In 1988, COLLO representatives collaborated with the Joint Commission of Community Colleges (AACC) and it Trustees
(ACCT) to work with the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor to create the original “Tech Prep”
legislation for the nation's community colleges. COLLO then met with Members of Congress to assist in
ensuring its passage into law. “Tech Prep” still exists today.
In 1992, since one of the major subsets of adult learning is adult basic education, efforts were made for COLLO
to effectively collaborate with the National Coalition for Literacy (NCOL). Each coalition ensured that members
of the other coalition served in leadership capacities. As a result, the continuum of adult learning was
strengthened, and COLLO became more of a force in adult basic education.
National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)
In 1993, COLLO supported the G.H.W. Bush Administration's effort to focus on literacy efforts, and helped
in the creation of NIFL. COLLO members assisted in the development of its organizational framework, and worked
with the White House to have COLLO members be part of the newly established NIFL Board. Of the nine original
board members, five were practitioners from COLLO organizations. NIFL still exists today.
Federal Literacy Programs
In 1994, while the Congressional leadership was attempting to eliminate the 14 federal literacy programs,
COLLO created a grassroots network to fight against this effort. COLLO raised nearly $150,000 from companies
that sold literacy-based materials, hired a lobbyist, and meet with key Congressional members and staff. As
a result, all 14 literacy programs were saved and received a 38% ($100M) increase in federal funds.
All those literacy programs still exist today.
In 1994, representatives from Syracuse University (SU) asked COLLO and its member organizations to utilize
their E.S. Bird Library as a repository for the adult learning archives. After meeting with several other
potential site officials, COLLO decided that since the Adult Learning Clearinghouse was already located
at SU that would be an excellent location. COLLO organizations were invited to send any archival
materials to SU so that researchers for years to come would have the benefit of a central source.
In 1995, ACT was having difficulty in the development and implementation of its Work Keys program, and
asked COLLO to assist them. COLLO members served on a 9-member ACT Advisory Committee and assisted in the
development of job profiling, employee skills assessment, and company needs assessment. COLLO helped develop
and/or improve eight of its criterion-referenced assessment areas. Today, Work Keys remains one of the
current viable options for testing adults in their transition to work.
In 1996, the Clinton Administration, Secretary Reich (DOL) and Secretary Riley (DOE) wanted to place
a greater federal effort on the transition to work. They created an advisory committee of stakeholders
in which many were COLLO members. That Advisory Committee assisted in the development of legislation
and regulations of the federal “School-to-Work” initiative. Since its initiation, there has
been mixed reviews on its effectiveness at the state level. Although the specific program no longer
exists at the federal level, elements have been incorporated into the DOL “One-Stop” program.
Troy State University
In 1997, Auburn University (AU) and Alabama A&M (AAM) were under a court order to integrate its
respective student populations. They were to appear before a federal court for violating the original
court order. Together, they devised a solution....to eliminate Troy State University (TSU) and have its
majority students become students of AAM and its minority students become students of AU. COLLO was
asked to testify in Birmingham (AL) on behalf of TSU. Since COLLO testimony focused upon TSU's fully
integrated staff and student population, the federal judge ruled against the AU and AAM remedy.
TSU was saved and it's currently operating to serve adult learners.
Adult Learning Hall of Fame
In 1997, one COLLO member was interviewing several of the early leaders within the adult learning field. Realizing
that the early legacy of the profession could disappear, an initiative was started to establish an International
Adult Learning Hall of Fame. COLLO was involved in its development, its fundraising efforts, its site
determination, and its inaugural inductee ceremony. In 1998, the first inductees were celebrated in Atlanta (GA)
and the Hall of Fame is now located in the White Building at the University of Oklahoma.
Galaxy II Conference
In 1998, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first Galaxy conference in 1969, COLLO
asked its member organizations to combine their annual meetings and conferences. Seven national organizations
combined their conferences to meet in San Antonio in 1999 to discuss the implications of past, present, and
future of adult learning. Galaxy I created CAEO, the predecessor organization to COLLO.
Due to the success of COLLO initiatives, organizational endorsements were sought from COLLO to support
are variety of adult learning efforts (i.e., ERIC Clearinghouses, Pell Grant levels, Adult Literacy
Volunteer Training, migrant education, English language deficiency initiatives, Workplace Literacy
Partnerships, technology literacy efforts, rural education, federal grants and contracts, etc.). Having
a COLLO recommendation or letter of support was critical.
COLLO members were also asked to serve as members of other coalitions, such as the National Coalition for
Technology in Education and Training (NCTET), the Federal Interagency Council on Education (FICE), and the
Committee for Educational Funding (CEF). Moreover, COLLO was a significant player in the meetings and conferences
of the USDOE's Office of Vocational and Adult Education. COLLO members were also utilized in the review of
federal contract and grant proposals.
Over the years, COLLO members were actively involved in the passage and/or reauthorization of the Adult
Education Act, Higher Education Act, Vocational Education Act, and Homeless Assistance Act, along with its
plethora of legislative amendments. COLLO was also involved in the federal regulatory development process.