Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a state-wide system that serves approximately 65,000 adults annually. ABE students are working towards a high school credential, learning English, improving basic skills such as literacy and math, and/or preparing for post-secondary education or employment.
While the ATLAS website focuses on professional development (PD), the Minnesota ABE website provides in-depth information about a variety of broader ABE topics:
- Minnesota ABE overview, statistics and trends
- ABE programs and consortia (including maps and manager contact information)
- ABE instruction (basic skills, GED, ESL, civics, digital literacy, distance learning, career pathways, etc.)
- Program management (including ABE policies, accountability, reporting, funding and grants, etc.)
- Diploma – credit completion
- ABE Support Network providers
Visit the Contacts and Directories page for key ABE contacts.
MN ABE Support Network
Three percent (3%) of state ABE funding is used to fund activities that support ABE programs and staff across Minnesota in key areas. These activities are provided by the members of the MN ABE Support Network – organizations that have received ABE Supplemental Service grants from the state to fund their MN ABE work.
MN ABE Support Network providers can help ABE professionals:
- Find resources and support for serving students with disabilities – PANDA (mn.abedisabilities.org)
- Learn about upcoming professional development opportunities – ATLAS (atlasABE.org)
- Find out about MN ABE’s professional organization – Literacy Action Network (literacyactionnetwork.org)
- Get training on the assessments used in ABE – SW ABE (mnabeassessment.com)
- Learn about how to utilize volunteers in ABE programs – MN Literacy Council (mnliteracy.org)
- Get support in integrating technology into the ABE classroom – MN Literacy Council (mnliteracy.org)
- Implement and use distance learning (DL) in ABE programs – MN Literacy Council (mnabe-distancelearning.org)
Find out more about each provider below!
ATLAS (ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System)
Mission: ATLAS provides high-quality, accessible professional development and resources to advance education for adult learners.
Through ATLAS, all ABE practitioners in Minnesota have access to high-quality professional development (PD) opportunities, with options for in-person events held across the state as well as activities that can be accessed online. Key activities include regional events throughout Minnesota, STAR (Student Achievement in Reading), EBRI (Evidence-Based Reading Instruction), numeracy PD, adult ESL PD, including literacy instruction study circles, ACES (Academic, Career, and Employability Skills), and support for implementation of the College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for Adult Education.
Literacy Action Network
Literacy Action Network works to improve professionalism in the ABE field through high-quality professional development opportunities such as hosting the Summer Institute conference; to be a proactive organization whose presence is instrumental at statewide meetings and discussions concerning ABE; and to advocate for adult literacy programs with state and federal government law and policy makers.
Minnesota Literacy Council
The Minnesota Literacy Council promotes and supports the use of volunteers in adult education programs, through volunteer recruitment, training, and placement. MN Literacy Council also provides technology support for ABE professionals and volunteers by offering resources, information, and tools to use technology effectively in the classroom.
MN ABE Distance Learning
The Minnesota Literacy Council oversees the distance learning (DL) initiative for MN ABE, supporting managers and instructors in building quality DL opportunities for their adult learners based on established best practices. Our professional development initiatives are offered in partnership with Project IDEAL. Saint Paul Adult Basic Education also vets DL platforms for statewide use, coordinates DL policy and procedures, as well as communicates DL information to the ABE field via e-letters and more.
Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards
MWCA provides linkages for ABE programs to the MN workforce education and training systems, such as Workforce Centers and post-secondary institutions. MWCA represents the cooperative efforts of 16 area workforce councils across the state, and their website is the go-to online source for regional and local workforce development board (LWDB) plans, WIOA resources, the Governor’s workforce development council, and much more.
PANDA – MN ABE Disability Specialists
PANDA equips Minnesota ABE teachers, program managers, and volunteers with training, disability awareness, and resources to positively impact students with disabilities. PANDA also provides professional development presentations on a variety of disability topics at state and regional ABE events. The PANDA website offers disability information and resources 24/7. Topics include assistive technology, brain injury, mental health, chemical health, learning disabilities, vision and hearing loss, physical disabilities, ADHD, and Disability Awareness and the Law. PANDA provides phone and email consultations regarding ABE students with learning challenges or disabilities. They loan or purchase adaptive equipment for students with disabilities, provide instructional strategies, and connect with community resources when needed.
Southwest Adult Basic Education
Southwest ABE provides training to MN ABE staff on ABE assessment tools, supports innovative GED activities, and provides reimbursements for learning disability assessments for ABE students seeking GED accommodations. They also host the annual ABE Support Services Conference for ABE support staff.