The System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) is the adult education (AE) professional development (PD) system of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) unit.
Since 1990, SABES has been essential to the advancement of the ABE system in Massachusetts, providing effective leadership and support to ABE programs, practitioners, and learners across the state. Throughout the evolution of this system, all stakeholders have benefited from SABES’ commitment, expertise, and many achievements. Over time, the educational needs of Massachusetts’ adult learners have changed and now demand a much higher level of academic rigor and support than has heretofore been required. This reality is based on such factors as labor market and technology developments, new content standards, and a new high school equivalency test. Consequently, today’s ABE practitioners and programs need access to PD that is relevant, comprehensive, and responsive to the demand for increased academic rigor and support. Accordingly, in September 2014, SABES transitioned from a system of five regional PD centers and a central resource center to a system of eight statewide PD centers and two statewide PD system support centers responsible for system coordination and communication. View the SABES PD Center Directory. The priorities of this revised ABE PD system are:
- Invest ABE PD resources in content expertise using a statewide provider structure whereby each PD Center is responsible for providing statewide leadership, professional development, and ongoing support in its PD priority area;
- Strengthen curriculum and instruction at ESE-funded ABE programs in full alignment with the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (the CCR Standards) with an emphasis on increased academic rigor and expertise;
- Strengthen ABE educator effectiveness by providing a range of PD offerings and supports of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration in order to increase educators' professional learning and improve educator practice;
- Strengthen education and career advising to support college and career readiness for all adult learners;
- Develop and support educational leadership within ESE-funded ABE programs in order to build capacity of administrators to effectively lead their staff and manage their programs to fully implement the rigorous CCR standards for adult education; and
- Provide technical assistance to ESE-funded ABE programs, including targeted intervention for underperforming programs referred by ACLS, in order to improve student performance and achieve state and local ABE program goals.
These PD system priorities directly address two of the three goals of the Massachusetts Strategic Framework for ABE, that is, increasing the ABE system’s effectiveness at preparing adult students for success in their next steps.
The System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) is comprised of eight statewide PD centers and two statewide PD system support centers responsible for system coordination and communication. All SABES centers are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), with funds managed by the Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) unit of ESE. ACLS’s mission is to provide each and every adult with opportunities to develop literacy skills needed to qualify for further education, job training, and better employment, and to reach his/her full potential as a family member, productive worker, and citizen. SABES will assist ABE programs and practitioners in engaging in PD activities that support this mission and better meet the college and career readiness needs of ABE learners throughout the Commonwealth.