The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is the leading national organization representing the US system of adult education. COABE provides award winning leadership, communication, professional development, and advocacy services to more than 79,000 adult educators and 1.5 million adult learners. Known as an innovation curator, our diverse, internationally acclaimed strategic initiatives have propelled the field forward in funding, visibility, and professional development. Our dynamic, multi level, cross sectoral partnerships are showcased annually at the COABE national conference, which is the largest convening of adult educators in the world.

Our Mission and Purpose

COABE’s mission is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive. We provide leadership, professional development, advocacy, and communication services that encourage greater consciousness and cultural competency in our interactions with teachers, administrators, adult learners, and our partners. We are committed to using our platform and influence to celebrate, engage with, and listen to all adult education communities and diverse voices of our field.

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 44 million adults with low basic skills, federally funded adult education currently assists 1.5 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).