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Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy

STAR Partner Login


Contact and lead agency

Sabrina Mancini, Connecticut State Department of Education

25 Industrial Park Road
Middletown, CT 06457

Phone: 860-807-2110
Fax: 860-807-2112

Professional development system

The Adult Training and Development Network (ATDN) of the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) is the professional development agent for the Connecticut State Department of Education's Bureau of Health/Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education. ATDN works closely and collaboratively with the Bureau and local adult education programs to identify and implement program and teacher training needs. The Bureau, with the support and collaboration of ATDN, has designed and implemented a professional development model that features the following:

  • Professional Development Basics;
  • Field-Requested Professional Development; and
  • Special Projects.

Established and coordinated by the Bureau with support and facilitation from ATDN, The Reading and Language Arts Task Force (RTF) reviews existing reading instructional practices and strategies, adapts those strategies to teaching adult learners, helps create training initiatives, and advises the Bureau on reading and writing issues as they relate to adult learners. The RTF is very involved with Bureau's capacity building efforts to introduce more adult education programs and expose more teachers to the comprehensive STAR professional development model. As part of ATDN's professional development basics, the RTF was instrumental in establishing the Connecticut Reading Institute. The Connecticut Reading Institute is a professional development initiative that provides a series of workshops focused specifically on improving learner performance and outcomes. Based upon the STAR model, the Connecticut Reading Institute provides adult education teachers with training, resources, and strategies utilizing evidence-based instructional practices and techniques. Additionally, with Connecticut's adoption of the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards, STAR training now incorporates the CCR Standards as part of this professional development initiative.

STAR implementation

Connecticut began implementing STAR in 2004, by selecting three local programs to pilot this professional development initiative. These programs were chosen because they have large numbers of intermediate-level readers and the largest number of teachers at that level. Additionally, teacher surveys at these sites indicated a need and desire for professional development in the area of reading instruction.

All three programs identified teachers and a site coordinator to work closely with ATDN. The Project STAR pilot team also invited teachers of intermediate-level readers in other program areas to participate. The majority of the teachers have a background in education, but not in reading. However, each program has at least one to two teachers who do have formal reading training.

Since the initial pilot phase, Connecticut has trained eight additional local adult education programs. Training is provided through ATDN by Connecticut's nationally certified STAR trainers, Aileen Halloran and Kristin Berenson. Each STAR trained program has established a STAR lead who provides local program support, updates on program progress, and coordinates/facilitates professional development for its STAR trained teachers.

Additionally, Aileen and Kristin plan and deliver STAR Institutes and STAR Booster Sessions for currently trained programs and participants. They deliver on-going technical assistance online and in-person including facilitating problem-solving meetings, providing online and print resources, completing on-site observations and modeling of lessons for teachers.

In September 2012, Connecticut created a STAR Community of Practice, through Wiggio, as a means of sharing resources, discussing practices, and planning activities and sharing sessions. Both Aileen and Kristin continue to facilitate this learning community.