What is Minnesota Adult Basic Education?

Teacher in front of classroom

Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a state-wide system that serves approximately 65,000 adults annually. ABE students are working towards a high school credential, learning English, improving basic skills such as literacy and math, and/or preparing for post-secondary education or employment.  ABE is supported by the members of the Minnesota ABE Support Network – these organizations have received ABE Supplemental Service grants from the state to fund their work.

Minnesota ABE Support Network providers can help ABE staff:

  • find resources and support for serving students with disabilities – PANDA
  • learn about upcoming professional development opportunities – ATLAS
  • find out about MN ABE’s professional organization – Literacy Action Network
  • get training on the assessments used in ABE – Southwest ABE
  • learn about how to utilize volunteers in classrooms, get support in integrating technology into the classroom and learn how to implement and use distance learning (DL) in ABE programs – Literacy Minnesota Literacy.

Minnesota ABE Support Network

Physical And Nonapparent Disability Assistance
Minnesota Adult Basic Education

Wendy Sweeney, MA, Licensed Psychologist

PANDA Manager

PANDA equips Minnesota ABE teachers, program managers, and volunteers with training, disability awareness, and resources to positively impact students with disabilities. PANDA also provides professional development presentations on a variety of disability topics for state and national ABE staff.  Website topics include assistive technology, brain injury, mental health, chemical health, FASD, learning disabilities, vision and hearing loss, physical disabilities, ADHD and Disability Awareness and the Law. Adult Basic Education TABE and CASAS testing information is also included as well as GED information.

ATLAS (ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System)

Through ATLAS, all ABE practitioners in Minnesota have access to high-quality professional development opportunities, with options for in-person events held across the state as well as activities that can be accessed online. Main initiatives include regional events throughout Minnesota, STAR (Student Achievement in Reading), EBRI (Evidence-Based Reading Instruction), MNI (MN Numeracy Initiative), professional development in adult ESL including low-literacy and pronunciation study circles, Adult Career Pathways, ACES (Academic, Career, and Employability Skills), and support for implementation of the College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for Adult Education. 

Distance Learning (DL)

Literacy Minnesota oversees the distance learning (DL) initiative for Minnesota ABE, supporting managers and instructors in building quality DL opportunities for their adult learners based on established best practices. Our professional development initiatives are offered in partnership with Project IDEAL. Saint Paul Adult Basic Education also vets DL platforms for statewide use, coordinates policy and procedures, as well as communicates information to the ABE field via e-letters and more.

Literacy Action Network (LAN)

Literacy Action Network coordinates statewide activities and professional development focused on program quality such as the ABE Summer Institute, the PEGASUS (ABE program of excellence) aware process, and administrator trainings.

Literacy Minnesota 

Literacy Minnesota recruits, trains, and supports volunteers in their work with adult students, provides resources and support to volunteer literacy programs, and provides ABE professionals and volunteers with resources, information, and tools to use technology effectively in the classroom.

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA)

MWCA provides linkages for ABE programs to the Minnesota workforce education and training systems, such as post-secondary institutions.  

Southwest Adult Basic Education

Southwest ABE provides training to MN ABE staff on ABE assessment tools, supports innovative GED activities, and provides reimbursements for learning disability assessments for ABE students seeking GED accommodations.  They also host the annual ABE Support Services Conference for ABE support staff.