Webinar Resources


COABE Professional Development Webinars generously sponsored by Burlington English


Stronger Together: Effective Advocacy Through Cross Sector Partnerships

Taking part in cross-sector partnerships and networks that are working for larger goals in your state or community can mean that adult education becomes a reliable partner, and remembered when funding and advocacy issues are at stake! Adult education practitioners in Rhode Island have been involved in innovative partnerships for a decade now: leading the way in some cases to realize collective impact. As a result, adult education is already at the table when politicians and community leaders look to address a new issue, and we are more and more counted on as critical partners.  The presenters will mix insights and descriptions of such initiatives, while engaging the audience to identify possible "opportunity initiatives" in their own communities, and begin an action plan to bring home.




Jill Holloway, the Director of the PDCenter since 2007, leads and manages a team of professional development specialists, and also provides professional development to the field in the areas of program improvement, data use, and distance learning.  Jill came to the PDCenter from Year Up, an educational and training opportunity for urban young adults, and had previously worked for 16 years in public schools (K-12, urban and rural). She has been an Internship Coordinator, Guidance Counselor and Director of a small school. As the School Director, she was responsible for developing annual professional development plans, and managing the professional development delivery itself, in alignment with annual goals the staff selected as a result of data analysis and self-assessment. She has been trained to deliver distance learning courses for adult education practitioners and in data use and leadership courses for program leaders.  Jill completed the coursework in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson & Wales University, earned a Master's of Education degree from Keene State College and a B.A. from Portland State University.


Karisa Tashjian serves as the Director of Education for the Providence Public Library.  In this role, she leads the design and implementation of educational and workforce development programming across all ages that results in measurable engagement, value and impact to the community. Common themes in her work are the power of partnerships, technology and innovation. She is a Board Member of the New England Literacy Resource Center, a Partner of World Education's EdTech Center and a member of the Rhode Island Governor's Workforce Board's Career Pathways Committee.




Effective online learning requires more than assigning an online curriculum and handing out log-in information; it requires teacher involvement. Administrators and teachers will learn what is required to create opportunities for “involved instruction." Topics for discussion include efficiently using core and supplemental online resources in blended learning, selecting technology tools to align with pedagogical and content needs, and making use of computer labs to support instruction. Participants will have time to map “involved instruction” at both the programmatic and instructional levels. Attendees will learn how to access further technical support through participation in the IDEAL Consortium.



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.


IDEAL and Involved Instruction: Using Practitioner Expertise and Research with Distance and Blended Learning Webinar generously sponsored by Burlington English


Professional Organizations and State Office Relationship Building

Adult Education state offices and state professional organizations are critical partners in the field to support program administrators, practitioners and student success. Partnerships and networks that work for the goal of successful adult education programing, like the Maryland Adult Education and Literacy Services office and the Maryland Association of Adult Continuing and Community Education have interacted closely over the years and the relationship has changed, grown and evolved to where it is today.

The presenters will share the history and timeline of this relationship and strategies that have worked to promote openness, transparency, clear expectations of roles, inclusion and as a conduit for information to connect all the stakeholders in the field. The panel of experts will field questions and engage the audience in a discussion to share experiences, challenges and successes in maintaining this vital relationship.

Presented by: Melissa Zervos, Dr. Ellen N. Beattie, Todd Elliot, Heather Ritchie, and Douglas Weimer


In June, the Joyce Foundation released the findings from a three-year research study of digital learning technology.  The study sought to answer two core questions about using digital learning technology in adult ed classrooms.  First, could digital learning technology improve learning outcomes among ABE numeracy and literacy students?  And second, if so, what were the elements that produced the most significant results?  Please join Michael Ormsby and Dan Griffith of Essential Education in this fascinating webinar exploring the core questions about the efficacy of digital learning in adult basic education. You will earn about the three critical core elements that must be present in learning software for success with adults.  


Michael Ormsby is the founder and CEO of Essential Education.  Michael started his career in New York City as an advertising executive.  After fifteen years in advertising and marketing, Michael moved into the field of education, first as a teacher in high school and elementary school, and then as a professional developer for new instruction design. In 2004, Michael started Essential Education as a way to improve the success rates of adult learners. Using innovative adaptive learning technology and situational instruction systems, Essential Education’s courses have helped over 1.4 million people make fundamental change in their lives.  


Dan Griffith started his career in adult education at a young age when he dropped out of high school in the early 80's. Since then he received his GED, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Math Education, taught high school and community college and has been in educational publishing for 21 years. Dan has been with Essential Education since 2012. A father of 5 children, avid adventurer and volunteer in his community, Dan loves working with adult education professionals to help people find their unique talents and gifts.



Competency-Based Adult Education and Blended Learning

Participants will learn about both competency-based adult education and blended learning and how and why, when these two approaches are integrated, they can form a powerful new model for adult learner engagement and achievement. We will look at adult education models that integrate these two approaches to achieve mastery learning, and we will discuss how adult basic and secondary level skills programs (including English language learning) can move to a customized model integrating these approaches.

