The resources on this page have been developed by NELRC to address regional priorities and support the states in their professional development activities.

Civic Engagement

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NELRC is one of few organizations in the country whose top priorities include making civic literacy and participation a part of adult literacy and ESOL education.  NELRC’s civic literacy and participation work helps adult learners develop research, interviewing, advocacy, critical thinking and public speaking skills as they analyze and express their views about community concerns. Our resources include:

Addressing Implicit Bias in the Classroom
We all harbor implicit, unconscious bias based on the images and messages that have surrounded us throughout our lives. This webinar focuses on how to become aware and acknowledge our biases, and how to deal with their appearance in the classroom. View the slides from the webinar here.

Civics in a Digital World
This 3-webinar series explores how teachers can support students in building 21st century digital literacy skills as they investigate their communities, research issues, educate one another through social media, and collaborate on digital platforms. Webinar 1: Overview; Webinar 2: Investigating Issues and Holding Decision-Makers Accountable; Webinar 3: Building Community.

How to be an Effective Ally to Adult Students 
This webinar brings together educators from 3 states to discuss ways they support safety and solidarity among their students by dispelling myths, fostering dialogue, challenging microaggressions, and organizing for community change. View the slides from the webinar, and a list of “Resources to Support Targeted Communities.”

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The Change Agent
This semi-annual, theme-based newspaper publishes student authors writing about their experiences and the ways they are agents of individual and community change. Supplementary online materials and workshops help to develop teachers’ capacity to use The Change Agent in instruction.

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The Civic Participation and Community Action Sourcebook 
This publicationfor adult educators includes narrative accounts and skill-building activities that are organized around the topics: Finding Connections to Communities and Issues; Holding Decision-Makers Accountable; Expressing Ourselves and Educating Others; and Organizing for Change.

Thinking Beyond “Increased Participation” – Integrating Civics and Adult ESOL document icon
This paper discusses competing approaches to civics and describes a process for building ESOL students’ capacity for engaged and active civic participation.

College Transition and Career Preparation  

For ten years, the Nellie Mae Education foundation funded NELRC to help New England programs develop college transition program models, design bridges to careers, and explore ways to address the policy barriers in each state. This foundational body of work led to the launch of the National College Transition Network (NCTN), where those resources can be found. NELRC continues to build new resources to support college and career readiness.


Integrated Education and Training (IET)

publication iconIntegrated Education & Training: Implementing Programs in Diverse Contexts
This is a guide that emerged from in-depth conversations about how eight adult education programs around the country have been successfully integrating IET. These programs offer a wide array of approaches both in who the adult education programs partner with and how they collaborate in those partnerships to develop an integrated curriculum. Program profiles highlight the importance of designing programming that fits the particular context of a local community – both its opportunities and constraints.


Additional Webinars

webinar iconPlace-Based Education for Rural Communities: Applying Lessons from the Youth Agriculture Project
Rural communities have specific challenges to address when planning workforce development. The Vermont project featured in this webinar developed strategies and partnerships that gave rise to a thriving program (see update in the Building Partnerships webinar). 


Program Leadership

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Cultivating Champions for Adult Education
Explore how staff, instructors and students can share information with people from other areas – funders, policy-makers, neighbors, and potential new volunteers, teachers or staff – about the field of adult education. We want people to hear and remember the impact our work is having in our communities. And, finally, we want people to help us take action to support the amazing students that we work with – whether via funding, advocacy, or word-of-mouth.

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Differentiated Supervision
Changes in the field have given rise to new positions (such as career navigator or transitions counselor), new courses (such as IET), and new instructor qualifications (such as digital literacy), adding complexity to the supervision demands on program managers. This webinar focuses on differentiated supervision of an occupationally diverse staff as the field changes.

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Building a Teacher Pipeline
The field is facing a wave of staff retirements and the on-going challenge of teacher retention. Many programs are also committed to building a staff that reflects the diversity of their students. Hear how two programs – one primarily ABE and college prep, the other primarily ESOL at all levels – are nurturing teacher pathways for their graduates, moving them from volunteers all the way up to certified teachers.

webinar iconBuilding Partnerships 
This webinar explores what current and former program directors from 3 states (RI, MA, and VT) have done to develop partnerships with employers, colleges, and other agencies to create better-integrated and innovative programming, and how they have braided funding to support these collaborations. View the slides. View the Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA ) Factsheet: Workforce Collaborations Build a System of Supports for Immigrants 

Contextualized, Standards-Based Instruction

The New England states have each facilitated professional development related to the implementation of the CCRAE standards. NELRC has contributed to the efforts by providing resources that can lay a foundation for or complement state initiatives.

Webinars about CCR Standards

webinar iconTeaching Critical Thinking and Argumentation 
There is solid guidance available to help instructors use evidence-based practices to teach math, ELA, or
ESOL. But what do we know about teaching critical thinking? Join us to learn specific ways to sharpen analytic skills and help students develop an argument, evaluate evidence, and spot the “logical fallacies” (slippery slope, strawman, etc.) that mislead people and reflect poor argumentation.. (recording – slides)


webinar iconWhere Math and ELA Skills Overlap 
Math and ELA present overlapping opportunities to teach key basic skills, including: learn complex/nuanced vocabulary, read directions carefully and respond appropriately, organize information, and describe/narrate steps for solving a problem. This webinar explores these areas of overlap and give you some activities to try out in the classroom. (recording – slides)


Learning and Persistence

NELRC partners on practitioner research projects that explore strategies to improve learning and persistence.

website iconThe New England Learner Persistence Project
This project expanded our collective knowledge by engaging 18 adult education programs from five New England states as research partners in adapting and testing learner persistence strategies for their program contexts. They implemented persistence strategies in four categories: 1) Intake and Orientation; 2) Instruction; 3) Counseling and Peer Support; or 4) Re-engagement. Download the PDF of the report. 

website iconManaging Stress to Improve Learning 
This project was designed to help adult learners deal with chronic stress and other psychological barriers to learning and attendance by promoting mental health through creative expression. The resulting website includes information about learning and the brain, teaching tools, and lesson plans.

The Change Agent Magazine

The Change Agent provides socially relevant content, powerful student writing that inspires discussion, and ready-to-use, CCR-aligned lesson plans – all oriented toward a multi-level audience.