advocacy activities.

Lots of people find the legislative process—how laws are proposed, passed, and funded by the U.S. Congress—arcane.  With some oversimplification, this Report attempts to demystify two aspects of the process: Authorizations and Appropriations. 

NEW National PARTNER: National Adult Education Honor Society

August 24, 2016

Our Mission
The mission of the National Adult Education Honor Society is to provide meaningful recognition to deserving adult education students, to improve student employment opportunities, to develop student ambassadors for local adult education programs and to create adult education awareness with school administrators and state legislators.

What is the National Adult Education Honor Society?
In 1991, Lloyd Weaver an Adult Education practitioner organized the first NAEHS induction ceremony to provide meaningful recognition to 17 deserving adult students. In particular was one elderly lady, a single parent with a quadriplegic daughter and a full time job in a textile plant, who had vowed years before to return to school to complete her high school education. On her third attempt, she was finally able to earn a GED. Other students had also demonstrated remarkable perseverance in achieving their educational goals and were included in that first celebration. Learn more...

Student Success Stories

August 24, 2016

COABE is proud to highlight student successes from every region of the county.

Please click here to see our latest Student Success Stories.  If you have a story you would like to submit please send it to These stories will be featured on our website, app and social media!

NEW LARGE GROUP MEMBER: Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education

August 24, 2016

Mission: To provide a cohesive framework for community education through collaboration and guidance at the local, state and federal level.

Vision: Our vision is to engage in partnerships, provide member support and advocate for lifelong learning, leading to employment and self-sufficient families.


  • We provide a positive voice for our learners.
  • We recognize the value of employment and self-sufficient families.
  • We embrace continuous improvement and always look for better ways to provide services.
  • Partnerships make us stronger.

COABE Professional Development Webinars

August 5, 2016

COABE is pleased to offer a series of professional development webinars which are led by  presenters that have received excellent ratings from workshop participants at our national COABE conferences. Save your seat today!

  • Learning in the Cloud: Teach Digital Literacy to ESL and ABE Learners, October 14, 2016, 2:00 p.m. (EST)

COABE's Award Winner Honored at RNC

August 1, 2016

We are excited to share that COABE's Adult Student of the Year, Margo Hudsona Seeds of Literacy graduate and tutorled the Pledge of Allegiance at the Republican National Convention (RNC), on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at 7:30 pm.
Margo received the 2016 National Adult Learner of the Year award, from the Commission on Adult Basic Education, and the 2016 Courage Award, from Governor John Kasich, in April 2016. Both awards recognized her intense, personal commitment to adult education. Watch a short video about Margo.

COABE Membership Update–August 2016

August 1, 2016

Stay up-to-date on what is happening with COABE by reading the August 2016 issue of the membership update. In this issue you will find information on FREE Professional Development Webinars, learn more about the August VIP Vendor-Essential Education, read about COABE's Adult Student of the Year, Margo Hudson, learn about Parents and Children Thriving Together, find out about America's Divided Recovery, save the date for COABE's Virtual Conference on October 25-26and much more!


August 1, 2016

Essential Education Accelerated Learning Program

Computer-based instruction and assessment for ABE and high school level students that will dramatically increase success rate for adult learners.

Essential Education's instructional programs (GED Academy, TASC Prep Academy, and HiSET Academy, and Computer Essentials) feature a built-in assessment that creates a customized learning plan for every single student, then adjusts the plan automatically as the student learns. No more one-size-fits-all teaching. You always know where every student is on the learning curve and how you can maximize that student’s progress. Learn more about our customized learning plans for each student. Learn more...

America's Divided Recovery

July 1, 2016

Over 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to workers with at least some college education, while those with a high school diploma or less are being left behind. America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots reveals that those with at least some college education have captured 11.5 million of the 11.6 million jobs created during the recovery.

While jobs are back, they are not the same jobs lost during the recession. The Great Recession decimated low-skill blue-collar and clerical jobs, whereas the recovery added primarily high-skill managerial and professional jobs. Learn more...

Media Outreach Toolkit

July 1, 2016

Your successes and the strengths that adult basic education bring to individuals, families and communities is easily overlooked by the news media and elected officials.

To help you be your program’s best advocate, COABE has assembled the following Media Outreach Toolkit.  These tools and templates are designed to make it easier for you to to offer story ideas, submit “op-ed” opinion pieces, and garner editorial and columnist support.

This COABE Media Outreach Toolkit will help you showcase students, staff and programs to to help policymakers and the public understand the value that you deliver every day. Learn more...

Learning for Life: An Illinois Perspective

July 1, 2016

Grand Victoria Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Macon County commissioned a survey of adult education and workforce development program administrators and practitioners to better understand the conditions for using digital learning to advance education outcomes for adults in Illinois.

This survey drew upon a 2014 national survey, Learning for Life, completed by the Joyce Foundation and Tyton Partners that highlighted the role and opportunity for digital learning to transform adult education programs. The Illinois survey took place in February 2016 and generated responses from more than 330 adult education and workforce development professionals.  Learn more...  


Nearly 8,000 adult educators have joined the Adult Educator's Repository since it's launch at COABE 2015. It's a free service provided by COABE in partnership with Essential Education that enables members to download resources and presentations as well as provides the opportunity to upload your best practices to share with the field. Get the details here