Strand/Audience Focus

  1. WIOA session, sponsored by National Skills Coalition (Amanda Bergson-Shilcock)
  2. ESL session, sponsored by Center for Applied Linguistics (DeAnna Coon)
  3. Immigrant Integration session, sponsored by Adult Learning Resource Center (Laura Sherwood)
  4. Numeracy session, sponsored by Adult Numeracy Network (Connie Rivera)
  5. ABE Professional Development session, sponsored by AALPD (Beth Ponder)
  6. Technology session, sponsored by Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (Branka Marceta)
  7. Research session, sponsored by American Institute for Research (Jaleh Soroui)
  8. Learning Difficulties session, sponsored by National Association for Adults with Special Needs (Jeff Fantine)
  9. Competency Based Instruction session, sponsored by Competency Based Initiative (Donna Chambers)
  10. LINCS session, sponsored by Manhattan Strategy Group (Kaye Beall)
  11. Career Pathways/Transitions session, sponsored by National Career Transitions Network (Priyanka Sharma)
  12. Workforce session sponsored by Jobs for the Future

COABE Virtual Conference Strand Partners

AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.

AIR is one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. Our overriding goal is to use the best science available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life. For us, making the world a better place is not wishful thinking. It is the goal that drives us. Founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization, we conduct our work with strict independence, objectivity and non-partisanship. Learn more about our history

For over 35 years the Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC) has provided expert professional development for adult and family educators. Whether providing training for instructional or program development, the ALRC utilizes content expertise and current research to deliver high quality services to individuals, programs, and state networks.

We are a community dedicated to quality mathematics instruction at the adult level. We support each other, we encourage collaboration and leadership, and we influence policy and practice in adult math instruction.

The Adult Numeracy Network (ANN), formerly the Adult Numeracy Practitioners Network, was formed by adult education practitioners at the first national Conference on Adult Mathematical Literacy held in Arlington, Virginia, in March 1994. They had joined researchers, program administrators, government officials and others to discuss the status of adult numeracy education and to determine future directions. The conference was co-sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL), and the Office of Vocational and Adult Education of the U.S. Department of Education. 

The Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD) is a national group for professional developers in adult literacy. An affiliate of COABE (Commission on Adult Basic Education), AALPD meets at COABE Conferences and other professional development events. Learn about the AALPD Priorities that are guiding AALPD and see the AALPD Issue Papers that detail AALPD’s positions on professional development issues. Identify ways you can become involved

The Association for Career and Technical Education® is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. It's our mission to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce. Read more about our history and structure.

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1959. Headquartered in Washington DC, CAL has earned an international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual and dual language education, English as a second language, world languages education, language policy, assessment, immigrant and refugee integration, literacy, dialect studies, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children.

CAL's mission is to promote language learning and cultural understanding by serving as a trusted source for research, resources, and policy analysis. Through its work, CAL seeks solutions to issues involving language and culture as they relate to access and equity in education and society around the globe.

CAL is led by a team of highly qualified and talented researchers, language scholars, and experienced practitioners, many of whom are recognized leaders in their fields. Our Board of Trustees, composed of leaders in the fields of applied linguistics, language education, research, testing, finance, and marketing, provides guidance and direction to accomplish our mission.

CLASP began in 1968 with an open-ended mission: to be a voice in Washington for institutions and people not represented by special interests, through legal, legislative, and regulatory channels. Early on, staff attorneys were involved in a broad array of issues from mining safety, the environment, and mental health, to women’s rights, consumer protection, and media access.  As highly effective organizations spun off from CLASP to take on each of these issues, CLASP focused in on poverty as its central mission starting in the early 1980s. Drawing on CLASP’s history of deeply credible analysis, a bias towards action, and practical, yet daring solutions, what has remained constant over all these years is our effective advocacy and ability to provide a trustworthy, respected voice in Washington for disadvantaged populations. To learn more about CLASP's history, click here.


Competency is defined as an ability or skill; proficiency infers ability or aptitude; while mastery indicates the ability to do, use, or understand something very well. Whatever word you prefer to use, being college and career ready implies assurance that all adult education students are competent, proficient and have mastered the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) and are self-directed learners--before moving on to their next steps beyond ESOL, ABE, and ASE. To do this, adult educators must focus attention on what the students have learned, not on what we think we taught them, and use all the available tools to do this.

Competency-based education is experiencing renewed interest and, in some learning communities, is proving to be central to the "how" in creating the instructional shift needed for CCRS implementation.

An online Competency-Based Learning Community of Practice Discussion Group for Adult Education has been formed, facilitated by David Rosen and Donna Chambers.  The group is comprised of members who have experience in competency-based education dating back to the 1970's, those who are new to CBE and want to learn more about it, and those in between. If you would like to join the group, email either David ( or Donna ( This is collaboration at its best!

