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a. Aligning of Content Standards

Describe how the eligible agency has aligned its content standards for adult education with State-adopted challenging academic content standards, as adopted under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(1)).

Current Narrative:

The Alabama Community College System (ACCS), Adult Education Division aligned to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards designed for WIOA Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy and that were disseminated through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) August 2016. The CCR standards reflect the necessary skills and abilities required for the rigor of postsecondary education, training, and employment. The CCR standards provide benchmarks to strengthen adult education instruction. The adoption and alignment of the College and Career Readiness standards in August of 2016 allow adult educators to target the specific skills that will ensure students are prepared to attain a high school equivalency, postsecondary education, skills training, and/or employment. Collaboration with K–12 and college partners confirm consistent expectations for preparing students for entering postsecondary education without the need for developmental education.  Adult Education Title II contracted providers or any future selected providers are required to teach these standards to maximize the effectiveness of curricula and instruction, and to prepare students with the skills and abilities for postsecondary education, training, and the demands of the workforce. To facilitate the understanding and knowledge of CCR standards in the adult education classroom, professional development training targets the use and implementation of the standards. Instructor effectiveness training is the hallmark of ACCS professional development. Instructors are taught strategies for delivering instructional courses with the intensity and duration for successful understanding and skills mastery. 

State efforts support an instructional effectiveness approach to adult education, in which standards–based education is defined as the process for planning, delivering, monitoring and improving academic programs in which clearly defined academic content standards provide the basis for content in instruction and assessment. A standards-based approach assists students in learning what is important, rather than allowing textbooks to dictate classroom practice. This approach aims for a deep level of student understanding that goes beyond traditional textbook–based or lesson–based instruction. Although standards define individual skills, standards–based education does not promote a skill–by–skill methodology. Multiple standards and expectations are integrated in instructional activities to promote College and Career Readiness for preparing a skilled workforce.  The use of technology and the integration of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the interactive classroom environment of today is paramount.  

Adults that have not completed the requirements of a high school diploma will be able to prepare for a high school equivalency in an academic contextualized instructional pathway.  The instructional pathway increases the skills necessary to attain employment or participate in postsecondary education or training. Adult education students will also be provided the opportunity to participate in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pathways in the demand fields in each of the 7 workforce regions of our state.  When possible and as applicable, adult education students will be placed in a pre-apprenticeship program while obtaining the requirements for a high school equivalency diploma.  This pre-apprenticeship will provide the adult education student with work-based learning experiences reflective of a specific career while enabling the student to gain the preparatory skills demonstrating readiness to work upon program completion.