2018 COABE Conference Registration Now Open!

Collaborate with your colleagues from around the country in Phoenix, Arizona on March 25-28, 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix.

Learn about new best practices and receive targeted training from national level speakers. Twelve strands-comprised of more than 350 breakout sessions-will be offered, providing valuable, state-of-the-art training that you will be able to bring back to your adult ed program! Join more than 2,000 conferees and enjoy numerous networking opportunities with your peers in adult education and around the country.

Register today to attend our national conference. To take advantage of our early bird rates, register by 02/14/18. Members save $75 on their registration. Add membership to your registration so you can get the discounted rate. For inquiries on your membership status contact membership@coabe.org.  

Educate & Elevate Campaign Reaches New Heights: Awarded 6 Global Davey Awards


With nearly 4,000 global entries, the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) awarded the Educate & Elevate Campaign a total of six Davey's.

The Davey Awards are judged and overseen by the AIVA, a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including Condé Nast, Disney, General Electric, Microsoft, Monster.com, MTV, and Yahoo! to name a few

Student Interest in COABE Membership


Dear COABE member,

In response to the needs of our field, COABE started offering new and improved benefits to adult educators over the last few years:

  1. Professional development webinars that have had over 18,000 signups since July 2015.
  2. Awards valued at $10,000.
  3. Incentive grants to promote best practices in the field.
  4. Scholarships to encourage the pursuit of higher education.
  5. Mini-grants to defray the cost of conference registration.
  6. Easy-to-use advocacy tools to enable members to easily contact their local, state, and national level legislators.
  7. Toolkits to effectively raise the voice of adult education.
  8. National and regional conferences to provide customized professional development and networking opportunities.
  9. Insurance coverage options.
  10. ngoing national level communications and legislative updates.

Now, we would like to see how we can help our students too!  COABE would like to know if students would be interested in COABE membership, any sorts of webinars or virtual professional development, leadership development, career or college scholarships, or any other types of benefits that would help them stay engaged and complete their educational goals.

Please take a moment to complete this short survey to help us better understand how to meet the needs of your students.  Thank you in advance for your participation!!

COABE Public Relations and Advocacy Work

From left to right: Pat Tyler, Executive Director for the National Council of the State Director of Adult Education; Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, Former Adult Student, Program Specialist for Adult Ed in Mississippi; Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Dr. Kim R. Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning; Kaye Sharbono, Board President, COABE;Sharon Bonney, Executive Director, COABE

From left to right: Pat Tyler, Executive Director for the National Council of the State Director of Adult Education; Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, Former Adult Student, Program Specialist for Adult Ed in Mississippi; Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Dr. Kim R. Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning; Kaye Sharbono, Board President, COABE;Sharon Bonney, Executive Director, COABE

As a part of our ongoing public relations and advocacy work, COABE leadership has been conducting a number of meetings recently, in Washington, DC. Our recent Capitol Hill Day included meetings with the Office of Management and Business, which capped our 4th successful day on the Hill--with state presidents, state directors, and students attending over 110 meetings with legislators. This brings the total number of face to face meetings with legislators to 310!  

Additionally, leaders also met with Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, along with Dr. Kim Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning. 

You can support advocacy and public relations efforts with 3 quick clicks! Please contact your legislators to ensure our voice is heard and our funding remains stable. 

VIP Vendor of the Month: McGraw-Hill Education

Workforce Education


Contextualize workforce training within academic instruction to guide adult learners on a path to family-sustaining careers. Aligned with WIOA requirements, our workforce solutions integrate academic and occupational skills to prepare students for postsecondary education and training, and, ultimately, success throughout their careers.

Adult Education Student Shares Value of Program with State Legislators


Lawmakers have a better idea of how budget cuts to the state's adult education funding could impact local programs, thanks to a whirlwind visit, to Washington, D.C., by adult education students, including a woman representing Queen Creek.

Maria Alvidrez, part of the Queen Creek Unified School District adult education program, was in the nation's capital, on Sept. 26-27, as part of a new, national campaign called "Educate and Elevate."

The campaign pro-actively educates policy-makers about the importance of adult education and how it is an investment in America's future, according to a press release.

Joining the Queen Creek school district in the campaign were the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning and more than 55,000 adult educators from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education. Read the full article >



There has been a significant amount of activity in Washington this month, culminating in the adoption of concurrent budget resolutions in the House and Senate. 