Presented by: David J. Rosen


David J. Rosen was Executive Director of the Adult Literacy Resource Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, a greater Boston adult education professional development and training center, from 1986 to 2003. As an independent consultant since 2003, he has recently provided education and evaluation services to: World Education’s Education Tech Center, and Essential Education, to develop an online guide to blended learning for adult educators. He is the moderator of two U.S. Department of Education-sponsored LINCS communities of practice: Integrating Technology, and Program Management, co-moderator, with Susan Gaer, of Adult Educators Using Facebook for Education (AEFE); and with Donna Chambers of an online group focusing on competency-based /proficiency-based adult education.


Competency-Based Adult Education and Blended Learning webinar
generously sponsored by IXL Learning


I-BEST and IET: Connecting Adult Education Students to Living Wage Careers

Integrated Education and Training (IET) is a critical service approach under WIOA Title II. I-BEST is an IET delivery model with a proven track record for student success. This webinar will highlight how the I-BEST model meets IET requirements and will showcase examples of I-BEST and I-BEST-like programming currently offered in the state of Washington.

Presented by: William S. Durden


William S. Durden is the Policy Associate for Guided and I-BEST Pathways in Basic Education for Adults at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. His primary responsibilities include supporting and scaling up I-BEST and guided pathways with Basic Education for Adults as the foundation of those pathways, with the ultimate goal that all adult Washingtonians will have access to innovative, high quality education programs that provide the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary for securing family sustaining employment that strengthens the state and local economies. In addition, he supports the development and expansion of I-BEST nationwide, having provided I-BEST training and technical assistance to 33 states and counting. A former I-BEST instructor, William served as English faculty at Clark College for six years. He earned an MA in English Studies from Western Washington University (2008) and a BA in English from Washington State University (2005).


Planning for Successful Workplace Education Partnerships

In this workshop, we will share our experience using the Massachusetts model for workplace education with one particular employer. Learn how we identified the employer partner, designed and carried out a needs assessment, and implemented the program. Work together with a team to develop a unit using authentic materials and needs assessment information. Learn how you can develop a successful employer partnership.

Presented by: Kathleen O'Connell and Luanne Teller


Kathleen O’Connell is the Workplace Education Coordinator at World Education and currently coordinates two projects and teaches in the Seaport Hotel workplace education project. She taught workplace ESOL for the Worker Education Program in Dorchester, MA at labor/management projects in Massachusetts for 15 years. She also piloted an ESOL Pre-Lean curriculum in partnership with English for New Bostonians and Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership (Mass MEP). Kathleen has been teaching ESOL for almost thirty years.


Luanne Teller is the Director of Workplace Education at World Education, Inc. in Boston, MA. She also currently serves as the Director of the MA Adult Literacy Hotline and as the Coordinator for SABES, the MA professional development system for adult educators. Luanne has worked with adult learners in a variety of capacities for 30 years, having created and directed office skills training and job placement, ESOL, transitions to college, and workplace education programs. In addition to creating effective structures that generate strong performance outcomes; her work has included professional development, curriculum development, teaching, advising, and developing partnerships with employers and community organizations. She is a LINCS trainer in the areas of program management, postsecondary completion, and adult English language learners.


High-interest, paired readings help ESOL learners develop their critical literacy and cross-cultural awareness while expanding their reading strategies—important elements of college and career readiness. Participants experience and explore the key steps in creating, preparing, and teaching paired reading lessons. Sample readings and lesson plans provided.



Lori Howard is an ESL consultant, teacher educator and author of reading textbooks for adult ESL learners including the Read All About It and Read and Reflect Series.  She is also the AEFLA/WIOA Title II Program Specialist Coordinator for CASAS specializing in EL Civics. She has provided ESL teacher education in California, Florida, Illinois, Maine and Singapore and is a frequent presenter at state, national and international conferences. Her many years of experience in the field includes teaching ESL and Vocational ESL, administering ESL programs, being a TV/Video Teacher on the Los Angeles Unified School Districts’ Learning English Series and a Video Teacher on the Teacher Training Through Video Series, published by Pearson. 


Please print these articles and have them available during the Paired Reading Webinar. Please read one or both of them before the webinar.

Developing College and Career Readiness with Paired Reading webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English



Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic—the three R’s—are the traditional building blocks for education. Instruction for life, however, requires additional attention to a fourth R: Relationships. In this session, we will demonstrate how adult educators can read aloud selections from engaging fiction and informative non-fiction sources that deal with relationships. Instructors can model for their adult students how to apply their critical thinking and reading skills as they read aloud; instructors can then lead the class to focus on what makes relationships thriving or dysfunctional. Adult students can reflect and respond in writing to what they have been reading and discussing in class (their written responses do not have to be shared with the instructor unless the students want to). Many texts will be recommended and writing prompts suggested which are bound to result in meaningful discussions in the adult education classroom.



