Why We Do What We Do


COABE’s mission is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive. The Coalition on Adult Basic Education exists to provide leadership, communication, professional development, and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners to advance quality services for all adult learners. COABE represents the field of 55,000 adult educators and provides a variety of services, including professional development through annual, state-of-the-art national conferences, more than 40 webinars annually, and a peer reviewed journal. COABE also recently launched an award winning national public awareness campaign and an advocacy campaign that has enabled more than 50,000 connections with legislators since April 2017. 

Fact Sheets

To help you be your program’s best advocate, COABE has assembled the following Fact Sheets. These fact sheets will help you showcase students, staff and programs to to help policymakers and the public understand the value that you deliver every day.

Adult education has long been an integral part of our nation’s prosperity. Yet over the last decade, declining state and federal funds have led to declining numbers of adult learners who can access services. Of the 36 million adults with low basic skills, adult education currently assists 1.8 million of them each year to earn a high school equivalency, increase basic and employability skills, or improve their English language proficiency (Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).


David Sordia, Police Officer

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David told me that “procrastination is a disease, if you want something bad enough, you need to be willing to work for it.” David had always dreamed of getting his high school equivalency diploma and having a career but never had the educational support to motivate him towards his goals. Suffering from procrastination and the lack of motivation, he decided to begin the adult education program at Rio Salado College. David stated that this was the best decision he has ever made.


Sandra Larson, Financial ADVISOR

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After giving birth to her beautiful daughter, seventeen-year-old Sandra was desperate to finish her education. She knew she needed to have a successful career in order to support her new family however, she was overwhelmed at the difficulty of caring for her baby while finishing a traditional high school program.


Kevin Hunt, Author/Speaker

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Kevin Hunt Sr. dropped out of school in Junior High. His life went into a downward spiral for many years afterward. Unable to support himself due to his lack of education, Kevin relied on his family for their financial support. In 2001, he made a decision that would be the catalyst for changing his entire life, he enrolled in Shorter College GED program.


Marc PomerLau, Pharmacy Technician

Teachers Yowanda Salter (L) and Letitia Babaran-Wang (R) with Pharmacy Technician Marc Pomerleau

Teachers Yowanda Salter (L) and Letitia Babaran-Wang (R) with Pharmacy Technician Marc Pomerleau

Marc Pomerleau resides in Gardena, California. At one time, he worked at Torrance Memorial Hospital as a patient transporter. While working at the hospital, he often passed by the pharmacy department and pictured himself working there. Marc started to research which school had a program that would be nearby and convenient for him after work. He found out that the Levy Educational Center of Torrance Adult School was located less than a half mile away and offered a Pharmacy Technician Program.


Van Tran, Mechanical Engineer

Van Tran enrolled for English (ESL) classes. After assessment and pre-test, she was placed in the low-beginning class. At that time she was middle-aged. She had a strong desire to go to college, but she did not know how to go about it. None in her family or friends knew what her options were. She was frustrated because she did not have a high school diploma from a U.S. school because she was a refugee from Vietnam.

Testimonial Videos

COABE Workforce Program