A budget resolution is a nonbinding blueprint, and while it establishes topline funding levels, the appropriations committee decides funding levels per agency and program. However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 set binding spending caps for this year. Congress must increase those caps in order to fund all of the priorities outlined in the individual funding bills the House and Senate marked up over the summer.  

In general, the main significance of the Congressional budget resolutions is that they are expressions of the authors' political vision. The House and Senate budget resolutions express their authors' view of the role of the Federal government, the significance of discretionary spending, and the importance of entitlement programs that essentially benefit low-income people.

The House adopted its budget resolution earlier this month. The House would increase defense spending by $72 billion, and cut nondefense spending by $5 billion. According to The Hill newspaper, "It also includes plans for trillions of dollars in spending cuts over a decade, including from programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, but does include enforcement mechanisms to enact those plans. The budget outline, for example, assumes the adoption of a House-passed ObamaCare repeal bill that has not advanced. The House budget leaves no room for tax reform to add to the deficit. Instead, it provides instructions for $203 billion in spending cuts from welfare programs in areas such as nutritional assistance and education."

Positive Responses to Educate & Elevate Campaign

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As momentum builds for Educate & Elevate, we continue to receive testimonials and comments about the campaign. Academic & Vocational Coordinator, Lisa-Ann Blanchette from Sanford Community Adult Education, shared this letter from the United States Senator, Angus S. King, Jr. in response to her organization's outreach efforts. You can send an email in three clicks to your legislator at this link. Thank you for sharing Lisa!

Dear Lisa,

I share your belief that adult education programs are a vital part of providing Americans with new opportunity and that they should be supported. Since my time as governor, I have seen firsthand the positive impact that these programs have on individuals, their families, and their communities. Adult learning centers in Maine and across the nation enable adults to gain new skills, which in turn allow them to more fully contribute to the economy while reducing their dependence on assistance programs-a true win-win for everyone involved. You will be pleased to know that I recently joined my colleagues in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee advocating for continued funding for adult education programs for the fiscal year 2018, which I have attached to this response. 

Thank you for being in touch with me. I will be sure to keep your interest in adult education in mind as I work on education and budget matters that come before the Senate. Please contact me in the future on other issues that I can bring to the Senate's attention.

Best Regards,

United States Senator

Adult Education Miracle: Kevin Hunt Sr.


As adult educators, we know firsthand that a lack of education can have a ripple effect among individuals who want to advance their economic and social mobility. Kevin Hunt Sr. knows that downward spiral all too well. Kevin dropped out of school in junior high, and because of his lack of education, he had to rely on his family in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, for financial support.

In 2001, he made a decision that would be the catalyst for changing his entire life: he enrolled in Shorter College’s GED® program. After earning his GED® credential, Kevin did not stop there. In 2002, he enrolled in Philander Smith College where he graduated with honors and followed that with a master’s degree from Webster University.

Upon graduating from Philander Smith College, Kevin volunteered for then-Attorney General Mike Beebe’s campaign for governor. This eventually led to a part-time job working for Beebe’s campaign. Beebe won the gubernatorial election (2006), and Kevin was hired on as full-time staff. During the next eight years in the office of Governor Mike Beebe, Kevin worked as a communications assistant, spending five of those years as minority affairs liaison.

Kevin invests countless hours of hard work and dedication for the betterment of his community by serving as a mentor to others and volunteering for friend and mentor, Rev. Hezekiah Stewart and the Watershed (“world’s first social hospital”). Currently, Kevin is focused on launching his nonprofit mentoring program, Inspiring Other People (IOP), which has as its motto “Leading by Example.”

A man of God, Kevin joined Second Baptist Church in 2005, under the leadership of the Pastor, Dr. Kevin A. Kelly.

Kevin works at the University of Arkansas for the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service, which focuses on community-based philanthropy. He is the son of a very strong mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. He is also the proud father of one son, Kevin Hunt Jr. He's married to the number one woman in his life, Maggie F. Hunt.

Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your story and inspiring others to keep reaching for the stars!

The more success stories such as Kevin’s are heard in public, the better-positioned adult education advocates are likely to be in making a case for securing resources for vital adult education programs. Click here to submit your success stories to the Educate & Elevate campaign and speak up for adult education.

From Oracy to Literacy and Back Again

An anthology of brief notes by Tom Sticht 

Investing in the Education of Adults, To Improve the Educability of Children!

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During September 24-30, 2017, we celebrate Adult Education & Family Literacy Week. For some, particularly those new to adult education, it may not be clear just how adult education for adults may enhance the literacy development of their children. 