Carrie Colladay Stell Carrie Colladay Stell received her B.A. in Social Studies Education from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and taught 8th grade U.S history for seven years in New Jersey. She then homeschooled her three children from kindergarten through 12th grade. For the past eight years, Carrie has been teaching in adult basic and secondary education classrooms for Grayson College Adult Education and Literacy in Denison, Texas. Recently she became a Certified Manager for Program Improvement through the Leadership Excellence Academy. Carrie considers herself to be a read-aloud evangelist; she has spread the word by presenting at past conferences for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education, ProLiteracy, Literacy Texas, and Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education. Her adult students are her heroes.



This session will cover a wide variety of FREE technology resources that can quickly and easily be integrated into any adult education classroom (including ABE, GED, AAAE and ESOL). Learn about websites and apps that provide unlimited practice problems, online quizzing, manipulatives, screen capture and share, fast formative assessments, engagement, and easy document storage and distribution to students.



Rebecca DeJesus has over 9 years of experience as an Adult Basic Education and GED instructor. Her diverse educational experience includes a strong background in Math instruction with the addition of Reading, Writing, Language, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). She has over a decade of experience tutoring students of varying ages, elementary through adult learners, in test preparation. In addition to experience in the classroom, Rebecca has served as a training coordinator, presenter, and curriculum specialist and her experience has spanned the sales process from curriculum writing to marketing and securing a bid and delivering training. Rebecca is a self-proclaimed “technology junkie” who has spent years integrating technology-based teaching strategies into her classroom. She loves to provide tech-based professional development sessions and frequently provides software training to her adult students and co-workers.


Ability to Benefit: Connecting WIOA and Student Financial Aid to Educate Low-Skilled Students

Ability to Benefit (ATB) reduces barriers to accessing higher education for individuals without a high school credential. It also allows institutions to reach and serve these individuals by partnering with adult basic education, and better integrate their provision of financial aid with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) efforts the institution may already be undertaking. This session will explain when financial aid can be awarded to ATB students, show how ATB unites student aid (like Pell Grants), WIOA, and Perkins Act activities, and provide examples of how it is being leveraged in institutions and states.

Presented by: Judy Mortrude & Lauren Walizer


Judy Mortrude has over 30 years of experience developing, delivering, and managing secondary and postsecondary education projects for workforce development, particularly with low literacy and high barrier populations. Ms. Mortrude was the lead administrator for Minnesota's largest Adult Basic Education (ABE) consortium before moving to the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development in 2009 to staff the Minnesota FastTRAC Adult Career Pathway cross-system initiative. Currently, she facilitates a network of practitioners in the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). This Alliance of education, workforce development, and human service providers from across the country has developed quality standards for career pathway system partners to use as they develop and evaluate their aligned efforts. As a senior policy analyst for CLASP, Judy focuses on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Perkins Career & Technical Education, and other education/workforce development policy.


Lauren Walizer is a senior policy analyst at CLASP's Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, where she works to expand access to postsecondary opportunities and advocates for financial aid policies that serve low-income students. Prior to joining CLASP, Ms. Walizer was with the U.S. Department of Education, where she addressed policy, management, and operational challenges related to federal postsecondary student financial aid programs. Ms. Walizer holds an MSEd in Education Policy and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University.


Preparing Yourselves and Your Adult Students for Success in WIOA: Teaching Best Career Practices with WorkWise!

The world of work has changed drastically in the last ten years! Even for us seasoned professionals, the changes in job searching and implementing WIOA make us wish we had fairy dust. In this workshop, you will learn some of the latest best practices in career exploration, job searching, and job success that can help both you and your adult students. You will learn ways to build your learners’ reading, writing, and critical skills while learning key job readiness principles. Adult education students may think that finding the career of their dreams is a magical process. In reality, there are steps that learners can take. Even without magic, we can help our adult learners work to make their dreams come true.



Cynthia Macleay Campbell EdD has worked for over 25 years in education including teaching adults in ESOL and ABE classes, directing an urban adult literacy program, developing curricula, and providing professional development. Dr. Campbell has presented workshops at both regional and national conferences. Locally, she serves on the board of the Maryland Association for Adult, Continuing and Community Education (MAACCE) and chairs MAACCE’s Advocacy and Communications Committee. Dr. Campbell’s credentials include a Bachelor of Education in elementary education, a Master of Arts in Religion, and a Doctorate of Education, where her dissertation focused on teacher development. As principal consultant for Gold Apple Services LLC, she specializes in educational program design and development, editorial support, professional development for teachers and leaders. She is also a Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant. She is the writer for the WorkWise series for New Readers Press.

Resource: Preparing Yourselves and Your Adult Students for Success in WIOA (PowerPoint)

Preparing Yourselves and Your Adult Students for Success in WIOA:
Teaching Best Career Practices with WorkWise webinar

 generously sponsored by New Readers Press



Integrated Education & Training (IET) is a promising practice based in adult learning theory. Through IET programs, adults seek goal-oriented, relevant, practical knowledge. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) codified an IET definition, and the July 2016 final regulations provide both assurance and incentives for adult educators to design and implement IET which, when paired with a sector focus and support services (+S), rounds out a powerful career pathway model: IET+S. Review the IET definition and guidance and explore a few of the many adult education programs that have discovered the power of IET and, through a variety of partnerships, have implemented the IET strategy to serve people across the educational functioning level spectrum.


