Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Update from Cynthia

Hi Folks,

Some kind of update felt in order so here it is:

It's been over ten years since I started this blog in March of 2012. (Here's the first post!) 

Big Changes in Adult Education in California

A lot has gone on in Adult Education over those years - since February of 2009, really  - cuts and closures, restructuring, narrowing of the mission, the Regional Consortia system, the recognition that equity needs to be centered in Adult Ed work, and lots more - some of it good, some of it bad, some of it mixed, some of it with the potential to be all those things - and more. 

Needed Changes

Pause to say how GLAD I am that discussions of equity are now increasingly common in Adult Education with a special shout out to Daquanna Harrison of Elevation Educational Consulting Group for the work she is doing and to COABE for their new emphasis on Equity. 

Years of Advocacy for Adult Education

During the years after Schwartzenegger flexed categoricals - making Adult Ed funds available to shore up K12 Districts in need of help after their own cuts, ----  I got heavily involved in advocacy for Adult Ed. I worked with lots of folks at my school, San Mateo Adult School, including Patricia Brown, David Doneff, Marina Kravtsova, Bruce Neuburger, Lisa Sparks; with Karen Arthur of The Alliance for California Adult Schools; with Kristen Pursley of Save Your Adult School; with Irma Beserra Nunez of California Coalition to Save Older Adult Education; with John Mears, Sean Abajian, Juan Noguera and others with No Legislator Left Behind; with the many folks in Older Adults Education Forever; with CFT - the California Federation of Teachers - as an officer in my local, CFT 4681, and as a representative on the CFT Adult Ed Committee, in various ways and spaces with CCAE, CATESOL, the Network for Public Education, OTAN, and COABE. I served on the OTAN Advisory Committee. I served as advisor - for a year - to the Evening Student Council at our school. I co-founded the San Mateo Adult School Green Team. I did my best to support student voice in wherever I found myself. 

Learning As I Went Along

In my years as a teacher, I have seen that everyone has their own learning style. Mine is a combination of learning on my own, asking a lot of questions, watching how other people do it, reading biographies (or Wikipedia, lol), getting mentorship from others, working with people I genuinely like and respect, and freaking out. I'm often fueled in my learning by either joy (oh those rabbit holes!) or anxiety (what if I mess this up?!). In the same way that I learned how to teach online just as the Internet was opening up - yes back in year 2000 - mostly because I needed to because I had an infant and teaching online was clearly something that could be a good thing for us - I learned how to run a blog, do social media, create and maintain a website, run a gofundme, use various sorts of technology, and understand how a bill becomes a law and the budget process for the State of California. In other words, I learned as I went along - with a lot of ups and downs and the regular freak out. 

How It Went

White woman with long blondish brown hair holds up cup in a "cheers" type gesture
I attended a lot of meetings, sent a lot of emails, made a lot of phone calls, went to a lot of conferences, attended a lot of webinars, ran a petition, created lots of surveys, took a lot of photos, attended a lot of zooms, served on panels, spoke at hearings & board meetings, and learned how to get around the capital in Sacramento. I was often extremely nervous about at least half those things and could not have gotten through without the help and support of not only those working alongside me but also my family and friends - who might or might not have cared about Adult Education but sure heard a lot about it - and my anxiety when I was faced with speaking to a group. 

(I know - why does someone with a fear of public speaking become a teacher and an advocate? I still don't know. But I do remember a comment made by daughter's drama teacher: It's the people who want it the most who get the most nervous before the show.) 

Advocacy Is A Learnable, Transferable, and Very Useful Skill

I saw that advocacy was something that could be learned, taught, and used in any number of situations. I was often the person in charge of Adult Education Week at my school. Out of that work and working on this blog, I created various presentations and google docs with info on how to advocate for Adult Ed.  Much of what is in those presentations and docs can be used towards any cause. Remember to use The Force for Good! 

Camino Companions

A lot of the work I did was with others which led me to friendships I treasure to this day. There is a special bond that comes from walking the same path together - especially in a crisis. Good or bad, I think that's how we humans are wired - and what fires together wires together - so I feel forever connected and grateful to all the folks I've listed above and so many more! 

