Non-Formal and Formal partnerships in Rural areas

Leecy, in rural areas the need to form partnerships or networks is probably more important than in cities. It makes sense for Formal programs in community colleges located in rural areas to work with Non-Formal adult education centers, such as churches, community based organizations (CBOs), libraries, etc. The model to follow here is the Philadelphia Literacy Alliance.

A good partnership would have to maintain equality between organizations, particularly taking into account the fact that many CBOs often conduct classes in the students' Home Language (L1).

Home Language Literacy, Transition/Bilingual ESL, regular ESL, GED, Citizenship and supplemental classes could all be coordinated, with a sharing of resources and ideas.

In this regard, Mobile Learning could very well be the catalyst that encourages adult students in the rural areas to continue their education from the basics to college.

In general, I think that partnerships between all Formal and Non-Formal education centers should become the norm. Why not?






Indeed, Paul. Partnerships would provide ideal vehicles for instruction in rural areas that also have a number of organizations working. In our vast Four Corners region, we are talking Rural with a capital R! Towns on the reservation are devoid of services and residents must travel quite a distance just to get food and gas when they have transportation. Schools do exist, but they do not offer or promote Adult Education. USU-Eastern does provide college classes through a live-video conferencing network that exists at small satellite sites. However, the U doesn't offer Adult Ed classes, only college credit classes, which exceeds the ability of most residents to enjoy. To access ABE/ESL/GED instruction, students must travel hours, which is often impossible on a daily basis. I think that establishing instruction through mobile devices is eventually the answer. Now programs need to find the $ to implement that kind of instruction. As you say, collaboration, when agencies exist, makes great sense. "Why not?" :) Leecy

Leecy, I think the best way to get funding to form adult education partnerships is to develop a network of adult education providers that would include formal and non-formal centers. Of course such a network could only be created after a series of meetings to discuss the needs of each organization and the resources available.

I have a suspicion that funding is readily available for programs based on partnerships of various organizations that work to meet the needs of the under-served.

“Build it and they will come”


I couldn't agree with you more, Paul, where educational providers exist. It would be great for those who are in areas where that is possible to use LINCS CoPs to invite that kind of collaboration. Drop in with your ideas to support Paul's suggestions. How would you initiate networking in your region? Leecy

Leecy, Thanks for encouraging people to join the discussion.

I have no doubt that someday there will be a


Members of LINCS can play a very important part in forming networks in their own areas, or joining with networks already in operation.

Then it can be much easier to share resources and ideas …all over the country.

If adult education providers work together, something like a “conveyor belt” can be created. I see it as a way to encourage immigrants to begin with English basics at a community center, a Non-Formal class that would be bilingual, for example, and then moving up to an English Only ESL class at the community college, then to the GED, and then…on to a PhD!!!

This type of approach puts into practice the saying: