Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Policy

Issuance No: P14
Issuance Date: December 03, 2019
Subject: Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Policy

In accordance with OWD Issuance 26-2015

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) focuses on eliminating redundant services and expending funds to offer services available through other partners. WIOA Title II, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), is one of the six WIOA core programs.

WIOA identifies individuals as having an inherent barrier to employment if they are English language learners, have low levels of literacy, or face substantial cultural barriers. AEFLA’s purpose is to create partnerships among the federal government, states, and localities to provide, on a voluntary basis, AEL activities that assist adults to become literate and to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency. Included in this purpose is assisting adults to attain a secondary school diploma and to transition to postsecondary education and training, and assisting immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners.

WIOA Title I-funded AEL activities include English language acquisition and integrated education concurrently or in combination with workplace training programs.  AEL training upgrades basic educational skills in preparation for future training, future employment, or retention in present employment. It may include such curriculum as remedial reading, writing, mathematics, literacy training and study skills, English for non-English speakers, bilingual training, and high school equivalency preparation.

The AEL office of the DESE administers Title II of WIOA, “Adult Education and Literacy,” for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in Missouri. DESE is the One-Stop Delivery System Partner funded to offer education and classes to help clients achieve a High School Equivalency (HSE) and English Language Learning.

If Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) use federal funding to provide education toward obtaining an HSE, they must use providers designated by DESE AEL to provide these services. (WIOA Title I funding may be used only for WIOA Title I enrolled participants.) OWD Issuance 14-2014 addresses optimum policy-making authority for AEL for Boards. AEL funding is not currently sufficient to have complete coverage of the State. If the One-Stop Center (Missouri Job Center) has a documented number of Adult Education students who do not have access to existing AEL classes, the Board staff is to follow these steps:

  1. Request Class(es) from AEL – Contact the local DESE-funded AEL program office for assistance in adding class capacity or locations to serve the number of documented students. (Minimum student requirements vary by local program.)
  2. Board funds AEL Teacher/Class – If the local AEL office does not have the funding to meet the above education request, it is permissible for the Board and an AEL program to negotiate an agreement to create additional classes. All classes must be delivered as part of the AEL program. WIOA Title I funds may be used only when classes (including any type of instruction to prepare for high school equivalency obtainment) are under local AEL management. AEL management would include, but not be limited to, the following:
  3. The State AEL Management Information System (Adult Computer Enrollment System (ACES)) data-entry procedures to track students
  4. Intake-procedure requirements
  5. Assessment Guidelines
  6. Teacher Certification and professional-development requirements
  7. Instructional Guidelines
  8. Meeting student outcome-accountability requirements

The parties would negotiate class times and locations.

  1. Board becomes AEL Provider – If a Board is unable to negotiate with a local AEL program to meet the needs of their clients, it is possible for the Board to enter into an agreement with DESE’s state-level AEL office to become a formal provider of local AEL services using WIOA Title I funding. This option would require the Board to become a DESE AEL provider with Board funding and meet all AEL state and federal guidelines, as well as meet all AEL required accountability measures. Boards must receive annual approval to provide AEL services. AEL instruction and administrative requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
  2. ACES data-entry procedures to track students
  3. Intake procedure requirements
  4. Assessment Guidelines
  5. Teacher Certification and professional-development requirements
  6. Instructional Guidelines
  7. Meeting student outcome-accountability requirements (AEL Directors’ Guide)    

Requests for this approval will require documentation that the workforce staff have been unable to resolve workforce customers’ education needs through the first two steps in this process, prior to this request.