Looking Back

I did everything very imperfectly and when I look back, I sometimes have that "If I knew then what I know now" feeling and I can think of many ways to have done things better, more sustainably - for both self and community, more inclusively, etc.  Hindsight is 2020 - so I try to remember to put on my "Look Into The Past" glasses when I make look into the future - understanding I can't change the past - I can only learn from it. 

Life Holds Many Things

3 women standing behind a homemade quilt.
Alongside the Adult Ed advocacy, I did all the human things we all do. In my case it was raising my daughter, being a member of my family and friend community, caring about things in addition to Adult Education -- Black Lives Matter, Equity, Sustainability, Surviving the 45 Era, Climate Catastrophes, etc. I loved myself and my people through various crises - divorce, death, dementia, cancer, physical and mental illness, moves - wanted or unwanted, break-ups, make-ups, administrative shake-ups, and of course - COVID!  My hair got greyer, my joints got achier, my back got stiffer, the pandemic unrolled - and like so many of us, I did a lot reflecting and I made some choices. 

The New Is Made From The Old

These choices included retiring from my job at San Mateo Adult School to build a life that could better include caregiving, work, and my own health. Much like the quilt picture here --- (made for my daughter's college graduation and golden birthday - yay!) -- my new life is an amalgam of new and old - sewn together with love and lots of ouch, I just poked myself again - and uh oh that doesn't fit together quite right - and oh, thank you for that contribution, it fits just perfectly here! Thank you!  And maybe my favorite: this old thing becomes this new thing - nothing is ever wasted (if you can learn from it!) 

The Fate and State of Adult Education Matters Blog & Social Media

So ----  

I'm keeping this blog and AEM social media open to make them available for special updates, guest posts, etc. 

If you want to write a guest post, please let me know! Leave a comment below!  Or email me at gcteachercynthia at gmail dotcom. 

But/And ----

Change in Focus

In general, I'm shifting my focus away from tracking Adult Education in CA and towards
  • Promoting Adult Ed Sustainability across the USA
  • Regaining state funding for Older Adults Adult Education in CA
  • Sustainability on all kinds of levels - ha! I wrote "lovels" and maybe that's the right word!
  • Tutoring, editing, and social media coaching (let me know if you need some!) 
Adult Ed Sustainability logo - circle of flowers and butterflies against green background. Adult Ed Sustainability in red letters in the center
Look for my Adult Ed Sustainability work:

Almost all the advocacy work I've done - including this blog - has been "for free" as a volunteer. But age and time have taught me that I need to include myself in thinking about how to make things work. Sustainability includes myself and my family. So if you're drawn to do it, I welcome your contributions to my work! 

Contact Me

Contact me at gcteachercynthia at gmail dotcom if you want to
  • Share something Adult Ed related on this blog or AEM social media
  • Talk or learn about Adult Ed Sustainability
  • Need a connect to someone you think I might know thru my years in AE Advocacy
  • This list is free!
Hire Me

Or if you need some
  • Social media coaching 
  • Logo or slogan possibilities
  • ESL tutoring
  • Editing
  • Help with college essay writing
  • This list is for pay!
Woman with glasses sitting to the side in a leafy green setting.
I'm still in the Adult Ed and advocacy game - but with an adjusted focus to reflect who I am today - an aging but still alive human who cares about people and planet, is a member of multiple communities, and loves learning new things - in spite of the anxiety I inevitably feel under pressure or when speaking in front of an audience. 

Thank you

Big big gratitude to all the folks I've worked alongside and to those who continue to carry the torch forward for Adult Education. I'm so moved by their/your work, spirit, knowledge, and heart.

It won't be long before we are at 200 years of Adult Education in California - a beautiful thing to behold! 


You already know the answer... 
                            because Adult Education Matters! 



Monday, February 14, 2022

Black History is Adult Education History - Valentine to Septima Poinsette Clark - and Proposal for Scholarship in Her Name

 Happy Black History Month! Happy Valentine's Day!

And do you know of Septima Poinsette Clark? 

Her contributions to human rights, civil rights, voting rights, labor rights, the teaching profession, public education, and Adult Education were profound - yet, as is so often the case with the contributions of Black women, they are rarely discussed in the classroom. 

And by classroom, I mean not only K12 and college classrooms but also teaching training programs - specifically those for Adult Education teaching and administration credentials. 

We currently face a teaching shortage in all branches of education. Due to the impact of the cuts and closures a few years back, this shortage may be most extreme in Adult Education.  We also face in all branches of education a lack of diversity in teachers and administrators. 

