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  • Marcus J. Hopkins

Appalachian Learning Initiative to Present Research at ATRN 2023 Annual Health Summit


The Conversion of PIAAC Proficiency Levels:  PIAAC Levels:  Scores falling into PIAAC levels Below Level 1 to Level 1 roughly correspond to literacy proficiency between Pre-K and 3rd Grade. The NCES classifies this as Literacy Proficiency Level 1.  Scores falling into PIAAC Level 2 to Level 3 roughly correspond to literacy proficiency between 3rd Grade and 8th Grade. The NCES classifies this as Literacy Proficiency Level 2.  APPLI Combines the NCES Literacy Proficiency Levels 1 & 2 into a single category: “Reading at or below an 8th Grade Level”.  Scores falling into PIAAC Levels 3 and 4 roughly correspond to literacy proficiency between 8th and 12th Grades.  Scores falling into PIAAC Level 5 roughly correspond to the literacy proficiency of someone with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.  NCES combines PIAAC Levels 3 through 5 into a single category, Literacy Proficiency Level 3.
Breaking down the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies' literacy proficiency scoring system into more compact measures.

By: Marcus J. Hopkins

September 12th, 2023


The Appalachian Learning Initiative (APPLI, pronounced like "apply") will be presenting at the Appalachian Translational Research Network (ATRN) 2023 Annual Health Summit on Friday, October 6th, 2023.


The paper, Adult Illiteracy and Public Health Outcomes in Appalachia: The Correlations Between Low Adult Literacy Proficiency and Health Outcomes in Appalachian Counties, is co-authored by Crystal Harper, MA, and Amanda Morgan, CPhT, and examines the correlations between adult literacy proficiency and 25 measures of public health, many of which have been the subject of infographics released by APPLI throughout this summer.


"This research is one of just a handful of contemporary efforts to find a correlational link between the ability of Appalachian adults to read at or below an Eighth Grade level to the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of various public health measures," said Marcus J. Hopkins, Founder & Executive Director of APPLI. "The majority of public health literature is either outdated or focuses specifically on Health Literacy, rather than General Literacy."


One of the primary purposes of this research is to determine whether certain related measures, such as the prevalence of current smoking behaviors among adults and the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), are correlated with adult literacy deficiencies.


A secondary purpose of this research is to identify areas where opportunities exist to develop partnerships between educational and healthcare organizations to concurrently address both adult literacy deficiencies and health issues.


Learn more about the ATRN and check out the conference agenda by checking out their website:

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