COABE National Awards, Grants, and Scholarships


COABE National AWARD NOMINATIONS Now Closed

We're committed to honoring the best of the best in our field! 

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We are pleased to announce that thanks to generous funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

  • Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year—$10,000 cash plus value package
  • Outstanding Adult Teacher of the Year—$10,000 cash plus value package
  • Outstanding Administrator of the Year—$10,000 cash plus value package
  • Outstanding Workplace of the Year—$2,000 awarded
  • State Innovation of the Year (new this year)—$2000 awarded
  • Incentive Grants—$2,500 awarded
  • Scholarships—$2,000 awarded

Sponsored by Dollar General Literacy Foundation


Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year

The Outstanding 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 learner 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 was November 30, 2017. Note: Self-nominations will not be accepted.


Outstanding Adult Education
Teacher of the Year

The Outstanding Adult Education 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 was November 30, 2017. Note: Self-nominations will not be accepted.


Outstanding Administrator of the Year

The Outstanding 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 was November 30, 2017. Note: Self-nominations will not be accepted.


Outstanding Workplace of the Year

The Outstanding Workplace of the Year, Chester Klevins Award honors an institution which has developed an outstanding workplace literacy program serving a local community, state/province, region and/or nation, has provided programming for more than three years, has developed customized services/curriculum at varied workplace settings, and who can provide evidence from employers that the program has met their objectives.

Award Criteria:

  1. The nominee has developed an outstanding workplace literacy program serving a local community, state/province, region and/or nation. 
  2. The nominee has provided workplace literacy programming for more than three years. 
  3. The nominee has developed customized services/curriculum at varied workplace settings. 
  4. The nominee can provide evidence from employers that the program has met their objectives. 


Deadline to submit a nomination was November 30, 2017. Note: Self-nominations will be accepted.


State Innovation of the Year

The State Innovations Award is presented to a state agency, association, or entity that is able to demonstrate with qualitative and quantitative data that they have developed a best practice, innovation, or service that meets a particular need in their state. The recipient of the award will be able to demonstrate that their innovation supports the adult/continuing education profession and their state's adult education community.

Deadline to submit a nomination was November 30, 2017. Note: Self-nominations will be accepted.


2018 COABE Scholarship Award

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 to submit a nomination was November 30, 2017.


2018 Incentive Grant Award

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 to submit a nomination was November 30, 2017.


Sponsored by Dollar General Literacy Foundation