Now would be a good time to consider a scholarship in Septima Poinsette Clark's name to invite in more Black women to the profession -- How that scholarship would be funded --What would the parameters would be --Whether the intended recipients should be broader than Black women to include other women of color --These are all questions to consider and discuss. 

Read through the information below to learn a bit more about Septima Poinsette Clark and her phenomenal impact on the US, the Civil Rights movement, the teaching profession, and Adult Education. Ask your colleagues in the field - in professional organizations, unions, and faculty rooms - what they know about her, why they they do or don't know about her, what their thoughts are on the current teacher shortage, and the need for more diversity in teaching and administration.  

Your thoughts and recommendations are welcome here - in the comments or a published guest post.

Septima Poinsette Clark

Black History is Adult Education History

Black History is Women’s History

Black History is Labor History

Black History is Human Rights History

Black History is Citizenship History

Black History is American History

  • https://ncwomenofcivilrights.wordpress.com/septima-clark/highlander-and-citizenship-schools/ Highlander Center and Citizenship Schools

    • When Septima Clark lost her teaching job in Charleston, she left South Carolina to work at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. At Highlander, Clark continued her passion for adult education, and taught students and visitors from all over the South to read by reciting parts of the U.S. Constitution.  The Highlander School held workshops for Civil Rights activists, and trained its students to become community leaders through a range of seminars on topics including union organization, human rights discussions, voter education, and basic skills like money management.  Highlander attracted both white and African American Southerners of all education levels to converge and discuss social issues. Attendees also had the privilege of listening to inspiring speakers including Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help spark social activism.  Septima’s work at Highlander led to the birth of other citizenship schools across the South.1

  • Clark, Septima Poinsette | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute

    • A pioneer in grassroots citizenship education, Septima Clark was called the “Mother of the Movement” and the epitome of a “community teacher, intuitive fighter for human rights and leader of her unlettered and disillusioned people” (McFadden, “Septima Clark,” 85; King, July 1962). 

    • The daughter of a laundrywoman and a former slave, Clark was born 3 May 1898 in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1916 she graduated from secondary school and, after passing her teacher’s exam, taught at a black school on Johns Island, just outside of Charleston. For more than 30 years, she taught throughout South Carolina, including 18 years in Columbia and 9 in Charleston.

  • Septima Clark - SNCC Digital

    • “Septima Poinsette Clark pioneered the link between education and political organizing, especially political organizing aimed at gaining the right to vote. “Literacy means liberation,” she stressed knowing that education was key to gaining political, economic, and social power.

    • Long before SNCC’s Freedom Schools, Clark was developing a grassroots citizenship education program that used everyday materials to think about big questions.” - SNCC 

Septima’s Life - in her own words:

Monday, January 24, 2022

New Webinars for Equity in Adult Education - Spring 2022

 From COABE:

Equity in Adult Education: The Importance of Cultural Competence and Inclusion

  • Date: Friday, February 11th  |  2:00 - 3:00 pm (ET)  |  REGISTER

  • Presenters: Sudie Whalen

Equity, Not Equality: Practical Racial Justice Strategies to Increase Awareness

  • Date: Wednesday, February 23rd  |  2:00 - 3:00 pm (ET)  |  REGISTER

  • Presenters: Veronica Parker

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Letter to President Biden: "The Stakes Are High, The Need Is Great, and The Time Is Now."

In California, the bulk of funding for Adult Education - especially for Adult Schools - is through the state. Only a relatively small portion of funding is from federal sources. In many other states, the reverse is true. What happens on the federal level determines funding realities for Adult Ed in many parts of the US and influences policy for Adult Ed in every state. This letter - written by John Mears in conversation with many others - is an important summary of why it is so important that Adult Ed be seen, valued, and funded. 

About Mr. Mears:  John Mears has taught ESL to adult immigrants for Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 35 years. He has advocated for adult education with the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). This letter was a joint effort, with the generous help of many professional educators and advocates, as well as adult learners, throughout the USA.

April 26, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden


The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for leading the fight against the pandemic with a vigorous national strategy. Now we need an equally vigorous national strategy to address an ongoing systemic failure that has been long in the making:  increasing numbers of under-educated adults. 

