Career & Technical Education

We proudly acknowledge our advocacy partner Aztec Software.



The Role of COABE

  • We are educators, administrators, mentors, and guides working to improve educational outcomes for adults and build communities.

  • Our members create new opportunities for adult students who need a wide variety of educational support.

  • Some 36 million working age Americans have low literacy skills, and more than 60 million can’t perform simple math.

  • Across the nation, COABE members work tirelessly to help these underserved adults master the skills they need to compete and build careers—and better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

We advocate for more services, more funding, and less waiting.

COABE and its members promote student resources and the elimination of waiting lists that discourage and delay success. In every state, we support adult education programs that foster essential skills, family literacy, and workforce development.

We are dedicated to helping educators overcome the unique challenges of adult education.

We look for innovative and effective ways to reach more adults who struggle with reading, writing, and problem solving. We develop, promote, and share best practices, policies and research for teaching basic education skills.

With our members’ support, the adults we help land better jobs, pay more in taxes, and are better able to support their families.

Our impact lasts for generations: our students pass the skills they learn onto their children, and help them find success too.

  • The need is great and resources are limited.

  • Adult basic education is the foundation of family, community, and national success.


The Role of Adult Education

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Educate & Elevate Campaign

Winner of 6 Davey Awards


Watch Our Video

We want to acknowledge that more than 87,000 connections have been made with legislators since launching Educate and Elevate, and nearly 7,000 of those connections were made by adult learners. Working together, we were also able to help the field secure an additional $2.1 billion in CTE funding! Click here for the full report.

Some 55,000+ Adult Education leaders stand united in a national campaign to move learning opportunities forward for all Americans to achieve economic and social mobility. If you are an adult educator, stand with us in this national campaign to help policy makers understand the value we bring to students, workers, and businesses in contributing to social mobility and economic growth. If we educate, then we elevate.


Success Files with Rob Lowe

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COABE Workforce Program

Workforce Program Video

2019 COABE National Conference

Mark you calendar and collaborate with your colleagues from around the country in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 31-April 3, 2019 at the Marriott New Orleans.

Featuring ACTE as our Career and Technical Education strand partner!

Here are some sessions to make sure and attend:

Title: Unmasking your Outreach Potential: New strategies to recruit, inform, and support students.

Abstract: Learn about the different methods and strategies to recruit, retain, and help your students succeed. The Sonoma County Adult Education Consortium has grown significantly in its first two years, including the outreach strategies used to inform and support students. During this presentation, we will demonstrate our experiences with Facebook live and boosting, video making, presentations, promotional materials, events, and more. 

Measuring and Observing Content Standards in the Classroom: An Observation Learning Tool

Abstract: How do we know we are successfully infusing meaningful instruction that will impact our learning audience? This session will provide key strategies in observing the effectiveness of our teaching. A rubric built by instructors and used as a learning tool for both instructors and students will be shared during this interactive session for the teacher's teacher. 

Access and Equity: You Can’t do High-Quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) Without Them

Abstract: “High-quality career and technical education” has become a national catchphrase. But what is high-quality CTE? How do you know it when you see it? How do you ensure your students have access to it? The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has embarked on a multi-step project to identify a comprehensive, research-based high-quality CTE program framework, test the framework, and integrate it into efforts to recognize and disseminate information on best practices within CTE. This session will briefly introduce the twelve-element framework and then dig into the “Access & Equity” element. “Access & Equity” is particularly important for adults with low-literacy or English language learners who may need on-ramps to high-quality CTE in Adult High Schools, community college CTE programs, or Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs. If you have CTE partners or you want your students to have better access to high-quality CTE, don’t miss this session! 

Student Driven Project and Problem Based Career Portfolio

Abstract: In the ever-changing work force of our ever-changing world, students need the skills and tools to continually refine and learn new approaches to face and solve the world's challenges. Participates will learn the power and format of the Student Driven Project and Problem Based Career Portfolio. 

Academic Attainment for Adult Learners in Rural America; challenges faced and addressed.

Abstract: Higher education and degree attainment can be empowering and life changing, especially for nontraditional students. Adult learners in rural areas are one of the most overlooked groups of learners. They face a unique set of challenges when pursuing degree attainment that are not only financial and academic but can also be cultural, perceptual, and ideological. As technology has effectively reduced employment options in agriculture and other trades, the need for services to meet the needs of returning students is both growing and evolving. This presentation offers insights and advice from the perspective of a social worker who has worked for many years with a nontraditional, rural population. 

Career Technical Education: If You Build It, They Will Come.

Abstract: This presentation will address how the Fairfield-Suisun USD leveraged K-12 and Adult School Career Technical Education funding to provide high-quality CTE classes. Participants will understand the obstacles and challenges the district faced, budgetary constraints, and how the school leveraged resources, worked with local unions, the Workforce Development Board, and the community to create robust CTE offerings. 

Developing Integrated, Contextualized Math Curricula for Short Term Certificate Program

Abstract: The presenter will walk participants through the process he used to design integrated, contextualized industry math curricula. He will demonstrate how he aligns math topics to industry subjects, selects authentic industry materials to use in instruction, and creates activities and assessments based on these materials. 

Registration opens December 1, 2018.  Go to to learn more!