• ATLAS Signature Initiatives

    Please visit the complete ATLAS website at www.atlasABE.org

    Content Standards Training
    The College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) (Pimentel, 2013) have been adopted by MN ABE and are becoming the common language of adult education content nationwide. ATLAS offers CCRS Foundations training at face-to-face workshops statewide, as well as through on online CCRS Foundations course. Beginning in FY17, ATLAS also began running year-long CCRS Implementation Cohorts for ABE program managers and instructors.

    Language & Literacy Institute
    The Language & Literacy Institute brings together ESL, reading, and writing teachers in an effort to honor the abundance of overlap in their work and help spread great ideas for teaching ALL of our learners, both native and non-native speakers of English. Also, the Institute helps us to gain common language around the CCRS – specifically in the area of English Language Arts – and to explore how these content standards inform all of our language and literacy work. 

    Low-Literacy ESL Teaching
    The annual ABE Practitioner Survey continues to reveal a need for PD in the area of teaching adult learners who are not literate in any language; they must learn English and acculturate to the U.S. while at the same time acquiring literacy for the first time. Our Low-Literacy Adult ESL Study Circles are designed to meet this need by providing a more intensive, longer-term PD experience than that available through a conference.  Study circles involve a small group of practitioners who meet 3 times over a 6-week period to read research, discuss teaching strategies, apply something new in the classroom, then reflect on what they have learned.

    Math Institute
    The two-day Math Institute features interactive workshops on various high-need content areas, centered on the CCRS Math Standards.

    MN Numeracy Initiative (MNI)
    In FY11, ATLAS launched the MN Numeracy Initiative (MNI) to meet the need for 1) PD for numeracy instruction, and 2) increased comfort with participation in online PD. MNI is an intensive, interactive, hybrid (online + face-to-face) professional development activity focused on effective practices in adult numeracy instruction, using the CCRS as the foundational framework.

    Regional Training Events
    High-quality and practical professional development opportunities are available to ABE educators in seven regional areas across Minnesota. These training workshops focus on topics like basic skills education, the College & Career Readiness Standards, transitions to post-secondary/workforce, English as a Second Language, and ABE program management.

    STAR (Student Achievement in Reading) and EBRI (Evidence-based Reading Instruction)
    STAR provides training and support for teachers of intermediate reading students in effectual, evidence-based practices. This reading reform initiative includes tools and resources that expand participants' knowledge of effective reading instruction for adults.

    STAR has been very successful, but has its limits: the focus is only on intermediate level learners and some programs, including those in the MN Department of Corrections and less-populated rural areas, have struggled to make the programmatic changes required by STAR. EBRI Study Circles provide an alternative route for these teachers to understand and integrate critical Evidence-based Reading Instruction practices.

    Transition to Post-Secondary/Workforce
    ATLAS continues with the Minnesota Department of Education to facilitate training and projects to help teachers successfully prepare learners for post-secondary education and the workforce. Components include training on the Transitions Integration Framework (TIF), one of the sets of standards adopted by MN ABE, as well as new professional development around adult career pathways and career-focused contextualized basic skills instruction.

    Surveys are powered by Survey Software