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Adult Education Organizations Using the Adkins Program
Strengthening Adult Student Motivation

Adkins Program Results

The Adkins Program gives students good reasons to stay in and complete literacy and equivalency programs. Attendance rates of 85% are regularly reported.

It has long been recognized that it is difficult for adult students to attend adult education classes regularly. The learning is intrinsically difficult and survival places many other demands on their time. Unless their motivation is great and sustained, it is not unusual for them to drop out.

The Adkins Life Skills Program: Career Development Series helps strengthen adult student motivation to attend and complete adult basic, GED and ESL programs. It does this by helping students make informed choices about their future and set goals that include completion of an appropriate literacy program.

Keeping Students in Adult Literacy Programs

On the one hand adult students know that the ability to read, speak English, or get high school credentials is intrinsically a good thing. On the other, they also know from experience that literacy learning is hard work and they must fit their education into an already crowded schedule, complicated by childcare issues, the need to work (often two jobs), the requirements of workfare, etc. Often, they do not have clear career and educational goals to help them persist with these difficult tasks.

The Adkins Career Program has been used in many adult education centers serving a wide range of students including the unemployed, underemployed, ex-offenders, welfare clients, immigrants, abused women, women with disabilities and at- risk youth who have dropped out of school. The invariable finding is that the Adkins Program helps students make the kind of short term and long term educational and career choices that motivate them to stay in and complete literacy programs.

In the words of adult educators, here are three reasons why the Adkins Program works:

  1. The dignifying process of the Adkins learning model helps students believe in themselves and realize that they can make choices and create a better future for themselves and their families.
  2. The realization on the part of students that "We are the subject of this program". Sometimes they learn for the first time that they have interests, values, abilities and personality traits that have value in making decisions about career and educational goals.
  3. The act of making informed career choices and concrete plans to pursue them, brings home the importance of literacy and academic credentials. It also has the effect of strengthening their resolve to improve their literacy and academic skills.

Supporting Research

227 adults students in Adult Education Centers in 13 cities in New York State were enrolled in the Adkins Career Development Program in addition to Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, High School Equivalency and Vocational Training.

Summarizing briefly, 97.8% of the 227 adult students rated the Adkins Program either "one of the best" or "a good program"; 97.3% would recommend the Adkins Program to their friends; 90.4% "attended all the time" or "missed occasionally"; 79.9% of the students reported that they worked harder in their other adult classes as a result; and 86.5% said Life Skills helped them realize the importance of job training.

Pre-post ratings by Life Skills Educators on 32 separate measures indicated that 86.5% of students significantly increased their employment-related knowledge and skills. Staff also reported other secondary findings; 72.6% of students improved their ability to speak in a group and 73% improved their self-confidence. In cities as different as New York City and Niagara Falls and Schenectady, the Adkins Program Made a real difference as a complement to other programs in adult education.

New York State Education Report

[ MORE RESEARCH ]       [ TOP ]

Ask us for contacts in Adult Education programs who can tell you about the value of the Adkins Program in their center.

Adult Education Students Surveyed

97.3% would recommend the Adkins Program to their friends

Source: New York State Education Report.
Survey of 227 adults students in Adult Education Centers in 13 cities in New York State enrolled in the Adkins Career Development Program in addition to Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, High School Equivalency and Vocational Training.


"Academic Skills and Vocational Skills simply aren't enough. We have to get the person to make decisions about what he's willing to work for and to change his attitudes about work. That's what the Adkins Program does for us. It gets them to motivate themselves from inside."
-Training Administrator