Featured Sessions

1. Do This – Not That: Perspectives from Corporate and Foundation Funding Partners
This panel will feature representatives from four different types of adult education supporters. Learn from the funder perspective helpful tips for writing successful grant proposals and developing relationships with funders. Panelists will provide information about common mistakes made in applying for funding as well as positive messages that will help get your organization noticed.
Moderator: Lynn Reed, LV of Maricopa County
  • Alison Hoefler, Southwest Airlines
  • David Pesqueira, McCormick Foundation
  • Kat Pong, Nora Roberts Foundation
  • Denine Torr, Dollar General Literacy Foundation
2. Blended Learning: Leveraging Technology to Advance Adult Learning
Blended learning combines traditional face-to-face classroom or one-to-one instruction with an online component. This approach can help accommodate busy schedules of learners as well as provide a personalized approach to best fit adult learners’ different needs. Panelists will provide and discuss their perspectives on ways of incorporating blended learning into the adult education classroom. Instructors and administrators will understand how blended learning can enhance the learning experience for adults.
Moderator: David Rosen, Newsome Associates, ProLiteracy board member
  • Patti Constantakis, Digital Promise
  • Shlomy Kattan, Adult Literacy XPRIZE
  • Jessica Rothenberg Aalami, Cell-Ed
  • Jen Vanek, World Education Tech Center
3. Building Relationships with your State and Local Workforce Boards
With the implementation nationwide of WIOA workforce guidelines, adult literacy programs need to effectively work with their local and state workforce investment boards. This session will feature information about WIOA funding and requirements of qualifying for career pathways programming. The panel will also include representatives from both state and local workforce investment boards to help conferees learn how to secure representation or form partnerships.
Moderator: Marsha Tait, LiteracyCNY
  • Eric Nesheim, Minnesota Literacy Council
  • Karen Wolters, Mankato Area Public Schools
4. Project Literacy and ProLiteracy: Advancing Adult Literacy and Employability
This session will provide information about an exciting new ProLiteracy initiative which seeks to provide a pathway for adults to gain the literacy skills, knowledge, and resources needed to help them gain meaningful employment. Join us to learn about this upcoming online platform and participate in focus groups to share your expertise and experience to help shape the content of this new resource for your learners.
Moderator: Jamison Crawford, ProLiteracy
  • Jennifer Young, Project Literacy
  • Todd Evans, ProLiteracy
  • Molly Eberhardt, Results for Development (R4D)
  • Daniel Plaut, Results for Development (R4D)
5. The Case for Investment in Adult Education
ProLiteracy’s recent paper, The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education, is based on research conducted by longtime literacy researcher, Dr. Stephen Reder. The paper provides significant evidence that participation in adult basic skills programs has a positive return on investment related to improving an adult’s life. This session will feature a summary of the four areas studied by Dr. Reder followed by a panel to discuss ways in which this important research can be used to help influence policy makers and funders.
Moderator: Michele Diecuch, ProLiteracy
  • Dr. Stephen Reder, Portland State University
  • David Rosen, Newsome Associates, ProLiteracy board member
  • Kevin Morgan, ProLiteracy
  • Lindsey Sublett, Dollar General Literacy Foundation
6. Adult Education in the Trump Administration and Its Impact on the Field
WIOA implementation, a new Secretary of Education, and proposed cuts or changes to many federal programs (such as immigration and SNAP) are making for a new and challenging landscape for adult education in the coming year. Learn from thought leaders in the field about changes at the federal and state levels that will potentially change the way in which social services are delivered to students.
Moderator: Peter Waite, ProLiteracy
  • Eric Nesheim, Minnesota Literacy Council
  • Jeff Carter, Past President, National Coalition for Literacy; Board Member- Committee for Education Funding
  • Marty Finsterbush, VALUEUSA
  • Kaye Sharbono, president of COABE
  • Marsha Tait, Literacy CNY
7. Promoting Adult Literacy and Your Organization’s Services
Raising awareness about adult literacy at the national and local levels is vital for fundraising, policy change, and volunteer and student recruitment. Join us as we learn more from Project Literacy about its widespread national adult literacy campaign and Kalamazoo Literacy Council, which has capitalized on a documentary done about adult literacy in the Detroit area. Michele Bellso from ProLiteracy will share information about some of ProLiteracy’s national awareness initiatives, tools that can be used locally, and tips for spreading the word about your organization’s services.
Moderator: Todd Evans, ProLiteracy
  • Jennifer Young, Project Literacy
  • Michele Bellso, ProLiteracy
  • Michael Evans, Kalamazoo Literacy Council