In July 2020, the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education (MCAE) surveyed ABE program directors – including those at programs based in schools, community-based organizations, community colleges, and correctional facilities – to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting adult basic education (ABE) programs, staff, and students here in the Commonwealth.

Summary of findings
  • Students rely on ABE programs for so much more than academics, especially during a health care crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, putting more strain on already stretched resources.
  • ABE programs demonstrated great resourcefulness and resiliency, pivoting to remote instruction despite many technological, resource and life change barriers.
  • Remote learning provided some unexpected benefits by removing some barriers to instruction such as scheduling, childcare and transportation, allowing some programs to serve more people.
  • More state investment is needed to enable programs to acquire and distribute technology to programs and students, for staff training and professional development and to adhere to state and local public health guidelines and restrictions.