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July 2016 Newsletter

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Integrated Education and Training

Integrated education and training (IET) is a new way of providing increased access to services for adult education students. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) increases the flexibility in the use of AEL funds to create opportunities for students and programs.

WIOA’s support for career pathways development and new adult education and literacy activities includes workforce preparation activities and integrated education and training. These activities offer adult educators new opportunities to enhance and expand engagement efforts with employers so adult education services meet the needs of job seekers and employers.

Definition
The term “integrated education and training” means a service approach that provides 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 (Sec. 203(11)).

The required components of an IET program are:

1. Adult education and literacy activities
2. Workforce preparation activities
3. Workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster

Each of these three required components must be of sufficient intensity and quality, and based on the most rigorous research available.

Adult Education and Literacy Activities
Adult education and literacy activities include 1) adult education, 2) literacy, 3) workplace adult education and literacy activities, 4) family literacy activities, 5) English language acquisition activities, 6) integrated English literacy and civics education, 7) workforce preparation activities, or 8) integrated education and training (Sec. 203(2)).

AEFLA’s definition of integrated education and training does not require all eligible providers to offer integrated education and training. Integrated education and training is only one activity of several listed. However, eligible agencies receiving funds provided under section 243 of the Act through the integrated English literacy and civics education program are required to provide integrated English literacy and civics education in combination with integrated education and training activities.

Workforce Preparation Activities
The term “workforce preparation activities" means 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 (Sec. 203(17)). While adult education and literacy instruction has traditionally supported the development of basic academic and critical thinking skills, the addition of workforce preparation activities under WIOA will now also enable eligible providers to support the development of self-management skills and digital literacy.

WIOA further states that workforce preparation includes developing competencies in using resources and information, working with others, understanding systems, and obtaining skills necessary to successfully transition to and complete postsecondary education, training, and employment. These competencies are commonly incorporated into definitions of employability skills.

The secretaries of labor and education have defined the measurable skill gains indicator to include attainment of an educational functioning level gain. Within the NRS for adult education, educational functioning level descriptors were recently revised to align with rigorous college and career readiness standards, which include much of the knowledge and skills listed under workforce preparation activities. Therefore, workforce preparation activities are assessed broadly through the assessment of educational functioning levels.

Workforce Training
The third remaining component, workforce training, identifies activities that constitute training within the employment and training services authorized by title I-B of WIOA. Workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster can be any of the training services defined in section 134(c)(3)(D) for career awareness.

1) Occupational skills training, including training for nontraditional employment
2) On the job training
3) Incumbent worker training
4) Programs that combine workplace training with related instruction, which may include cooperative education programs
5) Training programs operated by the private sector
6) Skill upgrading and retraining
7) Entrepreneurial training
8) Transitional jobs
9) Job readiness training
10) Adult education and literacy activities, including activities of English language acquisition and integrated education and training programs, provided concurrently or in combination with services
11) Customized training conducted with a commitment by an employer or group of employers to employ an individual upon successful completion of the training

It is important to note that general career awareness activities alone do not constitute workforce training as described in section 203(12). Additionally, not all eligible individuals served by an eligible provider will immediately be ready for or need integrated education and training. Some eligible individuals depending upon local economic conditions or individual characteristics may be best served first through other adult education and literacy activities prior to, and in preparation for, subsequent enrollment in an integrated education and training program.

Integration
In C34 CFR 463.37, the Department of Education further clarifies what it means for an IET program to meet the requirement that the three components are “integrated.” This regulation requires that an integrated education and training program balance the proportion of instruction across the three components, deliver the components simultaneously, and use occupationally relevant instructional materials.

Programs are also required to have a single set of learning objectives that identifies specific adult education content, workforce preparation activities, and workforce training competencies. These requirements are intended to facilitate the design of high-quality integrated education and training programs that focus on improving the academic skills of low-skilled adults while advancing their occupational competencies.

Resources
An online collection of technical assistance resources, a virtual community of practice, and a number of online courses and webcasts will be available through the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) at http://lincs.ed.gov. The Department of Education’s online resource for teaching and assessing employability skills is available at http://cte.ed.gov/employabilityskills/.


