AAEA Awards

We would also like to remind you that as a member of AAEA, you are also a member of the national organization: COABE. The nominator of the winning award recipient should then check if there is a matching COABE award and then resubmit the AAEA award recipient’s name to the COABE on the COABE nomination form(s). COABE winners of previous years were awarded significant cash awards. 

The following awards will be presented at our fall meeting.

  1. AAEA Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year (Student of the Year)

  2. AAEA Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year

  3. AAEA Outstanding Administrator of the Year

  4. AAEA Outstanding Workplace of the Year

  5. AAEA Outstanding State Innovation of the Year

  6. AAEA Incentive Grant

  7. AAEA Scholarship

  8. AAEA Volunteer Award

  9. AAEA Hulbert Award

Please note: The following awards will not be COABE compatible if any of these three are self-nominations (Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year, Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year, or Outstanding Administrator of the Year).


1. AAEA Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year (Student of the Year)

The Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year Award is provided to a student who has demonstrated leadership within the formal or non-traditional learning environments. This award is given to a student who has overcome difficult circumstances to pursue adult learning, who has supported other adult learners, and who has managed significant adult responsibilities such as those related to employment, family or community.

Award Criteria:

  1. The nominee must be an adult learner as defined by the sponsoring organization. He or she must have significant adult responsibilities, such as those relating to employment, family, or community.

  2. Has improved the life situation(s) of self/others as a result of learning experience.

  3. Has demonstrated leadership within formal or non-traditional learning environments.

  4. Has maintained family, civic, or employment responsibilities while concurrently pursuing educational goals.

  5. Has overcome difficult circumstances in order to pursue adult learning experiences.

  6. Has been supportive of others engaged in adult learning.

  7. The nominee must have been a student or self-directed learner within 12 months prior to the nomination date.

Self-nominations will not be accepted.


2. AAEA Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year

The Outstanding Adult Education Teacher of the Year, Edgar M. Easley Award is modelled after the COABE award. It is provided to a practitioner with five or more years of adult education teaching experience that participates in school and community activities. This award is given to an individual who understands the characteristics of the adult learner and who understands the characteristics of the adult learner and who is committed to the adult/continuing education profession.

Award Criteria:

  1. A current practitioner with five of more years of adult education teaching experience.

  2. Participates in school and community activities.

  3. Communicates effectively with learners, colleagues, and supervisors.

  4. Committed to the adult/continuing education profession.

  5. Committed to his/her own lifelong learning (evidence of professional development).

  6. Understands the physical, psychological, social, and cognitive characteristics of the adult learner.

  7. Accepts the learner’s cultural and ethnic uniqueness.

  8. Provides a non-threatening, supportive atmosphere for learning, which fosters freedom of thought and expression.

  9. Assists learners in formulating personal learning objectives and assessing progress towards those objectives.

  10. Uses the instructional methods, techniques, materials, and resources most appropriate for the learning tasks and

  11. characteristics of the adult learner.

Self-nominations will not be accepted.


3. AAEA Outstanding Administrator of the Year

The Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award modeled after the COABE award. It is awarded to an adult education administrator with five or more years of experience who has made an outstanding contribution toward fostering the concept of education as a continuing life-process. The awardee must demonstrate a contribution to adult education at the community, state, and/or national levels.

Award Criteria:

  1. The nominee has five or more years of experience in adult education.

  2. The nominee has made outstanding contributions to adult education

  3. The nominee has a clear understanding of adult education and literacy not only as a process but also as a concept that continues throughout life.

  4. The nominee has demonstrated leadership qualities at all levels (local, state, and national levels) and is a strong advocate of adult education and literacy.

  5. The nominee has proven results and is respected by his/her colleagues.

  6. The nominee has received awards and recognitions for his/her work.

Self-nominations will not be accepted.


4. AAEA Outstanding Workplace of the Year

The Outstanding Workplace of the Year matches the COABE Outstanding Workplace of the Year, Chester Klevins Award. It honors an institution which has developed an outstanding workplace literacy program serving a local community, state/province, region and/or nation, has provided programming for more than three years, has developed customized services/curriculum at varied workplace settings, and who can provide evidence from employers that the program has met their objectives.

Award Criteria from COABE:

  1. The nominee has developed an outstanding workplace literacy program serving a local community, state/province, region and/or nation.

  2. The nominee has provided workplace literacy programming for more than three years.

  3. The nominee has developed customized services/curriculum at varied workplace settings.

  4. The nominee can provide evidence from employers that the program has met their objectives.


5. AAEA Outstanding State Innovation of the Year

The State Innovations Award matches the COABE Outstanding State Innovation of the Year. It is presented to a state agency, association, or entity that is able to demonstrate with qualitative and quantitative data that they have developed a best practice, innovation, or service that meets a particular need in their state. The recipient of the award will be able to demonstrate that their innovation supports the adult/continuing education profession and their state's adult education community.


6. AAEA Incentive Grant

This AAEA award matches the COABE Incentive Grant Award and is presented to a recipient to support activities or projects in the field of adult basic education through the secondary level.


7. AAEA Scholarship

The AAEA award is modeled after the COABE Scholarship Award and is presented to recipients to fund, or partially fund, college level courses of study that will advance the professional standing of COABE practitioners. Examples of scholarships include employees or volunteers in the field of adult basic education earning a degree or a state certificate/credential; obtaining an ESL certificate; teacher/counselor obtaining counselor/administrative credential; earning an advanced degree in adult education.

This award is bestowed upon a candidate who has been nominated by two different people, (one may be the candidate him/herself), and has expressed a desire for professional development in Adult Education.  The award includes a significant monetary award, predetermined by the board, which must be used for professional development.  The winner will receive half the award at the awards ceremony and the rest after verification of attendance at a professional development event.  Verification should be submitted to the AAEA Board treasurer within two years of winning the award.  If no verification is submitted, the remainder of the award shall be forfeited.

  1. Nominations must include a clear plan for specific professional development, for example: a plan to enroll in college courses related to ABE, a plan to attend COABE, a plan to attend the Anchorage Adult Ed Conference, etc.

  2. Nominations should include a basis for financial need.

  3. Nominations should include possible outcomes after receiving this professional development.


8. AAEA Volunteer Award

This AAEA award honors to a volunteer who contributes significant commitment or has an impact upon the community, program, or students’ needs.


9. AAEA Hulbert Award

This AAEA Award honors outstanding long-term contribution to lifelong learning.  (This is not an annual award) The John L Hulbert Award is awarded to a person who has contributed to ABE in a significant way for ten years or more, not only in his/her own program, but in other areas of the state as well. The AAEA board must approve this nomination for this award to be valid. A stipend of $300 accompanies this award.


The Alaska Adult Education Association recognizes outstanding leaders in the field of adult education through the Awards Program.  Nominees are solicited in the late spring, and winners are announced at the annual AAEA Fall Luncheon.