NAEPDC - National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium LINCSearch - Search Literacy Information
A natural resource for adult education state directors and their staff members.
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Curriculum and Instruction


Learner Persistence /Content Standards/Technology Standards/

Curriculum and Lesson Plans/Program Analysis Charts/



Learner Persistence


State staff presentation made by Lennox McLendon and Kathi Polis at 2007 State Directors' Conference in Philadelphia, PA


Training Packet


The California Adult Education's Adult Learner Persistence website has an

interactive system for exploring adult learner persistence issues. It includes suggestions on data collection, links to relevant research, suggested program

practices (based on research), and questions for evaluating your program.


Student Persistence Research and Articles


Adult Learner Retention Revisited (Kerka, S. 1995)


Build Motivation by Building Learner Participation (Garner, B.  1998)


Getting into Groups (Pritza, M.  1998)


Getting to Class and Completing a Semester is Tough,

pg. 12 (Sticht, T. et al. 1998)


Improving Retention in Adult Basic Education and

Recommended Strategies for Effective Instructional and Counseling Interventions (Quigley, B. 1997)


NCSALL’s Adult Persistence Study

Persistence among Adult Basic Education Students in Pre-GED Classes

(Comings, J. Parrella, A, & Soricone, L. 1999)


Helping Adults Persist:  Four Supports, pg. 6 (Comings, J. Parrella, A,

& Soricone, L. 2000)


Sponsors and Sponsorship, pg 13 (Comings, J. & Cuban, S. 2002)


The K-12 School Experiences of High School Dropouts, pg. 4 (Reder, S.

& Strawn, C. 2001)


Stopping Out, Not Dropping Out, pg. 7 (Belzer, A. 1998)


Research to Practice:  Increasing Retention Through Student Success

(Malitz, . & Nixon-Ponder, S. 2003)


Staying in a Literacy Program (Willard, A.  1998)


Self Efficacy (Bandura, A. 1994)


The First Three Weeks:  A Critical Time for Motivation (Quigley, B. 1998)


Tips for Motivating Your Students


Where Attendance is Not a Problem (Lucey, M.  1998)



Strategies, Tips, and More


Adult Students: Recruitment and Retention
M. Wonacott, Practice Application Brief No. 18, ERIC Clearinghouse of Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 2001
Reviews research on adult learner persistence and provides guidelines for recruiting and retaining adult learners.



Considerations for Setting Realistic NRS Goals

Provides considerations and examples for setting realistic NRS goals related to employment, postsecondary education, and GED.


Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults
R.J. Wlodkowski, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998
Revised edition offers culturally responsive practical advice and strategies to enhance adults’ motivation to learn. Looks at theory and research on how motivation affects instruction and highlights the integration of motivational strategies into lesson plans.
Available for purchase from


Florida Adult Education Online Learning CenterImproving Student Retention in Adult Education Programs

A free, open-entry online professional development course on student retention developed by the Florida Adult Education Online Learning Center.


Group Goal Setting Activities:  An Approach from Youth Service Corps

Provides various options for helping students set realistic goals.


Goal Setting

Provides three goal setting models including time required, size of group, materials, procedures and rules, and discussion questions



National Adult Education Honor Society

Includes information on the history, student eligibility, inducting students, getting started, benefits, and nomination process.


NCSALL Study Circle Guide:  Learner Persistence in Adult Basic Education

The study circle is designed for adult education practitioners  who desire to explore specific topics, brainstorm ideas, and develop strategies in a small group setting.  This guide includes everything needed to initiate a study circle on learner persistence including handouts, readings, discussion questions, etc.


NCSALL Seminar Guide: Helping Adults Persist.
This 3 ˝-hour seminar introduces adult education practitioners to the research on adult student persistence, focusing on the positive and negative forces that help and hinder persistence.


NCSALL Seminar Guide: Supports and Barriers to Persistence.
In this 4-hour seminar, participants explore reasons why students leave programs and ways to support students, including sponsorship.


NCSALL Seminar Guide: Self-efficacy in Persistence.
This 3 ˝-hour seminar introduces adult education practitioners to the four supports to adult student persistence identified in the research study.


Ordering Information for the Group Embedded Figures Test

Ordering information for the GEFT that assesses cognitive style and analytical ability.


Recruitment and Retention in Adult Education Programs
The Central Illinois Adult Education Service Center (CIAESC)
This manual addresses possible reasons for the drop in the retention rate for adult learners and for their academic failure and offers procedures for identifying those most at risk of dropping out. The 200 strategies in this manual are designed to empower learners, establish group cohesion, facilitate the identification of goals, and encourage participation. Strategies are categorized as follows: User-Friendly Strategies, Responsive Strategies, Empowering Strategies, Personal and Relevant Strategies, and Interactive Strategies.


