Formal and Nonformal Cooperation

David and group members, there is a great deal of interest among non-profit educational foundations and other funding sources to provide financial support to organizations that are capable of working together. And as we all know by now there is also a great deal of interest in utilizing technology in adult education.

What would it take for a Formal program under the auspices of a Community College to work jointly with the Nonformal community based centers, libraries, etc. – to develop and run a county-wide Distance Learning program? 

The funds could be solicited from the Federal Government and also from the private sector as well, in the form of grants and donations.

The CC could handle the funds, testing, and other forms of paper-work, and also could provide training where necessary to the other agencies, which often run on Volunteers.

Then, perhaps, the idea of a conveyor belt could become actualized.

If such an effort were launched, I also believe that community fund-raising would become much more attractive. Keep in mind that many NGOs have on their boards of directors representatives from the business community, including large corporations doing business in the area.

Can this be done or am I having one of my dreams? Well, anyway, I have a big interest in working on the above, so please contact me if you feel the same.



Paul, ideally, CCs would collaborate with other service providers. However, in this rural area of CO, the local CC competes for students since they like to provide their own remediation services. In Colorado, many CCs are funded by the government to provide Adult Ed services. If funding comes up, especially in this rural area, competition is the norm.

On the other hand, one Adult Ed non-profit here collaborates a whole lot, not for funding but for services, with two other colleges across state borders. Leecy

Leecy, I think the best way to solve the problem of funding is to form a Literacy Alliance similar to those in Philadelphia and Chicago.

In each of these there are about 100 member organizations, many from the Nonformal or Community Based adult education agencies. In many cases, bilingual instruction and advertising is necessary.

The focus is to work together to promote literacy, develop and run programs and to seek funding, presumable to be shared.

The conference in Philadelphia is going to focus on integrating technology in adult education, and here I am a big fan of a Multi-Media approach, which now includes mobile devices like smart phones, etc.

A Literacy Alliance can sponsor public events to publicize and promote the various programs and to encourage people to participate.

I can see workshops open to the public – a Show and Tell approach – so that community members can learn what is available.

Fairs, music concerts, swap meets, etc. are great places to distribute flyers and set up an informational table.

Well, everybody, as a good friend of mine often says: I’ve said my piece, now it’s your turn…any ideas?