Judy Mortrude, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success; Director, Alliance for Quality Career Pathways

Policy Expertise
Adult education, Postsecondary education

Judy Mortrude is the director of CLASP's Alliance for Quality Career Pathways and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Judy has more than 30 years of experience in developing, delivering, and evaluating workforce education, particularly with low-literacy and high-barrier populations. Judy has been a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and state agency staff.  She now supports cross agency teams in a variety of states 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.  In addition, Judy does adult and postsecondary education federal policy work and supports organizations such as the National Coalition for Literacy and the Open Door Collective.


Integrated Education & Training:
A Service Model for Adult Education across the Spectrum webinar

generously sponsored by Burlington English

Adult Education State Association Presidents and State Directors: Mobilizing your State for Educate & Elevate

We are in full swing with the national Educate & Elevate Campaign to raise awareness among local elected officials, state legislators and federal officials of the importance of investing in Adult Education. As such, we’ve expanded our campaign website and the options that states have in participating in the campaign and mobilizing the adult education organizations throughout their respective states. This webinar details the options that various states are using to conduct a statewide campaign for investing in adult education. See models in action that various states have adopted from no-cost landing pages on their current websites and leveraging state-specific pages on the national campaign’s website, to full statewide campaigns. Get connected with your peers and help your state excel in getting national recognition.


Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.

Creating and Maintaining PD Systems

presenters: Sharon Johnston and lori looney

Even prior to WIOA implementation, Kentucky Adult Education Skills U began the process of reevaluating the professional growth needs of local program instructors and directors statewide. Extensive research led to a re-envisioning of the professional development model. Gathering input from the field and PD developers was a process already in place, and in FY 17/18 we also began aligning PD with WIOA performance metrics and criteria from our classroom observation tool to ensure that PD offerings met both individual and program level needs to increase student outcomes. In this webinar, you will be introduced to the steps taken, the tools developed and the strategies Kentucky Adult Education Skills U has in place to add transparency in measuring return on investment of the PD allocation including brand new tools for gauging transfer of learning to the classroom at 3 and 6- month intervals. This data will capture real-time feedback, that we will use to inform PD planning for FY 18/19.

Resource: Reaching Through Teaching Presentation (PowerPoint)

Rethinking Fractions

Do your students struggle with fractions? Do you find students asking to be shown the steps “just one more time?" In this workshop we will explore some of the gaps that adult students often have in their foundational number sense around fractions and look at some activities and strategies for helping students develop this number sense so that they can reason and make sense of fractions and fraction procedures.

Presented By:

Melissa Braaten has been teaching adult numeracy for the past seven years in Dorchester, MA to women with all levels of math ability and confidence.  She is also a consultant for the SABES (System of Adult Basic Education Support) PD Center for Mathematics and Adult Numeracy.  As part of the SABES team she has worked on developing and facilitating online and in-person trainings for ABE and ESOL teachers.



Rethinking Fractions webinar generously sponsored by Burlington English



The New York City-based Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI) will share their process of starting a citywide math teachers’ circle to collaborate with other teachers and expand their knowledge of mathematics. We believe in the power of teachers doing math together to make connections between learning and teaching. Participants will engage in an inquiry-based process of algebraic thinking through use of visual patterns and multiple strategies for problem solving, including drawing, different ways of seeing, making charts/tables, and making predictions using rules. Teachers and learners with all levels of mathematics knowledge are encouraged to attend.


Presented by:

Eric Appleton is a math and science professional developer for CUNY’s Adult Literacy/HSE Program. Before coming to CUNY, Eric worked in an education program for formerly incarcerated people. He has taught all subjects in adult basic education and high school equivalency, and has been working in adult education since 1999.

Solange Farina is a lead teacher/instructional coordinator in the Adult Basic Education Program at the Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development for the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY. Solange has been teaching in the adult basic education field for over 25 years. She has taught and offered professional development in all subject areas of the high school equivalency exam, along with ESOL. She was a founding member of the NYC Math Exchange Group (MEG) and is now a member of the NYC Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI).

Mark Trushkowsky is the math professional development coordinator for CUNY’s Adult Literacy/HSE Program. Mark's career in adult education began in 2001 in a basement classroom at a community college in Queens, NY. After 9 years of teaching ABE classes in all subjects and high school equivalency math, Mark joined the CUNY Adult Literacy Professional Development Team where he does professional development for Adult Learning Center teachers across the CUNY system. 

Mark, Solange and Eric are all founding members of the NYC Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI).

COABE Professional Development Webinars generously sponsored by Burlington English

Educate & Elevate Kickoff Webinar:
Get Connected - Get the Tools - Get Ready

This webinar is the first in a series that builds the capacity of our adult education organizations to proactively and effectively use our campaign toolkit to tell our story. The campaign timeline, toolkit and events will be reviewed in detail, followed by our schedule of webinars with topics such as best outreach strategies to policy makers, effectively telling the adult education story, social media integration and much more.

Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.

