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:

Preparing Adult Education Programs for the 2020 Census 
The Constitution requires that a census of US residents be taken every ten years in order to determine each state’s number of Congressional representatives and the apportionment of billions of federal dollars (including adult education funding). This webinar reviews how the 2020 Census works, why it matters, challenges that threaten a full population count, and how adult education programs can help adults understand and participate in the 2020 Census. View the slides from the webinar here.

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.”

Voter Education, Registration and Action (VERA)website icon
VERA is an NELRC campaign that is activated during the presidential elections. Get ready for the next election by finding resources here.

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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)

IET Programs: How Are They Evolving? 
Two years ago, many adult education programs were implementing their pilot rounds of IET
programming. In this webinar, we reconnect with programs that contributed to our IET webinar series in
2016 to find out how their IET programming has developed as they adapt to changes in the economy,
learn from past mistakes, build on their strengths, and form new relationships.

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.


Webinar Series: Building IET Programs: Tested Strategies and New Endeavors 
This webinar series highlights nine programs, drawn from around the country, that are developing new services or honing well-established programs that integrate education and training.

webinar iconImplementing IET in Rural Settings

Rural settings present particular challenges for IET programs, such as a limited number of jobs in any one sector, transportation and childcare barriers, or inconsistent internet access. This webinar focuses on varied strategies that have shown promise in three rural states: Virginia, Minnesota, and Maine.



webinar iconIET within ESL Programs

English language learners arrive in this country with a wide range of educational backgrounds and work experience.  IET programs can accelerate their access to decent jobs by building on that experience with training and job-focused language and math classes.  This webinar highlights programs in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Texas that are offering IET in culinary arts, building maintenance, and entrepreneurship.



View the syllabus for the Business Basics entrepreneurship course at Community Action

View the syllabus and internship agreement for the Building Maintenance course at AACA


webinar iconContextualized Variations of I-BEST

The I-BEST model pioneered in Washington state continues to inspire and inform states and programs across the US.  The spirit of innovation is evident in the programs represented in this webinar through their customized approach to addressing the challenges of adult basic education students via team teaching, redesigned program structure, collaboration, and contextualized curricula. Programs are from Mississippi, Kansas, and New York.




Additional Webinars

webinar iconPreparing English Language Learners for Education and Training 
Programs must consider the unique needs of English language learners when planning education and training services. This webinar, from the NINA Project, provides strategies and examples. 

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). 


Technology Integration

NELRC’s work on the integration of technology is focused on fostering practitioners’ ability to tap the potential of information and communication technologies.  Our work ranges from helping teachers use basic computing and the Web to social media and the use of cell phones. Over the years, NELRC projects have laid the foundation for World Education’s EdTech Center.

webinar iconAccessing Free Mobile Learning Apps
The Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition aims to “put free learning tools in the hands of those who need them the most, so learning can happen anytime, anywhere.” Team WorldEd will provide support and access to synergy that comes from working with others as part of the XPRIZE Communities Competition. We discuss the purpose, requirements, and strategies of this Competition for those who have joined or are thinking of joining Team WorldEd. 

webinar iconIncorporating Technology to Support Workforce Skills 
How does a focus on workforce skills shift the way we incorporate technology into instruction? This webinar shares digital strategies for improving learning and training, mentoring and support, assessment, and job search and placement. View the slides.

webinar iconStrategies to Move the Dial on Digital Literacy 
This webinar spotlights the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative’s (RIFLI) efforts to build awareness about, assessment of, and access to digital technology for adult students and patrons at the Providence Public Library. View the slides

website iconTechnology Integration Project (TIP) 
TIP focused on building the capacity to purposefully and effectively incorporate technology into instruction and professional development. These archived projects illustrate how instructors and professional developers from five New England states are using technology to enhance their practice.

document iconWords2Learn Project 
A team of New England educators developed and piloted two apps that accelerate learning of academic and health career-related vocabulary for adults preparing to enter postsecondary education and technical training. Read promising findings in project report.

website iconCore Skills Mastery 
Core Skills Mastery (CSM) is a free, web-based adaptive course that builds the capacity to use math and literacy for work-related problem-solving and addresses persistence and motivation by teaching students how to understand and direct their own learning. Several programs throughout New England piloted CSM to learn about it’s implementation in adult education programs.

Program Leadership

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Getting More From Your Data
Data can help demonstrate your program’s effectiveness as help you solve persistent challenges. This webinar addresses ways in which you can use program data to help you strengthen programming, address equity, and improve marketing and promotion using data dashboards and data visualization tools. View the slides.

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Communicating / Marketing the Value of Adult Ed
Under WIOA, the job description of program managers has changed in many ways. Directors now need to be able to network with varied stakeholders; “market” adult education’s value; build partnerships; and braid funding. Program directors describe the transition they have made. View the slides.

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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 

webinar iconBuilding a Satisfying Adult Education Workplace
What to do when lack of accountability and poor communication have undermined employee morale and workplace productivity? Hear how leaders helped such a program become one of VT’s best places to work in 2018.

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)


webinar iconProgram-wide CCR Implementation: Program Leaders Share Strategies and Approaches
Three leaders share ways their programs organize PD and support mostly part-time instructors in implementing the CCR standards. (recordingslides)

webinar iconDesigning Career Focused Basic Skills Instruction
As part of more-extended PD on contextualized instruction, this webinar lays out LaGuardia Community College’s process and provides examples of contextualized units. (recording)

webinar iconELA Instruction Shifts
This two-part webinar discusses application of the ELA instructional shifts (complexity, evidence, and knowledge) to low-level and high-level English instruction.
Part I: Low Levels
(recording – slides)
Part II: High Levels (recording – slides)

webinar iconMath Instructional Shifts
In two webinars, math educators introduce ways the instructional shifts of focus, coherence, and rigor play out in the adult education math classroom. 
Part I: Focus and Coherence
  (recording – slides)
Part II: Rigor (recording – slides)

website iconThe Formative Assessment of Standards (FASt) project
FASt built the capacity of instructors to create and use performance-based, CCR-aligned formative assessments. The 4-month project blended LINCS on-line courses, a face-to-face meeting, individualized coaching, peer support, and a final sharing webinar. Project handouts and teacher-developed formative assessments for ESL, ELA, and math can be found on the FASt page.

webinar iconThe English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards for Adult Education: Hmm . . . What’s this now??
Guest presented by Patsy Egan, Director of Minnesota’s ATLAS PD Center. (Need to register name to access this archive.) View slides here


Learning and Persistence

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

Multiple Intelligences
The first systematic, MI-based research and development project in adult education investigated the question, “How can multiple intelligences theory support instruction and assessment in ABE, ASE, and ESOL?” The project yielded:

document icona research report
Open to Interpretation: Multiple Intelligences Theory in Adult Literacy Education

document icona report of teachers’ research projects
Multiple Intelligences in Practice: Teacher Research Reports from the Adult Multiple Intelligences Study, and

document icona guide
Multiple Intelligences and Adult Literacy, A Sourcebook for Practitioners.

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.