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Program Administrators’ Sourcebook: A Resource on NCSALL’s Research for Adult Education Program Administrators

If you administer an adult education program, you face a wide variety of challenges:

The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) has conducted research relevant to these questions. This Sourcebook is designed to give you, as a program administrator, direct access to research that may help you address the challenges you face in your job.

Why this Sourcebook? Where did it come from?

This Sourcebook is a resource for people who serve as administrators of adult basic, adult secondary, and/or adult English-for-speakers-of-other-languages (ESOL) programs, whether those programs are school-based, community-based, or community-college-based.

NCSALL’s Connecting Practice, Policy, and Research initiative has developed a variety of tools to help adult education practitioners access, understand, judge, and use research. As part of this initiative, we developed a tool for the unique needs of program administrators. There is growing emphasis on “evidence-based practice” throughout the education field, and administrators need resources to help them use research to make decisions about the structure and services offered in their programs.

The first objective of this Sourcebook is to present all of NCSALL’s research findings (as of 2004) in short sections related to key challenges that program administrators face in their work as managers of adult education programs. The second objective is to present the implications of these research findings for program structure and services, as well as some strategies for implementing change based on these implications.

NCSALL worked with administrators in the field to develop this book, drawing on their professional wisdom and putting it together with the research findings. During the development of this Sourcebook, we:

We then took the research findings, implications, and strategies and formatted them into short, easy-to-digest sections. The Program Administrator Work Group reviewed the findings again and suggested changes and additions. Then, we sent it out to be reviewed by three additional program administrators around the country, for a fresh look. They made suggestions and revisions. Finally, we asked a small group of national, state, and program-level policymakers to add their final comments.

We envision this Sourcebook as an easy reference book for you as program administrators; however, it does not provide in-depth information about any one area of research or research study. For that, you should check out the full reports or other resources provided on NCSALL’s Web site:

Contents | Introduction | Sample Activity | Sourcebook

Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL