The Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment (CLEE) is a $10 million nonprofit organization located within the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The center supports continuous improvement in education and workforce development through training, resources, advocacy, and research.
Founded in 1988 as the Center for Literacy Studies (CLS), the Center’s original charge was to link interdisciplinary efforts within the university with practitioners in the field of adult literacy. Throughout the next 15 years, the Center gained national recognition for linking theory and practice through research, professional development, partnerships, and building and sharing the knowledge of the field.
In 2005, the Center expanded this charge to include lifelong literacy and support to K-12 education, and in 2010, the Center strengthened its capacity in the areas of both workforce development and support of individuals with disabilities through a merger with the then UT Center for Disability and Employment (CDE).
Our new name, The Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment launched in 2012, recognizes the center’s expanded scope and capacity while preserving our heritage of quality research, services, and support for ALL individuals as life-long learners and active members of families, communities, and workplaces.
The center works actively with state and national institutions, K-12 and post-secondary schools, literacy organizations, service agencies, employers, workforce development partners and others to increase its capacity to effectively support its populations, particularly with a focus on at-risk or under-served populations. Our shared goal is to help individuals build knowledge and improve skills needed to be life-long learners and active members of families, communities, and workplaces.
Our work is supported through grants and contracts from a variety of sources, including U.S. and foreign government agencies, private foundations, nonprofit organizations, universities, and corporations. High-quality research and evaluation, innovative professional development opportunities, the use of cutting-edge technology, and the provision of thorough, research-based technical assistance have given the center a respected position in the fields of literacy, education, and workforce development.
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