Research

Adult Family Literacy PIACC

The following categories for research documents are listed below:

Contact the author(s) for additional information.

Literacy and Health

Prins, E. & Monnat, S. (2016, April).  Literacy, numeracy, and health among immigrants and U.S.-born adults:  Evidence from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC).  Commission of Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference, Dallas, Texas.    Please Note:  you must register (for free) to download the materials.

Prins, E. & Monnat, S. (2015).  Examining Associations between Self-Rated Health and Proficiency in Literacy and Numeracy among Immigrants and U.S.-Born Adults: Evidence from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).  Plos One: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130257

Additional documents can be found below:

Prins, P., Monnat, S., Clymer, C., & Toso, B. (2015).  Examining associations between adult health and literacy, numeracy, technological problem-solving skills, and post-initial learning in the U.S.  Washington, D.C.:  American Institutes for Research and the National Center for Education Statistics.

Materials from the "Taking the Next Steps with PIAAC:  A Research-to-Action Conference", December 12, 2014

Prins, E., & Mooney, A. (2014).  Literacy and health disparities.  In J.C. Collins, L.O. Bryant, & T.S. Rocco (Eds.), Health and wellness concerns for racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities (pp. 25-35).  New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, No. 142.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

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 Leadership and Social Support

Drayton, B. & Prins, E. (2011).  Participant leadership in adult basic education:  Negotiating academic progress and leadership responsibilities.  International Journal of Lifelong Learning, 30(3), 349-365.

For a summary, please see the abstract for this article.  An earlier version of this article (2008) was published in M.L. Rowland (Ed.), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, Community, and Extension Education (pp. 50-55).  Bowling Green:  Western Kentucky University.

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 Adult Learners

Prins, E. & Kassab, C. (in press).  GED recipients in postsecondary education:  A rural-urban analysis of Pennsylvania FAFSA applicants' educational, demographic, and financial characteristics.  Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education.

The funding for this project was through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania ($50,000).

Prins, E., Campbell, K., & Kassab, C. (2015).  Adult Learners in Higher Education: A Rural–Urban Analysis of Pennsylvania FAFSA Applicants’ Educational, Demographic, and Financial Characteristics. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 63(2), 71-85.

This article paints a comprehensive portrait of the demographic, financial, and educational characteristics of Pennsylvania postsecondary students who are adult learners, and identifies rural-urban differences within this group. The study analyzed data from the 2010-11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (n = 610,925), supplemented by interviews with two policy experts and six financial aid administrators at rural postsecondary institutions. Adult learners differed from younger students on all measures and experienced more disadvantage. Economic hardship was pronounced: Adult learners’ mean annual family income was less than half that of traditional-age students, and 60% lived in poverty or near-poverty. Salient rural-urban differences included institutional type, parental education, marital status, dependent children, and income. Together, quantitative and qualitative data revealed that adult learners have distinct economic situations (employment status, income), family obligations, and enrollment patterns (e.g., part-time study, short-duration degree programs). Thus, they need different forms of support and financial aid.

The funding for this project was through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania ($50,000).

Prins, E., Drayton, B., & Gungor, R., & Kassab, C. (2012).  Distance learning for GED® students in rural Pennsylvania.  American Journal of Distance Education, 26:4, 217-235.

Although many adult basic education programs offer distance learning (DL) for GED® and English as a Second Language learners, this topic has received little scholarly attention.  This article examines the availability, usage, and effectiveness of DL for rural GED® candidates in Pennsylvania; students' demographic and educational characteristics and participation patterns; and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of DL for students and education providers.  Data sources included records of 24,143 rural GED® students in state-funded programs; GED® test-takers' demographic survey data; interviews with DL educators and students; and a survey of non-state-funded DL providers.  The results show that 4% of rural GED® students -- primarily young, White, low-income women -- participated in DL.  Rural DL students were as likely to pass the GED® Tests as face-to-face learners.  Key advantages and disadvantages of DL for rural GED® students are discussed.  The study signals great potential and need for expanding DL in rural regions.

 The funding for this project was provided through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania ($50,000).

Prins, E., Kassab, C., Drayton, B., & Gungor, R. (2010).  GED preparation through distance learning in rural Pennsylvania. Harrisburg:  Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 

The final report (published by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania (CRP)), full report, fact sheet, brochure, and literature review on distance learning in adult basic education, can be found below:

 The funding was provided through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania ($50,000).

Prins, E. & Drayton, B. (2010).  Adult education for the empowerment of individuals and communities.  In C. E. Kasworm, A. D. Rose, & J. M. Rose-Gordon (Eds.), Handbook of adult and continuing education (pp. 209-219).  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Van Horn, B.L. & Kassab, C. (2010).  An analysis of rural and urban Pennsylvania adults taking, completing, and passing the GED.  Harrisburg:  Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 

The funding was provided through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania ($50,000).

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 Immigrants 

Toso, B.W., Prins, E., & Mooney, A. (2013).  The changing face of immigrants in the U.S.:  Implications for adult educators.  PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, 22, 1-21.

Prins, E.S., Toso, B.W. (2012). Receptivity toward immigrants in rural Pennsylvania:  Perceptions of adult English as a second language providersRural Sociology

This article uses interview and questionnaire data to examine how adult English as a second language (ESL) providers in rural Pennsylvania perceive community receptivity toward immigrants and the factors they believe foster or hinder receptivity and immigrants' integration.  ESL providers' depictions of local responses to immigrants ranged from welcoming to hostile.  They identified four constellations of factors that influenced receptivity:  national and local politics, the labor market and immigrant occupations, immigrants' ability to look or act like native-born residents, and community institutions.  This study reveals how differing contexts of reception are believed to influence immigrants' incorporation into rural communities.  It also highlights the role of educators and educational institutions in creating a welcoming atmosphere that supports immigrants' socioeconomic well-being.

Prins, E.S., Toso, B.W., Sherow,S., & Willits, F.K. (2008).  Pennsylvania's forgotten rural immigrants. University Park, PA:  Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy and the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy.

The funding for this research was through the College of Agricultural Sciences Seed Grant Program, Pennsylvania State University ($14,770).

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 Tools and Resources

Distance Learning in Adult Basic Education:  A Review of the Literature (2011)

The purpose of this literature review is to provide background information about distance learning (DL) in adult basic education (ABE), specifically, to identify program design and policy implications to inform the use of DE for GED students in rural Pennsylvania.  Adult educators have long sought to encourage greater participation in, and more equitable access to, educational opportunities for adult learners.  This literature review examines how DE can help adult educators address issues of equity and participation, especially in rural areas with restricted educational opportunities.

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