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Measuring Trends in Adult Literacy
Posted by Jennifer Vecchiarelli on March 01, 2018 in categoryAdvocacycategoryMember Tips
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Each year, we conduct a survey of ProLiteracy’s 1,000 member organizations in all 50 states to measure local programmatic activities. With an emphasis on tracking multi-year trends in the field, we ask about  services provided, student and instructor demographics, instructional methods, and funding sources. 

The 2016-2017 Annual Statistical Report is based on data from member programs that serve 216,000 students with more than 85,000 instructors and volunteers. 
Here are some significant findings from this year’s report: 

  1. The total number of English language learners has increased 13 percentage points in eight years.
  2. 78% of students enter programs with less than a high school education.
  3. The number of programs receiving United Way funding has steadily declined over the past 12 years.
  4. 31% of programs now offer digital literacy versus 12% just 7 years ago.
  5. The average retention rate of volunteers has increased from 80% in 2013 to 85% in 2017. 
  6. 63% of programs have student waiting lists, a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2012.



ProLiteracy uses the Annual Statistical Report to support our advocacy and awareness initiatives on behalf of all member organizations. We encourage our members and programs everywhere to use this data to: 

  • Assist with advocacy, fundraising, and public relations efforts
  • Identify trends in the field 
  • Compare their organization’s statistics to national averages

View the 2016-17 Annual Statistical Report here. Please share your thoughts about this year’s report in the comment section below.



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