Archive for the ‘ESL’ Category

Adult Literacy Education Providers Prep for WIOA’s Integrated Education and Training pt 2



In 2012 the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education produced a 30-page document titled: Promoting College and Career Readiness: Bridge Programs for Low-Skill Adults. If you read through it, you will see very sharp resemblances of what we as Education & Training professionals should be focusing on to  gear up for WIOA changes on our campuses and in our classrooms.  Some of the terms in the report vary from the terms in the WIOA proposal, but the meanings are the same.


Adult Education & WIOA-1

♦♦♦ I will highlight some of the report’s content below ♦♦♦

Create bridge programs (“Pathways”) to  help adult students identify career and education goals and develop the skills, content knowledge, and learning strategies needed to enter and succeed in postsecondary education and employment.

Combine (“Integrate”) basic skill instruction in reading, math, writing, and English language, including preparation for the GED test,  employment skills, and college success strategies. Some bridge programs also offer college credit and certificates (“Nationally recognized credentials”), which may be the first step toward a college degree.

Use state and local labor market information  develop bridge programs focused on occupations or industry sectors with a high demand for employees. ♦ Note: Your local Workforce Investment Board will need to be very involved in your education and training program planning, per WIOA.

For examples of what your education and training programs should emulate, consider these: 

  1. Washington’s I-BEST approach: an integrated ABE (and now ELA) and CTE instructional planning process and co-teaching.
  2.  Oregon Pathways for Adult Basic Skills Transition to Education and Work Initiative (OPABS) provided the impetus for the state’s Adult Basic Skills (ABS) system to incorporate career pathways and assist  in transitioning learners  into further education and employment, including formal connections to postsecondary education and OneStop Career Centers.
  3. (Alabama Community College has also gained recognition for being fairly “WIOA Ready’ and therefore also serve as a great example for planning and implementation.)


Look to form partnerships with organizations such as these:

Jobs for the Future (JFF) Breaking Through and ABE to Credentials initiatives

The Joyce Foundation Shifting Gears initiative

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation New England ABE-to-College Transition project

The time to get involved and to start your transitional planning is now.



Adult Literacy Education Providers Prep for WIOA’s Integrated Education and Training pt 1

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

WIOA SuccessIn her article “What you need to know: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)” Melinda Mack, Executive Director, New York Association of Training & Employment Professionals says:

 WIOA’s Intention for Literacy is to “deepen connection between Title I and Title II, through nimble career pathways and vocationally focused literacy (most common example is the I-Best model out of Washington State)‘; including serving low-basic skilled”

These career pathways must be in high-skill, high-wage job industries.  Adult Education providers should already be looking for the best ways to fulfill this requirement. The high-skill/high-wage jobs may vary from one area to the next; but, the most typical industries will be healthcare, Computer Science/ Computer Network Technology, Accounting, and Manufacturing Technology. According to ManPower Group, The 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill In 2014 are:

I’m pretty sure career pathways in these industries would satisfy WIOA’s intentions for integrated, job-driven training. Adult education providers should check with your local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) for education and training needs for your region. The WIB produces reports showing which industries in your area are growing, shrinking, and are expected to remain flat. WIOA will also require education providers and local WIBs to work more closely together; so, this information should be pretty easy to obtain. For literacy-level programs, we’ll just need to get students moving along the pathway towards particular industry and help prepare them for entry-level work in fields with great job growth potential. We’ll do this by providing  “Integrated Education and Training” – the combining adult education and literacy activities 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. Literacy education providers need curriculum that is suitable for this type of learning.

Please keep checking back for more information. We have quite a bit to do and learn before WIOA goes into effect.

Hats off to you!

Michelle Walker-Wade Workforce, Training & Development Professional

Michelle Walker-Wade
Workforce, Training & Development


Simply Stated: the Goal of California AB 86 for Adult Education

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

thAdult Educators working with ESL (or ESOL, ELD, ELL) students via Title 2 funded programs, I have a question for you: Are you knee deep in AB 86 work? Or are you relatively uninvolved in what’s going on? For those of you who may not be as actively involved in the trenches of AB 86, I’m going give you the highlights of the simply as I can.

Whether you know it or not, the structure of Adult Education in up for a major overhaul. If you’re working with any programs supported by Title 2 funds, you should know what’s coming your way.  Added to that, AB 86 is just the beginning of the structural shift.  WIOA – that is the federally funded Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act – is replacing WIA (the Workforce Investment Act) and will require more movement and accountability along these same lines.

The purpose and goal of the AB 86 Consortia groups is to:

  1. Improve the delivery of adult education
  2. Remedy “gaps” in programs and services
  3. Create seamless transitions from adult school to community college non-credit and credit programs
  4. Plan better facilitation from school to career
  5. Plans for adult ed (Title 2) service providers to integrate and create seamless transitions
  6. Address concerns with “waitlists”
  7. Plan methods to help each student accelerate toward his/her academic goal
  8. Link K-12 and Community College programs to enable students to progress and complete college and/or career goals
  9. Define the  placement, curriculum, assessment, progress indicators, and outcomes for adult education programs; the generally desired outcome is for ESL students is to transition to HSD, GED, CTE certificate, Work, or Post-Secondary Ed)
  10. Determine how to better use  accelerated learning strategies such as individualized instruction
  11. Determine how to better use of accelerated learning strategies such as contextualized content
  12. Determine how to better use accelerated learning strategies such as using data to improve measurable student outcomes
  13. Increase the educator’s ability to foster student persistence and goal achievement

If these changes will affect you, your program, and the students you serve, I urge you to get informed and get involved. Go to: to find out more.

Michelle Walker-Wade Workplace Literacy Expert

Michelle Walker-Wade
Workplace Literacy Expert