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June 2018

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Conference

Conference logo

July 16 - 18 -2018
2018 Annual Summer Conference
DMACC Campus - FFA Enrichment Center - Ankeny, IA

Join your peers and enjoy numerous networking opportunities and learn about new best practices.  Eight strands comprised of more than 50 breakout sessions, will be offered, providing valuable, innovative training that you will be able to bring back to your adult education programs and sector partnership boards.

  • HSED
  • Reading/Writing
  • Program Enhancements
  • Innovative Practices
  • Learner Success
  • Data & Accountability
  • Workforce Partnerships

Register Now!


Nominations for Educator of the Year Award Needed

Archie Willard

The Iowa Department of Education is Currently Accepting Nominations for the 2018 Archie Willard Educator of the Year Award

Nominations will be accepted until June 14, 2018

This award is in memory of  Mr. Archie Willard who many consider to be the grandfather of Iowa's adult education and literacy programs. His hard work has positively improved the lives of hundreds of Iowans and their families.

Mr. Willard's drive to advocate for adult education stems from his personal story. He learned to read for the first time at the age of 54 due to a previously undiagnosed case of dyslexia. After studying several years with a beloved tutor, he made learning disabilities and adult literacy the major cause of his life. Mr. Willard published “Last Reader Standing” in which he shared his personal story.

The recipient of the Archie Willard award will be recognized at the "Building your Future with Adult Education and Literacy" conference. The conference will take place July 16-18th.


1. Currently work in an adult education and literacy program in the state of Iowa. This includes but is not limited to community-based organizations, community college, religious affiliations or K-12.

2. Nominee must have worked in adult education and literacy for a minimum of 12 months.

3. Submit a complete nomination form.

For additional information or questions contact Marcela Hermosillo, Education Consultant,

Click here for the nomination form


HSED Alternative Pathways

graduation hat & diploma picture

Iowa Code chapter 259A, relating to high school equivalency diplomas, was substantially amended by 2017 Iowa Acts, House File 473.  The State Board was granted additional authority to establish frameworks for additional pathways for completion of a high school equivalency diploma.  The State Board adopted the new 281 Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) in January which outlines these pathways. 

The traditional test-based high school equivalency diploma is maintained.  New pathways based on the accumulation of secondary credit and completion of postsecondary credentials equal to or beyond an associate degree have been added which include:

  1. HSED program based on attainment of high school credits;
  2. HSED program based on postsecondary degree; and
  3. HSED program based on foreign postsecondary degree.

Jeremy Varner shared with the State Board of Education that the purpose of the high school equivalency diploma is to provide a credential to adults who have not graduated from high school and are unable to receive a high school diploma through traditional means, but who are able to demonstrate attainment of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are equivalent to those that would be attained in a high school program of study.  The expanded options will address some of the 150,000 estimated Iowans that lack a high school diploma and are facing barriers to economic security and the further training they need to close skills gaps in the economy.



A comprehensive Implementation Guide is being developed to assist programs in implementing these pathway options and a draft shared with Adult Education Program Administrators at their April 19 coordinator meeting in Des Moines.  Full implementation will go into effect on July 1, 2018.


Contact Jayne Smith, Education Consultant for Adult Education and Literacy, at or 515-725-0046 with questions.

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Coordinator Spotlight

Janet Leifeld

Janet Leifeld, AEL Programmer at Iowa Lakes Community College.  Previous to this position, she was an Adult Literacy Coordinator at Northwest Iowa Community College, the Adult Literacy Coordinator at Northeast Community College, and a GED Examiner at colleges in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Tell us one thing you enjoy about your job/position.  I enjoy the variety that Adult Literacy and Education offers: trouble-shooting, long-range planning, data management, writing. Most importantly: working with AEL staff and students. It’s very rewarding.

Tell us about yourself – family, pets, spare time/hobbies Bob and I have a blended family of: three sons, two daughter-in-laws, two grandsons and three granddaughters. Most of our family live in the Des Moines area. Spare time: with every move, we remodel our house. Love outdoor activities: gardening, walking, biking and kayaking.

If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future and why?  Past. I’d love to travel with my great grandparents on their journey from Norway to Minnesota. I grew up in one of the original homes and am fascinated with what life must been like at that time: the challenges of building in a “wilderness” yet seemingly living a life like ours. My great-grandparents purchased one of the first pianos in the area for some cash, their old organ and a horse. Why? She would rather have the surrounding young people gather at her home than in a tavern somewhere….

What is your favorite quote?   Would you rather be a jack of many trades or a master of one? I am a jack of many trades but I dream of being a master at baking my favorite treats: kolaches and kringla. The masters in baking are always in demand.

 What words of wisdom would you pass onto your childhood self? Relax and smile!

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