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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Administrators' Digest

Vol. 8, No.7

Lessons Learned from Supporting Student Success: Adult Education and Remedial Education Reform in Community Colleges

OCTAE, Manhattan Strategy Group, July 2017

As part of OCTAE's Supporting Student Success project, Manhattan Strategy Group produced three videos demonstrating promising practices in adult education and developmental education alignment within community colleges.

Each video is accompanied by a discussion guide that includes reflective questions and tips to allow adult education and community college practitioners to self-assess and implement targeted strategies at their institutions. Discussion guides can be accessed in the video descriptions of the above links.


Using examples from the Adult Learning Academy (ALA) at St. Louis Community College, the Blending Adult Education and Developmental Education: A Hybrid Model  video showcases a technology-enhanced, contextualized, accelerated approach to support student entry into postsecondary education and career pathways.

Source: Career Pathways Exchange  Digest: August 2017 Vol. 1

Integrated Education and Training: A Career Pathways Policy & Practice

This report  by Judy Mortrude, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), published in April 2017 summarizes the findings of a national survey of adult education providers that the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Texas Workforce Commission conducted to learn more about Integrated Education and Training (IET) models, funding mechanisms, and partnerships across the country. The report discusses the role of IET in career pathways, specifically under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and demonstrates the opportunities that IET provides to the most vulnerable adult learners.


The guide includes resources and tools from organizations dedicated to advancing IET efforts, such as the Building Opportunities through English Literacy and Civics Education project , to help state and local providers implement new Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) programs under WIOA.

Source: LINCS: Career Pathways Exchange  Digest: June 2017 Vol. 1

Evaluating Digital Learning for Adult Basic Literacy and Numeracy

Can digital learning technologies increase the capacity of ABE programs by providing more efficient and effective learning opportunities to better serve the adult learning needs in their communities?

The magnitude of the problem of unskilled labor for the U.S. workforce is known. More than 36 million adults in the United States do not have the basic literacy and math skills needed for many entry-level jobs and even less so for the types of jobs expected to dominate in the future. We also know that our federal- and state-funded adult basic education (ABE) programs, the main providers of skill development and training programs for this population, do not have the resources, facilities, or trained staff to serve all those adults in need of further education to improve their basic skills and job prospects. The purpose of this research was to understand the potential role of technology as a significant part of the solution to address the needs of ABE programs and these low-skilled adult learners.

Read the full report and conclusions of the study at:

Source: Murphy, R., Bienkowski, M., Bhanot, R., Wang, S., Wetzel, T., House, A., Leones, T., Van Brunt, J. (2017). Evaluating Digital Learning for Adult Basic Literacy and Numeracy. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Serving Immigrant Families through Two-Generation Programs: Identifying Family Needs and Responsive Program Approaches

By addressing the needs of poor or low-income parents and their children simultaneously, two-generation programs have great potential to uplift whole families and break cycles of intergenerational poverty. Generally speaking these programs seek to weave together high-quality early learning opportunities for children with initiatives directed at their parents, including adult education, workforce training, parenting skills, and other supports that strengthen family stability and thereby improve the children’s chances of lifelong success.

Immigrant parents lead an increasingly large proportion of U.S. families with young children living in poverty, making them an important target of the two-generation field. However, many of these parents have specific characteristics including limited English proficiency and low levels of formal education that require the use of tailored approaches in order to support the success of their families.

Little research is available about the efforts of two-generation programs to successfully serve immigrant and refugee families. To help fill this gap, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy conducted an analysis of sociodemographic characteristics of U.S. parents with young children and a study of select two-generation programs serving large numbers of immigrant and refugee families. Together, these quantitative and qualitative analyses make plain a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing the two-generation field as it seeks to appropriately serve and improve outcomes for the large and growing number of immigrant families with young children in the United States.

Two-generation approaches have enormous potential to positively affect the educational and other outcomes of immigrants and their young children. This report identified difficulties faced by many programs that strive to be responsive to the unique and intensive needs of these families. Investments in foundational English language, literacy, and parenting classes are being challenged. The programs and analysis included in this study provide important lesson for policymakers and community stakeholders alike. The range and intensity of immigrant families’ needs must be considered to ensure that these families benefit equitably from two-generation services.

Source: Migration Policy Institute.

5 tips to get started with technology planning

Whether your school, district or state has a stand-alone educational technology plan or integrates this plan into its cycle of improvement planning, it’s good to start with the essentials. What are the essentials, you may ask? The ISTE Essential Conditions  are a research-based set of 14 critical elements necessary to leverage technology for learning.

There are two ways to start technology planning using the Essential Conditions. The first option is to use ISTE’s Lead and Transform Diagnostic Tool  to assess your alignment with the 14 Essential Conditions.

Another way is to use the tried-and-true SWOT analysis process  in which a representative and knowledgeable group of stakeholders assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) faced with regard to technology for learning and teaching. When following the SWOT analysis process, use these five guiding steps.

Read about the steps of the SWOT analysis process in the March 10, 2017 post on ISTE Blog  by Max Frazier and Doug Hearrington.

By implementing these strategies in your plan, you will have the essentials covered and you'll be on your way to implementing a well thought out technology plan.

Source: EdTekHub , Lead the way , 5 tips to get started with technology planning

Center for Law and Social Policy Report on AEBG Implementation Released

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization, released Prosperity Through Partnership: Opportunities for AEBG to Strengthen Systems and Communities  . The report was supported by funding from the State AEBG Office and included contributions by the California Community College Chancellor's Office (CCCCO), California Department of Education (CDE), CASAS, WestEd, IMPAQ, and OTAN as well as field input from the AEBG regional consortia via survey completion.

In January 2016, the CLASP commenced an 18-month project to study the implementation of California's Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) initiative. CLASP set out to foster greater understanding of the implementation of California's AEBG governance and direct service activities, analyze current and potential impacts of the AEBG initiative for partners and participants, and offer recommendations for potential policy and implementation changes in future rounds of AEBG funding and other coordinated funding streams, for consideration by the CCCCO, the CDE, and other policymakers.

The study employed several research methods including surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews as well as ongoing communication with AEBG leaders and practitioners.

As a result of this study, CLASP details 19 recommendations in the following categories:

  • Clarify AEBG's mission and vision so that leaders, practitioners, and community members can clearly identify and articulate the major differences between the legacy, pre-2014 adult education system and the AEBG structure envisioned by California law.
  • Use AEBG to drive a comprehensive pathways system by re-imagining adult education as a strategic partner in strengthening individual economic mobility and regional economic competitiveness through community-wide skill development.
  • Tie AEBG accountability to impact through the establishment of a cross-system accountability structure. This requires a number of barriers to be addressed:delineate and distinguish "populations from services" in fund reporting; clarify fund reporting on AEBG's five objectives; align data definitions and processes among AEBG, WIOA title II, and community college providers; maximize the use of WIOA-measurable skill gain in AEBG; clarify transition to postsecondary education across reporting for AEBG, WIOA title II and LaunchBoard and, measure progress on mandated objectives in AEBG regional plans.
  • Provide comprehensive technical assistance and professional development. The AEBG professional development technical assistance provider can greatly enhance capacity for comprehensive capacity building.

Source: AEBG Office  Special Announcement, June 6, 2017

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.