Adult Ed SIG Corner

By Joseph Hester and Marcia Luptak

The Adult Ed SIG met on Friday and Saturday during the 2023 Convention, February 24th and 25th. The meetings were well-attended on both days.
On Friday, we explored Adult Learner Strategies from the Digital Promise website. It is a site where you can explore strategies to use as an Adult Educator based on a number of factors critical to adult learning. Then, in small groups, we discussed which strategies we use and which we plan to use in the future. We encourage you to check out this excellent instructional resource at the following link:
On Saturday, we had a special guest speaker, Erin Vobornik. Erin is the IACEA Legislative Committee Co-Chair, co-host of the Advocast (COABE) podcast, and an Adult Education Instructor at Elgin Community College. Erin spoke to us about Advocacy in Adult Education. It was a wonderful presentation and there were several main takeaways from her presentation:
First, what is advocacy and why is it important? According to Erin, advocacy is defined as the act of supporting a cause or policy. Advocacy is an act of outreach and education. It is getting the word out about the very important role of Adult Education and the positive impact it has in our communities. Effective advocacy ensures that our programs are fully funded and supported by all of the stakeholders in our educational community. It helps create the best conditions for our students to reach their educational goals and have the best opportunities to thrive.
Second, what activities does advocacy entail? Advocacy can consist of letter writing, attending virtual or in-person rallies, making legislative visits, or creating a video asking legislators to support Adult Education. It can also consist of educating those around us in our schools and communities, which can have a positive impact on our programs.
Third, who can engage in Adult Education advocacy? The answer is that everyone can be an advocate for Adult Education
you do not need to be an outspoken, outgoing person to be an AE advocate. In fact, it takes all types of people. The only thing you need is the passion to spread the word about the amazing impact of Adult Education. In addition, getting our students involved by empowering them to tell their stories is one of the best ways to make an impact. Their stories are powerful, memorable, and one of the best ways to help people see how what we do is so important. If you are interested in getting involved in Advocacy, please contact Erin Vobornik at or Gina Wells, our ITBE Advocacy Co-Chair, at
Speaking of advocacy, Andrew Sansone, the TESOL International Adult Education Interest Section Co-Chair, is conducting a worldwide survey of adult ESOL teachers and program administrators. Its purpose is to get a broad perspective of the strengths and challenges in the field in order to gather attention and generate awareness of adult ESOL Education. We encourage you to complete the survey and forward it to your colleagues to participate in as well:
We look forward to serving you. Please feel free to reach out with any suggestions or questions regarding the Adult Education SIG. We hope to see you at our next event!

Marcia Luptak
Joseph Hester

Spring 2023 - Volume 51, Issue 1