This is my fourth year attending the yearly conference run by The Commission on Adult Basic Education and every year my involvement has grown. My first year I was just an attendee, but the next year I presented once, last year I presented twice, and this year I presented a total of four times! The conference reflected the changes and needs of the Adult Education community and it was amazing to see the growth in adult education during this time.
Major themes this year were transitions and career pathways. With the WIOA legislation this idea of preparing students for their next step has become extremely important. Workshop after workshop addressed various aspects of contextualized instruction, career counseling, transitions and career pathways. It was amazing to not only see how eager adult education professionals are about the change, but the vast differences that exist in how the implementation is occurring. There are many different approaches based on population, geography, integrated service options and program structure. I was inspired and motivated by the enthusiasm of the professionals who attended my session “Building Bigger and Better Career Counseling Programs in Adult Education,” and I am so happy that they left the workshop with concrete steps to assist them in implementing strategies for success.