In 1965, Jim Dorland uprooted his family from Canton, Ohio, where they had always lived, to take a position in Washington D.C. as an adult education association executive, traveling throughout the United States spreading the "gospel" of adult education.
Although he already had three college degrees when he entered adult education, none were in that field. Therefore, he entered the doctoral program at George Washington University and spent the next 12 years working full-time, traveling extensively, and enrolled continuously until he earned his doctorate in adult education.
With two similar organizations--NAPCAE and AEA/USA--competing for the same membership base during difficult economic times, it became evident that neither could survive separately. Even though he realized that his job would be jeopardized if the merger occurred, he consistently took a strong leadership stand in favor of merging the two groups because he thought it would be best for the field of adult education.
With the merger in 1982, NAPCAE went out of existence and, after 17 years, his position was eliminated. He left adult education to become a college dean of liberal arts in New York state. However, for the middle two decades of his 43-year career, he made a total commitment to adult education.
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