Educate & Elevate Webinar Series:
News Media Outreach

Your state and local news media outlets can be powerful key influencers to elevate the support for funding adult education. This educational webinar deconstructs how to use the templates in the Educate & Elevate Campaign Toolkit to build compelling stories that the news media will cover. Tailor the Campaign Fact Sheet with local data about your program and create a news release that highlights your successes. Pitch strategies will be reviewed on how to increase placements and interface with your local media to maximize successful coverage.

Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.

Educate & Elevate Webinar Series:
Working with Legislators

In a highly competitive funding environment with deep cuts planned for workforce and education, adult educators need a coordinated strategy to inform local, state and federal policy makers about the positive impacts of adult education. This session shares how to conduct a successful briefing to policy makers utilizing the Campaign Fact Sheet, Video and Legislative Talking Points from the Educate & Elevate Campaign Toolkit, coupled with your local compelling success stories and innovations.

Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.

Educate & Elevate Webinar Series
Hosting a Special Event

One of the best ways to educate your local legislators about the power of adult education is to host a community event where they can see your innovations in action and talk to their constituents who have had success with your programs. This webinar shares information on how to plan a legislative event using the Video, Media Advisory, Legislative Talking Points, Postcards and Signage from the Educate & Elevate Campaign Toolkit. A step-by-step event planning road map will help you jump start your promotional efforts for adult education in your local community.

Resource: Holding a Stakeholder Event to Advance Your Mission (PowerPoint)

Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.

Educate & Elevate Webinar Series:
Social Media Strategies

How do you harness the power of social media to educate all types of key stakeholders about the importance of adult education? This session highlights key strategies to use through Twitter and Facebook to showcase success stories, important data points, infographics and calls to action to motivate engagement with your adult education programs and our national campaign. Learn how to build your following and connect with our Campaign to maximize reach and exposure.

Educate & Elevate webinars presented by Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.


Preparing our students to transition into the postsecondary or workforce requires that we understand the principle of self-advocacy and the importance of integrating self-advocacy instruction for adult education students. This session will provide an overview of the components of self-advocacy: know self, decision-making skills, knowledge of rights and responsibilities, knowledge of own needs, knowledge of laws, and effectively requesting reasonable accommodations.

Presented by: Sarah Goldammer


Developing Self-Advocacy Skills for Special Learning Needs and All Students webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English


This session will include a general overview of accommodated testing and the best way to assist students when they need help applying for accommodations. We will look at the types of accommodations that are available for high-stakes testing; the accommodation request process; and review complete and incomplete applications. ADA and other guidance will be discussed. There will be time for all of your questions.

Presented by: Debbie Bergtholdt

All About Accommodations webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

Social Studies & Science for the High School Equivalency Assessments: Make it Fun, Make it Cheap!

This presentation will focus on methods and resources to turn your classroom into an exciting and engaging location for social studies and science instruction. The focus will be on the content, concepts, and strategies students need to successfully pass the social studies and science content tests in the three high school completion assessments. We will share ideas about teaching in a way that is fun, engaging, and active. Students will be up and out of their seats! Resources for the classroom will include a number of internet-based resources in addition to low-cost or no-cost tips and ideas for turning the classroom into a constant social studies and science learning experience. Participants will leave the session with a variety of ideas for immediate implementation and access to a Livebinder with a large variety of internet resources.

Presented by: Susan Gibson


Social Studies and Science for the High School Equivalency Assessments webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

CASAS Assessments for Citizenship Preparation

Leverage the CASAS Life/Work, CIT, or EL Civics COAAPS to help students successfully prepare for the USCIS Naturalization Interview.

Participants will understand that the CASAS Citizenship not only add rigor, but facilitate the successful acquisition of language skills needed to successfully pass the USCIS Naturalization Interview.

I. Review correlation between the CASAS Life/Work Tests and elements of USCIS N-400 Application for Naturalization

II. Discuss CASAS Citizenship Assessments
a) Citizenship Listening Assessment
b) Citizenship Interview Test
c) CASAS Citizenship Resources Bibliography
d) CASAS EL Civics COAPPS 40.4 Mock Interview
1. Adaption of other CASAS EL Civics COAPPS to address elements of the USCIS N-400
2. Inclusion of documented and non-documented ESL students in an EL Civics/Citizenship lesson

Presented by: Jennifer Gagliardi

CASAS Assessments for Citizenship Preparation webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

Pathways to Citizenship: Teaching Civics to English Language Learners

Do you know who wrote the Federalist Papers? Do you know who was the first Postmaster General of the United States? Can you name two cabinet-level positions in the U.S. Government? Learning Civics is essential for English language learners trying to live, work, and study in the United States. Civics classes can provide learners with the opportunity and information they need to be successful in our competitive society. In this interactive workshop, we will learn and practice methods for increasing learner retention in ESL Civics and Citizenship courses. 

We will be discussing:

  • How to design an ESL civics course and what topics to include in the curriculum. 
  • The skills and vocabulary required to pass the U.S. Citizenship reading, writing, and civics exams. 
  • We will examine how to incorporate activities and technology into the classroom that utilize those skills and terms. 
  • Review a multitude of civics print, video, and online resources for instructors and learners.

