Current Issue


Special Edition
Featuring Career Pathways

July 2018

COABE has published a Journal for 40+ years. As a member of COABE, we invite you to access our special Career Pathways edition which features articles by the very best researchers, practitioners, and leaders in the field of Adult Education.

Please enjoy your free e-copy of the special edition of the COABE Journal. 

Featured Articles

Career Pathways: Lessons from Accelerating Opportunity


Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Associate Director, is engaged in research, documentation, and technical assistance focused on policies and practices that improve postsecondary outcomes for underserved populations. She also develops and coordinates in-person and virtual technical assistance opportunities including webinars, tools, and online resources. She co-manages Accelerating CTE, an initiative to redesign career and technical education programs to substantially increase the number of students able to succeed in their career pathways, earn a credential, and enter the workplace with competitive skills. She also supports evaluation efforts for the Student Success Center Network and provides strategic consultation to states within the Network. Previously, Ms. McDonnell co-managed Accelerating Opportunity, JFF’s national initiative to integrate adult basic education with Career and Technical Education in seven states.


Dr. Lisa SoriconeEdD is Associate Research Director at JFF. Her work focuses on research and evaluation of programs and policies that help low-skilled and underprepared adults succeed in career pathways and postsecondary education. She helped evaluate the success of programs that help adults succeed in community college, including the Adult Degree Completion Project and an evaluation of bridge-to-college programs for adult immigrants in Boston. Dr. Soricone was the evaluation liaison for Accelerating Opportunity. Dr. Soricone is coauthor of a study of English as a second language service in Boston, and multiple publications related to adult learning, including a study of adult learner persistence, a case study of the adult education system in Massachusetts, a literature review on programs that integrate adult basic education with occupational training, and a publication on program conditions suitable for conducting research in adult education.

The article, "Integrated Career Pathways: Lessons from Accelerating Opportunity," was written by Rachel Pleasants McDonnell and Dr. Lisa Soricone. The article outlines the implementation of the Accelerating Opportunity initiative, which spanned four years and seven states. As the article shows, the initiative was an unprecedented investment in underprepared adult learners and explores lessons learned which can help practitioners, researchers, and policymakers continue to improve outcomes for underprepared and underserved adults. 

“Accelerating Opportunity was developed as a strategy for helping more underprepared adult learners enter and succeed in postsecondary credit-bearing career pathways. While postsecondary credentials are increasingly important for obtaining family-supporting careers, more than sixty percent of adults 18 and older lack any postsecondary credential. In addition, weak literacy and numeracy skills keep millions of adults from succeeding in today’s labor market. Historically, disconnected systems—including adult education, secondary education, community colleges, and workforce development—have made it difficult for underprepared adult learners to advance through education and training programs in a reasonable time frame. Very few Adult Basic Education students (by some estimates, less than 5%) ever enroll in college-level pathways, much less graduate with marketable credentials.”


Failure to Focus on Economic Impacts Diminishes Adult Education


Judy Mortrude is a senior policy analyst with CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Ms. Mortrude has more than 30 years' experience developing, delivering, and evaluating workforce education, particularly with low-literacy and high-barrier populations. She has been a classroom teacher, school administrator, and state agency staff. Currently, Ms. Mortrude supports cross-agency state teams as they scale and sustain integrated education and training career pathway policies and practices, focus attention on racial and economic equity, and build two-generational strategies. Additionally, she analyzes federal adult and postsecondary education policy and supports organizations like the National Coalition for Literacy and the Open Door Collective.

Her article, "Failure to Focus on Economic Impacts Diminishes Adult Education," posits that adult educators must prove the economic value of adult education, not only to investors and policy makers, but also to the students who invest their time in our programs.

"The people who come to our programs are making a choice to spend their time and their energy with us, and they deserve to get something of tangible value for that expenditure. I believe quality adult education has economic value for an individual and a family. I believe quality adult education is an anti-poverty and an anti-intergenerationalpoverty strategy. I believe quality adult education builds career pathway education and employment opportunities. As a profession, let us set out to prove that value to all those who invest their time with us and those who invest resources to support us."


