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10 Adult Education & Literacy Statistics You Need to Know

10 Adult Education & Literacy Statistics You Need to Know

September 17-23, 2023 is National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week! This campaign was started by the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) in 2009 to spread public awareness about adult education and literacy’s impact on the economic and societal well-being of individuals and families. 

At myOneFlow, many of our customers work at the forefront of adult education. To show our support, we’ve rounded up ten statistics demonstrating the need for and the importance of improved access to these services. 

  1. Over half of adults cannot read above a 6th-grade level.3 
  2. A child’s future academic success is more closely correlated with her mother’s reading skills than any other factor, including neighborhood and family income.1
  3. 1 in 5 high school graduates can’t read.4
  4. 50% of adult education programs have long student wait lists.1
  5. Adults with the lowest literacy levels are almost 10x more likely to live below the poverty line. 4
  6. If all American adults could read at a minimum 6th-grade level, the country’s GDP would increase by an estimated $2.2 trillion annually.1
  7. ¾ of state incarcerated individuals either did not complete high school or are low literate.1
  8. 20% of adults cannot read at the level required to earn a living wage.4 
  9. Over $100 billion of health care costs are related to low adult literacy.1
  10. ¾ of Americans who receive food stamps have low literacy skills.4

Advocacy for Adult Education 

Despite their importance, adult education programs are underfunded and understaffed. This week is the perfect time to take a few extra steps towards supporting adult education and literacy programs in your network. 

  • Contact policymakers.
    Keeping adult ed at the forefront of the political agenda is critical to securing increased funding. Sharing statistics and adult learner stories can help contextualize the importance and impact of these programs in your community. 
  • Post on social media.
    Both the NCL and COABE have a number of advocacy resources and sample messaging that can be shared on social media to encourage a dialogue about adult ed in your network and community. 
  • Share successful programs.
    Adult ed and literacy programs with a history of success can serve as inspirational models for other programs as well as guides for policymakers. The NCL has several lists of case studies and program success stories. 

How myOneFlow Supports Adult Ed Programs 

One of the most prominent barriers to success for adult ed programs is a lack of modern technological solutions. myOneFlow’s continuing education software uses AI-powered workflows that help adult ed programs increase efficiency, so staff spends less time on manual tasks and more time serving students. Technology can also make adult ed programs more accessible and equitable, effectively increasing the scale and reach of programs in their community.  

Could your adult ed program benefit from a modern technological solution? Contact our team today to schedule a personalized demo. 

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Sources 

  1. https://www.proliteracy.org/Adult-Literacy-Facts 
  1. https://nationalcoalitionforliteracy.org/ 
  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2020/09/09/low-literacy-levels-among-us-adults-could-be-costing-the-economy-22-trillion-a-year/ 
  1. https://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20-%20Administrators/Curriculum/ELA/Pages/Infographics.aspx 
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