ODMP Recap

The "One Door, Many Paths" Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Conference was held on June 27-28, 2016, at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa. This was Iowa's first jointly facilitated conference by Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Association of Iowa Workforce Partners in partnership with several other key state agencies and community partners. The conference was held to discuss ways to streamline workforce services for Iowans and find solutions to reduce Iowa's skills gap. The conference also addressed how to help Iowans who are unemployed or underemployed and those with significant barriers to employment. More than 500 attendees had the opportunity to explore areas related to career pathways, employer development, public and private partnership and building sector strategies.

During the conference, the state of Iowa released a collaborative sector partnerships toolkit 1.0 in efforts to provide guidance and training on sector partnership. This is the first in a series of toolkits that, while not exhaustive, aims to prepare the state and regions to make data-informed critical decisions in planning, emerging, and sustaining sector partnerships. Each section in the first toolkit contains a narrative, key points, an activity or checklist to practice the principle associated with each partnership, and a self-assessment that helps to evaluate progress and next steps. This publication was produced through a partnership with the Department of Education and Iowa Workforce Development using funds made available by a grant from the Department of Labor. Special thanks to Iowa Central Community College for their collaboration and partnership.

The sector partnerships toolkit 1.0 can be found here.


Daniel Sutherland's Story to Success

My name is Daniel R. Sutherland. I believe the story of my struggle will help others. My learning disabilities made school work a challenge. The end result was me leaving school at 17 years old. For the next five years, I floated through life doing nothing with purpose, fearing the future, and regretting the past. I feared failing if I ever went back. I felt like I might not be good enough or smart enough to make it.

The day came when I found enough courage to make another attempt at obtaining my high school diploma. Upon arriving at Iowa Lakes Community College in Spirit Lake, I found the campus environment to be welcoming and the staff friendly. I worked with my instructor day by day, one on one until the concepts started to make sense. Over the course of several months, my hours in boot camp (a week-long 44-hour class focusing on math and writing) and in the success centers started to pay off.

After submitting the necessary documentation for accommodations to HiSET, I received approval for the accommodations I needed to be successful through the HiSET testing phase. Knowing that I would have accommodations in place to help me pass the practice and official tests boosted my self-confidence. After I passed the first test with a score that indicated college readiness, I actually started believing in myself and my ability to finish the program.

Finally, after months of pretests, practice tests, studying and official HiSET tests, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I was told I had passed all of the HiSET tests and would be graduating with my high school equivalency diploma. My instructor asked me to speak at the graduation ceremony and tell the story of my journey through the HiSET program at Iowa Lakes Community College. This was a life-changing moment for me.

The doors of life are now wide open for me. I believe I can go anywhere I set my mind to, because I have the determination to succeed and do the work that is required. The sky is the limit; never again will I let my fear of failing stop my success.


Coordinator Spotlight:
Meet Marcel Kielkucki

Marcel Kielkucki
Director of High School Completion Programs
Kirkwood Community College

How long have you been a coordinator for adult education?
I just completed my sixth year.

Tell us one thing you enjoy about your position.
I enjoy working with a team and seeing the changes and impacts we make on the lives of our students.

Tell us about yourself — family, pets, hobbies.
My wife, Sarah, and I have been married for 13 years and we have two children, Gabrielle (12) and Joseph (10). We have two dogs, a cat, and a bird. In my spare time, I do volunteer work at St. Mary's School in Manchester, where I serve on the board of education, am a member of the Knights of Columbus, serve in various ministry roles at our church, and also am a member of the Mt. Mercy University alumni board. We like to travel to visit family and to explore new places.

Tell us about your best vacation.
My wife and I a few years ago decided on a last-minute vacation over New Year's. We booked tickets and a hotel at 5 p.m. on December 30 and flew to Mexico the next morning at 7 a.m.

If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future and why?
I'd love to go to the Constitutional Convention to listen to the debates as the framers wrote the Constitution.

Why did you choose your profession?
When I was in high school, my dad served in elected office, and I saw how many people lacked an understanding of government and the processes surrounding it. I had thought about going into education before that, but those events helped solidify for me that I wanted to help people gain understanding of the "Why?" behind things.


Inspire Success

Your Future Starts Here Iowa wants to help people share their stories. As an adult, it can be a daunting task to earn your HSED, start an ESL/ELL program, further your education or begin your career, but now, more than ever, is the time to start. Share your story and encourage someone to forge their path today!


 START TODAY · 1.800.316.6850 · www.yourfuturestartshereiowa.com

 



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