We, the undersigned, are educators who have dedicated our lives to meeting the lifelong learning needs of adults nationwide. Our group also includes adult students who have benefited from adult education programs. We are delighted to see that your American Jobs Plan “will better tailor services to workers’ job seeking and career development needs through investments in Expanded Career Services and the (Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act) Title II adult literacy program.” However, we want to ensure that all U.S. adults who need foundational skills -- including immigrants, regardless of their ability to work -- will be served.  

In the United States, 19% of adults are profoundly in need of literacy skills development and 29% lack critical numeracy skills. These adults are overrepresented in communities of color—the same communities that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-induced health and economic challenges that are rooted in systemic inequity. They are also especially vulnerable to the COVID pandemic, as low-skilled adults are often first out of the job market and last back in during times of economic crisis. A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis indicates that anticipated job growth for those with a high school diploma or less is 0% to -2.3%, while all other education levels show positive growth.

The lack of skilled, well-trained workers in our nation caused nearly 7 million jobs to be unfilled in the U.S., even before the pandemic, according to the Labor Department. Now, as the economy is rebounding, the unmet need for sufficiently trained and literate workers is even greater. U.S. industry and business leaders have been sounding the alarm about this problem since the 1990s -- yet opportunities for adults to get basic education and job training have eroded substantially in the past dozen years. These deficiencies cripple our economy, our competitiveness on the world stage, and efforts to “Build Back Better.”  

Your ambitious goals of naturalizing immigrants bring additional challenges. Millions of immigrants need to learn English as a Second Language (ESL), U.S. history and government, and get on the path to U.S. citizenship.  This group already represents at least half of adult learners and will almost certainly grow in the near future.  

Nationwide, many states and communities already offer adult basic (or foundational) skills education programs; but since the 2008 recession, many of these programs have been drastically curtailed or eliminated due to budget cuts. Surviving programs have increasingly relied on federal tax dollars through WIOA – the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act -- and matching state and local funds, which may also be cut. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has further eroded adult education programs by forcing most instruction online, through virtual education platforms. Although online instruction presents daunting challenges, especially for the economically disadvantaged, it also offers exciting opportunities for educational programs that can be offered nationwide.  

Especially given the educational challenges that come with your ambitious plans for immigration reform, we propose the following: 

·        Increased funding overall. At current levels of funding, adult education programs are able to serve under 3% of the adults who could benefit from their programs. Furthermore, in the next five years, adult education programs are expecting a significant surge in participation, like the surge that happened following the last economic downturn. Steady yet significant increases in funding over the next five years will allow programs to build the capacity they need to address the increased demand. We support Senator Reed's request for $1 billion in initial aid through pandemic response funding and a doubling of the annual appropriation for the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act state grant program (Title 2 of WIOA) over the next five years, beginning with an $810 million appropriation for FY 22.

·        More free or low-fee lifelong learning opportunities -- available both in-person and online nationwide. Adult Education and Literacy, as adult foundational skills are referred to in the WIOA legislation, should include: adult basic education, including adult basic literacy; all levels of English language learning instruction and U.S. citizenship test preparation for immigrants and refugees (ESL or ESOL); digital literacy skills; adult high school diploma programs; high school equivalency preparation programs; and other important educational services for adults such as older adult programs, workplace basic skills, and family or intergenerational literacy programs). We also believe that occupational training, including Integrated Education and Training, especially for new “green jobs” (wind energy, solar, etc.) is important. If offered online, these programs could be accessed anywhere in the USA. However, in-person instruction is generally preferable, especially for the economically and technologically disadvantaged, and it should be expanded and offered through a wide range of organizations and institutions: district K-12 school systems, community colleges, community-based organizations, public libraries, faith-based organizations, correctional institutions, etc.  

  • A new “amnesty” program for immigrants. In the late 1980s, many adult education programs in the USA mobilized to facilitate President Reagan’s amnesty program (the Immigration Reform and Control Act) by gearing up quickly to offer classes in ESL and citizenship to many thousands of immigrants who are now proud U.S. citizens.  We believe that a similar program would admirably serve our nation’s economy and civil society, and reward millions of honest, hard-working but undocumented immigrants with well-deserved security.  

·       Coordination of funding among local and national educational systems, so that federally funded programs, state-funded programs and community-based groups can function more effectively together.  Components of these systems would include, among others: learning management systems; shared databases; professional development systems for everybody (not just funded programs); common assessments for common data; etc.   

