In the United States, about 32 million adults lack a high school degree or equivalent. Adults with low levels of academic attainment or low basic skills 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 System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES), a professional development (PD) network. For six 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 is carrying out the following activities:

  • Manage the SABES website, which includes a course calendar, account and registration systems, promotional email databases, and a resource library
  • Promote SABES courses through social media, email blasts, the website, and presentations at conferences and meetings
  • Produce Web, video, and print resources to promote the state’s adult education and adult education PD systems
  • Convene PD system staff meetings
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in adult education in Massachusetts


The SABES Communication Center:

  • Is used by over 3,000 Massachusetts adult educators (as of November 2020)
  • Posts 400–500 courses, with over 1,000 registrations, per year (including 1,200 from November 2019 through October 2020)
  • Developed four best practice videos on Student Achievement in Reading (STAR), as well as videos on the path to taking equivalency exams in English and Spanish.
  • 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