Date of Award


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)


College of Education

Academic Year



Research efforts in identifying adult literacy rates have for the most part focused on national and international contexts. Conversely, there has been little to no research conducted on neighborhood literacy rates in medium size cities. The purpose of this study was to identify the adult literacy rate in the West Hope Zone, a neighborhood in Grand Rapids Michigan. The major findings reveal that the English illiteracy rates are higher than the most recent estimations by the National Adult Literacy Survey. Adults who attended college, regardless of the language, had more literacy skills and knowledge than those who had a high school diploma or did not graduate from high school. Native speakers of English developed more English literacy skills and knowledge than non-native speakers of English. Based on these findings the author recommended that literacy development efforts be focused on concurrent bilingual programs. Similarly, the author suggested that systematic studies are needed to identify literacy rate and implement literacy programs in neighborhoods within medium and large cities. Keywords: adult literacy, neighborhood literacy, literacy rate, , prose literacy, document literacy, profile approach, socio-cultural perspective, native speakers of English, nonnative speakers of English