Local schools will use $3 million federal grant to boost math, science

Six local schools will be splitting a $3 million federal grant to start high-tech science, engineering and math programs intended to increase student interest in these fields.

Despite the recession, these fields remain in high demand and are high-paying. But American employers struggle to fill positions for engineers and skilled tradesman with U.S. workers. Simply put, students are shying away from the schooling required, according to a recent report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

That holds true in the Clark County School District, Superintendent Dwight Jones said.

"There is a local, state and national need for a trained workforce in the STEM area," said Jones, using an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The district could have used the money - from the U.S. Department of Education's $140 million Investing in Innovation competition - for many purposes but chose STEM. And Clark County is one of only two public school districts to receive a piece of the pie. The other is Rhode Island's Central Falls School District, which serves 2,900 students.

The 18 other grant winners are colleges and education groups, such as the California Association for Bilingual Education. In Clark County, the money will be used over three years, starting in August 2013. It will benefit 5,600 students - a small portion of the district's 311,000 students - at Garside, Gibson, Findlay and Johnston middle schools, with Mojave and Western high schools. The schools were chosen because of their low participation rates in science and math.

The cost per student is $209 the first year, $150 the second year and $162 the last year with the number of participants slightly increasing to 5,780 students after the first year.

To pique students' interest, their assignments will rely on hands-on, real- world projects, according to the district's grant application.

In sixth grade, students will start to use 3-D modeling software and will continue to do the same in seventh grade, also learning about "green architecture." They will be introduced to architectural plans, construction styles, sustainability and building materials.

Eighth-grade students will be introduced to automation and robotics, flight and space, and the "magic of electrons."

To see the applicability of these skills, 640 students per year will work with STEM professionals after school once a week, culminating in a field trip. Because of the student limitation, schools will also have STEM clubs and 10-day summer camps with professionals.

The high schools then will offer two programs: Pathway to Engineering and Biomedical Science. In the second and third years of the grant program, high school students will shadow professionals and intern with them.

Many of these professionals will be donating money and time.

To receive the grant, the district had to first raise $450,000 from the community, and did so with the help of the Cleveland Clinic; TJK Consulting engineers; Professional Design Associates; DCC Architects and more.

"Our community has stepped up and invested in our kids," Jones said.

While the district will receive $3 million, other grant recipients will be handed up to $15 million because they have been awarded "validation grants," meaning their programs have "evidence of effectiveness."

Clark County's award, on the other hand, is a "development grant to support promising but relatively untested projects with high potential," according to the U.S. Department of Education.

"These grantees have innovative ideas to accelerate student achievement and address some of our biggest challenges in education," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

source: http://www.lvrj.com/news/local-schools-will-use-3-million-federal-grant-to-boost-math-science-179026691.html

Higher Education Becomes Nevada Campaign Issue for Obama
Nevada students taking the ACT college entrance exam have a slight college readiness edge over the national average, the Associated Press reports. Whereas the national average score is 21.1, Nevada college entrants score on average 21.3. Affording a higher education is of great concern to voters in this presidential battleground state.
Reaching the College Audience in Reno and Las Vegas
President Barack Obama actively seeks out contact with college- and college-ready students in the Silver State. As noted by the New York Times, the president visited Reno's Truckee Meadows Community College campaign rally yesterday and spoke to a Las Vegas high school audience at Canyon Springs High School today.
Differentiating Democratic Policies from Republican Counterparts
The Obama campaign highlights that an enacted Republican budget would lead to severe cuts in education. Mr. Obama outlines that Mitt Romney's best advice to college-bound students is little more than asking parents for loans -- or finding the cheapest colleges to attend. Concurrently, the Obama campaign must take on the charge of the Romney campaign, which has painted college students as a "lost generation" heavily burdened by increasing tuition costs that the Obama administration has failed to curtail. Another talking point the Obama campaign must tackle is Nevada's high unemployment rate, which affects recent college graduates with high student loan debts.
Attacking Republican Talking Points on Education
The Obama campaign underscores Romney's image of being "out of touch with the financial needs of college students," the Reno Gazette Journal explains. While speaking to the Reno college crowd on Tuesday, the president used Romney's words -- to borrow money from parents -- to highlight that this suggestion was unrealistic in an economically challenged state, where parents frequently barely make ends meet. "Hearing Obama say he will help with the student loans, grants and just the financial aid gave me a new sense of hope," a student told reporters after the rally.
Resonating with Voter Concerns
Reception of the president's message on education has been positive at Nevada's campaign stops. "We have been talking about health care and other issues and education has been put on the side, so I loved the fact that it was his primary focus today," and adult in the audience explained.
Eliciting a Republican Response
The Romney campaign continues to point out that the cost of a higher education has mushroomed uncontrolled under the Obama administration. The campaign also faults the administration for creating an economic climate that makes it harder for new graduates to enter the job market. Romney, the campaign contends, will "encourage innovation and competition to make college more affordable, and his economic policies will give recent graduates the job opportunities they deserve."
Some Nevada Voters want more Details

