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             May 2015   
In This Issue

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Vote for the candidates for the COABE Board of Director(s) of your choice! 

You can view their bios  here. Voting ends on May 22, 2015!

Candidates for President Elect

Kaye Sharbono

Polly Smith
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Candidates for Secretary

Don Finn

Kathi Medcalf 

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Candidates for
Region 7 Representative

Stephanie Moran

Rhea Watson

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Candidates for
Region 8 Representative

Branka Marceta

Nancie Payne

COABE 2015 was a resounding success, delivering national level professional development to  1,583 attendees that were registered from around the country. Additionally there were nearly 200 vendor booth staff exhibiting, representing over 55 companies.

Thank you to our conference chairs, Dr. Don Finn and Kaye Sharbono, along with Sharon Bonney for their work guiding and coordinating the conference. This new model would not have been possible with out the support of Paulette Church, the liaison for CAEPA as well as the work of the following committee chairs and staff:

Program Chair:  
Dr. Renae Harrison

Exhibits Chair & Co Chairs: 
Tom Nash, Kathi Medcalf, and George O'Claire

Volunteer Chair & Co Chair:  
Debbie Phillips 
Jason Kilpatrick

Technology Chair: 
Jody Angelone

App Chair 
Nell Eckersley

Registration Chair:
Polly Smith

Registration Support:
Michelle Chiles

Decorations Chair: 
Tanya Mahnke

VIP & Transportation Chair: 
Josh Evans

Local Dignitaries Chair: 
Shirley Penn

We would also like to thank our national strand partners and over 400 presenters for their role helping us deliver outstanding professional development.

Special thanks to CAEPA for co hosting the conference and MPAEA for promoting  the conference

The conference was generously underwritten by our sponsors whose support enables us to keep the cost of the national conference affordable for attendees.

#Ussie Winner
Congratulations to Denise Kranhold, winner of the #ussie contest on the COABE App! Denise will win a free conference registration to attend COABE 2016.


Congratulations to Cynthia Campbell, winner of the App Scavenger Hunt! Cynthia will receive a complimentary conference registration to COABE 2016.

Sharon Bonney Named First Executive Director of the Commission on Adult Basic Education  
The voice for adults working to make a better life for themselves and their families got stronger this month as the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) appointed its first Executive Director.


Sharon Bonney, a 15-year veteran in the field, accepted the appointment from the COABE Board, as the organization rolled out a new strategic plan at its annual national conference in Denver. COABE is considered the nation's leading advocate for the adult basic education profession.


"Sharon's extensive knowledge of adult education issues and the people who serve adults on a daily basis make her uniquely qualified to serve in this new position," said COABE President-Elect Tom Nash, who takes over as president on July 1, 2015. "From the time she was first hired as a part-time administrator, and then as full-time manager, her commitment to COABE and the field of adult education has been unparalleled. I am honored to be able to continue our board's important work alongside such a dedicated, forward-thinking leader."


Nash pointed out that Bonney managed efforts to move the organization from a 1,300-member group, in 2009, to more than 13,000 in 2015. She has implemented new programs and services that have increased COABE's visibility nationwide, and diversified and increased revenue streams, while working with a volunteer board to increase their communications and technical outreach to the membership. She also provided direction for a new educators' tool, known as the Adult Educator's Repository, and has helped guide COABE into a new management model for the annual national conference.


"We have a vision to bring more attention to adult education issues in America, and to explain the powerful impact we can have on the nation's productivity, competitiveness, and humanity," Bonney said. "Our strategic plan is the starting point to be a stronger advocate, develop the profession, and provide leadership in the field."


Bonney credits COABE's membership and its strong board of dedicated adult education professionals who recognize the importance of starting a national conversation to improve the lives of adult learners. Its decisions to adopt a strategic plan and name an executive director are just two examples of the board's steadfast leadership, she said.


"The COABE Board clearly understands what's at stake for the millions of Americans that struggle with literacy and numeracy skills," she said. "Their leadership has set a new standard to make the organization a more effective voice in adult education issues. I'm honored to have their support and look forward to building even stronger relationships in the future."      


WIOA Title II Proposed Regulation: New Partnerships for Adult Basic Education Webinar on May 22, 2015 at 12pm ET 


CLASP is spreading the word about opportunities in WIOA to improve services that help low-wage, lower-skilled individuals earn credentials and succeed economically. The U.S. Department of Education recently proposed draft regulations for WIOA Title II, for the first time. During the public comment period on these proposed rules (ending June 15), advocates have a chance to make our voices heard.  


Please join Jennifer Foster, Illinois Senior Director for Adult Education, Family Literacy, and GED Testing; and Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Director Judy Mortrude for a discussion of key elements in the proposed Title II regulations, including such topics as Integrated Education and Training, Unified Planning, Performance Metrics, and more. Register here



The Transformative Change Initiative (TCI) is dedicated to assisting community colleges to scale-up innovations that improve student outcomes and program, organization, and system performance. TCI defines transformative change as follows: Raising the individual, organizational, and system performance of community colleges to unprecedented levels, without sacrificing their historic commitment to access and equity.


This project draws upon the expertise of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership, in partnership with The Collaboratory, to envision and support implementation of transformative change, first engaging community colleges awarded TAACCCT Round One and Round Two grants, and subsequently scaling to include Rounds Three and Four. TCI is funded by Lumina Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Achieving the Dream is also a critical partner in this initiative. Learn more here



Moving Pathways Forward provides targeted technical assistance services to assist all states in the development and implementation of their career pathways systems and facilitate local programs' provision of career pathways services. States have access to resources and guidance to assist them in assessing their career pathways-related needs, identifying goals for their project activities, and determining planning steps to strengthen and expand key career pathways system components, including:

  • Cross-Agency Partnerships and Industry Engagement;
  • State Vision of a Career Pathways System and Communications about this Vision;
  • Alignment of Policies and Programs;
  • Education, Training, and Support Services;
  • Professional Development and Technical Assistance;
  • Data Systems and Evaluation; and
  • Funding and Sustainability.

The project is currently offering opportunities to engage in virtual technical assistance with our project team. More details here