Presented by: Laura Blom


Pathways to Citizenship: Teaching Civics to English Language Learners webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English

Making Connections Between Research and Practice

Often adult educators want to incorporate research findings or ideas into practice but aren't sure where to find current research, how to evaluate it, or how to actually use it. If 2017 is your year to get even more out of research to benefit your work in adult education, then make plans to join Dr. Alisa Belzer (Rutgers University) and Dr. Margaret Patterson (Research Allies for Lifelong Learning) on a March 15 webinar on connecting research with practice. This webinar follows up on a Winter 2016 forum piece in the Journal of Research and Practice. Both Drs. Belzer and Patterson are current researchers and former instructors in adult education. They are eager to share insights on locating and evaluating adult education research and to encourage the field to make stronger connections between research and practice.

Presented by:

  • Alisa Belzer, Rutgers University
  • Dr. Margaret Patterson, Research Allies for Lifelong Learning


Making Connections Between Research and Practice webinar
generously sponsored by Essential Education

Ensuring Immigrants' Access to WIOA: Data and Advocacy Tools for Adult Educators

Federally-funded adult basic education and English literacy services are crucial for immigrant and refugee integration. In this webinar, get a detailed overview of issues relating to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including concerns about how to ensure service to individuals with the lowest levels of education and English proficiency. You’ll learn about key challenges created by WIOA and its proposed regulations, and strategies that can be used to help ensure equitable service access for diverse learners. In addition, you’ll get a practical demonstration of how to obtain detailed socio-demographic data on learner needs in your community, enabling you to inform policy and planning conversations.

Presenter: Margie McHugh
Resource: Ensuring Immigrants' Access to WIOA: Data and Advocacy Tools for Adult Educators (PowerPoint)

Ensuring Immigrant's Access to WIOA: Data and Advocacy Tools for Adult Educators webinar
generously sponsored by Burlington English


Adult educators have a unique perspective to offer when it comes to advocating for adult education -- because educators have on-the-ground experience with adult learners. In this webinar, learn how you can connect the dots between the people you serve and the policies that affect them. Get an overview of key federal and state policies that can provide greater opportunity for adult learners. Find out how you as an adult education advocate can educate policymakers about these issues. Learn about free tools and resources that you can use to advance new policies in your state. And get examples of adult education and skills policy successes that you can build on! 

Don't miss this practical webinar featuring Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling at National Skills Coalition.

Presented by: Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Upskilling at National Skills Coalition

Advocating for Adult Education: How to Advance State and Federal Policies that Support your Learners webinar generously sponsored by Aztec Software



On January 20th, COABE sent an open letter to President Trump highlighting the importance of adult education. We believe that now more than ever, we must ensure that we continually educate our legislators on the value of adult education. 

Less than a week later, on January 26th, COABE and NAEPDC co-hosted an advocacy webinar, generously sponsored by ETS HiSET, to provide our field with tools and resources for raising awareness and visibility, along with new advocacy skills for use during this new administration. More than 1,500 members registered for the webinar, which received a rating of 4.8 out 5 stars. To view the webinar and resources, click HERE. Contact advocacy@coabe.org to add your name to our contact network. #adultedtrump #adultedunited 


COABE and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education invite you to participate in a webinar to discuss what the new Administration may mean for Adult Education and ensure you have the tools needed as we head into a new era under the Trump administration. 

We will discuss:

*    Funding Adult Education in the coming years
*    Making the case for Adult Education
*    Working together to mobilize our resources to protect and grow Adult Education
*    Adult Education on the Hill and in your community
*    Media partnerships
*    Coalition building

We will share:

*    Resources
*    Tips for effective advocacy and,
*    Best practices

Presented by:

  • Gene Sofer, Art Ellison, Susan Fish, Tom Nash, Polly Smith, Regina Suitt, and Sharon Bonney



Are you an instructor at a small, rural program? Are you looking for new ways to introduce your students to technology but aren't sure how? Does your program run on a tight budget? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this workshop is for you! Join Janet Slayden and Rudy Rhoades for a workshop where you can participate in an interactive lesson plan that blends free and low-cost resources for your classroom. Included in the workshop is a take-home packet with a list of resources, two lesson plans, and access to an online learning community with ongoing support.

Presented by:

  • Janet Slayden, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Rudy Rhoades, Kentucky Educational Television


Join us as we learn about both competency-based adult education and blended learning and how and why, when these two approaches are integrated, they can form a powerful new model for adult learner engagement and achievement. We will look at adult education models that integrate these two approaches to achieve mastery learning, and we will discuss how adult basic and secondary level skills programs (including English language learning) can move to a customized model integrating these approaches.

Presented by: David J. Rosen, Ed.D, President, Newsome Associates


Join us to discuss the value of working with your local and state workforce investment boards. With the new WIOA authorization, ABE has become a more important player in the workforce world. Learn about the spectrum of career pathway work required under WIOA, the role of local WIBs and how ABE can play a key role in career pathways integrated education and training. Representatives from both a local and a state WIB in Minnesota will share thoughts on the process of securing representation, what it has meant to the field and some successes and challenges that they have experienced through the partnership.