Although the message of the Obama campaign was overall well received at the Reno and Las Vegas campaign stops, some Silver State voters want more details. Expressing this point of view is the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which asks pointedly if college students would do better with policy-driven tuition reductions and student loan increases, or if students would be better served by an administration that focuses on economic policies to benefit graduates.


source: http://news.yahoo.com/higher-education-becomes-nevada-campaign-issue-obama-185000199.html 



At Las Vegas charter school, iPads power project-based learning




A dozen Las Vegas second-graders were given a common English assignment one recent morning: Write a story using new vocabulary words. But instead of picking up a pencil and paper, these students launched the Pages word processing application on their iPads and started tapping.
One precocious youngster in the back of the room raised his hand.
“Mrs. Gilbert, can we go on Keynote to do this?” the second-grader asked. (Keynote is Apple’s version of Microsoft PowerPoint.)
Katie Gilbert smiled and said, “Sure.”
For all the talk about ways to bring technology into education, consider a public charter school in Clark County, Nev., that provides an iPad for each of its 720 students and 54 staff members.
Inside three nondescript former office buildings in the eastern Las Vegas Valley lies Explore Knowledge Academy, Nevada’s first “iSchool,” where students as young as kindergartners use novel technology to learn traditional subjects.
As a charter school, EKA operates under a contract — the charter — granted by the Clark County School District that gives the school greater freedom in setting its curriculum and budget in exchange for more accountability. (Like traditional public schools, EKA is tuition-free and open to all Clark County students, and it must also meet state education standards.)
Since its founding in 2002, EKA has used its academic flexibility to institute a project-based learning method, where students create projects — presentations, plays, dances, and dioramas — to demonstrate their knowledge. Last school year, EKA began a pilot program with 25 iPads to help students research and craft more interactive projects, such as digital slideshows, movies, and songs.
“The world has changed; the expectations in the workforce have changed,” said Abbe Mattson, EKA’s executive director. “You can’t even work at a McDonald’s without using a touch screen. … If we don’t change how we teach, it’s a disservice to our kids.”
The iSchool model
In previous years, EKA had a ratio of one computer to every two students, which proved ineffective in the academy’s project-based learning method, Mattson said. Students got distracted as they waited for their peers to finish using shared computers, she said.
In 2008, when EKA renewed its six-year charter with the School District, Mattson began working with the EKA Foundation — the five-member group appointed in 2008 that oversees the charter school — to build a high-tech school campus equipped with iPads, Macbooks, and AppleTVs on a high-speed, high-capacity network. The new school also would consolidate all the EKA students from three locations to a unified campus, Mattson said.
The EKA Foundation partnered with iSchool Campus, a Utah-based company that works with charter schools to bring Apple technology into the classroom. The company has helped Vista Academy in St. George, Utah, and Cumberland Academy in Tyler, Texas, become iSchools.
EKA’s transformation into an iSchool will be complete next month when the academy has its grand-opening celebration at its new campus near Mountain Vista Street and Russell Road.
Three vacant office buildings — victims of the recession — have been rehabilitated by builder-partners The Boyer Company and iSchools Campus into a 21st-century school. Construction at the 60,000-square-foot campus cost the foundation $6.5 million — about $820,000 of which went to the technology retrofitting. EKA has dedicated a portion of its annual budget toward iPad updates.
The technology upgrade and campus consolidation was completed in phases, with elementary schoolchildren moving to the Mountain Vista campus at the start of this school year. In January, the campus welcomed its middle and high school students. Previously, EKA students attended three campuses, at Whitney Mesa, Sandhill, and Community Lane.
After a decade, EKA finally had a single campus — complete with a playground, grass field, and state-of-the-art technology — to call its own.
“It almost seems too good to be true,” Mattson said, surveying the campus. “This facility is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. I’m so proud of this place.”
‘Like second nature to students’
In the six months since its technology infusion, EKA has become a model of what the classrooms of the 21st century might look like in Clark County.
Although some students found learning to use the new technology challenging, most took to digital learning immediately, Mattson said.
“It’s like second nature for the students,” she said. “They’re open to trying this, and they’re used to this multimedia access.”
Students use the iPads to access educational websites and applications, as well as electronic textbooks. They use the iPad to take notes and the tablet’s camera to photograph whiteboards filled with teacher’s lessons and chemistry formulas. Some even record lectures using the iPad’s digital voice recorder or video camera, referring to them when they review for tests.
“I love them,” eighth-grader Alexa Freeman, 13, said of the iPads. “They’re super fast and easy to use.”
