About Us

The Adult Secondary Education Council (ASEC) is an association of adult educators in the province of Manitoba. The vast majority of our members work in Adult Learning Centres (ALCs) or in Adult Literacy Programs (ALPs). We also have members who work in post secondary institutions.

Visit the Adult Learning and Literacy branch website for a directory and quick reference sheets of Manitoba ALCs and ALPs, as well as an interactive map.



I’m not normally attracted to military imagery, but when the interim Board of Directors of the Adult Secondary Education Council met on June 1st to sign an application to incorporate, we shared the feeling that we were “planting a standard where a standard never flew.” At the time we joked that we felt like the fathers (and mothers!) of confederation. In all our collective years of experience working with adult students in secondary level schooling, none of us had ever found a support organization that addressed our specific needs and wishes. When we began to bring people together informally to talk about the issues of adult secondary education, it became clear that we were not alone in the desire for some sort of organized networking, professional development and lobbying body that would bring together the myriad adult learning centres and upgrading programs that are scattered across the province. It has been said that if you can’t find the book you want, you have to write it yourself. Not having been able to find the professional association we wanted, the members of the interim board of ASEC set out to build it ourselves. This newsletter marks not a beginning, but a next step in a process that has taken over two years. Our hope is that our incorporation papers will be approved in time for our October conference to mark the real beginning of ASEC as a recognized voice for adult secondary educators in the province of Manitoba.



Anne Longston, then Principal of New Directions Adult Education Centre in Lac du Bonnet sent out a letter to other adult education centres wondering if anyone else was interested in networking, professional development, and possibly even forming an association of adult educators in Manitoba. Jeff Kerr, Manager of the Brandon Adult Learning Centre, responds to Longston’s letter, and shares the information with Anna Beauchamp, Associate Dean of the Collegiate at the University of Winnipeg.

APRIL 1996

Longston, Kerr and Beauchamp met in Winnipeg and decide to plan a larger forum in order to bring together a wider group.

MAY 13, 1996

“Brave New Beginnings: A Forum on High School Education for Adults” took place at The University of Winnipeg. Tim Sale, MLA for Charleswood gave the keynote address, and a panel from Manitoba Education and Training (ME&T) presented some of the work in-progress on a proposed new Mature Student policy. Approx. 25 people from a variety of adult learning programs attended. Participants wished they could meet more often. A small action committee was appointed from the forum to follow up with ME&T regarding the proposed new policy.

JUNE 5, 1996

The Action Committee of High School Education for Adults met in Winnipeg. The committee consisted of Jeff Kerr, Anna Beauchamp, Pat Zwolak-Ross from Red River Community College, Valarie Anderson from Empower Adult Education Centre in Pine Falls, and Sandy Truthwaite from the Lifelong Learning Centre in Selkirk. The committee drafted a letter to ME&T requesting an active role in development of the Mature Student policy, and worked on developing a mailing list. Shortly thereafter, a small delegation met with Brian Hanson of ME&T to discuss the Mature Student policy.

FEBRUARY 17, 1998

“Forum on High School Education for Adults” met at The University of Winnipeg, and was attended by about 30 educators many of whom represent adult learning centres that came into existence over the last two years. The need for further networking and P.D. was confirmed, and there was a stronger impetus to form an association. An association steering committee was struck and given the additional mandate to renew contact with ME&T regarding the Mature Student policy. The steering committee consisted of Anna Beauchamp, Jeff Kerr, Jim York, Pat Zwolak-Ross, Jim Rastel from the Thompson Adult Learning Centre, Jocelyn Starr from Yellowquill College, and Dorothy Braun from Rhineland School Division.

MARCH 3, 1998

The first steering committee meeting was held via conference call, a survey of potential members was planned, and work began on drafting a constitution.

MARCH 25, 1998

A first draft of a constitution is reviewed and discussed, and the committee brainstormed names for the organization. The members survey was readied for mailing. Cheryl Campbell from Pembina Valley Regional Alternative Education Committee replaced Dorothy Braun.

APRIL 28, 1998

On March 27, 1998 the steering committee sent out 128 surveys. Theyreceived 61 responses, approximately 50%! Fifty-eight respondents said that they would join an association for high school education for adults. The committee chose Michelle Grant’s suggested name for the organization, Adult Secondary Education Council (ASEC). The respondents felt that the focus of this group should be (1) networking of adult educators; (2) organizing of PD days for these educators; (3) writing and distributing of a newsletter; and (4) communicating with government groups.

Educators wanted to see a sharing of resource lists, announcements of upcoming conferences and other events, a sharing of classroom “how-to’s”, and a sharing of success stories. In addition, several asked for information about adult education, new adult centres, and a sharing of organizational structure and handling of various tasks at other centres. A wide assortment of needs/wishes were expressed for professional development activities. Curriculum development, needs assessments, life skills, classroom materials, competency based courses, adult education research and methodology, school-initiated courses, use of technology, “at risk” learners, motivational speakers, casual sharing, evaluation, successful models, new math curriculum, remedial English and math were among the requests. The additional comments were overwhelmingly positive:
“Much needed service”
“Thank you for your efforts!”
“It’s a great idea and I would like to be a part of it.”
“This represents a fast-growing need in our community.”
“I would like to see a strong group formed so that each of us does not have to re-invent the wheel in our own schools.”

MAY 12, 1998

Preliminary discussion about conference and newsletter plans took place by conference call. Anna Beauchamp was able to report that she had received confirmation that someone from Manitoba Education and Training would be contacting the committee members in 2-3 weeks. Ted Franson, principal of W.C. Miller Collegiate in Altona, took the place of Cheryl Campbell on the committee.

JUNE 1-2, 1998

The steering committee met in Winnipeg to plan a spring newsletter, and a fall conference, and to sign the application for incorporation.

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