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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

UMDI Outreach Letter for Adult Education Evaluation

October 10, 2019

Dear Program Directors:

DESE/ACLS is thrilled to be working with the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) on the implementation of a Massachusetts adult education system evaluation. UMDI was selected as a third-party, independent evaluator in a public bidding process. Introductory information regarding the evaluation was provided in the June ACLS monthly mailing and then again in an email from Kathy Rodriguez, ACLS project coordinator, in September (copy attached). The UMDI study will include various primary data collection activities to gather input from a diverse group of directors, teachers, advisors, and students: focus groups, in-depth interviews, and surveys.

Please expect a follow up to this letter soon as UMDI is almost ready to start scheduling focus groups for directors, teachers, advisors, and students in October and November. There will be a limited number of focus groups and space is limited, so the letter will include an application process to ensure we capture the voices of as many different kinds of stakeholders as possible. As spring nears, we will be in touch again to update you on additional evaluation activities.

Simultaneously, you may receive information about a congressionally mandated National Study of the Implementation of Adult Education under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funded by The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and implemented by American Institutes for Research (AIR). AIR will survey local program directors nationwide beginning the week of October 14. The AIR evaluation is an important but separate study that will focus on ABE programming in all 50 states and report on the national level. The AIR research will not provide the kind of in-depth qualitative and quantitative information about programming and program needs in the Commonwealth that the UMDI research will provide.

The extent to which the UMDI evaluation can help us improve adult education in Massachusetts depends on the firsthand knowledge AE staff and students share with us. We hope that you will participate to your fullest in both research efforts knowing that they serve different purposes for different audiences.


Wyvonne Stevens-Carter
Adult Education State Director

Last Updated: October 10, 2019

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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