Adult Literacy & Adult Education SIG 4

Message from SIG Chair

As your elected officers, we look forward to serving you and the field over the next two years. We intend to plan ALAE sponsored initiatives within and outside of the AERA Annual Conference to address your needs for professional learning and foster a sense of community for ALAE members.

  1. First, thank you for those who have already volunteered to serve as reviewers for the 2023 AERA Annual Meeting! We are seeking additional volunteers to serve as reviewers. This is a great way to get involved in the SIG and a valuable service opportunity, especially for early career scholars. We encourage any SIG members to volunteer as your expertise and feedback really helps shape the content year-to-year. Depending on the volume of submissions, reviewers can expect anywhere from 5-10 (it cannot exceed 10!) submissions to review. These reviews will take place during a 3-week period (August 15-September 9).

If you are a current member, to sign-up, to volunteer, please visit, sign into your account, click on “My AERA”, and scroll down to click “2023 AERA Annual Meeting – Volunteer to be a Reviewer”. From there, under “General Menu”, you will complete a short form that our program chair will use to help assign relevant submissions to you. Make sure once you submit the form you also selected the ALAE SIG from the list of reviewer options. Please be sure to indicate your area(s) of expertise and interest so our new Program Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Tighe can match you with appropriate proposals.

  1. Please fill out our Membership Needs Assessment by July 31st. We would like to know what your needs and interests are as we shape the direction of the SIG for the next two years.

  1. Finally, we want to let you know that we will be sending out a monthly “ALAE Special Things Survey.” We invite everyone in ALAE to input something special that happened in the past month related to their work. Please share big things - like being awarded a large grant, an appointment as a journal editor or editor of a book, a call for manuscripts, or a call for a job. Also, please consider sharing smaller things like an excellent article or a question for the group you would like to share. Please know we intend to share your “Special Things” in multiple ways – like our email listserv, our soon to be revised website, and/or through the officers’ social media platforms.  Feel free to fill out this survey as many times as you like by July 31st. We love spreading the good news of the ALAE community!

Meet the ALAE Elected Leadership

Leah Katherine Saal is the new ALAE Chair and is looking forward to supporting the professional collaboration and learning of ALAE membership. Leah Katherine is an Associate Professor of Literacy at Loyola University Maryland. Saal’s engaged scholarly agenda focuses on the intersectionality of literacy and social justice. Her research includes two dovetailing strands: 1) the literacies of adults in and out of educational programs and 2) the preparation and support of literacy leaders to work for social justice. She has over seventeen years of experience working with, learning from, and teaching in adult education programs in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Maryland.

Elizabeth Tighe is excited to serve as the new Program Chair and is looking forward to an exciting 2023 Annual Meeting. Liz is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Assistant Director of the Adult Literacy Research Center at Georgia State University (GSU). Her research focuses on the literacy skills and instructional needs of struggling adult readers. She has published and presented work on individual differences in adults’ component reading skills, assessment and measurement of reading constructs, classification of learning disabilities, and using educational technology in adult literacy classrooms.  Her work has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and AERA. She has also tutored in multiple adult literacy classrooms in Florida and Massachusetts and has also taught high school equivalency courses in Arizona.

Margaret Patterson is the incoming Secretary/Treasure. Margaret is a Senior Researcher with Research Allies for Lifelong Learning in the Washington, DC, metro area (, partners with non-profit organizations, postsecondary institutions, and state agencies to apply research and conduct evaluations that support adult educators and learners. Previously, she served as Research Director at GED Testing Service in American Council on Education and as Associate Director of Adult Education in Kansas. She administered and taught in adult education programs in Nebraska, Nevada, Kansas, and Virginia, and provides professional learning on research and evaluation throughout the USA.

We sincerely appreciate your consideration and input, and we look forward to serving you while learning with/from you!