To provide leadership, communication, professional development and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners in order to advance quality services for all adult learners.
|The Voice of Adult Basic Education Nationwide!|
Comprised of Practitioners and Administrators, COABE is 12,000 Members Strong and Growing
The Commission on Adult Basic Education is organized to advance national and international adult education and literacy opportunities for all persons. The purposes of COABE are:
• To promote adult education and literacy programs, including Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Family Literacy, Skills Development, Workforce Development, and other state, federal, and private programs which assist undereducated and/or disadvantaged adults to function effectively
• To provide leadership in advancing the education of adults in the lifelong learning process by unifying the profession, developing human resources, encouraging and using research, communicating with the members and the public, offering other member services, and otherwise advancing adult education, and literacy
• To advocate the development and dissemination of publications, research, methods, and materials, resources, and programs in adult education and literacy
• To conduct and/or sponsor professional development conferences and activities that provide a forum to provide staff development and advance adult education and literacy
Dear COABE Members,
I'm Jackie Taylor, the new COABE President (2013-2015). I'm thrilled to begin the term for which I was elected two years ago. Since that time, COABE's membership has doubled in size to over 12,000+ members strong. I look forward to hearing how both our new and long standing members want COABE to best serve adult educators' professional needs. I'm on Linked In if you'd like to get to know more about my professional background and experience (profile), or see my candidate statement from 2011 here.
In this article below, Dr. Bob Hughes discusses the importance of building leadership capacity in adult education. COABE offers its members unique opportunities to develop national leadership capacity in the field. One opportunity is to serve on COABE's Board of Directors. Several voting and nonvoting board members will be leaving the board. Some of these members will continue to serve COABE, but in different leadership capacities. And several COABE members new to the board will begin their service. Thank you to the following board members who are leaving the board for their long-standing dedication, leadership, and service to COABE:
Andy Tyskiewicz, Past President; Charles Ludwig, Chief Financial Officer/Secretary; Jim Berger, Region 2 Representative; Marilyn Schmidt, Region 4 Representative; Dean Ransdell, Region 6 Representative; Dom Gigliardi, Awards, Incentive Grants, and Scholarships Chair; Bob Weng, Professional Development Chair; David Alexander, Special Projects/Strategic Planning Chair; and Al Campbell, Historian.
Welcome to the new board members as they begin their terms in guiding the future direction of COABE:
Tom Nash, President-Elect; Polly Smith, Secretary; Kathi Medcalf, Chief Financial Officer; Jill Holloway, Region 1 Representative; Don Finn, Region 2 Representative; Jody Angelone, Region 4 Representative; Kaye Sharbono, Region 6 Representative; Julie Kornahrens, Awards, Incentive Grants, and Scholarships Chair; Sherrie Claiborne, Historian; Federico Salas-Isnardi, Professional Development Chair; and Kim Rossman, Special Projects/Strategic Planning Co-Chair with Marilyn Schmidt.
See the COABE website for the full roster. If you would like to lend your time and talents to COABE, such as by working on a special committee, please enter your information in COABE's new Talent Bank.
I'd like to give a special shout-out to California Council for Adult Education for their persistent, outstanding advocacy for CA adult education. We have an exciting and challenging future to forge together these next two years! I look forward to working with you.
I am humbled and honored that you have elected me to serve as President-Elect for the next two years. I have much to learn in preparation for my role as President, and I have completely embraced that challenge. It will be a shared journey, an exciting and challenging path that we will travel together.
Through the efforts of many past board members along with our dedicated national manager, Sharon Bonney, your voice has grown to over 12,000 strong. Our partnerships with state associations that have joined as large group members of COABE has enabled this exponential growth as well. Not only has it helped to leverage increased membership benefits, but it has given us a stronger voice on Capitol Hill on behalf of our practitioners and adult learners. It is my belief that even more valued colleagues and practitioners will join us as we explore opportunities that will assist in improving the lives of the adult learners we serve.
As a board, we will look to you for input and welcome the opportunity to tap into your talent and leadership qualities. We want to work together with you to advocate for sufficient, and hopefully additional, funding and services for our programs and the students who have entrusted us with expanding their skills and knowledge.
I sincerely look forward to meeting you and discussing our important work as we strengthen an already vibrant national organization. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or hopes for COABE that you would like me to share with our Board of Directors.
By Bob Hughes, Ed.D.
In 2008, as an outcome of a three-day leadership institute created by Kansas State University and the Kansas Board of Regents, our colleagues in Kansas began a discussion that became the Six Standards for Kansas Adult Learning Center Leaders. The list that these colleagues developed provides an excellent framework to consider in relationship to the leadership needed in ABE. The six standards established key attributes such as how the leader supports staff, develops a culture of advocacy and growth, and responds to the diversity of needs within a community.
All of our ABE programs have talented and committed staff who exhibit the leadership attributes defined by the Kansas Standards every day. It's not just directors who are ABE leaders. Oftentimes, it's our staff members who take the lead in suggesting, developing, and implementing new ideas. Yet we often provide managers and the leader/staff members with little support to help them develop their skills as leaders. Instead, we more typically provide training on topics such assessment models, the newest curricula, or how to address compliance tasks. While understanding how ABE programs work and how to efficiently and effectively manage programs is a starting place, it's not enough. As our leadership greys, we need to look at what we offer to the people who will tackle the next set of challenges. ABE faces reduced budgets, increased oversight and mandates, and requests for more services. We need creative leaders who can respond to the next generation of needs, and our profession needs to be thoughtful, strategic and intentional in how we support and develop those leaders. So my challenge to our members is to create the kinds of leadership experiences that generated the Kansas standards. Wouldn't it be great if every state hosted similar conversations about the nature of leadership and then evolved into discussions of how to support that? I understand that state ABE offices are swamped with regulatory demands. But this where, again, Kansas provides us an opportunity to learn: It's in partnerships with universities where these conversations can be shaped. In that spirit, my colleague Chris Koehler, Director of St. James ESL Program in Seattle, and I are hoping to offer a leadership institute as a pre-conference session to the annual meeting this year. We'd also like to hear what others around the country are doing around leadership. You can participate by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Committee/Voting Members of the Board
• President—Ms. Jackie Taylor (2013–2015)
Regional Representatives/Voting Members of the Board
• Region 1—Ms. Jill Holloway (2013–2014)
• Awards, Incentive Grants, and Scholarships—Ms. Julie Kornahrens