Blending College Preparation and Career Development for Adult Students in New England

Silja Kallenbach is vice president at World Education, Inc. She oversees the U.S. Division at World Education. Silja has 37 years of experience in adult education as administrator, professional development provider, program developer, researcher, and teacher. Silja co-designed the Transition to College and Careers demonstration project and its theory of change and worked closely with the evaluators as well as its predecessor, the 25-site New England ABE-to-College Transition Project. Silja co-founded the National College Transition Network. 

Silja began her adult education career as a teacher of English language learners and then became an incorporator and coordinator of a Latina women’s learning center in Boston. Silja grew up in Finland and is a U.S. and Finnish citizen. Silja has an M.A. in applied linguistics from the University of Massachusetts.


Sandy Goodman is director of the Career Pathways National College Transition Network at World Education, Inc. She provides technical assistance, training, and project leadership on college transition and career pathways initiatives. She works within and across the adult education, workforce development, and community college systems to equip each to better support low-income adults realize their education and career goals.

Sandy also brings deep expertise in community education and human services. As a domestic violence specialist, she provided case consultation, risk assessment, and training to child welfare, law enforcement, and community agencies. Sandy has a B.A. in women’s studies/social thought and political economy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Silja Kallenbach and Sandy Goodman co-authored the article "Blending College Preparation and Career Development for Adult Students in New England," which describes the Transition to College and Careers Program, a 2-year project that addressed both academic and non-academic barriers to college facing adult students.

"Both students and staff reported that TCC program components had a tremendous impact on students' ability and confidence (i.e. self-efficacy) to tackle more challenging academic work and navigate college culture and systems. Students who entered TCC with slightly higher academic skills in math and language arts completed their coursework at a higher rate on average. The findings also indicate that while students were attending the TCC program, they benefited from the sense of community and the readily available support from staff and peers that the TCC programs provided."

Opening a fixed-layout ePUB on a MAC or PC

Download of Readium
(required to read this ePUB on your personal computer)

Viewing an ePUB file on a Mac
If you have fairly new Mac laptop or desktop it may well have Apple’s iBooks app pre-installed. This will automatically open any ePUB files (standard or fixed-layout) that you download, so you will not need to download any additional software for viewing ePUB files.

Viewing an ePUB file on a PC computer using Readium
Readium is an add-on that can be installed in the Google Chrome web browser to view ePUB files. Before you can use Readium you must have installed Google Chrome. There are full details on how to install Google Chrome here:

  • Readium can be used for viewing both standard and fixed-layout ePUB files.

  • Readium will not open a Mobi file.

To use Readium you must download and add it Google Chrome. There are quite a few steps involved and these are detailed below. The instructions are based on a Windows 10 PC but the steps should be similar for most systems.

Download and install Readium

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the Apps icon in the top left corner or type chrome://apps/ in the address bar.

  2. Click the ‘Store’ icon.

  3. Type ‘Readium’ in the search box and hit return.

  4. Readium should appear at the top of the search results. Click the ‘+ FREE’ button and then ‘Add’ to confirm the new app.

  5. A new Apps tab will appear and this will now show the Readium logo. Click on this to open Readium.

  6. When Readium opens it prompt you to add a new ePUB file to your library.

  7. At this point the installation is complete. Whenever you need to open Readium just open Google Chrome, click the Apps icon in the top left of the screen and then the Readium icon.

Save your ePUB file to your computer

  1. Download the ePUB file to your computer. The file will have a .epub extension after the file name

Open the ePUB file using Readium

  1. If Readium is not already openfollow step 7 above to start the app.

  2. Within Readium click the ‘+’ add to library button in the top right of the screen (see above image). A pop-up box will appear, click the first ‘Choose file’ button next to the ‘From Local File:’ label and locate your ePUB file which you saved in Part 2 above. Then click ‘Open’.

  3. You should see a message that Readium is importing your file and this may take a few moments depending upon the file size. Once it is done your book will appear in your library. Click the cover to open the book.

  4. You can show or hide the Table of Contents by clicking the icon at the top of the screen and you can navigate through the pages by clicking the arrows at the sides of the screen or by using the left or right arrows on the keyboard.