Federal Initiatives: Professional Development Resources for Adult Education from the U.S. Department of Education

LogoOCTAEFind on this OCTAE (Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education) site the following Federal Initiatives: Click here to enter the site.


Funder Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA; PL 113-128), Section 242, OCTAE carries out a program of national leadership activities to enhance the quality and outcomes of adult education and literacy activities and programs nationwide. Find on this page categories and links to resources from current and recent OCTAE-led activities and links to fact sheets that capture resources by topic.

Topics and Resources Provided on the Site: Click here to access full resources

  • Implementing State-Adopted Challenging Content Standards
  • Partnering to Develop Career Pathways
  • Disseminating Evidence-based Methods and Techniques
  • Integrating Technology into Teaching and Learning
  • Advancing Research and Evidence



Success in Teaching Reading the Mississippi Way – Emphasis on Phonics, Decoding, & Comprehension Leads to No. 1 Ranking

Logo of Mississippi Higher Education Literacy CouncilResources on the Mississippi Higher Education Literacy Council emphasize Phonological Awareness, the Alphabetic Principle, Decoding,Vocabulary Comprehension, Writing Instruction, Assessment, Intervention, and more. (Click on Science of Reading Syllabus.)

Image of Mississippi score gains 2019According to an opinion column from the New York Times, “The states’s reliance on cognitive science explains why…” fourth- and eighth-grade achievement in reading and math show that Mississippi now ranks No. 1 in Nation for Score Gains on National Assessment of Educational Progress. which means that it made more progress in these categories than any other state.

Read the full New York Times opinion article, There is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It,  by Emily Hanford, December 5, 2019. Downloaded Dec 6, 2019.

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From Adult Learning Spotlight: Powerful Learning, November 2019

Powerful Learning

People exchanging informationMeet The Low Wage Workforce

“Fifty-three million Americans – 44% of all workers aged 18-64 – have low-wage jobs, according to “Meet The Low Wage Workforce,” a new report from the Brookings Institute. These workers earn median hourly wages of $10.22 and median annual earnings of $17,950. The common thread in the report’s recommendations are “policies and programs to support low-wage workers advance to higher wage and greater financial stability should address both sides of the labor market: the assets and circumstances of workers and the number and nature of available jobs.”

Other articles in the November, 2019 edition:

The National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy

The 2016 Report: Adult Financial Literacy published by Champlain College in Burlington, VT, grades each state on its financial literacy. You can click on your state online to find a final grade and report card.

Financial Literacy US

Image of a clickable map on the Champlain College website.

Financial Literacy Grade

This second image is of the grades given to the state of Virginia. One wonders if the researchers divided the state into the rural horseshoe regions, where adult literacy statistics place those regions at the bottom 5 of our states, and into northern-central-Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach areas of the state, if the grades would change significantly.

Click on this link to enter the web page on the National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy at Champlain College.

On this page find:

  • The Case for Financial Literacy
  • Methodology
  • State Final Grades: Population and State Percentage
  • In the Media

If you have questions, you can get in touch with cfl@champlain.edu

On this page you can also download two resources:

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No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

By National College Transition Network, World Education

No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way is the report from the Single Mothers’ Career Readiness and Success Project, funded by ECMC Foundation. The report documents program models and service strategies, and, to a lesser extent, institutional and public policies, implemented specifically in community college settings to support single mothers and increase their rates of persistence and completion, leading to greater career and economic opportunities and success for themselves and their families.

With this investigation, we hope to contribute to the field’s understanding of the landscape and illuminate the strengths and gaps in the support systems available to single mother students, with a focus on community colleges. Our ultimate goal is to share the insights and best practices we have gleaned with educators, funders and investors, and policymakers so that, together, we can increase the opportunities and supports available to single mother students.


Executive Summary: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

Full Report: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

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Adult English Literacy in the United States – NCES Data Point

Of the 43 million adults in the U.S. with low English literacy skills, two-thirds of them were born in the U.S.” — National Center for Education Statistics Data Point. (Download the full 2019 document at the above link.)

Infographic of the number of adults with low English literacy skills

U.S.-Born adults make up the largest percentage of those with low English literacy skills

The Data Point was written by AIR, using data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. It only considered literacy in the English language, not adults’ overall literacy.

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Data Gems – Census Data

The U.S. Census Bureau page states these new video features best:

Our team of experts is excited to share with you their favorite tips and tricks about how to access and use Census Bureau Data.

So we created the Data Gems:  a series of “how-to” videos available for data users who are looking for an easy and quick way to enhance their knowledge of Census data.

They will introduce you to various concepts and techniques to improve your ability to navigate our website and use our data-access tools.

We hope you find these Gems valuable! Drop us a line at census.academy@census.gov and let us know what you think!

The image below lists all but one video on the site. To access them click on Data Gems.

Images of 20 videos available on Data Gems - U.S. Census

Twenty of twenty-one videos available to learn how to access data specific to your region.

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