New grant funded through the Institutes for Education Sciences

A new grant has been awarded from the Institutes for Education Sciences, Career Pathways Programming for Lower-Skilled Adults and Immigrants:  A Comparative Analysis of Adult Education Providers in High Needs Cities.

 Many adult education providers seek to develop career pathway programs that build low-skilled adult learners' core skills (e.g., math, reading)in preparation for specific careers or fields (e.g., health care). In this project, representatives of adult education programs in Chicago, Miami, and Houston will work with researchers to describe how providers in each city integrate career pathway components into their services. This information will help programs understand and improve practices as well as create the foundation for subsequent collaboration and research.

 This grant is in partnership with the Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy (Esther Prins & Carol Clymer), Houston Center for Literacy (Sheri Foreman Elder), Miami-Dade County Public Schools (Mark Needle), and Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition (Rebecca Raymond).

New Practitioner's Guide on Parent Engagement and Leadership

Parent Engagement Leadership Family Literacy

Parent Engagement and Leadership Opportunities:  The benefits for parents, children, and educators
Toso & Grinder (2016)

This Guide discusses incorporating leadership training and opportunities into parent involvement and family literacy programs.  By doing this, parents can have a meaningful voice in social and educational issues, and educators can have a better understanding of the benefits of working with and supporting parent as equal partners in schools and communities.

New Policy Paper - Changing the Course of Family Literacy

family literacy policy Even Start Goodling Institute

Changing the Course of Family Literacy re-examines the importance and value of family literacy programming and offers several policy recommendations to focus attention on the four-component model used in Even Start.  This paper explores the current status of Family literacy and, after gathering information from 47 states, found that 11 states and the District of Columbia funded family literacy programs in 2015-16.  These states and local programs have fostered partnerships and braided funding to preserve and support family literacy programs and services.  This paper poses a rationale and recommendations to support family literacy programs as an essential strategy for assisting low-income families improve their education and employment prospects.

Fall Registration OPEN for Family Literacy Certificate Courses

Penn State Family Literacy Certificate
Fall 2018 Online Course Offerings

(August 20 to December 7, 2018)

 Registration NOW OPEN for

Introduction to Family Literacy
Early Literacy Development

Introduction to Family Literacy and Early Literacy Development were each developed to enhance the skills and credentials in a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to literacy instruction.  These courses are intended for early childhood educators; elementary and middle school teachers; counselors; parents of home school children; family literacy teachers, staff and administrators; family service professionals; reading specialists; librarians; and adult educators. 

A limited number of Scholarships for the Certificate are available through the application process.  Scholarships apply to all four courses:  25% off tuition for the first three courses; 50% off tuition for the fourth course.   

Key features of PSU’s 12-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Family Literacy:

  • Offered online through Penn State’s nationally recognized World Campus.
  • 3-credit post-baccalaureate courses.
  • Helps professionals gain high-quality, research-based knowledge about family literacy.
  • Act 48 approved provider for PA educators; may count toward professional development hours.
  • Use credits toward electives for other World Campus online programs, including master of education programs in adult education and curriculum and instruction.

Introduction to Family Literacy (ADTED 456) explores the concept of family literacy and how it contributes to the literacy growth of the parent (caregiver), children, and other family members. The course addresses serving diverse and vulnerable families, models of family literacy, the key components of family literacy (adult, early childhood, and parent education; interactive literacy), the role of case management and family support, professional development and program improvement, and advocacy.

Early Literacy Development (ADTED 458) focuses on young children’s language and literacy development, including ways that parents and staff support this development using research related to children’s learning.

To learn more about applying for the Certificate, contact World Campus admissions at 800-252-3592.

For information about the Certificate, contact Dr. Beth Grinder McLean at or 717-432-3498 or link to

Student Testimonials: 

  • This course has given me a new perspective on how, as an educator, I need to be more attentive to the needs of the family, not just my students.
  • Overall, this class has taught me how to further utilize the resources in front of me in order to better/further explain my thinking or reasons behind my answers to certain questions. The class readings are designed to help us develop our own thoughts and opinions based on research and facts presented through the given resources.
  • This course has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that are available to jump start your child’s literacy development.

Adult Basic Education Certificate FALL 2018 Course Offerings


Penn State Adult Basic Education Certificate

Fall 2018 Online Course Offerings

(August 20 to December 7, 2018)

The Adult Basic Education (ABE) Certificate is geared toward professionals working with adults or out-of-school youth who struggle with reading, writing, numeracy, and/or English language proficiency. Penn State is one of the first universities to offer a fully online certificate in adult basic education.

Key features of PSU’s 12-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Adult Basic Education (ABE):

  • Offered online through Penn State’s nationally recognized World Campus.
  • Three required courses and one elective tailored to student interests.
  • Approved Act 48 provider for Pennsylvania educators; may count toward professional development hours.
  • Helps professionals gain high-quality, research based knowledge about ABE, especially literacy and numeracy instruction.
  • Use credits to fulfill requirements for the M.Ed. in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education.

ABE Certificate courses available in Fall, 2018:
-     ADTED 460:  Introduction to Adult Education (required)

-     ADTED 480:  Teaching Math and Numeracy to Adults (required)

-     ADTED 507:  Research and Evaluation in Adult Education (elective)

-     ADTED 531:  Course Design and Development in Distance Education (elective)

-     ADTED 542:  Perspectives on Adult Learning Theory (elective)

-     LDT 415A:     Systematic Instructional Development (elective)

To learn more about applying for the Certificate, contact World Campus admissions at 800-252-3592.

For information about the Certificate, contact Beth Grinder McLean at or 717-432-3498 or link to certificate/overview

Student Testimonials:  I think the highlight of this course was having the opportunity to learn from our peers, through group discussions and group projects.

The class has made me more aware of how numeracy fits into adult education and literacy and has already influenced the way I approach math when planning curriculum.