In 2008 Bow Valley College committed to establishing a group of professionals to promote critical inquiry, applied research, and innovation in the field of adult literacy. Guided by Bow Valley College’s learning philosophy and renowned leadership in adult foundational learning, a small group of adult literacy practitioners and researchers began to collaborate with a number of colleges and community adult learning organizations in Alberta to gather information about adult literacy education. We learned that listening to learners and practitioners, applying current and relevant research, working collaboratively and sharing our knowledge and innovation are key elements in adult literacy. This led to the establishment of the Adult Literacy and Essential Skills Research Institute (formerly ALRI).

The Alberta Education and Technology Roles and Mandates policy framework designated Bow Valley College as a Comprehensive Community Institution with instructional excellence in foundational learning. We take this role seriously and the creation of the ALESRI reflects Bow Valley Colleges’ commitment to excellence in the broad field of foundational learning.