·       Community and family focus. Educating parents has a profound ripple effect throughout families and communities. Critics of adult education say we should “just focus on the kids,” but parents’ educational levels correlate with their children’s success in school. Los Angeles Unified School District has community adult schools that provide hubs of learning for children and parents alike. Where possible, they offer childcare to facilitate parents’ education. This approach is already working well in other adult education programs across the country.

·       Senator Reed (D-RI) and Senator Young (R-IN) have introduced the Strengthening Research in Adult Education Act (S. 1126). We enthusiastically support this bipartisan bill and urge your administration to support it as well.

As adult educators, as lifelong learners, and as advocates, we -- and thousands of our colleagues -- would be delighted to work with your administration to develop new and expanded educational programs for adults nationwide.  

The stakes are high, the need is great, and the time is now. 


John Mears

ESL teacher, West Valley Occupational Center

LAUSD Division of Adult and Career Education

Los Angeles, CA


Sharon Bonney

CEO, Coalition on Adult Basic Education

Cicero, NY


Deborah Kennedy

Executive Director, National Coalition for Literacy

Washington, DC


Michele Diecuch

Senior Director of Programs, ProLiteracy

Syracuse, NY


Federico Salas-Isnardi

Director, Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy

Houston, TX 


Silja Kallenbach

Vice President, World Education, Inc.

Boston, MA


Ira Yankwitt

Executive Director, Literacy Assistance Center

New York, NY


David J. Rosen

President, Newsome Associates

Co-founder and Steering Committee Member, Open Door Collective

Board Member, ProLiteracy

Boston, Massachusetts


Rosa Aronson, PhD

Interim Executive Director, TESOL International Association 

Alexandria, VA


Marty Finsterbusch

Executive Director, Voice of Adult Learners United for Education (VALUEUSA)

Media, PA


Cynthia Eagleton

ESL Teacher, San Mateo Adult School

CFT Local 4681

San Mateo, CA


Kristen Pursley

Adult School Teacher, West Contra Costa Adult Education

Contra Costa County, CA


Christine Ramirez,

President, California Council for Adult Education/Los Angeles Metropolitan Section

Los Angeles, CA


Sean Abajian

Principal, El Rancho Adult Education Center

Pico Rivera, CA


Dr. Carolyn Quetzal

Instructional Technology Teacher Advisor, LAUSD

Diversity, Inclusion, and Educational Equity Advocate

Los Angeles, CA


Veronica Montes

Director, School & Family Support Services

Culver City Unified School District

Culver City, CA


Dr. Janet Eyring

Emerita Professor of TESOL

California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, CA


Dr. Vanessa Wenzell

Emerita Professor of TESOL

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Dominguez Hills, CA


Dr. Cherry Campbell

Academic Director (ret.), American Language Institute

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA


Wendy B. Smith, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, Department of English

California State University, San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA


Dr. Ann Snow

Professor of Education/TESOL

Chair, Division of Applied and Advanced Studies in Education
California State University, Los Angeles  

Los Angeles, CA    


Jean Wong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey

Dept. of Special Education, Language & Literacy

Ewing, NJ


Donna M. Brinton

Lecturer/Academic Coordinator (ret.), Department of Applied Linguistics & TESL

UCLA ESL Service Courses

Los Angeles, CA


Sabrina Peck

Professor Emerita, Linguistics/TESL

California State University Northridge 

Northridge, CA


Juan Carlos Gallego

Professor of TESOL and Spanish, California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, CA


Paula Rainey

Managing Director, The English School at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church

Lawrenceville, NJ


Marina Kravtsova

Alumna of San Mateo Adult School

San Mateo Adult School English Learner Specialist

Advisor to Student Council and Student Ambassadors

Volunteer Coordinator

Former Member of California AB86 Workgroup

San Mateo, CA


Shara Watkins

Trustee, School Board

San Mateo-Foster City School District

San Mateo, CA


Merari L. Weber, Ed.D.

Associate Professor/ESL Department Chair

Coordinator, ESL & SCE Guided Pathways

School of Continuing Education

Santa Ana College

Santa Ana, CA


Osiel “Ozzie” Madrigal, Ed.D.

