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.
READ THE REPORT
Executive Summary: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way
Full Report: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way
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.)
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.
Matthew Burke graduated from high school even though he was reading at about the third-grade level. He got a job as a welder but found his lack of reading skills held him back. Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU
This NPR article from 2013 makes a compelling case statement for funding adult education and literacy programs. The topic is still relevant in 2018. The following is an excerpt from the article:
A ‘Double Expense’
People who struggle to read, write and speak English are sentenced to a lifetime of economic challenges, says Stephen Fuller, an economist with George Mason University in Virginia. He says it’s important to have an educated workforce.
“If we fail, it’s a double expense, ’cause the economy isn’t healthy, and we also have increased social services,” he says.
Fuller says that has enormous costs for society. People with low literacy are more likely to need unemployment checks, food stamps and subsidized housing. And they are more likely to end up behind bars.
To read more, click on this link to Adding Up the Costs. The article, the 4th in a series, leads to three other articles related to adult literacy and the challenges adults face in pursuing their educational and workplace dreams.
In this paper, we discuss the design of CAPITAL Words, an educational Android application to help low-literacy adults improve their phonemic awareness. We discuss our design choices concerning iconography, linearity, consistency, robustness, interactivity, and visibility when creating mobile software usable by illiterate users. We conducted a usability study with 11 adult learners at a local literacy center to determine how successfully users are able to interact with our interface. Results show that the majority of our design choices were intuitive for low-literacy adults with prior smartphone experience and highly learnable for inexperienced users, and that users overwhelmingly enjoyed using the app as a learning tool. This suggests that, if users are given a small amount of guidance initially, there is a high likelihood that they will be both willing and able to continue using our app independently to improve their literacy skills.
Designing a Literacy-Based Mobile Application for Adult Learners, Jennifer R. Hill, May 2016, Georgetown University. (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/302074210_Designing_a_Literacy-Based_Mobile_Application_for_Adult_Learners [accessed Sep 6, 2017].
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) from IES reviews the existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. WWCs goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. The sites focuses on the results from high-quality research to answer the question “What works in education?” Find more information about the WWC: at this link http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/FWW.
Finding Our Way: Digital Technologies and E-Learning for Adult Literacy Students, Educators and Programs Literature Scan: 2005-2011, presents a global snapshot of how technology has been used to enhance teaching, learning and professional development.
Given the ubiquity of digital technologies in today’s world and the pressure on educators to keep up, the report explores how they are and could be supported to integrate technology into their practice.
Ultimately, the report aims to spark a national discussion about what is happening, what needs to happen, and how AlphaPlus can, in collaboration with the adult literacy field, begin to harness the full potential of digital technology and e-learning in the service of adult literacy teaching and learning.
Click here to download this 2011 report.
Education Data Community
This web site serves as a central guide for education data resources including high-value data sets, data visualization tools, resources for the classroom, applications created from open data and more. These datasets have been gathered from various agencies to provide detailed information on the state of education on all levels, from cradle to career and beyond. Check back frequently because the site will be updated as more datasets and tools become available. Click here for Education Data and Tools.