Rooted in the field of adult literacy education since 1988, the Center has been at the forefront of new and innovative approaches to support adults in the pursuit of their goals for individual growth, successful careers, economic independence, civic participation, and social justice.
Our adult literacy education work links theory and practice through research, professional development, partnerships, and building and sharing the knowledge of the field. Over the years, the common themes of the Center’s work have remained constant:
- Building capacity to develop a system of literacy provision that can meet the needs of a changing society.
- Creating new and innovative approaches to providing professional development, conducting research, disseminating the findings, capitalizing on new technologies, and systematically documenting and sharing what works in the field of adult literacy.
- Developing partnerships with organizations and individuals to share the best practices in literacy education.
- Involving practitioners and learners in training, research, and evaluation of adult literacy learning.
Current interests within Adult Literacy Education include:
- Successful integration of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in adult education
- Adult Numeracy and Financial Literacy
- Workforce Development & Education for STEM Careers
- Data-based professional development and program improvement
- Support to practitioners working with adults with learning disabilities
- Successful transitions to post-secondary education and careers
- Building Communities of Practice amongst adult education practitioners
Examples of our work include:
Equipped for the Future (EFF)
Established in 1994, the EFF project oversees the development and dissemination of training, materials, and technical assistance that support integration of standards-based, quality instructional practices, and the EFF standards into adult education instruction, assessment, and program management.
LINCS Regional Professional Development Center – Region II
As a LINCS RPDC for the southeastern US, Center staff disseminate high-quality resources through partnerships with adult education and related organizations. Staff use various approaches (highlighting online materials, in-person technical assistance, distance learning, and in-person trainings) to help practitioners use evidence-based instructional practices that improve outcomes in adult learners’ literacy skills.
LINCS Learning to Achieve Training
Learning to Achieve curriculum, the Center helps build teacher effectiveness in providing instruction for adults with learning disabilities. Center staff develop and disseminate resources and professional development materials using a train-the-trainer model.
Partnership with TN Division of Adult Education (TN DOE)
Since 1988, the Center has supported the TN DOE to conduct action research, investigate effective teaching practices, and develop and deliver staff development for TN adult education teachers and program managers, as well as provide resource and technical assistance to state and local adult education programs.
The Center was excited to participate in this professional development initiative for developing a model for standards-based mathematics professional development for adult basic education teachers.
TN Families First Research
From 1996 – 2002, the Center conducted research with Tennessee TANF welfare recipients participating in basic skills improvement programs designed to assist them with obtaining and retaining employment and moving toward career advancement.
From 1998 – 2002, Center staff contributed to the rigorous, high quality research of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL). Dedicated to improving practice in educational programs that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills, and those without a high school diploma, federal funding for NCSALL ended in 2007.