A non-profit Adult Ed program that has operated for 41 years, offering a variety of services to adult learners, including ABE/ASE/HSE, has just made the decision not to reapply for federal funds through the state. Why? Although having operated for nearly half a century, it still has to compete for funds every three years, with yearly reports, required meetings and trainings, and intense PD demands for its part-time staff, all to receive fewer and fewer funds. The director has been spending 40%-50% of her time volunteering to put together applications and reports that require more and more detail related to services that the program cannot even provide but is now required to address.
This non-profit doesn't operate under a college or other umbrella. It relies on foundation and other funding, along with fed dollars.The director has run the program with no pay for many years since federal funding allows only 5% of funds to be used for administration, which does not even cover office expenses. This year, apparently, part of that 5% must now be donated to workforce agencies to help fund their one-stop services!!! It is obvious that without a sponsor (BOCS, School District, College), nonformal organizations simply can no longer afford to apply for and offer federally-funded services.
Perhaps this Nonformal micro group can start addressing funding sources to promote innovative services to adults through nonformal organizations. The non-profit above has always offered ABE/ASE/HSE services beyond what federal funds cover and will continue to do so as a nonformal program. Any ideas on how to support these programs? Where should we start if that is the group decision? Should we start sharing funder lists and successful proposal models? Start interstate collaborations? Share teachers using online and live-video tools? What’s your take?
Yes, nonformal organizations in more populated regions can certainly start networking, as Paul and others here have suggested. In isolated rural areas, there is no one with whom to network. Some go for funding to finance blended learning approaches and mobile devices.
Do you represent a nonformal AE program? If so, share how you continue to operate and offer services. Leecy
Leecy, yes, by all means, we should be working toward providing information and assistance any way we can to Nonformal, community based adult education centers.
I agree with all the points you made, that include finding
"funding sources to promote innovative services to adults through nonformal organizations. Any ideas? Where should we start if that is the group decision? Should we start sharing funder lists and successful proposal models? Start interstate collaborations? Share teachers using online and live-video tools?"
At the same time, I think that this problem should be raised in all the other adult ed groups here on Lincs. We cannot adequately serve the adults who want or need classes as long as we are divided. Nonformal programs primarily serve low income, working adults, usually immigrants. The problems of Nonformal adult education should be shouldered by the Formal community as well. Otherwise we will continue to perpetuate a a "two-tier" system that favors one group of people over the another.
Your wish is my command, Paul! :) Leecy
Leecy: What wish? I am not sure I understand your point. I thought I was making a reasonable suggestion concerning how Lincs could be of benefit to Nonformal adult education programs that serve the needs of minority adult learners. The only wish I have is that our society in general and, in this case, Lincs in particular were based on real equality for all. For all practical purposes Lincs is devoted to community college, government funded Formal adult education, and the issues and problems of programs in ethnically diverse communities are, in the final analysis, only the concern of the Diversity group. If that is the way it will always be, well, so be it.
I was referring to your wish to have my original post about nonformal programs posted in the Diversity and Literacy CoP rather than just the Nonformal microgroup. :) Leecy
Ok, but my proposal was centered on putting all issues concerning Nonformal adult education in the Diversity group, not just the one post, effectively eliminating the Nonformal Micro group altogether. I was not really "wishing" anything.
And I agree, Paul. Let's do that. Leecy