This Month's TOPic: Advocacy

Each month we will focus on a topic of high interest for the field. This month we are sharing journal articles, archived webinars, and resources highlighting Advocacy. Download the complete annual schedule of topics (HERE).

Past Monthly Topics

COABE Journal

COABE Journal Spring 2016 Issue
The Politics of Adult Education
(Read the Article)

COABE Journal Spring 2014 Issue
New and Effective Approaches to Adult Basic Skills
(Read the Article)

COABE Journal Spring 2016 Issue
Student Leaders as Advocates Advocacy
(Read the Article)

COABE Journal Spring 2016 Issue
Placing Advocacy at the Heart of Adult Education
(Read the Article)

Tell us what you think! Rate these article(s) on the COABE App (HERE).  Articles are free of charge. You may purchase a full hard copy edition (HERE). 

Featured Webinar


Adult educators have a unique perspective to offer when it comes to advocating for adult education -- because educators have on-the-ground experience with adult learners. In this webinar, learn how you can connect the dots between the people you serve and the policies that affect them. Get an overview of key federal and state policies that can provide greater opportunity for adult learners. Find out how you as an adult education advocate can educate policymakers about these issues. Learn about free tools and resources that you can use to advance new policies in your state. And get examples of adult education and skills policy successes that you can build on! 

Don't miss this practical webinar featuring Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling at National Skills Coalition.

Presented by: Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling at National Skills Coalition


Access archived webinars and resources on Reading by national level presenters and experts.

Register for Upcoming Webinars


Often adult educators want to incorporate research findings or ideas into practice but aren't sure where to find current research, how to evaluate it, or how to actually use it. If 2017 is your year to get even more out of research to benefit your work in adult education, then make plans to join Dr. Alisa Belzer (Rutgers University) and Dr. Margaret Patterson (Research Allies for Lifelong Learning) on a March 15 webinar on connecting research with practice. This webinar follows up on a Winter 2016 forum piece in the Journal of Research and Practice. Both Drs. Belzer and Patterson are current researchers and former instructors in adult education. They are eager to share insights on locating and evaluating adult education research and to encourage the field to make stronger connections between research and practice.

Date: March 15, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Presented by:

  • Alisa Belzer, Rutgers University
  • Dr. Margaret Patterson, Research Allies for Lifelong Learning

Making Connections Between Research and Practice webinar
generously sponsored by Essential Education

View Past Webinars


Federally-funded adult basic education and English literacy services are crucial for immigrant and refugee integration. In this webinar, get a detailed overview of issues relating to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including concerns about how to ensure service to individuals with the lowest levels of education and English proficiency. You’ll learn about key challenges created by WIOA and its proposed regulations, and strategies that can be used to help ensure equitable service access for diverse learners. In addition, you’ll get a practical demonstration of how to obtain detailed socio-demographic data on learner needs in your community, enabling you to inform policy and planning conversations.

Presenter: Margie McHugh
Resource: Ensuring Immigrants' Access to WIOA: Data and Advocacy Tools for Adult Educators (PowerPoint)

Ensuring Immigrant's Access to WIOA: Data and Advocacy Tools for Adult Educators webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English


OP-ED in The Hill

There’s a giant blind spot in our national debate about how to rebuild the middle class, strengthen our workforce and grow our economy: tens of millions of adults in America can barely read or handle numbers. Unless we address that, we’ll be leaving way too many people and communities behind. You can’t graduate from a community college if you can’t read or don’t have a high school diploma or the equivalent. You can’t find, get and keep a decent job if you can’t read a job listing. You can’t solve problems in a high-tech world if you lack even the lowest-tech skills to use a computer.

COABE's Media Outreach Toolkit

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.