- Program-specific Requirements for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Programs
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a description of the following as it pertains to adult education and literacy programs and activities under title II of WIOA, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).
- b. Local Activities
Describe how the State will, using the considerations specified in section 231(e) of WIOA, fund each eligible provider to establish or operate programs that provide any of the following adult education and literacy activities identified in section 203 of WIOA, including programs that provide such activities concurrently. The Unified or Combined State Plan must include at a minimum the scope, content, and organization of these local activities.
- b. Local Activities
b. Adult Education and Literacy Activities (Section 203 of WIOA)
- Adult education;
- Workplace adult education and literacy activities;
- Family literacy activities;
- English language acquisition activities;
- Integrated English literacy and civics education;
- Workforce preparation activities; or
- Integrated education and training that—
- Provides adult education and literacy activities, concurrently and contextually with both, workforce preparation activities, and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster, and
- Is for the purpose of educational and career advancement.
Special Rule. Each eligible agency awarding a grant or contract under this section shall not use any funds made available under this title for adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for individuals who are under the age of 16 and are enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law, except that such agency may use such funds for such purpose if such programs, services, or activities are related to family literacy activities. In providing family literacy activities under this title, an eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate with programs and services that are not assisted under this title prior to using funds for adult education and literacy activities under this title for activities other than activities for eligible individuals.
In accordance with Section 231 under Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) of WIOA, DCAE will award multi-year grants to eligible providers of adult education services through a competitive process for 2020-2021. This also includes grant projects funded under Section 225 – Corrections and Other Institutionalized Individuals and Section 243 – Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE). Family literacy programs are optional, and activities may be included in the local project applications.
DCAE administers funds to eligible providers and provides program/performance oversight to grantees. DCAE provides funding to eligible local providers for the provision of adult education services through a competitive Request for Application (RFP) process. The RFP is the mechanism through which DCAE identifies, assesses and awards multi-year grants to eligible providers to develop, implement and improve adult education and literacy activities throughout the state.
An eligible provider is an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education activities to eligible individuals and may include:
- Local education agency;
- Community-based or faith-based organization;
- Volunteer literacy organization;
- Institution of higher education;
- Public or private nonprofit agency;
- Public housing authority;
- Nonprofit institution with the ability to provide adult education and literacy services;
- Consortium or coalition of agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries or authorities described above; and
- Partnerships between an employer and an entity described above.
The DCAE will host a grant competition in 2020 for eligible providers to enable them to develop, implement and improve adult education and literacy activities. Local eligible providers may apply for multi-year funding for the provision of adult education in local areas. The grant competition will be publicized through a variety of print and electronic media outlets throughout the state. A grant notification will be published by the DCAE, in the form of a formal press release, a posting on the DCAE website, social media outlets and other means of available communication. In addition, communications regarding grant availability will be sent to agencies that serve corrections and English Language Learner populations. Further, the DCAE will offer technical assistance grant writing workshops and maintain a question and answer document on the RFP website. Both the workshops and the question and answer document will be accessible to any interested party and will provide useful information pertaining to the grant procurement process.
Questions in the RFP are structured in a manner to give applicants the opportunity to respond to their capacity and readiness to meet the 13 Considerations for Funding and other expectations as outlined in WIOA statutes and regulations. The RFP identifies each of the considerations and specifies probing questions to generate a detailed narrative.
Applicants are evaluated on their ability to meet literacy needs of the area, their ability to comply with WIOA expectations, past performance of the provider in providing literacy instruction and meeting programmatic goals. Decisions about course offerings are made depending on local need.
In the grant and contract awarding process, the DCAE shall utilize the 13 Considerations, identified in Section 231(e), in the evaluation and selection process. Some of the factors considered include the ability of the eligible provider to meet the literacy needs of the area, the ability to comply with WIOA expectations, the demonstrated effectiveness and past performance of the entity in providing literacy instruction, and meeting programmatic goals and the overall qualifications and expertise of the provider’s personnel. In addition, Florida also encourages eligible providers to incorporate integrated education and training services, which provide adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation and training for a specific occupation and occupational cluster for educational and career advancement.
Adult Education and Literacy Activities (Section 203 of WIOA) Adult General Education Programs and Courses
DCAE reviews the standards for each course annually and updates and submits courses to the State Board of Education for approval. The program and course numbers are identified in the state Course Code Directory and Data Dictionaries to ensure enrollment and educational gains are accurately reported. If major modifications are needed, the recommendations are outlined in a change document and posted on the FDOE website notifying stakeholders of changes to standards or courses.
Each course framework identifies content standards to be used by programs for the local curriculum development process, including the following strands: civic literacy, financial literacy and basic digital literacy skills. Adult education course standards provide guidance for instructors in teaching adult basic education classes. The standards inform what should be taught in the classroom. To assist with the implementation of these standards, professional development is provided through local face-to-face workshops and webinars. The curriculum frameworks are available at http://www.fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/adult-edu.
Adult General Education Programs and Courses
|Adult Basic Education (ABE) and ABE Integrated Program||Courses in this program are designed for students to obtain a level of educational instruction intended to improve the employability of the state’s workforce through instruction in mathematics, reading, language and workforce preparation skills at grade level equivalency of 0-8.9. These courses are based on the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education. The Integrated courses in mathematics, reading and language provide access to ABE standards through an integrated, concurrent and contextualized approach to instruction utilizing a single set of learning objectives. The adult education and literacy activities are provided along with workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement.|
|Adult High School Program||This program is designed for students to receive high school credit in one or more courses leading to a standard high school diploma. Students obtain credits upon completion of courses and passing state mandated assessments necessary to qualify for a high school diploma. Except as provided elsewhere in law (sections 1003.4282 and 1002.3105, Florida Statutes), graduation requirements for adults are the same as those for secondary students.|
|GED® Preparation Program||This program prepares adults to successfully complete the four subject area tests leading to the award of a State of Florida High School Diploma. The four courses included are: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. These courses are aligned with the College and Career Readiness Standards.|
|GED® Integrated Course||This comprehensive course includes coursework in the following: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. This course was developed for students with simultaneous enrollment in the GED® Preparation program and a career and technical certificate program.|
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program
|Adult ESOL Course||The adult ESOL course is designed to improve employability of adults seeking to enter the state’s workforce by acquiring communication skills and cultural competencies that enhance their ability to read, write, speak and listen in English. College and career readiness standards are included in the ESOL levels 1- 6.|
|English Literacy for Career and Technical Education (ELCATE) Course||This course is designed for ESOL students who have a goal of enrolling in a career and technical program. The course helps prepare students for a successful transition to and completion of career and technical education.|
Additional Adult Education Courses: Not Supported with Federal Funds and not reported for National Reporting System (NRS) Purposes
|Adult ESOL College and Career Readiness Course||The purpose of this course is to improve advanced ESOL students’ abilities to communicate in English, allowing them to acquire secondary level English language skills. College and career readiness standards are integrated into this course with the intention of successful transition to and completion of postsecondary education.|
|Adult ESOL Literacy Skills Course||The purpose of this course is to provide English language and literacy instruction for English language learning adults whose first language is not English and who are non-literate or semi-literate in their home language, enhancing their ability to communicate in English.|
|Applied Academics for Adult Education Course||This course is designed for students who test at the equivalent of 9th grade and above but lack the required level of basic skills for completion of the CTE program in which they are enrolled. Students may or may not have earned a high school diploma. These courses are updated annually to align with the secondary (9-12) college and career readiness standards.|
Workforce Preparation Activities
Workforce preparation activities include activities, programs or services designed to help an individual acquire a combination of basic academic skills, critical thinking skills, digital literacy skills and self-management skills.
For example, career planning and exploration, technology (digital literacy) and computer science education are all included in the adult education curriculum frameworks. In coordination with advisory groups for ABE, ESOL and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) programs, additional standards in employability skills will be integrated into the adult education courses to ensure maximum alignment to the future of work and the demands of the 21st century economy.
Moreover, DCAE intends to explore the introduction of entrepreneurship skills training and standards. It will seek to provide support for robust co-curricular engagement around business incubation and acceleration for its adult population, particularly for those adult participants of low socioeconomic status. Emphasis will be placed on working with core partners, such as CareerSource Florida, to identify and secure business support and input into improving our current adult education frameworks and co-curricular initiatives. ABE Standards are based on the United States Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education’s Framework for Employability Skills and additional resources. DCAE submits all updated courses annually to the State Board of Education for approval. ABE, ESOL and GED® preparation courses align with college and career readiness standards (CCRS) and will align to Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards. The learning objectives of the CCRS represent an application of skills including critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills that prepare students for success in career and postsecondary education.
DCAE will also provide on-site skill-based learning experiences in partnership with eligible partners and community economic development agencies. In partnership with CareerSource Florida, area educational agencies and Florida College System (FCS) institutions, DCAE will work to develop a plan to enroll eligible adult education participants in targeted Career Pathway courses, information sessions and increase opportunities for enrollment in Integrated Education and Training programs that align to a postsecondary credential or degree program.
Additionally, DCAE will collaborate with CareerSource Florida to identify local workforce needs and opportunities for businesses to connect with students. It will explore a strategy around enrolling eligible participants in apprenticeship programs, the development of micro-credentialing as a kind of credential of value and formalizing other in-demand work-based learning opportunities. DCAE will provide leadership for local providers in connecting them to local CareerSource boards to identify regional needs and develop targeted instructional programs to meet workforce needs.
Lastly, WIOA requires the submission of “infrastructure agreements” between local AEFLA recipients and CareerSource boards to identify shared costs. DCAE will work to improve the development of more integrated infrastructure agreements to ensure all are working with local partners to meet academic and workforce needs. Working with the same partners, state government officials and the State Board of Education, DCAE will develop a communication campaign consisting of webinars, improved website capabilities and a more comprehensive plan around new media marketing for adult education – all of which is available through AEFLA state leadership funds.
Integrated Education and Training
DCAE promotes the planning, development and implementation of an integrated education and training (IET) service approach that provides concurrent and contextualized adult education and literacy activities in combination with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement.
The IET service approach provides all levels of adult education students the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to:
- Transition to and complete postsecondary education and training programs;
- Obtain and advance in employment leading to economic self-sufficiency; and
- Exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
All IET programs must include the following three components:
- Adult education and literacy activities (§463.30);
- Workforce preparation activities (§463.34); and
- Workforce training for a specific occupation or occupation cluster which can be any one of the training services defined in section 134(c)(3)(D), of WIOA.
In order to meet the “integrated” requirement of IET, all services must include the following:
- Adult education and literacy activities run concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement;
- Activities are of sufficient intensity and quality, and based on the most rigorous research available, particularly with respect to improving reading, writing, mathematics and English proficiency of eligible individuals;
- Occur simultaneously; and
- Use relevant occupational instructional materials.
The integrated education and training program must have a single set of learning objectives that identifies specific adult education content, workforce preparation activities, workforce training competencies and the program activities function cooperatively.
Professional development provides support for the success of IET programs. Professional development is available through a variety of means such as conferences, webinars and local training.
Local education providers must develop and implement local IET programs as outlined in the state plan and specify the required components within the grant proposals and/or applications.
Development of Career Pathways
WIOA, Section 3(7) defines a career pathway as a “combination of rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services” that: 1) aligns to the skills industry needs, both regionally and statewide; 2) prepares individuals to be successful in a full range of secondary and postsecondary programs and training opportunities, including apprenticeships; 3) includes counseling mechanisms around the individual’s passion and place in the workforce; 4) and organizes the adult education experience in a way that “accelerates” the educational and career advancement of the person in a given occupational cluster.
Career pathway strategies aim to leverage education, workforce development and social service supports to help residents obtain the skills they need to find employment and advance in their careers. Florida is proposing, therefore, to develop a more robust career pathways system for adult education – i.e., one that not only coordinates residents and adult education learners with career resources, but attempts to provide structured work-based learning opportunities, targeted training and other services to accelerate the educational and career advancement of the individual, and an opportunity for the acquisition of at least one micro-credential of value and one postsecondary credential. By aligning programming, funding and services within and across the community, providers assist individuals with the transition into and out of education and training programs and employment.
The state intends to promote the development of career pathways by means of the following five strategic priorities:1
- Increase interagency and intra-agency partnerships by coordinating activities carried out among adult education providers, colleges, career and technical institutions, workforce development, businesses and other entities to implement a comprehensive local/regional career pathways system.
- Increase industry engagement in informing and supporting adult education courses and activities to target occupations and the skills, training and credentials required for target occupations.
- Improve and focus professional development opportunities to support staff in delivering education and training services.
- Develop and encourage local career pathway policies and guidance for conducting assessment, delivering instruction, providing advising and increasing support services.
- Improve statewide and regional communication around career pathway opportunities through ongoing professional development opportunities for providers.
In order to implement these strategic priorities, the state intends to review individual adult education providers’ performance, identify regions without robust career pathway agreements and work with area stakeholders to develop pathway agreements. It also intends to develop a plan to provide individualized assistance to address specific deficiencies in adult education program functions that relate to preparing clients for further education, training or employment.
Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE)
DCAE provides unique educational opportunities to English language learners who are adults, including professionals with degrees and credentials in their native countries that enable adults to achieve competency in the English language and acquire the basic and more advanced skills needed to function effectively as parents, workers and citizens in the United States. The IELCE programs, supported by section 243 of WIOA funding, are delivered in combination with IET. Professional development is provided to practitioners on developing and delivering an integrated and contextualized curriculum.
Each eligible agency awarding a grant or contract under this section shall not use any funds made available under this title for adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of supporting or providing programs, services or activities for individuals who are under the age of 16 and are enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, except that such agency may use such funds for such purpose if such programs, services or activities are related to family literacy activities. In providing family literacy activities under this title, an eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate with programs and services that are not assisted under this title prior to using funds for adult education and literacy activities under this title for activities other than activities for eligible individuals.
1Cotner, H. “The Career Pathways Planner: A Guide for Adult Education State Leaders to Promote Local Career Pathways Systems” (December 2016), available at https://lincs.ed.gov/publications/topic/mpf/TACP_Planner_for_OCTAE_ADA.PDF.