In the United States, about 32 million adults lack a high school degree or equivalent. Adults with low levels of English or academic attainment face barriers to full economic or civic engagement. To ensure adult learners in the Commonwealth reach their full potential, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) funds adult education programs. Yet, the dedicated staff who work in these programs need ongoing professional learning opportunities to meet the ever-evolving needs of adult learners.

To build the capacity of adult education staff, ESE maintains the Massachusetts Adult Education Professional Development System (aka SABES), a professional development (PD) network. For seven years, EDC has led the SABES PD Communication Center, which is part of this network.

Key Activities

The role of the SABES PD Communication Center is to support and promote the professional learning system for adult educators and the overall adult education system. EDC’s SABES PD Communication Center team does the following:

  • Manages the SABES website, which includes a course calendar, account and registration systems, promotional email databases, and a resource library
  • Promotes SABES courses through social media, email blasts, the website, and presentations at conferences and meetings
  • Produces Web, video, and print resources to promote the state’s adult education and adult education PD systems
  • Convenes SABES system staff meetings
  • Is developing a learning management system environment for use by all SABES PD centers
  • Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in adult education in Massachusetts


The SABES Communication Center:

  • Is used by over 3,500 Massachusetts adult educators (as of October 2022)
  • Posts 400–500 courses, with over 5,000 registrations, per year (over 7,000 registrations during the height of the pandemic: July 2020 to June 2021)
  • Responds to hundreds of inquiries related to adult education in Massachusetts

Learn More

SABES Professional Development System Communication Center
EDC Staff
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, managed by Adult and Community Learning Services