Presenters: Judy Mortrude, Eric Nesheim, and Karen Wolters
Resource: Adult Education and WIOA: How to Work Effectively with State and Local Workforce Boards PowerPoint (PDF)

Our leadership initiatives are generously sponsored by our corporate sponsor GED Testing Service:


This session will focus on what we learned through implementing two different Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) pilot programs, one for ABE/ASE students and one for English language learners. Through implementation of these two pilot programs, we learned what to do, and what NOT to do, in program identification, student recruitment, co-planning and co-teaching, assessment of progress, and transitioning to employment. Join us to learn from our mistakes and successes and make your I-BEST program I-Better!

Presenter: Wendy Scheder-Black

Resource: I-Better: Successes and Lessons Learned-Question and Answer


Come explore the conceptual and assessment tools that guided the international Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) literacy assessment and that can be used by practitioners to inform reading instruction. Participants will engage in hands-on activities and will leave with ideas for planning, finding reading materials, and structuring activities at different levels. Teachers of students at all reading levels are welcome, but teachers at the lower and intermediate levels may find the workshop especially beneficial.

Presenter: Amy Trawick


Title: Paired Reading: Developing Critical Literacy, Cross Cultural Awareness and College and Career Readiness

Description: High-interest, paired readings help English learners, at any level, better develop their critical literacy and cross-cultural awareness while expanding their reading strategies--important elements of college and career readiness. In this webinar, participants explore the key steps in creating, preparing and teaching paired reading lessons.

Presenter: Lori Howard


Catapult Your HSE Learner Into College Ready Skills

Are your students getting closer to success and mastery of their HSE exam? Learn how PrepPath not only supports their academic needs while seeking their HSE but also how we are helping to 'tool' learners as they reach for a college degree. PrepPath uniquely uses customized reporting to determine weaknesses of the learner to catapult them through their academic struggles.

Presenter: Christy Williams



As post-secondary schools shift away from traditional education models, in favor of providing deeper learning environments, they are required to replace their outdated technology practices and implement a new infrastructure to support student learning. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education concepts can be modified to use in the ABE/ESL classroom. For example, instructors will be able to teach learners how to distinguish reliable from unreliable online information, and they should become aware of the ways in which civic participation may differ in online and offline contexts.

Presenter: Featuring: S. Michele Echols


"Thank you for the great class yesterday, October 14th! Kudos go out to the presenters for great information and the plethora of available teaching resources !!! Learned a lot as a new ELA instructor on how to integrate more computer based training into the course to better serve the students. Again, Thank You for All You Do!"

Conference Planning Tips for State Associations


Description: As states are moving forward with developing unified and combined state plans under WIOA, the needs of adult education classrooms are evolving. This presentation focuses on the high-level details of WIOA, why the law was written to include a customer focus, the influences globally on the workforce and the importance of career pathways. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the WIOA legislation, what drivers led to the passing of the act, as well as practical applications and strategies for implementation.

Featuring: Mitch Rosin and Ron Painter



The work of adult educators and your successes remain largely unsung - yet your stories are compelling, compassionate and highly relevant to the communities you serve. Take advantage of the slower pace of summer to prepare to showcase your programs, teachers and students to the news media in your area, for September's Adult Ed and Family Literacy Week and year-round. This webinar with the team that's led COABE's communications outreach will help you help you become an even more powerful voice for funding, strengthening and celebrating basic adult education in your community and state.

Featuring: Julie Anbender, Steve Hirsh, and Sharon Bonney



WIOA Title II–Quality Information = Quality Service!

Presented by:

  • Judy Mortrude, CLASP
  • Anson Green, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Jeff Carter, NAEPDC
  • Carrie Tupa, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Sharon Bonney, COABE 

Full implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act begins July 1st and adult education programs are in various states for the new information collection requirements. Texas state leaders are helping their local programs understand how to use the new requirements to stand up quality intake and assessment models that support adult learners to the services they need for successful completion and transition.


Better Together–Local WIOA Partnerships at Work, that Work!


Presented by:

  • Judy Mortrude, CLASP
  • Jeffrey Arnott, Brevard Adult School
  • Lisa Rice, Career Source
  • Art Hoelke, Knight's Armament Company

The real opportunity in WIOA is building a partnership that will result in real opportunities for your learners. Recently COABE surveyed adult education providers across the country to learn about how you're partnering with your local workforce development system.  

Come hear the results and then hear from a Florida WIOA Title I/Title II partnership who have taken the time, in a short amount of time, to strategically create partnerships that our expanding economy needs and expects create a collaborative culture in which everyone wins. Finally, get a quick run-down on select WIOA levers that could take your own local work from a perfunctory MOU to a powerful partnership.


WIOA At The Local Level: What's Next?

Presented by:
Michelle Carson, Carson Consulting

It's been almost two years since the passage of WIOA July 22, 2014. With the July 1 implementation looming, how have your programs prepared? Education services are key activities outlined in WIOA to enable youth and adults to obtain essential skills for employment and further education. With an emphasis on collaboration with postsecondary education entities and the real engagement of employers, adult education practitioners are feeling the pressure to be ready to meet the expanded demands of the law, employers, and learners. Engage with your peers to learn more about assessing your program's next moves.



