Our Mission and Vision: Promoting Evidence for Adult Learning

The mission of Research Allies for Lifelong Learning is applying research to support adult educators and learners.

Our vision is to ensure you as adult educators and learners across the USA can maximize your use of adult education research and evaluation findings.

Our Approach

If you believe in the value of high-quality, rigorous research and evaluation, you are in good company. Well-designed research and evaluation can address key questions and enhance learning. However, rigorous, high-quality research/evaluation findings are typically not very digestible, either to educators or learners. At Research Allies for Lifelong Learning we explain current findings, whether the research/evaluation is done by us or others, so that adult educators and learners can put findings to use to advance adult learning. We also share research/evaluation findings nationally.

Learn more about our research and evaluation findings.

If you need assistance in understanding and using your locally collected data, you can contact us for help. You can also contact us for research and evaluation consulting and professional development on quantitative or mixed-method research and evaluation for adult educators.

Meet Our Senior Researchers

Research Allies for Lifelong Learning is a woman-owned consulting LLC in Blacksburg, Virginia. Our senior researchers are Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Wei Song.

Our senior researchers are your allies for applying research to support adult educators and learners. You can be confident that we have investigated a topic thoroughly and carefully. We are lifelong learners, too – we have graduate university training and doctorate degrees in education research, have published our work in research journals and for major organizations/agencies, and have supervised the work of other researchers. We are also passionate about the work we do and truly care about helping you apply adult education research.

To learn more, please contact us.

Margaret Becker Patterson, PhD

Senior Researcher

Dr. Patterson has 20 years of research administration experience at the state and national levels, ran a statewide research and data analysis consulting business for seven years, and presents extensively around the country.  She partners with non-profit organizations, postsecondary institutions, and state agencies, applying research to support adult educators and learners. She also has many years of experience as an adult educator and local and state administrator.

Wei Song, PhD

Senior Researcher

Dr. Song’s research interests and experience include K-12, adult education, and higher education. Dr. Song is the author of a series of research reports on the economic impact of the GED credential using national data, including National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) and National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). Drs. Patterson and Song recently conducted the Critiquing Adult Participation in Education (CAPE) research project for VALUEUSA.

Next Steps…

Research Allies for Lifelong Learning is dedicated to working with adult educators and learners to fill a widespread need for rigorous, high-quality research and evaluation in adult education and lifelong learning.

  • Access research you can use
  • Benefit from our extensive experience in showing adult educators how to apply adult education and transitions research with adult learners
  • Join our commitment to giving back to the adult education community and adult learners

Access Our Findings