ERIC Number: ED181205
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb-2
Reference Count: 0
Reaching the ABE Target Population: How Are We Doing? Planning Studies in Continuing Education.
Sebring, Penny A.; Hanniford, Barbara E.
The extent to which the adult basic education (ABS) target population was being reached by Pennsylvania ABE programs was examined along with characteristics of the target group members. To estimate the size of the target population and describe its demographic characteristics, census data from the "1976 Survey of Income and Education" (SIE) were used. ABE student data were taken from the 1978-79 Pennsylvania report which analyzed information forms on every ABE enrollee in state-funded programs. The target population was defined, following federal guidelines, as persons ages sixteen and over, not in school, and having less than a high school education. Comparisons were made between them and the non-target population (others being served by ABE programs). The target population was estimated at 2.7 million, 31% of the over-sixteen population. Findings show 1.2% of the population in communities was served, with the percentage higher for minorities, women, and institutionalized adults. Percentage of least educated target group members (those having completed grades 1 through 4) reached was 4.7 percent. Generally the target population was more likely to be older, married or widowed, and unemployed than the non-target group. It was concluded that given the age characteristics of the target population it may be unrealistic to expect that a large portion can be served and that programs geared toward improving employability may not be relevant to them. Results raise serious questions about the advisability of concentrating resources on the least educated group as regulations suggest. (Implications for recruitment and resource allocation are discussed.) (JT)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Students, Adults, Age, Demography, Educational Objectives, Educationally Disadvantaged, Females, Individual Characteristics, Institutionalized Persons, Minority Groups, Program Effectiveness, Resource Centers, State Surveys, Student Characteristics, Student Recruitment
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Planning Studies in Continuing Education.
Note: Paper presented at the Lifelong Learning Research conference (College Park, Maryland, February 2, 1980)