Presented by Nell Eckersly and Jody Angelone

The COABE is a FREE resource that many conferees use to choose their agenda, download resources, meet colleagues, and complete session surveys.

Resources: COABE App YouTube Video

Making Difficult Math Concepts Simple

Presented Anthony Chan

Math is a subject that is very challenging to many students. This presentation will show how to teach difficult math concepts while building students’ confidence and making them feel comfortable learning each concept.


Presented by Amanda Bergson-Shilcock and Judy Mortrude


Big changes are underway in the adult education world thanks to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In particular, the law's emphasis on career pathways is sparking efforts to better align programs across the adult education, youth services, and workforce development fields.

But what does good alignment look like? And how can adult educators take action to drive policy, and its resulting practices, rather than be buffeted by external forces? Learn about key policy considerations for adult educators in this new landscape.


  • Policies that need to be in place to facilitate smooth transitions along a career pathway (such as co-enrollment and common assessment) 
  • Institutional relationships that adult educators need to establish (or strengthen) to ensure better connections for learners
  • Important decision points for states under WIOA and key questions to raise at the state and local level



Presented by Pat Hughes

Description: Join us to learn about an exciting project that has been underway in Maine since 2010 which has helped adult ed students in rural, poverty stricken locations to log over 25,000 academic hours annually. The results and best practices of this nationally acclaimed, award winning program was also shared at the National Training Institute for State Directors in November. 


Presented by Nell Eckersley

Description: In this webinar, participants will learn why video is so valuable for adult education, where to find videos online and how to create their own videos using tablets and smartphones. We will also explore the best ways for teachers to curate and share links to video content with their students.


Presented by Mary Gaston

Join us as we explore some great Science resources and FUN ACTIV-ities! This presentation will provide Adult Education instructors with activities that can be implemented immediately in adult education classrooms. These activities will address targets of instruction in an engaging, hands-on, and interactive way.  Come see how Science can both challenge and engage your students!  So…put away the workbooks and be prepared to enjoy Science!  When the webinar ends, participants will still have access to the online binder of resources and activities! 



Presented by Mary Gaston

Description: Join us as we explore some great Social Studies resources and FUN ACTIV-ities! This presentation will provide Adult Education instructors with activities that can be implemented immediately in adult education classrooms. These activities will address targets of instruction in an engaging, hands-on, and interactive way.  Come see how Social Studies can both challenge and engage your students!  So…put away the workbooks and be prepared to enjoy Social Studies!  When the webinar ends, participants will still have access to the online binder of resources and activities! 



Presented by Amanda Bergson-Shilcock

Description: The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) took effect on July 1. As states move from the theoretical to the practical, what do adult educators need to know? Join COABE and National Skills Coalition for a hands-on review of WIOA's key implications for the adult education field. Presenter Amanda Bergson-Shilcock will provide an overview of the current WIOA landscape, including opportunities for adult educators to weigh in on implementation issues in their states and localities.


Presented by Cynthia Bell

Description: With the new assessments and standards come shifts in instruction. Perhaps, one of the most exciting and challenging is moving towards providing meaningful and engaging tasks that allow students to make connections and expand their understanding of concepts and procedures. In this webinar, we will deconstruct the instructional shifts and analyze their effects on instruction using meaningful tasks discovering how to use all three tools to turn an ordinary worksheet into a meaningful, rigorous task.



Presented by Cynthia Bell

Description: With the new assessments and standards come shifts in instruction. Perhaps, one of the most exciting and challenging is moving towards providing meaningful and engaging tasks that allow students to make connections and expand their understanding of concepts and procedures. In this webinar, we will discuss the different levels of cognitive complexity and learn how to use them to make this shift, discovering how to use the second tool to turn an ordinary worksheet into a meaningful, rigorous task. 


Presented by Becky Shiring

Description: Technology not only prepares our students for workplace success in the digital age but also is extremely beneficial in diverse classrooms where students' skill levels and interests vary. In this webinar participants will learn about 20 free and easy to use technologies that can be used to differentiate instruction and prepare ELLs for success in a connected global and digital society. Learn about exciting options to help engage students and meet instructional challenges.

It's Tech-Xtrodinary Tech Tool Checklist
It's Tech-Xtrodinary (PowerPoint)
It's Tech-Xtrodinary (PDF)


Presented by Cynthia Bell

Description: With the new assessments and standards come shifts in instruction. Perhaps one of the most exciting and challenging is moving towards providing meaningful and engaging tasks that allow students to make connections and expand their understanding of concepts and procedures. In this webinar, participants learn how to deconstruct the Standard Practices and learn how to use them to make this shift, discovering how to turn an ordinary worksheet into a meaningful, rigorous task.

• Beliefs About Teaching and Learning Mathematics
• Shifting From Worksheets to Meaningful Tasks Part 1
• Multi-Step Equations Handout for SMP 3