For this reason, I have compiled a 28-page anthology of 13 brief notes of mine, with 11 illustrations and references for the professional development use of adult educators who would like to further explore the role of adult education in family literacy.

Leading the Charge to Raise Awareness About the Many Faces of Adult Education


Adult education programs are crucial in alleviating the education gap. They have a track record of positioning individuals for success in the workplace. By definition, these programs serve those 16 years of age and older who are no longer enrolled in school, who are no longer required by law to be enrolled and who are functioning below the high school completion level. While services include teaching foundation skills in the disciplines of reading, math and English, adult education has a broad reach that prepares learners with college and career readiness skills. These skills can help lead to employment or prepare for the transition to post-secondary education. Adult educators also help parents obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the education of their children.

Read full article on Media Planet.

Highlight: Dr. Rachel De Vaughan-From GED to Ph.D.


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 at 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.

Mediaplanet Launches “Online Education” Campaign Featuring Coalition on Adult Basic Education


The Online Education campaign aims to convey the convenience and many possibilities of pursuing an online degree.

Mediaplanet, an independent publisher of content-marketing campaigns, today announces the distribution of its tenth cross-platform edition of “Online Education.” The campaign aims to highlight online education in its various forms. Mediaplanet has joined forces with the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) to educate readers on its Educate and Elevate Campaign which is working to raise awareness on the many faces and relevancy on adult education.

Starting on September 27th, featured within USA TODAY and on Mediaplanet’s digital content hub, COABE shares how their campaign is working to urge policymakers on why the continuation of funding is necessary. In 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act called for adult education to be funded at a level of $649 million. Now, threats have been made to cut funding by $95 million on issues like adult education and literacy as well as cut by $9 billion from the Department of Education budget in 2018. Their campaign is a national endeavor aimed at highlighting how an investment in adult education represents a bold commitment to America's future.

Direct impact of their initiative can be seen through examples such as Story Musgraves. Instead of finishing school, Mr. Musgraves 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.

Stories like Musgrave show the benefits of an adult education. Through Educate and Elevate, COABE hopes to show that advocacy for adult education is vital. To read more on this campaign, head to Mediaplanet’s digital content hub to see their call to action represented.

About Coalition on Adult Basic Education
The Coalition on Adult Basic Education represents the system of 55,000 adult educators nationwide and is organized to advance national and international adult education and literacy opportunities for all persons. The mission of the organization is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive.

About Mediaplanet
Mediaplanet is the leading independent publisher of content-marketing campaigns covering a variety of topics and industries. We turn consumer interest into action by providing readers with motivational editorial, pairing it with relevant advertisers, and distributing it within top newspapers and online platforms around the world.

Press Contacts
Jordan Hernandez

Get Ready to Hit the Hill


This week education advocates from around the country will “hit the Hill” to inform legislators about the importance of adult education, as COABE hosts its 4th Capitol Hill Day on September 26, 2017. This important event brings together state association leaders, state directors, and students from around the country to march on Capitol Hill and ensure we raise the voice of adult education.

If you are not attending this event in person, you can still support our advocates by sharing in the success and networking on social media and the COABE App. You can also support this important work by using our “quick fire” email to legislators including mayors, governors, and members of congress. It takes less than a minute to do your part! And, when you use our system, the emails will get through firewalls to the legislators. Click here

New Fact Sheets: Immigrants & Middle-Skill Jobs in Texas and Arkansas

New Fact Sheets: Immigrants & Middle-Skill Jobs in Texas and Arkansas

Two new fact sheets from National Skills Coalition highlight the important role that immigrant workers play in filling middle-skill jobs in Texas and Arkansas.

While immigration settlement patterns differ substantially between the two states, in both cases, immigrant workers will be vital to helping the states meet their ambitious goals for postsecondary credential attainment and respond to local industries’ talent needs.

To accomplish these goals, states will need to ensure that their talent-development pipelines are inclusive of the many immigrants who are poised to benefit from investments in their skills: More than half of adult immigrants in Arkansas (62 percent) and Texas (63 percent) have not gone beyond high school in their education.

Email Outreach: An Easy Way to Meet Your Legislators

Email Outreach: An Easy Way to Meet Your Legislators

Do you want a super easy way to reach your legislators to ask for support for our adult education mission? All you have to do is follow these 3 easy steps.  

  1. Click here to access our form and input your contact information and zip code.
  2. When you click “submit,” a pre-populated, editable support email appears ready to send.
  3. Click “submit” and the email automatically goes to the correct legislator(s) based on your zip code.