Workforce Development Coordinator, Associate Professor, & Department Chair

Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education


Laura Porfirio 

President, Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning

Tucson, AZ


Dr. Meghan R. McBride 

Alumni Advisor to the COABE Board of Directors

Atlanta, GA


Ligia Andrade Zúñiga, MPA

School Board Trustee, San Mateo Union High School District

Civil Justice Advocate

San Mateo, CA


Stephen Reder, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics

Portland State University

Co-founder, Open Door Collective

Portland, OR


San Mateo Adult School Federation of Teachers

CFT Local 4681

San Mateo Adult School

San Mateo, CA


Lynnette Garcia, Debra Kattler, Debi Rose, Marilynn Kaplan, Heather Lietch, David Pollack and Sophia Mahoney-Rohri

Team leaders and moderators, Indivisible SF Peninsula CA14

San Francisco, CA


Consuelo Lara and Jessica Peregrina, Co-Chairs

West County Concilio Latino

Contra Costa County, CA


B.K. Williams

Co-Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance Steering Committee

Richmond, CA


Jan M. Frodesen, Ph.D.

Emerita Professor

English for Multilingual Students Program

Department of Linguistics

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA



Vice President Kamala Harris

Dr. Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education

U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (all members)

U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education (all members)

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd District)

Senators Reed (D-RI) and Young (R-IN)

Amy Loyd, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (serving as Acting Assistant Secretary)

Adult Education pairs the power of knowledge
with the superpowers of connection and accessibility.
Fund Adult Education


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Adult Ed and Equity Resources - Live Doc

 Good news!  More folks are interested in and having discussions about Adult Ed and equity.  

New resources, articles, and webinars are happening and as I find them, I'm adding them to this live doc. 

If you know of more events, resources, webinars, discussions, etc. please leave a comment here and I will them to the doc.

"Equity in Adult Ed" painted in yellow letters against a background of mixed green, yellow and red

Saturday, January 30, 2021

COABE'S State Advocates for Adult Education Fellowship


COABE's State Advocates for
Adult Education Fellowship
Deadline to apply: 1/31/21
COABE is looking for activists and leaders to champion the cause of adult education WIOA Title II programs. The State Advocates for Adult Education Fellowship (SAAEF) is a hands-on advocacy training program for adult educators, adult learners, and friends of adult education. During the yearlong program, fellows will learn how to work with the media, their communities, and policymakers to create change benefiting adult learners and adult education programs.

The Fellowship kicks off in March 2021 with remote orientation, advocacy training, and action which will take place at the COABE 2021 national conference. After receiving coaching and inspiration, fellows will speak directly with Members of Congress, governors, and their staff. Throughout the rest of the year, fellows will receive ongoing training via webinars and one-on-one coaching sessions. They will hone their advocacy skills, taking actions like writing letters to the editor and meeting with their legislators.

SAAEF fellows are passionate, committed, everyday individuals that use their voices to influence political decisions that will impact the field of adult education in positive ways. Fellows receive training, support, and inspiration to become skilled advocates to effectively advise policy makers, guiding them toward decisions that enable lawmakers, the media, and funders to make decisions that support adult education. SAAEF fellows realize the incredible power they possess to use their voices to change the world.

As an SAAEF Fellow you will:
  • Receive training and support over 12 months to become a powerful advocate for adult education.
  • Write pieces that get published in the media.
  • Learn how to influence your Member of Congress and governors on issues specific to adult education.
  • Become a skilled organizer who mobilizes local programs to respond to “calls for action.”
  • Work with the local ambassadors in your state to ensure adult learners’ voices are heard at legislative meetings and lifted up by the media.
  • Attend the COABE Conference in March 2021 and related spring Capitol Hill Day.
  • Lead your state during the fall 2021 Family Literacy Week.
  • Receive a press release and certificate of completion. COABE will also serve as a resource for future reference checks.
  • If you have a passion for our field and would like to educate the public and elevate the field of adult education, this position may be for you!

$1,000 will be awarded upon completion of the one-year fellowship.

1/15-1/31: Fellowship applications period
2/1-2/15: Applications reviewed by Public Policy Committee
3/1: Fellowship notification to cohort
3/18: COABE Conference Formal Fellowship Launch - Session 1
3/25: COABE Fellowship Launch - Session 2
Please email info@coabe.org with any questions.

COABE's State Advocates for Adult Education (SAAEF) is generously sponsored by