Corrections Corporation of America today announced that it is rebranding its corporate enterprise as CoreCivic. Under the CoreCivic brand, the company will provide three distinct business offerings: CoreCivic Safety, a national leader in high quality corrections and detention management; CoreCivic Properties, a wide range of innovative, cost-saving government real estate solutions; and, CoreCivic Community, a growing network of residential reentry centers to help tackle America’s recidivism crisis.

The EdTech Center seeks to meet the evolving education and training needs of under-educated adults and youth through high-quality, innovative services aimed at increasing local staff skills and program capacity. The EdTech Center supports educators and local partners in the integration of digital technologies into instruction, promotes digital literacy and access to accelerate learning, college and career readiness, and offers mobile and online learning opportunities.

The EdTech Center brings together existing educational technology projects at World Education and amplifies their services through our partners.

In 1984, Mayor Kathy Whitmire and the City Council established Houston Center for Literacy (HCL) with one goal in mind: to raise the adult literacy rates in Houston. HCL works toward this goal by supporting literacy organizations and programs, engaging the entire community to join us in solving our city's low-literacy problem, and connecting learners with the education they need to be prepared for the future.

HCL acts as the Mayor's liaison to literacy programming in Houston by supporting the Mayor's Coalition for Literacy, an association of 60 organizations offering literacy services. We distribute the annual Mayor's Challenge Grant to accredited literacy organizations across the city, and provide professional development courses, and classroom resources. Learn more...

Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. We develop innovative career and educational programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success, and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is the national leader in bridging education and work to increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy.

LINCS is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) to expand evidence-based practice in the field of adult literacy. The LINCS initiative features on-demand, web-based professional development opportunities; targeted face-to-face training, high-quality resources; and an interactive online learning community.

Manhattan Strategy was founded in New York in 2001 as a management consulting firm dedicated to helping our clients improve their operations and achieve success through research-based decision making. In 2008, the company expanded its practice to federal sector clients, winning our first contract with the U.S. Department of Education. As our public sector practice continued to grow, the firm opened its Bethesda, MD office and re-organized our service offerings to better meet the needs of our federal and public-sector clients.

Literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart.

We are the National Center for Families Learning, formerly known as National Center for Family Literacy, and since 1989 we have helped more than one million families make educational and economic progress by pioneering–and continuously improving - family literacy programs.

Our emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason–study after study shows that family, home, and community are the true drivers of a child’s education. Consider these truths:

  • Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when their parents are involved in helping them learn to read.
  • Low family income and a mother’s lack of education are the two biggest risk factors that hamper a child’s early learning and development.

The National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) is a membership organization for educators, employers and others involved in the advancement of Career Pathways, career technical education (CTE), and related education reform initiatives. The NCPN Advisory Board ensures that NCPN meets the requirements of the stakeholder groups, and to represent stakeholder interests. NCPN is housed at the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD).

NCPN assists its more than 2,000 members in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving secondary and postsecondary transition programs by facilitating the exchange of best practices among the country’s leading practitioners.

The National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc. strengthens policy and practice that prepares nontraditional learners, such as veterans, dislocated workers, and under and unemployed adults for college and careers. The NCTN provides technical assistance and professional development services to community college systems and adult education programs to design models for accelerated career pathways, comprehensive student support services, and engagement with the workforce system. Please explore our website to view the tools and resources, technical assistance and professional development efforts we provide.

We are committed to forward-thinking financial education. The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is the leading private nonprofit national foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life.

With more than a quarter-century of dedication to the public good, NEFE continues its legacy of service with commitment to providing financial education and practical information to people at all financial levels, including:

  • Youth and adult financial education resources
  • Training tools from the classroom to the workplace
  • Research and consumer surveys

The Northstar Digital Literacy Project defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online. The ability of adults to perform these tasks can be assessed through online, self-guided modules. Included are basic computer digital literacy standards and modules in ten main areas: Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Mac OS, Email, Microsoft Word, Social Media, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Information Literacy.

When individuals pass the assessments at approved sites, they can obtain the Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate. This provides a credential for employment. There is no cost to complete the online assessments.

Educational Excellence

Texas State's 38,849 students choose from 98 bachelor’s, 90 master’s and 12 doctoral degree programs offered by the following colleges: Applied ArtsMcCoy College of Business AdministrationFine Arts and CommunicationHealth ProfessionsLiberal ArtsScience and EngineeringUniversity College and The Graduate College. As an Emerging Research University, Texas State offers opportunities for discovery and innovation to faculty and students.

Our students come from around the globe, and our student body is diverse. Forty-eight percent of Texas State students are ethnic minorities. Texas State ranks 14th in the nation for total bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students. See the Facts and Data page for more information on our student body.