Research to Practice


This Month's Theme:

Join us for free webinars on the topic of integrated education and training.

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Featured Webinars



DATE: Monday, february 25, 2019
TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST

The Open Door Collective is a U.S. national group of adult educators and others committed to reducing poverty and income inequality. Our panel members will describe the Open Door Collective's efforts to encourage community partnerships that support adult basic skills with community health organizations, public libraries, in safety net advocacy, and with organizations supporting immigrant and refugee rights and services.



Dr. David J. Rosen was Executive Director of the Adult Literacy Resource Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, from 1986 to 2003. Since then, as an independent consultant, he has been the moderator of two U.S. Department of Education-sponsored LINCS communities of practice: Integrating Technology; and Program Management, as well as the founder and moderator of the AAACE-NLA adult basic skills national public policy advocacy group. He is a co-founder and Steering Committee member of the Open Door Collective. He can be reached at


Alicia Suskin has been a project manager at ProLiteracy since 2014. She is responsible for proposal development, planning, implementation, and management of initiatives and grant funded projects that support ProLiteracy’s mission. Alicia’s work is currently focused on managing ProLiteracy’s National Book Fund, as well as several initiatives centered around adult literacy and libraries and workforce preparation.


Dr. Kathy Harris holds a PhD in Linguistics with a specialization in adult English language learning and teaching. She is the director of the Literacy, Language and Technology Research (LLTR) group at Portland State University in the Department of Applied Linguistics, where her current work focuses on the importance of digital skills for adults whose first language is not English, for purposes of health, work, education, and life skills, as well as the ways to integrate those skills into English language instruction.


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.  


Jen Vanek, PhD, has been working in the field of adult English language learning since receiving an MA TESOL from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1996. She has supported adult English language learners on college campuses, at adult learning centers, in workforce centers, and in factories. Her work and research has informed her view that it is critical that ABE learners have access to computers and the internet and that sound federal, state, and local policies are needed to ensure that learners have the skills and knowledge to leverage that access.

As IDEAL Consortium director Jen provides technical assistance to states offering distance and blended learning and provides professional development to  teachers. She also work as adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, where she teaches in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research explores the difficulties faced by many migrant, refugee, and immigrant adults confronted with technological ubiquity in economically developed countries.

Reducing Poverty and Building Partnerships with Adult Education Programs, Community Health Centers, Libraries, and Advocacy Groups webinar sponsored by Burlington English



In this webinar session, the presenters will provide an overview of the national Educate & Elevate campaign, including the current policy landscape. Presenters will discuss recent election results and how changes in the House leadership may impact adult education. Additionally they will share:

  • Information and ideas on how to connect with new legislators

  • Results from the COABE advocacy survey

  • Information on the Student Ambassador Program and ways to engage your students

  • Resources and examples of advocacy activities and events that can be replicated at the state and local level

  • Opportunity to ask questions and share ideas




Jody Angelone has served in Adult Education for over 26 years and is currently the Staff Training & Development Coordinator for the Ohio Professional Development Network, at The Ohio State University. She has worked as a reading specialist, instructor, coordinator and program director in the context of Correctional Education, ABLE/GED, Workplace Education, Volunteer Literacy, Vocational Evaluation & Assessment and Professional Development. She has served on various boards, committees and task forces at the local, regional, state and national levels supporting adult education and community services. Currently, she provides program support and training in the areas of CCR Standards Implementation, Program Improvement and Consultation Plans, Leadership, and Assessment.  She served as COABE Region 4 Representative between 2014 and 2016 for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) national board.  She is currently serving as the Vice President of Membership for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) national board and the Advocacy Chair for the Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education (OAACE). Previously, as the Director of the NW Ohio ABLE Resource center, Jody provided oversight for the National Career Awareness Project in Ohio, as well as statewide training and support to the field in the areas of Assessment, Leadership and Transitions. Jody holds a B.S. in Education with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Toledo, and a M.Ed. in Education Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University.


Polly Smith’s interest and passion for adult literacy began as a volunteer tutor and teacher many years ago and she has never looked back.  She has been the Executive Director of Alaska Literacy Program since 1999. She has worked with learners of all ages, from preschool in family literacy programs to adults in college and the workforce. Polly has been awarded the Alaska Adult Education Association Administrator's Award and the Alaska Adult Educations Association, John L. Hulbert Award for outstanding long-term contributions to adult learning in the state of Alaska. She serves on the board of the Coalition of Adult Basic Education as Treasurer and chair for the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy.

Advocacy for a New Year webinar sponsored by Burlington English

COABE Journal Articles

COABE Journal, Summer 2016
The Politics of Adult Education
Read the Article>

COABE Journal, Spring 2016
New and Effective Approaches to Adult Basic Skills Advocacy
Read the Article >

COABE Journal, Spring 2016
Student Leaders as Advocates
Read the Article >

COABE Journal, Spring 2016
Placing Advocacy at the Heart of Adult Education
Read the Article >

The COABE Journal is published three times per year. Did you know that COABE members can purchase a one year subscription for only $35? Add to your professional library with this vital resource written by adult educators in the field. Click the button below to purchase a hard copy subscription today.

The following blended-learning resources can be found on our Adult Educator Resources* website.

"Stronger Together: Effective Advocacy Through Cross-Agency Partnerships"

"Not So Scary Practical Ways for Adult Educators to Engage in Advocacy"

"The Magic of Advocacy"

“Advocacy: Building a Network that Engages Community, Staff, and Students”

*Please note that you must be logged into the Adult Education Resources website in order to download these documents. Log in to access, download, and rate resources.