May 2020 Member Updates

May 2020 Member Updates

Because the spring members’ meeting on May 14 will be conducted via Zoom, we will not have time for oral updates from participants. Instead we are gathering brief written updates and posting them here.


  • COABE webinars have focused on providing tools and resources to our members since the COVID-19 crisis forced closures of brick and mortar adult ed classrooms. We have held 15 webinars to date and have 3 more scheduled. The webinars have attracted more than 18,000 registrations which is encouraging given the concerns about holding large in person gatherings in the near future.
  • The latest edition of the COABE Journal is focused on workforce literacy and will be available on Amazon Kindle in article and full edition format. Authors include Jaimie Falls (Chamber of Commerce), Anson Green, and Tim Lawrence (SkillsUSA).

COLLO [Coalition of Lifelong Learning Organizations]

  • Announcing COLLO’s Learning Cities Series. More than 200 cities in 40 countries have chosen to become a learning city, defined by UNESCO as one that “effectively mobilizes its resources in every sector to promote inclusive learning from basic to higher education.” Beginning this fall,  a set of free Zoom virtual symposiums will engage interested  participants in addressing critical topics such as “What are Learning Cities,” “ Learning Cities in Action,” and “Building Your Learning Cities Framework.”
  • Hosts are COLLO and the European – North American Learning Cities Network in collaboration with a number of COLLO member organizations. Presenters include Learning Cities Program leaders in Cork, Ireland; New York; South Bend, IN; Lowell, MA; and Australia, as well as Learning Cities Network leaders and university leaders from University College Cork and Cornell University.


  • E-BAES Project Update
  • Pandemic survey project: E-BAES has been focused on its first (pro bono) project, gathering data on how the field of adult education is responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Several of us have been interviewing teachers and local and state administrators. Alisa Belzer is taking the lead to edit the interview results and working with ProLiteracy to publish them. We have also been collaborating with Jen Vanek, David Rosen, and others on an electronic survey for adult educators, to be administered in mid-May. Our hope is that the collective findings will be informative to the field and offer useful suggestions that peers can share with each other. We are looking ahead to planning later phases of this work during 2020.

Paul Jurmo

Paul Jurmo Update


  • Adult Literacy & Education, ProLiteracy’s research journal, has released a special issue, Broadening the Lens on Adult Literacy Education Outcomes, guest edited by Dr. Stephen Reder. Policy and funding for adult education continues to focus on a narrow set of outcomes. The special issue explores research, policy, and practice that looks at adult education through broader and longer-term lenses.
  • ProLiteracy’s Conference on Adult Literacy is scheduled for fall of 2021. Exact date and location will be determined in June 2020. More information can be found at
  • A webinar calendar has been created where individuals can register for all of ProLiteracy’s webinars, including weekly webinars on distance education to help programs prepare to serve learners during the COVID-19 crisis.

Research Allies

%d bloggers like this: