The COABE Journal - Featuring Judy Mortrude and Authors Michelle Candy and Rosie Spann-Johnson

COABE has published a journal for more than 40 years. As a member of COABE, we invite you to access our special Prison Literacy edition which features articles by the very best researchers, practitioners, and leaders in the field of adult education.

The next COABE Journal will focus on the topic of leadership. We hope to feature the excellent leadership that is taking place in our field. We will be accepting manuscripts that focus on leadership at all levels including, but not limited to, student leadership, leadership in the classroom, teacher leadership, administrative leadership, leadership in giving, leadership in advocacy and public policy, community leadership, and more!

Click below to submit your manuscript. The deadline for submission is June 30, 2019. Contact with questions.

Judy Mortrude
COABE Journal/Managing Editor

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It is my great pleasure to act as managing editor to this edition of the COABE Journal.In practice, that meant I had the privilege of being in conversation with many talented educators from across the country, providing feedback as they scoped ideas and drafted articles.

Of the many contexts in which adult education occurs, correctional education settings are certainly among the most challenging. Correctional educators willingly put themselves behind locked doors to do their work. They navigate educational and correctional bureaucracies. They educate and motivate and heal students who find themselves at perhaps their lowest point in life.

Correctional educators' passion was evident in the response to this editions' call for articles. A record 44 submissions came in and the Journal Advisory Committee had to make hard choices to select only these articles to publish. They represent a diversity of perspectives in prison literacy, and we hope you will find practical ideas and inspirational ideals among them. I certainly did.


Judy Mortrude
COABE Journal Managing Editor

In the coming weeks, COABE will feature the authors and articles that comprise this special prison literacy edition of the COABE Journal. It is our hope to highlight this important aspect of adult education.

Michelle Candy
Teacher, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation


When her husband took a job in North Dakota in 2015, Michelle Candy started teaching ABE courses for the ND Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) in the minimum-security facility. During this time, she became involved with statewide training within the DOCR education department, including writing twice-monthly newsletters on TESL topics, leading out in best practices workshops, mentoring new teachers, and serving on a committee to introduce principles of andragogy to DOCR teachers. She has also been involved with the ND DOCR's mission of humanity in corrections, including planning off-property field trips for education students, working with Job Services to plan a Second-Chance Job Fair, helping to get family events started in the penitentiary, and inviting civic leaders to be speakers at GED® graduation ceremonies.

"Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset in Correctional Adult Education Setting"

Abstract: Many adult students in corrections and other adult learning centers have a fixed mindset. Helping students to learn about a growth mindset can help them to be successful in studying for the GEDⓇ exam as well as in other areas of their lives.

Dr. Rosie Spann-Johnson
Lead GED® and Mathematics Instructor
Campbell County Public Schools

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Dr. Rosie Spann-Johnson received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Alcorn State University in 1989 and a Master of Science in administration & supervision from the University of Virginia in December 2004. She did further studies at Mary Baldwin College and Lynchburg College. Reverend Dr. Spann-Johnson received her Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2017 from Virginia University of Lynchburg. Dr. Spann-Johnson is the lead GED® and mathematics instructor for Campbell County Public Schools and also provides GED® instruction to inmates within the Blue Ridge Regional Jail system. She serves as an Associate Minister of Spring Hill Baptist Church in Brookneal, Virginia.

"Training Parishioners to Minister More Effectively to Ex-Offenders"

Introduction: The content of this chapter describes the training provided to parishioners of Spring Hill Baptist Church to help them minister to ex-offenders. The objective was to expose parishioners to training from facilitators who were experts in their fields. The facilitators were to share their knowledge and experience.