ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System

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ATLAS continues to work with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) on its Transition to Post-Secondary initiative, helping facilitate training and projects to address the gap between ABE and post-secondary education and training through our ACES (Academic, Career & Employability Skills) initiative.

ACES (Academic, Career & Employability Skills)

In accordance with ATLAS efforts to provide more long-term, sustained activities that incorporate the features of effective professional development, in early 2012 ATLAS launched a new job-embedded transitions initiative: ACES (Academic, Career & Employability Skills). The goal of ACES is to ensure that ABE programs are able to provide effective contextualized instruction integrating post-secondary education and training readiness, employability skills, and career readiness at all levels.

Transitions Integration Framework (TIF)

Over the past year, the ACES Project Team has been working on introducing and providing initial training on the Transitions Integration Framework (TIF), which was designed to provide guidance to adult basic education (ABE) programs and instructors on the effective integration of transitions skills into instruction at all levels of ABE. The TIF defines the academic, career, and employability skills essential for adult learners to successfully transition to post-secondary education, career training, the workplace, and community involvement. Furthermore, the use of this document to guide ABE instruction is intended to help meet the needs of stakeholders in post-secondary education, the workplace, and community-based organizations.

Both the summary document, TIF at a Glance, and the full Transitions Integration Framework are available under RELATED RESOURCES to the right.

From the classroom of Liz Andress, St. Paul ABE


Ready to flex your ACES muscle, but needing some additional information or support? Look no further than the ACES 6-Pack ABES (Adult Basic Education Support), which is outlined here and also described in a more detailed document under RELATED RESOURCES.

ACES Resource Library

The ACES Resource Library contains tools to help ABE practitioners incorporate the TIF skills into lessons and instructional settings and provides materials that can be used directly with adult learners. It is still under construction, as new resources are currently being developed and will be posted during the 2014-2015 year. Eventually all 8 TIF categories will be represented.

ACES Face-to-Face Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

Face-to-face (F2F) ACES professional learning communities (PLCs) provide teachers with the opportunity to examine their roles as adult educators in a “transitions” landscape, explore and practice integrating transitions (TIF) skills into their lessons, materials and instructional settings, and to work collaboratively with colleagues to reflect on and develop their teaching practice.

  • ACES PLC I: Focuses on the Effective Communication, Critical Thinking, and Self-Management categories of the TIF.
  • ACES PLC II: Will focus on the Learning Strategies, Navigating Systems, and Developing a Future Pathway categories of the TIF.

ACES Hybrid PLCs

In order to provide more flexible options for professional development around the instruction of transitions skills, ACES Hybrid PLCs will be offered. These Hybrid PLCs will contain much of the same content as the F2F versions but will be conducted through one 3-hour F2F PLC meeting followed by two 2-hour webinar meetings, all facilitated by a trained ACES facilitator.

How do I get involved in an ACES PLC?

If you're interested in participating in an ACES PLC, simply contact your program manager or Regional Transitions Coordinator.

ACES Workshops

ACES will continue to offer workshops, such as the following, at regional conferences and other ABE and ESL venues:

  • ACES 101
  • The TIF-Lens Series

View ACES workshop materials >>

ACES Webinars: The TIF-Lens Series

ACES webinars will mirror the content of the ACES workshops mentioned above, providing the same hands-on practice as the workshops.

Register for the TIF-Lens Webinar Series or view recorded webinars >>

ACES Leadership Opportunities

ACES strives to cultivate leadership throughout the state. Opportunities include presenting ACES workshops, facilitating ACES F2F and hybrid PLCs, developing transitions resources, and providing input and feedback on future ACES work. Email Patsy Vinogradov, ATLAS Director, for more information.


Email Stephanie Sommers, ACES Coordinator  

Email links not working? >>

Transitions Conference

ATLAS partnered with MDE to host three annual statewide conferences in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Conference presentations »
Other transitions resources »


Instructional Practices Alignment Survey

For years ABE practitioners have been aware of a significant gap between adult basic education and post-secondary education. But what is the nature of this gap, and how can we address it? In early 2008, ATLAS conducted a survey of ABE and MnSCU faculty. The purpose of the survey was to identify needs and current teaching practices for both groups.

Instructional practices alignment survey »