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Connecting Research and Practice to Strengthen Programs
More than 40 percent of working-age adults in the United States lacked the skills and education needed to succeed in family, work, and community life today. By strengthening practice and policy, NCSALL helped these adults gain an opportunity to achieve their full potential.
The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) was a federally funded research and development center focused solely on adult learning. NCSALL's efforts were dedicated to improving practice in educational programs that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills, and those without a high school diploma.
NCSALL both informed and learned from practice. Its rigorous, high quality research increased knowledge and gave those teaching, managing, and setting policy in adult literacy education a sound basis for making decisions. NCSALL was also a leader in designing innovative professional development programs and in building support for research use.
- Increased knowledge through research examining critical issues that affect program success and adult learning.
- Improved practice through such efforts as ESOL and ABE/GED labsites.
- Provided leadership by bringing a research perspective to improving policy and practice, through such means as the Connecting Practice, Policy, and Research initiative, the National Adult Literacy Summit, and participation in professional meetings and national advisory panels.
- Shared expertise through informative publications, videos, and face-to-face communications.
NCSALL supported researchers associated with each of its partner organizations -- Harvard University Graduate School of Education, World Education, Rutgers University, Portland State University, and the Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee -- as well as those at the Harvard School of Public Health, Brown University, and Michigan State University. NCSALL also published the work of practitioners and scholars from 38 states and three countries.
NCSALL was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (formerly Office of Educational Research and Improvement), National Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning. Additional funding was provided by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds; the National Institute for Literacy; and the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education.