There are few better sources of information about creating and maintaining effective partnerships than the communities actually engaged in the process. What are the elements of a strong partnership? What are some common challenges? How does a community decide what type of collaboration would best serve adult learners? Are there "best practices" from one community that can inform others?
To find answers to these and other questions, researchers from the Community Partnerships for Adult Learning initiative visited twelve sites throughout the U.S. in 2003 (see map). The nomination and selection process is described in Appendix A of Commitment Comes in All Shapes and Sizes, a report that synthesizes findings from all twelve partnerships.
This section contains Partnership Profiles, rich descriptions of the twelve community partnerships, as well the following:
This Web site also contains profile of partnerships between business and adult education programs. The Business Guide section describes why businesses should consider investing in adult literacy and offers examples of successful business/adult education partnerships.
The twelve community partnerships are:
Nine Star Enterprises
Nine Star is a private, nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive adult education services over a vast geographic area in collaboration with a variety of partners.
The Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE)
El Dorado (Union County), Arkansas
WAGE provides employment-related education to adult learners and upgrades the skills of incumbent workers through partnerships with business and many community agencies and organizations.
San Diego, California
READ is a library-based volunteer program that provides literacy services, primarily through tutoring, across San Diego city and county in collaboration with a host of community partners.
The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County, Florida
The Coalition promotes literacy services, coordinates activities, and operates a literacy hotline with the help of many partners across the county.
The Houston County Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP)
Houston County, Georgia
The CLCP coordinates, promotes, and advocates for adult literacy services in this rural county by working with partners from nearly every sector of the community.
The North Idaho College Adult Education Center
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The Center is responsible for adult education services for five rural counties and forms the hub of wide-ranging partnerships supporting adult education, workforce development, and family literacy programs.
Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education (JCPSAE)
JCPSAE is at the heart of a many-layered partnership with business, higher education, and other community organizations and agencies in Jefferson County.
Juntos is a six-member partnership that provides adult basic education, adult secondary education, English literacy instruction, college transition, computer and family literacy, and vocational training and job search services to local adults.
Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative
This partnership provides English language instruction, family literacy services, and other support services to a community of East African (mainly Somali) immigrants in a public housing facility.
The Decker Family Development Center
Decker is a three-way partnership among a hospital, a university, and a public school system providing comprehensive literacy and support services to a high-poverty community.
The Donald H. Londer Center for Learning
The Londer Center, part of the Department of Community Justice (DCJ), provides literacy and other services to prepare ex-inmates for successful reintegration into their communities by working with other DCJ programs and community agencies and organizations.
The Midlands Literacy Initiative (MLI)
Richland, Fairfield, Lexington, and Newberry Counties, South Carolina
The MLI is a coalition that works closely with business to design and provide workforce literacy programs and with other partners to provide literacy services to adults and families in this four-county area.