Educate & Elevate

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WHAT IS EDUCATE & ELEVATE?

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

HIGHLIGHT: DR. RACHEL DE VAUGHAN-FROM GED TO PH.D.

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For Educate & Elevate advocate Rachel De Vaughan, Ph.D., the power of adult education in reshaping one's career path is well known. Indeed, without support from educators at Mississippi Gulf Community College, she may have never made the transition from a respected McDonald's franchise manager, with no high school diploma, to a state education director with a higher-education-focused Ph.D. from William Carey University.

De Vaughan recalls how bleak her future looked in her teenage years as family financial hardships made it difficult to focus on her academic studies.

"At a very young age I was burdened with heavy responsibilities in caring for my younger siblings. I struggled in school because I was so tired I just wanted to sleep. My teachers were always frustrated with me because I never completed my homework," De Vaughan says.

"Even if I did find a friend, we weren't able to do the normal things that friends do because I could never afford to go anywhere when I was invited. So, when my mom gave me the choice of quitting school to work full-time, I chose to quit. No longer did I have to worry about what I was going to wear or sit through another Algebra class that I had failed twice. I started working for McDonald's for $3.35 per hour and took advantage of every education and workforce program they offered while never looking back," she adds.

But her career in food service took a big detour in 1997 when a life-changing event inspired her to achieve education goals that had long gone unfulfilled. She obtained her high school diploma and put herself on an educational path that resulted in an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and a successful and ongoing career stint in public education that has included the obtainment of a Ph.D.

"After almost 20 years working for McDonald's restaurants throughout the U.S., and even abroad, I was ready to try something different for my life. So, I pulled that forgotten dream out of that secret place deep inside of me, and I applied for a teacher's license. Wow! Here I was, teaching in a school, a real school, with real students. I was recognized both by my school and the district as a great educator several times," says De Vaughan, now assistant state director for the Office of Adult Education in Mississippi.

The more success stories like De Vaughan are heard in public, the better positioned adult education advocates will likely be in making a case for securing resources for vital adult education programs. Click here to send in your success stories to the Educate & Elevate Campaign and speak up for adult education.

 

STORY MUSGRAVE JOINS EDUCATE & ELEVATE AS CAMPAIGN ADVOCATE

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The Educate & Elevate Campaign is leading the charge to raise awareness about the many faces and relevance of adult education. Federal budget proposals for 2018 suggest a cut of $95 million to adult education programs, including literacy courses, as part of a larger $9 billion cut to the Department of Education budget.

To help safeguard these vital programs, the Educate & Elevate Campaign is a national endeavor aimed at highlighting how an investment in adult education represents a bold commitment to America’s future. A big part of the campaign is to highlight success stories and the many surprising faces of adult learners who are advocates for adult education.

Story Musgrave is one such example who is an advocate for the campaign. Mr. Musgrave has an amazing story in that he never finished school, but instead ran off to Korea with the U.S. Marines where he was an aircraft electrician and an engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines and over the next 55 years accumulated 18,000 hours in more than 160 aircraft. 

Using adult education as a catalyst for change, Mr. Musgrave obtained a GED® diploma and went on to become the only astronaut to have flown in all five space shuttles resulting in six space flights. He has earned seven graduate degrees and 20 honorary doctorate degrees.

“Funding for adult education is critical to our nation’s success,” said Musgrave. “We must include everyone in helping them to achieve their educational goals, and we need to prepare them for life, for a career, and for college no matter where they are in their educational journey.”

In the coming weeks, expect to hear more stories from leaders like Musgrave about the value of adult education as Educate & Elevate seeks to advocate for this vital resource. If you have an extraordinary example of someone who has used adult education as a catalyst, resulting in exceptional success, contact us at educateandelevate@coabe.org.

Champion of the Week: Alabama

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ALAPCAE, the Alabama Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education, has a mission of promoting public awareness of the Alabama Adult Education program, to address the professional development needs of Alabama’s adult education practitioners, to recognize excellence of instructional services, and to provide scholarships to deserving GED® graduates throughout Alabama. The association is also a strong advocate in promoting the Educate & Elevate Campaign.

Follow their lead with these strategies that they have executed successfully:

  • placing the Educate & Elevate logo on the association’s website homepage as a “proud partner”
  • using its email distribution lists to announce its alignment with the Educate & Elevate Campaign
  • submitting success stories and testimonials to populate and promote the great work in Alabama on its state-specific webpage

Want to follow Alabama’s lead and garner attention for the great work in your state? Use our Campaign Toolkit. The toolkit makes it easy for you to announce your partnership with the campaign via your website and social media accounts with a tailored press release and much more.