Freeman’s friend, De’Liza Dulatre-Galimidi, agreed.
“There are so many options for final projects with the iPad,” said the 16-year-old sophomore. “There’s no excuse why I couldn’t create something amazing.”
The learning curve on the iPad was much harder to overcome for teachers, most of whom did not grow up in high-tech classrooms. However, with monthly training sessions and collaboration, many EKA teachers have begun to embrace teaching in the digital age, Mattson said.
EKA classrooms provide a “blended” education, which means students use a mix of technology and traditional tools to learn. Students still learn how to write and do math on paper, but technology use rises as students get older and turn to the internet for research.
Textbooks are virtually nonexistent at EKA, save for a few math and reading books. Instead, the school relies on free online tools and e-textbooks. (For a list of 10 iPad apps the school has found useful, click here.)
“Technology is used to enhance the learning,” Mattson said. “A [printed] textbook gives one person’s view [of a subject]. When students use multiple sources, they get a global view.”
The investment in technology came at a cost for EKA, however. The school doesn’t have a library yet, nor proper equipment to fill its new science lab.
That will come with time, Mattson said. In the past, the charter school has never had those luxuries — staples in traditional public schools. EKA has used online resources, and now iPads, to supplant library books and science materials.
Managing the technology
Each EKA student has a Wi-Fi-enabled iPad 2 tablet with 16 gigabytes of memory. The iPads are charged and synced on 26 digital carts. Six AppleTVs allow teachers to beam websites and digital slideshows from their iPads to TV screens. A system of servers and a firewall-protected Wi-Fi network supports all of it.
Students pay an annual technology fee — between $40 and $50 — to use the iPads, which remain on campus at all times. Scholarships are available for families who cannot afford the fee, which covers the cost of broken or lost iPads. So far, EKA has had one iPad broken, two iPads found defective, and no iPads lost.
Starting in second grade, students are assigned EKA eMail addresses to send assignments to teachers. iPads and eMail accounts are monitored by school officials for cyber bullying and inappropriate content, Mattson said.
Students sign contracts stating the iPads will be used only for educational purposes; anyone caught playing games has their iPad privileges revoked. Teachers have learned to conduct random checks to ensure students remain on task.
Despite initial concerns, incidents of students misusing technology have been minimal, Mattson said. There was one incidence of cyber bullying, which the school used as a learning opportunity for other students, she said. Cheating is almost nonexistent, as quizzes and tests at EKA are designed to gauge whether students truly understand the concepts, not if they are able to regurgitate facts.
 “Nothing on these iPads will give them the concepts,” Mattson said. “I don’t want [students] to memorize facts, because it’ll always be at their fingertips. The idea is to use their knowledge to interpret it and put it all together.”
Results are promising, but still unclear
Educators say the potential payoff of this digital education is enormous, even though it’s still unproven if this nascent technology will increase student achievement. Educational games and visual applications attempt to make learning fun and keep students’ attention, which should translate to better test scores, teachers say.
“If you can get kids engaged, they’ll learn,” Mattson said. “These iPads will help get kids engaged.”
“It creates more of a calming effect [among younger students],” said Gilbert, who teaches second and third grades. “Students have their own iPad right there in front of them, and they’re engaged in it.”
Because EKA students have their own iPads, curricula can be tailored to each student, Mattson said. Students are placed in classrooms based on ability, not age, and can learn at their own pace, she added.
That’s especially helpful for the 50 or so special-needs students at EKA. Preliminary research has found iPads can be an effective teaching tool among students with learning disabilities because they provide a visual, tactile, and creative outlet.
“Often kids with disabilities are disconnected from what’s going on around them,” said Andrea Awerbach, a special-education adviser at EKA. “With iPads, they’re engaged and using them in a learning capacity. Students aren’t confined to doing a report or making a poster; they can create movies, songs, and presentations.”
Using multimedia tools, even in elementary school, can give EKA students a leg up over students who learn how to use technology in later grades. Since introducing the iPads, EKA students have become more adept at typing and creating interactive projects, Mattson said.
EKA’s ultimate mission in incorporating the new technology is to move from passive learning, where teachers lecture in front of the classroom, to active learning, where students learn to find answers themselves using all the digital tools at their disposal, Mattson said. The iPads have the potential to help students in this endeavor, she said.
“That’s why our kids are going to be successful after they graduate — they know how to think,” Mattson said. “If we don’t teach them to think for themselves, they won’t know how to function in the real world. We want to create leaders who will advocate for their own learning.”

