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May 2024

Presenting at COABE

Have you wondered what it’s like to present at the COABE National Conference? Betty Kamali from Notre Dame Education Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts shares her experience presenting in person in Nashville, Tennessee.

There will be opportunities for more adult learners to present at COABE 2025 in Dallas, Texas. Are you interested in presenting? Think about what you’d like to share with other adult learners, teachers, and professionals at the conference. Stay tuned for more information about how to present in an upcoming edition of the COABE Compass!

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Congratulations to the New COABE Ambassadors!

COABE’s first-ever Learner Summit took place on Monday, March 19th. The event was a success. In fact, every panel of adult learners had almost 100 attendees (in-person and online).

The Literacy Network in Madison, Wisconsin welcomed 11 new COABE Ambassadors. Literacy Network reports that their Ambassadors are already advocating or preparing to advocate:

  • 1 student went on the radio
  • 1 student presented to Literacy Network’s Board of Directors
  • 7 students wrote letters to a grantor who they hope will renew funding
  • 5 students recorded videos for social media
  • 2 students spoke at Literacy Network’s 50th anniversary gala in April
  • 2 students will speak at Literacy Network’s student achievement ceremony in June
  • 1-2 students will emcee at Literacy Network’s block party in August
  • 1-2 students will speak at Literacy Network’s next fundraiser in September

Ambassadors let Literacy Network know in an anonymous survey that they had a great experience:

  • 100% of respondents said they feel more confident speaking in public.
  • 100% said they feel prepared to have a conversation with a community member about adult education.
  • They especially liked the welcoming atmosphere, professional skill-building, analyzing and writing speeches, and practicing.
  • One student said he never used to look at people, but now he makes eye contact with everyone at his work!
  • Another shared that she remembered what she learned about keeping her speech slow and even while participating in a job interview.
  • The biggest motivation to join for most participants was to gain confidence and build speaking skills; many needed encouragement to come out of their shells to advocate, but they have felt very proud when they’ve been able to do so.

If you want to learn more about how to become a COABE Ambassador, email

Join the COABE Alumni Study

COABE Congratulates this year's graduates! Please watch our short graduation video, and visit our Alumni Study page for more information on how you enroll in the study and be entered to win $1,000.

Coming Soon: Educate & Elevate Foundation

You may already know about the amazing benefits of being a COABE member. Well, now you can add one more benefit to that list: eligible for Educate & Elevate Foundation grants! 

The Educate & Elevate Foundation’s Support Our Students grant can help you cover the costs of barriers to your education. The Legacy Pioneer Scholarship can help a first generation family member of adult learners to attend community college, university, or an accredited training program.

The applications open in June. To be eligible to apply, you must be a COABE member and your program must be on the Move Ahead With Adult Ed map

Now sure if you’re a member? Email to find out.

Is your program not on the map? Send them a friendly email to encourage them to join. Click here for a sample email you can send.


If you plan to enroll in college-credit classes or take career and technical education courses, don’t forget to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA helps you determine what sources of financial assistance you qualify for.

#DotheFAFSA and 10 minutes later you could be on your way to achieving future goals. The updated FAFSA is more accessible and more automated—meaning applicants can spend less time answering fewer questions while getting one step closer to college. Get started at

May is Older Americans Month

COABE has awarded $100,000 to the field of adult education for a special initiative for seniors in adult education programs. As this project comes to an end, COABE salutes the 10 pilot programs that worked with hundreds of seniors to help them gain entrepreneurship skills as a part of the Work For Yourself at 50+ initiative. Hear success stories and learn more at

Spotlight on Success

David Tanner started his adult education journey at the age of 58, when his company instituted a new payroll system that required everyone to input their educational history. Adult education has allowed David to pursue college courses and has given him better opportunities at his current job. Read David's story.

View more success stories on the Educate and Elevate site. If you have a success story that you'd like COABE to share, you can submit your story here.

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Legislators Show Support for Adult Education

A Dear Colleague letter was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Grijalva (Arizona) and Rep. Goldman (New York). A Dear Colleague letter is how legislators try to persuade other legislators to support or oppose a bill. This Dear Colleague letter was written to urge other U.S. Representatives to support a bill that would increase funding for adult education programs across the country. We are grateful to the following members of Congress who signed the Dear Colleague letter to show their support for adult education:

  • Representative Grijalva (Arizona) @RepGrijalvaCS
  • Representative Panetta (California) @RepJimmyPanetta
  • Representative Hayes (Connecticut) @RepJahanaHayes
  • Delegate Norton (District of Columbia) @EleanorNorton
  • Representative McBath (Georgia) @RepLucyMcBath
  • Representative Casten (Illinois) @RepCasten
  • Representative Davis (Illinois) @RepDannyDavis
  • Representative Schakowsky (Illinois) @RepSchakowsky
  • Representative Carson (Indiana) @RepAndreCarson
  • Representative Davids (Kansas) @RepDavids
  • Representative Pingree (Maine) @chelliepingree
  • Representative Keating (Massachusetts) @USRepKeating
  • Representative Lynch (Massachusetts) @RepStephenLynch
  • Representative Pressley (Massachusetts) @RepPressley
  • Representative Gottheimer (New Jersey) @RepJoshG
  • Representative Goldman (New York) @RepDanGoldman
  • Representative Magaziner (Rhode Island) @Rep_Magaziner
  • Representative Garcia (Texas) @RepSylviaGarcia

If you live in one of the states listed above, please send your representative who signed the letter an email of support. You can also tag them on social media and make your ‘thank you’ public. Without the support of people who connect with their legislators and let them know why adult education matters, and without the support of legislators themselves, adult education couldn’t serve adult learners. 

Sample Tweet:

Thank you @_________ for signing the Dear Colleague letter and showing your support for #AdultEducation. [personal note] @COABEHQ #COABE

Add a short personal note about how adult education impacts you. For example: These classes helped me get a job!

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Google Scholars

The multi-year partnership between COABE and Google resulted in an award for 500 Google Career Certificates in six high-growth fields that lead to a median wage of $76,000 per year. Throughout the program, Google Scholars are able to access guidance from an experienced mentor and adult education teacher. We congratulate our certificate completers from April 2024 below. 

Project Management

  • Mahailey Albain (MI)

Foundations of Cybersecurity

  • Caroline Morgan (TX)

Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design

  • Margarette Cole (MS)

Foundations of Digital Marketing & E-commerce

  • Joni Nelson (LA)
  • Rhonda Williams, PhD (CA)

Data Analytics

  • Milinda Dodangodage (CA)

AI Essentials

  • Anthony Young (PA)

Thanks to the partnership between COABE and Google, you can continue to access Applied Digital Skills for free. Learn more and start strengthening your digital skills today!

The Time is WRITE

Do you want to share an article, poem, or story that you wrote with other adult education students? You can share a piece of writing to be published in the COABE Compass. Complete this form, and someone will contact you shortly.

COABE’s Advocast Podcast

Have you listened to COABE’s Advocast podcast? In each episode, co-hosts, Erin and Sara, talk to a guest about how they are working to change the field of adult education. Each episode also includes a special adult learner guest star who shares their story of how adult education has impacted their life. Learn more here and listen on your favorite podcast platform. 

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