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Our Mission

To provide leadership, communication, professional development and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners in order to advance quality services for all adult learners.

Talent Bank

Thank you for your interest in serving on the COABE Board! So that we can get a better sense of how we can best utilize your skills and interest, please complete this short survey and send your bio, resume, and two recommendations to sharonbonney@coabe.org. Thank you!

Download the COABE App

The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is 15,000 members strong and growing! Check out our free app for the latest conference and members only news and developments.

Once you download the COABE App, you'll want to check out this exciting instructional video to get the most out of your experience.

Membership Information

For questions about membership contact:

E-mail: info@coabe.org
Fax: 866-941-5129
Phone: 888-44-COABE

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COABE Board of Directors

Candidates for President-Elect, Secretary, Regional Representative for Region 7, and Regional Representative for Region 8 will be announced to the field shortly.




COABE Partnering with State Directors

 Co-hosted 14 national conferences across the country
with 10 national-level strand partners
 Co-hosted 13 regional institutes
 13,000+ members strong, and growing
 37 state partners
 12 VIP Vendor partners



COABE Partnering with State Directors (PowerPoint)

COABE Partnering with State Directors (PDF)

COABE Joins State Directors in Unpacking WIOA

This November, COABE President Jackie Taylor, and President Elect Tom Nash, represented COABE at the annual Adult Education State Directors meeting, held in San Francisco this year. The focus of this year’s training was the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—the new legislation that provides for adult education. The state directors have an incredible mandate ahead of them: To fully transition to the new WIOA legislation by July 1, 2016. Make no mistake about it—changes are coming our way in the next two years. Click here to read more about the issues and opportunities that WIOA holds, and let us know what you think.

Comprised of Practitioners and Administrators, COABE is 15,000 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

Fun Facts About COABE


Fun Facts About COABE (PowerPoint)
Fun Facts About COABE (PDF)

President Elect's Message

COABE Members,

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 13,000 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.

You can learn more about my experience, skills, interests, and knowledge by checking out my Position Statement for the COABE elections. I am also on LinkedIn.

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.

Tom Nash
COABE President-Elect


Executive Committee/Voting Members of the Board

• President—Ms. Jackie Taylor (2013–2015)
• President Elect—Mr. Tom Nash (2013–2015)
• Past President—Ms. Renae Harrison (2013–2015)
• Vice President and Membership Chair—Ms. Deborah Phillips (2014–2017)
• Chief Financial Officer—Ms. Kathi Medcalf (2013–2015)
• Secretary—Ms. Polly Smith (2013–2015)

Regional Representatives/Voting Members of the Board

• Region 1—Ms. Deb Bomaster (2014–2017)
• Region 2—Mr. Don Finn (2013–2016)
• Region 3—Dr. Danielle Miles (2014–2017)
• Region 4—Ms. Jody Angelone (2013–2016)
• Region 5—Ms. Kim Olson (2014–2017)
• Region 6—Ms. Kaye Sharbono (2013–2016)
• Region 7 and Public Policy Chairs—Ms. Regina Suitt (2012–2015)
• Region 8—Dr. Nancie Payne (2012–2015)

Nonvoting Positions

• Awards, Incentive Grants, and Scholarships—Ms. Julie Kornahrens
• Historian—Ms. Sherrie Claiborne
• Journal Editor—Dr. Jim Berger
• Professional Development—Mr. Federico Salas-Insardi
• Strategic Planning/Special Projects Co-Chairs—Ms. Kim Rossman & Ms. Marilyn Schmidt
• Technology Chair—Nell Eckersley


• Manager—Sharon Bonney
• Coordinator—Michelle Chiles
• Clerical—Jessica Reals
• Clerical—Jeanette Prosser
• Clerical—Agoot Jok
• Support Staff—Tammy Reals
• Designer/Web Manager—Rob Lawrence