Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Nagnon Diarrassouba

Second Advisor

Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury

Third Advisor

Julien Brou Kouame


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.

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