source: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/22/at-las-vegas-charter-school-ipads-power-project-based-learning/?

UNLV uses online program to tackle students’ lack of math skills


Ashley Garcia scribbles away in her spiral-bound notebook, slowly filling it with numbers, functions and equations.
It’s early on a lazy summer morning, but instead of sleeping in like many of her classmates who graduated last month from Coronado High School, Garcia is hard at work studying in a windowless computer lab at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
Garcia is cramming because she doesn’t want to become a statistic.
This fall, a third of the incoming freshmen class — about 1,000 students, including Garcia — will enter UNLV unprepared to take a college-level math course.
If past performance is any indication, these students are more likely to take out additional loans to pay for remedial coursework that ultimately won’t count toward their degree requirements. These remedial students also are less likely to graduate college in six years.
The stakes are high, Garcia realizes.
So instead of relaxing away the summer before college, Garcia enrolled in UNLV’s Expect Success Summer Bridge Program. It’s a new and free pilot program that aims to help students place out of remedial math courses through tutoring and technology.
“I’m not a math person, so I don’t want to do more math than I need to,” said Garcia, who hopes to major in communications. “If I had to take remedial math, I would be wasting two semesters of college. If I pass this, it’ll free me up to study what I want.”
The goal of the Summer Bridge program is to give students a refresher course in math, filling in the missing holes in their education from second grade math on up.
“Math is a big foundational goal for college,” said Ann McDonough, dean of UNLV’s Academic Success Center, which is sponsoring the $60,000 program. “We’re hoping this type of bridge will give students the confidence they need for college math.”
The program relies heavily on Knewton, an online course that helps students get up to speed on college-level math. It’s a course that’s seen success at Arizona State University and is being used at large public universities such as Penn State and Washington State.
Knewton allows the students enrolled in the bridge program to work at their own pace, learning elementary math concepts such as fractions and decimals to more complex algebra and geometry concepts.
A crew of 14 tutors rotates through three classrooms, teaching tricky concepts in group and individual settings.
The tutors also teach organizational, note-taking and time-management skills to incoming freshmen to prepare them for college life as well as lead new students through tours of the library and other campus resources.
Nearly 150 students are enrolled in the inaugural Summer Bridge program, which offers three-hour classes for five weeks between July 9 and Aug. 10, said Daniel Forgues, director of learning support at the Academic Success Center.
Most UNLV students work summer jobs to finance their education, so it became paramount to offer multiple tutoring sessions throughout the day: mornings, afternoons and evenings, Forgues said.
 “We want to be flexible,” he said. “We’ll make this program work for (students).”
Students were referred to the Summer Bridge program by how well they performed on standardized college entrance exams, either the ACT or SAT.
Students who scored below a 22 on the 36-point ACT or below a 520 on the 800-point math section of the SAT were automatically referred to the program by UNLV’s Academic Success Center, which offers a variety of supplemental instruction and tutoring sessions throughout the year to help undergraduate students succeed in college.
It’s important to note these remedial students were rightfully admitted to UNLV, said David Forgues, director of learning support at the Academic Success Center. They fulfilled all of the admissions requirements set forth by the university, earning passing grades and test scores, he said.
“We believe they are prepared for success,” Forgues said. “But everyone needs a little bit of help in math, whether it’s tutoring or supplemental instruction. We’re trying to frontload that (over the summer).”
