Neletha Butterfield earned certification as an Adult Education Retention Specialist

Lifelong Learning is the key states alternative school founder. It is never too late to keep on learning.

C.A.R.E. Learning Centre founder and director Dr. the Hon. D. Neletha Butterfield, M.B.E., J.P., Ed. D recently earned certification as an Adult Education Retention Specialist on 6th February, 2024. She received her badge during a very emotional webinar ceremony by her instructor, Jen Denton-Director of Educational Development, Essential Education, who during her introduction and congratulatory remarks to Dr. Butterfield broke down in tears. Jen stated in her remarks, “Dr. Butterfield who is the Director of C.A.R.E. Learning programme in Bermuda had some very difficult life circumstances but what she brought to the table, the way it went and how she connected with our group was really, incredible.

We are so thankful perhaps she can share with the group her story with us one day, it is incredible. We are so thankful to you for the work that you did this year. We cannotthank you enough.” At the end of the presentation Jen requested some tissues to wipe her teary eyes as it was a very emotional moment for her and Dr. Butterfield.

We are pleased to recognize and celebrate your significant contributions to the 2023 Essential Education Professional Learning Community (PLC). As a COABE-Certified Adult Education Retention Specialist, your skills will impact students and educators for years to come. We are grateful for your participation and applaud you for your continued commitment to the adult education community.

We trust this experience has been rewarding and as meaningful to you as it has been for our team at Essential Education and look forward to future opportunities to partner with you.

We covet your continued support and collaboration as partners and friends. The work we do is not easy, but worthwhile endeavors rarely are. With heartfelt gratitude and acknowledgment of a job well done, we thank you.

Lindsey Lord, Project Manager for Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), stated; “on behalf of COABE, congratulations on completing our inaugural COABE Retention Specialist credential which was hosted by Essential Education! We are pleased to share our Retention Specialist badge which you can post to LinkedIn and other professional sites. Once again, congratulations!

In partnership with the Coalition of Adult Basic Education (COABE), we invited select teachers and administrators from across the nation to join Essential Education’s Professional Learning Community (PLC) to closely examine six retention-impacting factors. Appropriately called “Retention Anchors,” these crucial elements focused on collaborative findings and emerging research within the adult education community. The PLC reflections and activities of the participants is in the guide.

THE 6 ANCHORS OF STUDENT RETENTION”that was produced after the learning experience and input from students with proven strategies for long-term student success and engagement in adult education. Within this guide it will provide engaging strategies to utilize in any adult education classroom.

Mr. Dan Griffith the Education Director, Essential Education was very instrumental in assisting Dr. Butterfield to continue her studies. In September, 2023 when her assignment was due she emailed Dan to tellhim that she would have to drop out of the programme due to the tragic and untimely death of her son, Kirk Butterfield. Dan replied to her and stated, “Neletha! We lost our 16-year-old daughter and her best friend in an accident 14 years ago. My heart breaks for you and your family. Take whatever time you need. Let us know when you want to resume. We can put you “on hold” until that time comes. Prayers for God’s peace to you and family.

With this replied message from Dan, Dr. Butterfield shocked by his reply kept his comments close to her heart and three months later said, I am going to do this and she completed her assignments within weeks. She thanks Dan for his encouragement and we never know what other individuals’ stories are and this one was one that moved Dr. Butterfield to complete all her assignments to become certified and dedicate her completion in memory of her son..

This message from Dan Griffith who has now moved on to another project states;” Jen was kind enough to send me a pdf of the Retention Guide. I am so sorry I deserted you all near the end but am just amazed at what came to pass. You should all be very proud of your work and work ethic! The guide is amazing and  it will bless and benefit adult educators for years to come, I am sure. So, I just wanted to shoot you a note and tell you how much I appreciated the opportunity to work closely with you on that project and wish you all the very best as elite adult educators with the Retention Specialist Certification from COABE!

G.E.D. Instructor, Mr. Quinton Sherlock, Jr. salutes the accomplishments of the Director as her contribution to education is highlighted in the 167-page documententitled:” THE 6 ANCHORS OF STUDENT RETENTION. I am looking forward to receiving a hardcopy and utilize the information in the classroom for student retention. Programme Director, Mr.Kwondé Lathan expressed his congratulations to the Director as this is a first for Bermuda as well as a first for Essential Education to have an international student to complete and pass a very extensive and intenseprogramme for adult learners truly an outstanding accomplishment for a lifelong learning educator. Over fifty educators enrolled in the project course with thirteen completing and becoming COABE certified retention specialists.

The guide is available from Essential Education- Retention Anchor 1: Knowing your Audience- Who is the student? Retention Anchor 2: Capitalizing on the Now –Applying just-in-time learning. Retention Anchor 3: Creating Culture: Fostering an environment for student success. Retention Anchor 4: Getting Connected – Creating relationships for Continuance. Retention Anchor 5: Measuring Progress- Tracking, Improving and Celebrating Gains. Retention Anchor 6: Growing Professionally- Continuing Education for Program Retention. Contact: /educators 800-931-8069 or

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