1. The Game: Briefly describe an overview of services offered by your agency?
The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act is Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Adult Education and Literacy programs, referred to as AEL in Missouri, are a section of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in the Office of College and Career Readiness. The components of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act are:
- Adult Basic Education (grade levels 1-8)
- Adult Secondary Education (grade levels 9-12)
- Family Literacy
- Workforce Preparation
- Integrated Education and Training or IET
- Workplace AEL (In a workplace setting),
- Programs for English Learners
- Integrated Education and Training
- Civics and Citizenship Education
AEL programs provide skills assessments, preparation for High School Equivalency (HiSET), transition to post-secondary opportunities, workforce literacy, digital literacy, employment assistance and English language competencies.
2. Who are the Players: Who can or does your agency serve?
Adult Education and Literacy services are offered free of charge to anyone who is at least 17 years of age or 16-year-olds who have met Missouri’s compulsory school attendance requirements. To be eligible for AEL services, individuals must also have one of the following barriers: basic skills deficiency or low literacy levels based on assessment, lack of high school diploma or equivalency, or learning the English language.
If an individual has their high school diploma or equivalency, AEL can also serve them as long as they are deficient in basic skills as determined by a recognized assessment tool such as the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE). For students that have a high school diploma, the free classes can help them prepare for college placement tests or other career entrance exams like the ASVAB for the military.
Many English students have secondary, post-secondary and post-graduate education from another country, and we assist them with English Language proficiency. AEL also serves employers directly and may provide classrooms at the work site.
3. Aces Up Your Sleeve: What’s your best kept secret about your agency?
All Missouri AEL teachers must obtain state certification in adult education and maintain annual professional development requirements. This allows DESE AEL to focus on the standards and techniques based on research and data that best address adult learners.
AEL students come to us at different skill levels and our teachers are able to address their educational and workforce needs. Each student progresses at their own pace based on an individual learning plan with the assistance of case managers and teachers.
Students can learn basic literacy and math skills in the context of employment or everyday tasks such as grocery shopping. This allows AEL programs to facilitate the transfer of basic education to real life. AEL classroom curricula align with Missouri’s College and Career Readiness Standards, English Learner standards and the requirements of the HiSET and/or citizenship exam.
4. Show Me the Money: What funding services should MAWD members be aware of?
AEL classes are
offered free of charge to all students. Some local AEL programs with non-WIOA
funding sources offer supportive services to students, and referrals to other
agencies are made when needed.
5. Dealer’s Choice: What’s one thing we should know about your agency?
programs are a national leader in performance outcomes for students and have a
history of producing exceptional measurable skill gains for participants. To
ensure the continued success of students, all local AEL programs have a student
advocate on staff as well as job developers and transition staff to assist
students with their needs after completing their time with AEL.