ERIC Number: ED484618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
"One Day I Will Make It": A Study of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs
Porter, Kristin E.; Cuban, Sondra; Comings, John P.
Although research indicates that adults with low literacy skills need 100 to 150 hours of instruction to advance one grade level, adults in literacy programs participate in instruction for an average of only 70 hours per year. The Wallace Foundation launched the Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative in 1996 to help library-based literacy programs nationwide increase the persistence of their adult learners, and it contracted with MDRC and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) at Harvard University in 1999 to study the initiative. The participating libraries were granted resources to develop and implement persistence strategies that included improved instruction, more varied and more extensive social supports, and technology upgrades. This is the fourth and final report from the persistence study, which examined the implementation and effects of these strategies in nine library literacy programs over four years and whether student participation changed over time. It was found that throughout the study period, students' average participation in program activities fell well short of the level required to improve their literacy skills. For all demographic groups in the study, the duration and intensity of participation did not change substantially over time. Standardized tests showed modest increases in achievement. No relationship was found between students' number of hours of participation and their achievement gains. The following are appended: (1) The Five Libraries Participating in the LILAA Persistence Study; (2) Samples Used in the LILAA Evaluation; (3) The Achievement Study Component of the LILAA Persistence Study; and (4) Measuring Student Persistence: Definitions and Limitations. (Contains 11 tables and 4 figures.) [Document is part of the LILAA initiative, supported by The Wallace Foundation and, with the support also of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Report written with Valerie Chase. Dissemination of MDRC publications is also supported by Starr Foundation.]
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education
Sponsor: Atlantic Philanthropies; Alcoa Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Ambrose Monell Foundation, New York, NY.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Grable Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.