MACAE believes in the importance of grassroots professional development and sharing of best practices.  To get the most out of your MACAE membership,  consider volunteering for a committee. You will expand your network, stay informed, and learn new skills, all while connecting with colleagues and advocating for community and adult education!

We are excited to offer six dynamic working groups: Adult Basic Education/Literacy, Advocacy, Alternative Education, Community Education, High School Equivalency and new this year, Workforce Development made up of practitioners from across the state.

The purpose of the MACAE Committees is to gather resources and ideas to create best practices in each area. These best practices can be shared and utilized by adult education providers across the state.

Each committee this year will concentrate its efforts in the following areas:

  • Analyzing statewide data trends and best practices in that particular content area
  • Producing innovative programming initiatives
  • Gathering resources, ideas for program improvement and enhancement
  • Offering leadership and input on statewide initiatives
  • Organizing professional development resources and training to support the field
  • Making recommendations for improved services and outcomes for participants

Each committee is represented by a chairperson on the MACAE Board of Directors.

Committee Meeting dates for 2021-2022 are scheduled virtually as follows  from 1pm-3pm: August 13, September 10, October 25, November 12, January 14, February 11, May 4

Adult Basic Education (ABE)/Literacy 

Sara Brooks, ESL/ABE Consultant and Sr. Janice Brown, Siena Literacy Center, Co-Chairs 

The MACAE ABE/Literacy Group will provide best practices and resources to the adult education field to increase performance goals and participant success. Vision: Every adult will develop strong lifelong knowledge and skills to contribute to their family, the workforce and their community to become global citizens.

Advocacy Committee

Oogie La Mar, Kent ISD Adult Education, Chair ( 

The Advocacy Committee works on behalf of the MACAE membership to promote the awareness and importance of adult, alternative, community education and workforce training across the state of Michigan. The advocacy committee promotes the intersection of individual programs and how adult education as a whole bridges the skills gap in Michigan, increases employment, prepares for higher education, training and credentialing and builds resilient communities.

Student Ambassador Training: A training for adult and alternative education students to foster leadership skills for communication and sharing their personal and educational story.

Student Speak Events: A series of opportunities for individual programs to highlight adult, alternative education, community education and workforce training participant stories. These events allow for the program participants to share with policymakers and local, state or national community leaders the importance of this type of programming.

Alternative Education 

Shelley Hanson, Swan Valley Adult, Alternative and Community Education, Chair ( )

The Alternative Education Committee seeks to serve the Alternative education and Alternative high school populations across the state. The committee focuses on State Policies and Performance, Teaching and Learning Strategies, and Social/Emotional Aspects for both students and teachers.

Community Education 

Brian Puffer, Saline Areas Schools Community Education Director, Chair  (

The Community Education Committee seeks to support Adult/Alternative Education, Early Childhood, Before and After School CARE, Enrichment and Recreation classes, Facility Management, Sports Camp, Vocational and Workplace Learning, and Career Technical Education across the state of Michigan in the public school system. Community Education supports the whole family from cradle to career.

High School Equivalency Education

Whitney Dettmer, Iosco RESA Adult Education, Chair ( )

The High School Equivalency Committee supports adult and alternative education, and workforce training preparation programs who offer high school equivalency options (High School Diploma, GED, HiSET, TASC). The committee seeks to identify best practices and guidance for instructional best practices, program administration of multiple HSE testing streams, preparation materials and curriculums, sharing participants success stories and access to cost effective testing for program participants.

Workforce Development 

Karyn Goven, Southwest Economic Solutions, Chair (

The Workforce Education Committee’s vision is to prepare educators, researchers and policymakers to understand interdisciplinary education and work connections.  This will be accomplished by networking, building partnerships, creating and providing professional development, curriculum and instruction in a variety of formats to meet the diverse needs of professionals in the field.

Regional Conveners Cohort 

Patrick Brown, MACAE, Facilitator ( 

The Regional Conveners is a collaborative think tank made up of all regional prosperity fiscal agents along with one adult education provider.  The Cohort meets periodically throughout the year virtually with members of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to discuss strategies and best practices to improve the delivery of adult education programming across the state.

Complete the form below if you are interested in joining a committee:

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