Some students who find themselves in remedial math may not have taken a math course during their senior year of high school, forgetting key concepts, Forgues said.
Some students just have a mental block when it comes to learning math, he added. Perhaps the math curriculum in the K-12 system just isn’t rigorous enough, he surmised.
But most of all, American society condones students who fall behind in their math studies, Forgues argued.
“We have a societal problem where we allow kids to be bad at math,” he said. “We’d be horrified if someone couldn’t read. But we accept kids who can’t do math.
The trend isn’t new. For several years, about a third of the freshman class at UNLV has needed remedial courses in math, school officials said.
“We want to be part of the solution,” Forgues said. “We think this (Summer Bridge program) is the help our students need, and we’re pretty darn sure this is going to work.”
At the end of the program, Summer Bridge students will be able to take UNLV’s math placement exam, a 90-minute, multiple-choice exam used to assess students’ math abilities and place them in an appropriate course. (Passing scores on standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT are also accepted.)
Once students pass this placement exam, they may opt out of Math 095 and 096, which are the equivalent of high school-level Algebra I and II courses. These courses cost $600 each at UNLV, so placing out of them represents a significant cost saving for remedial students, Forgues said.
Some students are in the Summer Bridge program to score higher on the math placement exam to bypass easier college-level math courses. These higher-achieving students may be able to learn just enough during the summer to bump them into an introductory calculus course in college, saving them money in the long run, Forgues added.
Eventually, Forgues said he hoped the program would expand to all 1,000 students in need of math remediation. There are plans to offer remedial English courses in the future, he added.
However, scaling up this pilot program is likely to cost the cash-strapped university more money, Forgues said. UNLV is looking for grant money or additional state funding to ramp up its remediation efforts.
Charging some tuition for the summer bridge program also may be discussed, Forgues said.
Regardless of the cost, it’s a worthwhile investment for Nevada colleges and universities, which face a growing and costly problem of serving remedial students, he said. Under a new higher education funding formula that rewards colleges based on the number of students it graduates, getting remedial students caught up has become a priority.
Other Las Vegas Valley institutions, such as the College of Southern Nevada, also are working with UNLV and the Clark County School District to offer summer programs to reach remedial students, Forgues said.
“This is a societal problem,” he said. “We all have to work together.”
That’s good news for Garcia, who hopes to become a journalist. If she passes her math placement exam, she just needs to take Math 120 to fulfill her math requirement.
“I’m pretty happy they gave me this opportunity,” she said. “It keeps my mind going.”

source: http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/unlv-uses-online-program-to-tackle-students-lack-of-math-skills/

Students from Dilworth STEM Academy to Tour Surface of Mars with 2012 DRI Nevada Medalist, Dr. Steven Squyres


(Reno, Nev.) – Steven Squyres, Ph.D., this year’s recipient of the Desert Research Institute Nevada Medal, took a group of students from Dilworth STEM Academy on a tour of the surface of Mars in DRI’s DRIVE6 virtual reality facility, Tuesday, April 24 from 10 a.m. – noon.  


DRIVE6 is a six-sided virtual reality enclosure displaying real-time 3D stereographic visualization that allows users to move physically into and interact with a simulated, recreated, imagined or altered environment.


Squyres, best known for his work as the Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER) and his study of the history and distribution of water on Mars, will spend the morning with students as a way to get them excited about science. In addition to taking students on a tour of the surface of Mars, he will talk about his work and answer questions from the students.


“I am excited to share my experiences with these eager young scientists,” Squyres said.

