Adult Education Research and Technical Assistance Center (AERTAC)
The Adult Education Research and Technical Assistance Center (AERTAC) at AIR conducts research and provides technical assistance to states and local programs to improve the adult education system by promoting teacher quality through better professional development, strengthening accountability, and increasing the use of technology in instruction.
Final reports for the National Study of the Implementation of Adult Education Under the WIOA are now available. This study was conducted by AIR for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and describes the state of federally-funded adult education as of program year 2018-19.
Adult learners include individuals with low levels of education who need to improve their literacy skills or obtain a secondary credential, immigrants who want to learn English, and adults seeking to improve their employment skills.
The Adult Education Research and Technical Assistance Center (AERTAC) at AIR conducts research and provides technical assistance to states and local programs to improve the adult education system by promoting quality instruction and support services through better professional development, evaluation, strengthening accountability, and increasing the use of promising practices such as technology in instruction.
To better the lives of adults who struggle to become fully literate or English proficient, we promote innovative instructional models and research-based practices. Our projects help improve adult learners’ basic skills and English language ability to enable them to obtain secondary and postsecondary credentials, succeed in postsecondary education, and become more employable.
Supporting Policy and Practice
Through technical assistance and professional development, AIR helps educators implement innovative instructional models and research-based practices. Learn more about how our projects and resources support policy and practice in adult education.
Research and Evaluation
AIR conducts and shares rigorous and policy-relevant studies focused on teaching and learning, and analyzes statewide and national data on adult competencies and participation in education and training. Learn more about our projects and resources in research and evaluation in adult education.
State Leadership Professional Development Opportunity:
The LEAD Institute for Adult Educators
AIR and the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE) have partnered to offer the LEAD Institute, a high-quality, evidence-based leadership training to develop dynamic, proactive leaders for the 21st century adult education system. Designed for state cohorts of veteran, new, and aspiring adult education leaders, the LEAD Institute’s training topics include:
- Developing durable and transformational leadership skills that respond to current issues and challenges;
- Aligning with the WIOA workforce system and advancing career pathway partnerships with workforce, industry, postsecondary and community partners;
- Using data for strategic planning and continuous improvement;
- Building student success practices in contemporary economic, educational, and social conditions; and
- Leading and teaching effectively at a distance.
The 8-month LEAD Institute is available to all Adult Education and Family Literacy Act states and territories and can be delivered fully virtually or in a hybrid format. To learn more and plan the Institute in your state, read our one-pager (PDF) or contact Amy Dalsimer.
Resources Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- The Skills that Matter in Adult Education: Health Literacy: Issue Brief (PDF)
- Coronavirus/COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
- The Skills that Matter in Adult Education: Digital Literacy: Issue Brief (PDF)
- Integrating Digital Literacy Into English Language Instruction: Issue Brief (PDF)
- Integrating Digital Literacy Into English Language Instruction: Companion Learning Resource (PDF)
Online/Blended Teaching and Learning
The AIR PIAAC team's latest issue of the PIAAC Buzz, an e-newsletter that provides updates on the PIAAC survey and how it's being used, features data about California. California has a higher proportion of low-skilled adults than the nation. To learn more about the skills of adults in California or in other U.S. states and counties, visit the PIAAC Skills Map.
California leads the nation in advancing equity and integration initiatives. Through the creation and dissemination of professional development specific to equity in California, adult educators are encouraged to work with state and local governments to advocate for policies, regulations, and laws that support immigrant and social justice initiatives. The California Department of Education's Adult Education Office and its contractor, AIR, are proud to be a part of current efforts to seek a more just society. Their work in this area is highlighted by several significant efforts, described in this COABE Journal article.
This evidence to action brief presents recent research on distance learning in adult education and provides an important contemporaneous account of how California adult education rose to meet the challenge of continuing to serve adult learners during the pandemic.