National Coalition for Literacy Supporting Policy and Advocacy Strand at COABE 2015

National Coalition for Literacy Supporting Policy and Advocacy Strand at COABE 2015

(This post has been updated. See below.)

The National Coalition for Literacy is pleased to once again partner with the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) on the Public Policy Advocacy Strand at the 2015 COABE Conference in Denver Colorado, April 21-24, 2015.

This year’s presentations and panels include:

Adult Education or Developmental Education? Issues in Moving Career Pathways forward under WIOA
WIOA has created an environment that encourages Adult Education and Community Colleges to work together. Many adult education programs and community colleges provide programs that successfully transition students to college and employment. Such transitions were given further support recently with the restoration of financial aid eligibility for adults without high school diplomas, under a rule known as “ability to benefit” (ATB), provided they are enrolled in a career pathway program. How can adult education programs and community college’s work together to help all students succeed? What are the challenges? What types of reform are occurring in higher education? Join us to find out.


  • Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President of Government Relations, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Jennifer Foster, Senior Director, Community College Board, Illinois
  • Reecie Stagnolia, Vice President for Adult Education, KY Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Casey Sacks, Ph.D., Grant Project Manager, Colorado Community College System

All Politics Are Local—Begin Advocacy Now
Adult education nonprofits, colleges, and often state agencies shy away from” advocacy.” This session will help a center put together an education plan that does not “lobby” but does educate your local elected officials for a long-term appreciation of adult education.

Presenter: Paulette Church, Fort Lewis College

Immigration Measures and their Potential Impact on the Adult Education System
From the DACA program for unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as children, to broader immigration executive actions by the President and bills before Congress, impacts of current and potential immigration measures on the adult education system are many. This session will provide a review of these measures and their likely impacts on adult education, ESOL, and community college programs that serve immigrants with diverse educational needs and goals.


  • Margie McHugh, Director National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute
  • Jill Casner Lotto, Director, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education

Champions of Advocacy: A 50 year perspective of adult education and workforce development
Session will provide background of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Activities to put advocacy practice into action will be presented. Valuable strategies and examples of national advocacy efforts will be highlighted.

Presenter: Marie Steinbacher, Shippensburg University and PAACE

Issues and Opportunities in Implementing WIOA
Join Adult Education State Directors to explore the issues and opportunities with the new legislation that provides for adult education: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Adult Education State Directors from a variety of state offices will share issues and opportunities they see as they work to fully implement the new legislation by July 1, 2016.


  • Jennifer Foster, Senior Director, Community College Board, Illinois
  • Margaret Kirkpatrick, State Director, Adult Education and Family Literacy Services, Center for at-Risk Education
  • Reecie Stagnolia, Vice President for Adult Education, KY Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Patricia H. Tyler, Director of Adult Education and Literacy Services Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

The strand will also feature presentations by senior staff at the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, including a keynote address from Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin.

For schedule details, and to register for COABE, visit:

UPDATE 3/10/15: Updated the “Issues and Opportunities in Implementing WIOA” panel description to reflect a change in the panel configuration.

One thought on “National Coalition for Literacy Supporting Policy and Advocacy Strand at COABE 2015

  1. Greetings from an old colleague and friend of Adult Education, COABE, and the NCL. I was pleased to see, and commend, your leadership teams for continuing to include a policy and legislation strand at the national COABE conference. It remains critical for your respective members to remain knowledgeable and engaged in the processes that directly affect the planning, delivery, and evaluation of these vital services in our respective states.

    I fondly remember working with your boards, especially with Ms. Sherry Claiborne (TN) to get this strand established on the national conference agenda
    at the 2004 conference in Charleston, SC. Best regards to all for continued success.

    Jim Bowling, SDAE/OH (Retired 01/2007)
    Former Chair of NCSDAE and NAEPDC

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