Recruitment Issues and Strategies for Adults Who Are Not Currently Participating in Literacy and Adult Basic Education (ABE) Programs
A. Kohring, C. White, and M. Ziegler, 1999
Discusses some techniques, tools, and strategies for recruiting adult learners using various marketing and public relations methods. Also reviews other issues related to recruitment and lists suggestions for strategies to test in ABE or literacy programs.

Student/Teacher Evaluation and Planning Session (STEPS)

Provides a detailed process for setting up and implementing regularly scheduled planning sessions between adult students and teachers.


Content Standards

National Content Standards Warehouse

This site supports adult educators in their efforts to develop, align, and implement content standards in English language acquisition (ELA), mathematics, and reading.

Use this site to:

  • View a wide range of useful content standards

  • Develop content standards

  • Plan professional development

  • Design standards-based curriculum and instruction

Nevada's Content Standards for Adult ESL Programs

The Nevada Content Standards, developed in partnership with the National CASAS Consortium Content Standards Technical Work Group, is the cornerstone of Adult Education in Nevada in delivering effective instruction by aligning instruction, instructional resources, and assessment.


Arizona's English Language Acquisition for Adults Content Standards

These Standards identify core elements of second (and other) language learning that are important, yet general enough to relate to adult education contexts throughout the state of Arizona. Listening and Speaking, Writing, and Reading are the primary indicators because they are the skills that permeate all language learning contexts. Language functions, such as giving/following directions reflect general purposes for language use. Crucial to the functions is supporting grammar and mechanics.



Technology Standards

Maryland's Adult Education Technology Standards (pdf)

The Maryland Adult Education Learner Technology Standards are designed to guide teachers in designing instruction that is supported by technology. The Adult Education Teacher Technology Standards specify what a teacher should know and be able to do to implement the full range of adult learner technology standards in instruction. The teacher standards are meant to provide a guide and ensure consistency across programs and classrooms. While the standards guide instruction, the integration of technology will be individualized to achieve learner and local program goals.


Adult Ed Technology Standards for Arizona

Arizona has developed a list of technology standards for teachers that includes a rubric and sample activities to illustrate many of the items.  


Curriculum and Lesson Plans

Arizona STAR Curriculum and Instruction


Maine:  A Thematic Approach to Teaching Reading Strategies


Maine:  Preparing for College and Workplace Writing:  A Curriculum for EFL 6 Adult Learners


Maine:  Quality Curriculum Evaluation Rubric


The California Adult Learner Persistence Project is an interactive site that gives you links to persistence information and guides in the development of a plan to improve learner persistence at a local agency or school.


Job Readiness Curriculum - Hit the Ground Running

This curriculum, developed by West Virginia's Adult Education Program, is designed to help adult learners who are preparing for employment or entry into a job training program.  The curriculum consists of three components:  (1) applied basic skills as measured by the WorkKeys assessments, (2) computer literacy, and (3) work readiness skills.  An online version is also available.


·         Tennessee Adult ESOL Curriculum Resource Book  

The 520 page Tennessee Adult ESOL Curriculum Resource Book was developed by Tennessee ESOL practitioners whose purpose was to provide English language instruction for limited English proficient adults. The content is compatible with principles of language acquisition for adult learners of English and includes skills useful in workplace, life, and academic applications. Skills are integrated into reading, writing, speaking and listening formats. It is not intended that students progress through this

curriculum sequentially. The instructor may present topic-centered lessons that integrate skills from several areas.


·         New Student Learning Plans  

These lesson plans developed by Tennessee teachers are to be inserted in the Tennessee Adult ESOL Curriculum Resource Book after page 322.


·         Lessons from the Holocaust  


·         Learning Skills  

A comprehensive orientation and study skills course designed for Tennessee Families First adult education classes



Program Analysis Charts

The State Staff Workgroup is in the process of developing Program Analysis Charts, tools that state adult education staff can use to assist local programs in making informed decisions related to instructional management.  The charts consist of a series of questions, helpful hints, and state-developed resources that programs can use to strengthen their instructional delivery system. 

When completed, the program analysis charts will include:

1.  Student Recruitment

2.  Student Intake and Orientation

3.  Assessment

4.  Planning and Instruction

5.  Student Retention

6.  Student Accountability and Evaluation

7.  Professional Development

8.  Program Evaluation


KEY - Newsletter for New Readers  The KEY is a current events newsletter written on a sixth grade reading level and funded through the Wisconsin State Adult Education Office.  The newsletter includes an insert with ideas for teachers on how to incorporate the KEY into their classes.  The newsletter was recognized as one of the LINCS "Hot Sites of Distinction."


Wisconsin Online Resource Center - click on the ABE/ESL navigational bar for access to short online lessons in subjects such as English, reading, science, social studies, math, family literacy, ESL, and financial literacy.  (funded by the Wisconsin State Adult Education Office)




Contact us: Dr. Lennox McLendon, Executive Director; 444 North Capitol Street, NW; Suite 422; Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-624-5250; Fax: 202-624-1497; Email: