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e. 1. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out the required State Leadership activities under section 223 of WIOA

Current Narrative:

State Leadership

The State uses leadership funds, no more than 12.5 percent, of the total grant to execute the four mandatory leadership activities and other state leadership activities described in section 223 of WIOA.

The four mandatory leadership activities are:

  1. Alignment of adult education and literacy activities with core partners and CareerSource Florida partners.

Each eligible agency shall use funds to align adult education and literacy activities with other core programs and one-stop partners, including eligible providers, to implement the development of career pathways systems for individuals in adult education and literacy activities.

Through leadership grants, DCAE works to support local career pathways design, agreements, activities and implementation. Given the fact that a functional career pathways system is one that consists of multiple agencies, with differing missions but all sharing a common goal of preparing individuals for career and life success, DCAE will focus on improving the collaboration of local providers and core partners. DCAE will also work to create stronger opportunities for adults with disabilities to participate in career pathway services and IET by providing professional development through leadership funds. Best practices will be identified and shared throughout the state to support continuous program improvement. They will be shared through regional workshops, conferences, online training materials and webinars.

Additionally, through advisory committee meetings and targeted trainings with experts in the field, DCAE will share in the collaboration of establishing career pathways and be committed to pathways development. In addition, DCAE will continue to work with and utilize the expertise of CareerSource Florida, the Florida College System, school districts and business and industry leaders to ensure adult education students are provided up-to-date information on career pathways. This will occur through local advisory and counseling services. DCAE will provide professional development opportunities for administrators, advisors and counselors during regional workshops, conferences and webinars. Online training materials will also be developed through our leadership funds.

Engaging the field is critical to building and sustaining career pathways systems. State leadership grant recipients are encouraged to provide additional professional development on strategic engagement practices such as:

  •  Development of a comprehensive intake process involving the students’ development of a career and education plan;
  •  Technical assistance for agencies on developing a vision of comprehensive and coordinated services;
  •  Recruiting a diverse range of students who would benefit from the career pathways model; and
  •  Creating a vision of the types and sequences of career pathways services and credentialing programs that can be delivered by an adult education provider.
  1. The establishment or operation of high-quality professional development programs (section223(a)(1)(B) of WIOA):

The DCAE supports professional development with leadership grants to the Adult and Community Educators (ACE) of Florida Foundation, the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) and the Institute for the Professional Development of Adult Educators (IPDAE).

The state leadership recipients provide face-to-face and online professional development opportunities for adult education practitioners and various resources are available at http://www.aceofflorida.org, http://www.floridaliteracy.org and http://www.floridaipdae.org.  

Resources include electronic documents, toolkits, lessons, videos, workshops, webinars, virtual trainings, online training modules, newsletters and consistent communication outreach through an email contact database. The state leadership groups provide the convergence of subject matter experts, interactivity engagements, planning/coordination and a technology platform to disseminate information required for implementing adult education programs. In addition, they provide methods to measure and assess the involvement and effectiveness of adult education programs through data reports, evaluations and surveys.

Priorities for establishing professional development are identified through a statewide needs assessment survey, advisory committee meetings, conferences and administrator meetings. These identified priorities funded through this state plan include topics such as, research-based reading strategies, integrated education and training, career pathways systems, contextualized instruction, math training for ABE and GED® preparation, implementation of college and career readiness standards in adult education and ESOL, and training specific to community-based and volunteer tutoring services.

  1. TechnicalAssistance:

The DCAE provides technical assistance on programmatic and data collection and reporting processes to providers through email, webinars, telephone inquiries and site visits. Technical assistance papers on assessment and adult high school policies receive annual updates and are posted on the Florida Department of Education website.

The Adult Education Assessment Technical Assistance Paper and Adult High School Technical Assistance Guide are available at http://fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/adult-edu/technical-assistance-papers.stml.

Current practices with one-stop career centers and provider partnerships include referrals, locating teachers and classrooms at the local CareerSource Florida centers or providing space for the CareerSource Florida activities in the adult education center. As part of the RFA and RFP process, eligible recipients submit their applications for review to local workforce boards to ensure alignment with their plans.

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation:

In accordance with Section 223, Florida uses AEFLA State Leadership funds to monitor and evaluate the quality of and the improvement in adult education and literacy activities utilizing various means of assessment in its annual and ongoing evaluation process, including site monitoring visits, desk monitoring, program improvement processes and performance and financial audits. The results of these processes determine program improvement actions. 

DCAE implements a Quality Assurance System that analyzes student performance, provides for financial accountability, evaluates program quality and establishes regulatory compliance of local providers in accordance with federal laws and regulations, state statutes and rules.  The monitoring component of the Quality Assurance System uses risk assessment, which is a process to evaluate variables with federal adult education grants associated with workforce education grants and assign a rating for the level of risk to the FDOE and DCAE associated with each provider. In order to complete a risk assessment, certain risk factors have been identified which may affect the level of risk for each agency. A risk matrix is completed for each provider. DCAE conducts an annual risk assessment by the quality assurance team to determine the monitoring strategy appropriate for each provider. A range of monitoring strategies includes conference calls, improvement plans, desk-top self-assessment, grant reviews, etc., with the more comprehensive strategy such as an onsite visit designated for providers deemed to be at higher risk.

To improve the quality of a program, if non-compliance finding(s) are identified, a corrective action plan will be implemented. The corrective action plan must identify the findings and specific strategies the provider will implement to ensure finding(s) have been resolved.

The state provides a leadership grant to the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) to support state or regional networks of literacy resource centers. FLC serves as the designated state literacy resource center. A literacy center is a community-based resource which provides literacy services for adult education students. The resources may include printed educational materials, tutoring services, health and financial literacy skills training. Professional development is customized for tutors and volunteers and is available online and in-person. The coalition provides leadership support to literacy centers operating throughout the state. An annual conference provides an opportunity to share best practices with adult education practitioners, teachers, volunteers, tutors and students. A resource center is also available with a toll-free number for student referrals and information requests. DCAE monitors the performance of FLC by attending the annual conference, participating in online tutor trainings and by processing quarterly reports.