He added, “Students from Dilworth have been working on an atmospheric exploration project using weather balloons to carry their ideas from their schoolyard to the upper reaches of the atmosphere.  I am excited to hear about their experiments, take them on a tour of Mars and spend time with them at DRI.” 


The evening of April 24, Squyres was honored at the 25th annual Desert Research Institute Nevada Medal dinner at the Peppermill Hotel Casino.


Squyres is currently the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. He has won various respected awards including the 2004 Carl Sagan Memorial Award and the 2009 Carl Sagan Medal of Excellence in Communication in Planetary Science. He has been recognized by “ABC News,” “The Colbert Report,” and Wired Magazine. In 2005, Squyres published “Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet,” which has since been adapted into the Disney film, “Roving Mars.”


“Dr. Squyres’ research on our solar system has earned him an extraordinary reputation in the field of planetary sciences,” said DRI President Steven Wells, Ph.D. “DRI is honored to award him the Nevada Medal.”


Squyres has also been a co-investigator on the 2003 Mars Express and 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and a member of the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Flight Investigation Team for the Mars Odyssey Mission. In addition to his studies on Mars, he has worked with NASA on numerous other space exploration projects, including the Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn, the Magellan Mission to Venus, the Cassini Mission to Saturn and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission.


source: http://www.dri.edu/news/4012-students-from-dilworth-stem-academy-to-tour-surface-of-mars-with-2012-dri-nevada-medalist-dr-steven-squyres



Top education official seeks improvement at Western High

Can the poorest performing schools in one of the nation's poorest performing school districts improve?

That's what U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Tony Miller came to find out Thursday at Western High School. Miller has a vested interest.

Starting this school year, his department will give $2.5 million to Western over three years, in addition to its normal funding, to boost student achievement. Multimillion-dollar turnarounds like this are being initiated at four other persistently struggling Clark County schools this year: Mojave and Chaparral high schools and Hancock and Elizondo elementary schools.

"We're in a crisis situation in this country," Miller said at Western, near Decatur Boulevard and U.S. Highway 95. "You guys live it every day."

In 2010-11, 43 percent of Western's seniors graduated, compared with the state average of 70 percent.

Western's newly reconstituted staff painted a more promising picture for this year.

About 85 percent of juniors are on track with their credits, Principal Neddy Alvarez said. As sophomores, half of this class was behind on the course credits they needed to graduate on time.

Staff members aren't letting students drop out but are getting them caught up, said Susan Taukamoto, who became the school's graduate advocate in October.

She calls on all kinds of tricks to reach dropouts if their parents' number is disconnected and their home address doesn't help. She will find their friends and contact the dropout through Facebook or get their cellphone numbers. But she never calls from the school phone, knowing students see the 799 district number and press "Ignore." She uses her cellphone.

"I know it's tricky," she said, but her success rate is high with the students she is able to reach.

The school now has seven periods a day instead of six because school days are 20 minutes longer. And it now offers Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses, called STEM, to pique students' interests. In effect, grades in regular courses have improved, which also has to do with a new teaching technique: workshop.

Teachers don't "just stand there and lecture for an hour," STEM teacher Tommy Anderson said. Students learn in small groups, learning by doing with guidance from teachers.

Students have noticed an attitude shift in teachers who have gone from complacent to dedicated, senior Andrew Limas said.

"They're actually waiting for you at the door before class," he said, "and try to offer you help after school if you need it."

But can the school keep up this pace when its millions of dollars in extra funding run dry in 2014-15?

Miller believes Western and other turnaround schools can. The money is there to just flip the switch, he said.


"Not enough people understand that you can fundamentally change a school," he said. 


source: http://www.lvrj.com/news/top-education-official-seeks-improvement-at-western-high-145003085.html



Nevada’s Moen to Retire Aug. 13


Nevada’s Mary Katherine Moen will retire on August 13 after serving as the state’s adult education director for 11 years. Moen focused her tenure on developing infrastructure to serve the state’s rapidly expanding population of adult learners. She led the program’s codification of policy, developed an administrator’s handbook, helped to create adult education content standards, improved the professional development system, and boosted accountability. She also served on the Executive Committee of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium.