State Leadership Funds (Adult education and family literacy act Section 223 (AEFLA))
AEFLA Section 223(1)(a)
Delaware’s Adult Education system worked collaboratively with WIOA partners to align services, share information, and meet WIOA requirements. Each month, the WIOA Leadership Team convened to determine how to serve clients in a post-Covid environment. Discussions focused on: provision of traditional services through distance, hybrid and/or in person formats; new services needed in response to Covid; revisions to the State Plan; and the relationship of the WIOA Leadership Team with the new Workforce Development Board. Representatives from the Delaware Workforce Development Board, the Departments of Labor, Criminal Justice Council, Division of the Visually Impaired, Vocational Rehabilitation, Health and Social Services, Housing, Libraries and Education (Career and Technical Education and Adult Education) met to share new barriers, new funding opportunities, program innovations; introduce new agency representatives and perspectives; work collaboratively to best support mutual clients.
In addition, Adult Prison Education participated in the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission (DCRC). This project similar to the WIOA Leadership Team brought together various state agencies including the Criminal Justice Council, the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, Judges, community representatives, non-profits, and ex-offenders to asses, revise and develop strategies that reduce recidivism. Priorities for this workgroup were to establish vocational training, connections to work opportunities for individuals completing vocational training and measuring employment attainment. As a result of DCRC efforts nineteen individual women enrolled in college courses in Human Services by way of the Second Chance Pell Pilot program with Delaware Technical Community College. With an overall completion rate of 89%, six students completed at least three of a five-course sequence, while another eleven completed at least one class. The Criminal Justice Council represents this project on the WIOA Leadership Team.
During PY21, Delaware WIOA partners met to discuss, review and align processes and policies that support Delaware’s WIOA State Plan.
- Monthly state level meetings of WIOA Partners under the leadership of the One Stop Operator occurred throughout the year. This year Adult Education continued to use the WIOA referral system created in PY18. A review of PY21 data revealed over 2,510 referrals were made for Title II students to various WIOA partners. DOL Employment and Training and Stand by Me Financial Literacy Training were the most referred services.
- Monthly local county WIOA meetings were held with local partner providers including Adult Education community programs to foster a greater understanding of services, client flow and increased collaboration.
- The One Stop Operator and Director of ACE Network met several times to understand the undertakings of large-scale online events. As a result, both hosted successful online DOL Convening and adult education Literacy Summit.
- The State Director of Adult Education worked closely with the new Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board to review, revise and upload Delaware’s State Plan.
- The Adult Education State Team together with a team from DDOL Employment and Training and DVR participated in the 2021 Evaluation PLC-2 to design an evaluation process for WIOA partner effectiveness. The project disclosed the reporting differences between agencies as we tried to examine the impact on populations with barriers to employment.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(b)
To ensure high-quality professional development opportunities for Delaware adult educators, Delaware aligns professional development activities with the Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD) standards and policies. Additionally, during PY21 the State participated with IDEAL Distance Learning Training. Seven local programs in addition to the State Resource Center, the ACE Network, and the State Team completed World Ed’s Introductory 101 course. The ACE Network was the first professional development group to complete this course and to use the online learning or hybrid models for use with professionals.
Delaware delivered professional development events occurring throughout the year. Topics included:
- Accommodations Manual Review
- BEST Plus 2.0 New Assessor Training
- BEST Plus 2.0 Refresher Training
- Google Keep – Intro and Uses with COA Writing
- Teaching the Anxious and Depressed Student
- Trauma Informed Care Part IV
- “Choice Board” and Best Practices for Online Student Engagement and Self-Paced Learning
- Northstar Overview
- LACES Course Options Review and Sign Up
- Study Island Review
- ESL Bi Annual Meeting
- Pear Deck! Enhance your Presentations to Engage Your Students!
- Smile and Move
- Learning to Achieve- Written Expression Disabilities
- What’s the Deal with Differentiated Instruction?
- Relevant, Engaging Content for the Hybrid or Remote Classroom
- Tools to Engage Learners when Teaching Online
- Corel Video Studio
- Working on Workforce Prep
- GED Resources and Updates
- Intro to Universal Design
The State Resource Center hosted the second remote DAACE/OAASIS Joint Literacy Summit in April 2022; published and distributed the 2022 Outstanding Student Booklet; and created a PowerPoint presentation to be viewed during the conference to celebrate student success. Over 100 staff, students and presenters attended. The Summit’s theme was Elevate and Educate: Essentials for Self, Family, Career, and Sustainability. Our keynote speaker delivered a timely interactive presentation on equity for both our professionals and students.
Virtual Teacher Tech Day sessions continued with a revised format so that participants could earn professional development hours completing the sessions as self-paced sessions. PY21 topics were aligned to help remote instruction and included:
- Welcome to Teacher Tech FY22
- Create Your Personal Avatar Using Bitmoji.com
- Exploring and Accessing the Change Agent FREE Online Resources! (ACE Network provides Statewide Subscription)
- What is What’s App?
- Ice Breakers with WordArt.com
- Build Interactive Presentations with Mentimeter
- Flipping the Classroom! What Does That Look Like?
- Creating Classroom Newsletters for FREE with Smore.com
- Top 5 Digital Rich Classroom Resources at ditchthattextbook.com
- Are You a YouTuber? Setting Up Your Educational Channel
During the post-pandemic, our LMS, Schoology, remained a vital tool and resource carrier for all of our local and state leadership. Additionally, more than half of the Title II programs opened classes to students using this platform. As a result, the Schoology statewide usage records show quadruple increase over last year. Logins for the year were 307,357 with student logins accounting for 211,337. Over 88,000 course materials created on Schoology - an increase of almost 100% over the previous year. The course materials were viewed by staff and students over 733,000 times. The use of Schoology was essential in the successful process of remote instruction and continues to help with hybrid learning.
The ACE Network hosted the TABE 11/12 and CASAS training via a Schoology course. Program staff were required to review the Delaware State Assessment Policy, successfully pass a quiz, and submit the two certificates earned from the TABE 11/12 training provided by DRC. Professional development workshops were recorded and posted with a content quiz enabling staff to earn clock hours if they were unable to attend the live webinars.
In total, the State Resource Center, the ACE Network, hosted 81 professional development sessions with 1,005 attendees between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Attendance increased throughout the year as workshops were offered in several different formats, making it more convenient for program staff to participate.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(c)
Technical assistance in the form of professional development and administrative supports continued in PY 21. This assistance was primarily provided via the online services Zoom, Schoology, Survey Monkey, Google Suite and Smore.
Zoom was used for administrative and professional development workshops, data collection, training videos and technical assistance meetings. Administrators of ABE programs met monthly through webinars for the entire year. Zoom was used to provide webinar services for virtual monitoring visits.
To continue the support of programs in providing quality instruction, quarterly data review meetings were held with local program data entry staff and administrators prior to the state’s formal review of quarterly data. Webinars for programs with specific technical needs were scheduled to review data concerns and determine the possible causes and resolutions. This year training videos of various data entry operations using the MIS were recorded and posted to Schoology for future reference. If a program demonstrated a performance problem, then the state team met with the program to discuss possible causes and resolutions including additional professional development, process modification, scheduling revisions, etc. In addition, programs were pro-active in contacting the state team with potential issues since all were committed to meeting or exceeding state performance levels. Data Tuesday @ 2 sessions held for PY21 included:
- FY21 Review, Prep for Data Roll and New Items for FY22
- Refresher Monthly Admin Data Checklist
- Creating CSV Files for Export to Excel or other spreadsheet programs
- Introduction to Build in Quarterly Report Card
- Preparing for 1st Quarter Data Pull
- Survey Employment Outcomes for Quarters 1 and 2
- Review of NRS Tables 1-4
- Preparing for 2nd Quarter Data Pull
- Review of NRS Tables 5-11
- Review of State Performance Reports or Table 99
- Review of Groves and ISC Searches
- Review Equity Data Pulls
- Preparing for 3rd Quarter Data Pull
- Survey Employment Outcomes for Quarters 3 and 4
- Review of NRS Table 5 Outcomes and Median Earnings
- Preparing for Year End Data Chat
Improvements to the MIS, LACES system for PY21 was the creation of the Delaware Prison Education Annual Report and the Statewide and Local Program Equity Report. The creation of the prison annual report or search helps to gather all required data for DOE and DOC. The Equity Report was created using both SPR NRS reports. It combines the participant characteristics and employment barriers into one spreadsheet table. The report is exported into a spreadsheet program and contains pivot tables to be able to drill down into the information to the next level. The report only came into the system the middle of the 3rd quarter. For PY22 this report will drive detailed data analysis seeking outcome inequities of student performance to improve program delivery of services for students.
Survey Monkey and Google Suite were used to collect follow up information from State meetings, professional development opportunities, and data from local level staff and students. Google forms were used to collect data to assist with new staff signups to the MIS and other staff and professional development venues as needed.
Examples of technical assistance provided to programs included:
- LACES New User Training
- LACES WIOA Training NRS Table Review
- LACES Searches, Views, and Best Practices Refresher Training
- NRS Table 5 Data Match and Survey Review
- ACE Network Schoology Use and LACES PD Registration
- Assistance to individual programs as requested or needed
The Smore application was used to provide mass email messages to program staff notifying them of upcoming professional development opportunities, best practices in the field, and COVID-related resources.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(d)
Data was reviewed on a quarterly basis at the state and local levels. In addition, programs submitted LACES Delaware Outcomes Report Card on a monthly basis ensuring that programs reviewed their performances frequently. Quarterly data chats rounded out the monitoring process for all programs. The chats, held prior to the state data review date, were discussion points for better data management. Chat information was stored in the Schoology MIS group on for access by all administrators and data staff at state and local levels. The quarterly data review and report cards continued in PY21. The first, second, and third quarters were held remotely. The State staff gathered together for the year end data review. The LMS was used during all four quarter reviews allowing programs to have access to their reports and State notes at any time.
Use of the LMS, LACES and Zoom allowed the State to conduct virtual monitoring of programs. During PY 21, six programs were monitored - two community programs and four prison programs. Some programs were monitored virtually and others in person depending on the Covid situation at the time of monitoring. For virtual monitorings, live presentations via ZOOM along with recorded videos showing orientations and staff and student interactions were used. For in person monitorings, the team continued to use materials in the Schoology monitoring group to review documents prior to the monitoring. This hybrid model worked well to ensure that all documents were captured for future reference and for the monitoring team to have answers to the instrument questions ahead of time.
AEFLA Section 223(a)(2)
Performance Data Analysis
An analysis of enrollment data for the last three fiscal years revealed that PY 21 ABE enrollment increased over PY 20 and reflected 85% of the PY 19 enrollment suggesting that participation in Adult Education is returning to pre-pandemic levels. The PY 21 average hour per student increased to 85 hours surpassing both PY 20 and PY 19 averages.
The types of services offered in PY 21 demonstrated an increase in the demand for ESL instruction. The ESL participation rate increased in PY 21, surpassing PY 20 numbers and almost equaling PY 19 enrollment numbers. Simultaneously, the ABE participation rate decreased in PY 21 from PY 20 but surpassed the PY 19 ABE participation rate.
This data occurs in a unique context of expanded hybrid learning initiated during the pandemic; a workforce cautiously returning to work; high rates of job turnover due to competing wages especially for jobs requiring lower skill levels; a cessation of federal Covid supports; rising inflation and a teacher shortage. These factors led to positive and negative impacts on adult learners’ ability to participate in programs.
- PY 21 Enrollment (2,281) increased by 34% over FY 21
- ABE enrollment = 57% of total
- ESL enrollment = 43% of total
- PY 20 Enrollment (1708) down by 36% from FY 20
- ABE enrollment = 62%
- ESL enrollment = 38%
- PY 19 Enrollment was 2685
- ABE enrollment = 56%
- ESL enrollment = 44%
- PY 21 MSG: 5/ 12 EFLs met or exceeded
- Delaware MSG Percentage was 61.66%. Target was 64.5%.
- 1 ABE EFL - ABE Level 6
- 4 ESL EFLs – Levels 1,3,4,5
- PY 21 Average Hours of Participation – 85 Hours
- FY 21 – 74 hours
- FY 20 - 78 hours
This data demonstrates the need for increased ESL instruction that addresses students from many cultures including Spanish, Haitian Creole, Farsi, French, Chinese, Arabic, and Korean. To provide quality instruction, appropriate resources and professional development for teachers need to be provided in combination with best practices for providing distance learning to English Language Learners.
Also revealed in this data is the need for additional monitoring to determine why almost 25% of program participants exit the program prior to making an MSG. While the reasons for exiting will vary, further understanding of why greater numbers of ABE Level 2, 3 and ESL Level 1 student leave would help programs to increase retention for these groups leading to increased student outcomes.
- Employment Goals 2nd Quarter
- Delaware Performance 32.19%
- Delaware Target 45.2%
- Employment goal 4th Quarter
- Delaware Performance 27.56%
- Delaware Target 45.7%
- Credential Attainment
- Delaware Performance 66.66%
- Delaware Target 18.2% target
- Median Income
- Delaware Performance $6,240
- Delaware Target $4,788
Delaware’s unemployment rate fluctuated during PY 21, sometimes on par with the national rate and at other times higher than the national rate. Regardless, throughout the year, hospitality and construction jobs were high on the list of Delaware’s in-demand jobs requiring lower skill levels.
These openings are traditionally the jobs adult learners hold while attending ABE programs or attain upon exit from programs. PY 21 reflected a decrease in 2nd and 4th Quarter after exit employment percentages from PY 20. During PY 21, several barriers to employment arose including workers’ caution on returning to jobs that required exposure to the public, federal income supplements, and expanded work hours due to a shortage of workers. In PY 22, Title II will work with Delaware’s Department of Labor to determine if this trend presented statewide and develop strategies to better inform mutual clients of job opportunities.
Integration with One-stop Partners
During FY 22, Delaware’s Adult Education worked with the One Stop Partners to provide mutual clients with a variety of options for training, employment, and support services.
- On a monthly basis, representatives of all WIOA partners met through the WIOA Leadership Team to share new resources available to person receiving WIOA services. Title II presented on Re-entry services and shared information on DOL/DOE/DOC initiatives operating in prisons such as the USDOL HOPES Reentry Program which training reentering citizens for jobs and careers in the Restaurant Industry; the DOC/DOE/DOL ARES grant that support successful reentry into communities of justice involved individuals; and Perkins V Vocational Training for incarcerated individuals.
- On a monthly basis, funded Title II programs met with local WIOA partner providers to share information on services and local events and to collaborate on processes and referrals that would benefit mutual clients.
- Participants in Title II funded programs develop their own career plans and register in the Delaware Department of Labor’s (DDOL) online MIS system, JobLinks when they are job-ready.
- DDOL Vocational Rehabilitation and Title II Prison Education staff working together on determining DVR services available to re-entering citizens.
- Title II providers operated ABE classes at the four DOL One Stop Centers statewide. Services provided included assessments, instruction, referrals to DOL services, and collaboration with DOL case managers to support attainment of client goals.
- Title II along with other WIOA partners participated in TIPS training provided by the Delaware Workforce Development Board in preparation for developing new Workforce Development Board goals.
- Title II providers provided information to ABE learners on statewide support services provided by WIOA partners and tracked referrals made.
- Title II providers provided orientations and shared ABE brochures at One Stop Centers for use by DOL case managers and DOL clients.
As agreed to in the Delaware Infrastructure MOU consisted of in-kind services including personnel time at meetings regarding the One Stop System on local and statewide levels and use of Title II space and technology to provide virtual services for One Stop Operator events.
Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education
IELCE Funds and grants
In March 2022, DOE held an RFP application process for the delivery of IELCE services statewide. Four programs responded to the application. All four program applications were approved and entered into budget negotiations. However, one program (under new leadership) decided to rescind their application. As a result, three programs were awarded a one-year subgrant with the option for three additional years. An IELCE program now operates in each of Delaware’s three counties. The programs funded were:
- Polytech Adult Education (Kent County)
- Sussex Tech Adult Education
- New Castle County Adult Education
As mandated under this funding, providers were required to deliver instruction to English Language Learners, including professionals with degrees and credentials in their native country, that enabled participants to achieve competency in the English language while also acquiring the basic and more advanced skills needed to function effectively as parents, workers and citizens. Programs developed an integrated instruction plan for each vocational training offered that demonstrated the alignment of the academic, vocational, and work readiness components of the services being offered concurrently.
The three funded programs are located in vocational/technical school districts that could more easily establish an integrated training and education program since adult vocational training was already being offered at each site. One program was located in each county ensuring the IELCE services were available statewide. IELCE applications were approved only if the trainings offered aligned with the state’s workforce development plan and represented trainings in needed areas within the provider’s service area.
Instruction primarily occurred in-person, adhering to COVID restrictions; programs prepped students with the use/navigation of applications and equipped students with devices which supported quarantine periods throughout the year. Examples of student assistance through the pandemic include on-site vaccination clinics, free COVID tests, COVID materials translated in primary language, and food distribution announcements. IELCE instructors and program staff delivered academic and vocational instruction, job placement and supports in small group and individualized formats. The Department of Labor provided employment assistance, the Division of Libraries supported participants with computer skill classes, and Stand By Me delivered financial literacy and coaching support. Dependent on IELCE location, resource fairs collaborated with local unions, multiple employers, Stand By Me, DOL and local One-Stop Centers; pre-registered apprenticeship students participated in an annual National Apprenticeship week celebration.
Programs use Title II ESL classes as a feeder system for enrollment in the IELCE projects in addition to recruiting from local communities. Programs worked with already established local employer advisory councils to provide IELCE participants with information and guidance on employment in the selected training fields. Programs used a variety of funding streams to operate the program including AEFLA funding; Adult Perkins funding; DOL Pre-apprenticeship monies; and some local district monies depending on the areas of training being offered.
IELCE Section 243(c)(1)
IELCE programs used a variety of innovative strategies to provide relevant instruction connected to local employers. These included:
- Hiring training staff that already worked in the industry and could recommend students for employment upon completion;
- Through employer advisory boards focusing the curriculum on what is needed to get employed and thereby increasing interest in hiring IELCE students;
- Offering training in areas that were experiencing high levels of job vacancies, e.g. CNAs and direct care workers;
- Including employers in work readiness activities, such as mock interviews, to increase potential for hiring students;
- Setting up processes for students to interview for jobs via Zoom.
In addition to vocational and academic instruction, IELCE students also received employment assistance and support services from program staff. Students learned how to access DE JobLinks remotely or in local One Stop Centers. IELCE instructors scheduled appointments to spend additional time with students supporting job seeking activities (i.e.: cover letters, resumes and online registrations to complete employment applications) and connections with employers.
In PY 21, short and long term IELCE training programs were offered in the healthcare, skilled crafts, administration and management areas. Trainings included: home health aide, plumbing, welding, HVAC, auto tech, Frontline Management, CNA and LPN. As a result of these IELCE classes, twenty one students attaining industry recognized credentials and 78 students completing training benchmarks such as pre-apprenticeship certificates, program completion certificates, and completed apprenticeship years.
Due to worker shortages, some unexpected challenges surfaced. Some skilled craft students had to drop out because their job required that they work during class hours. Some students registered for apprenticeship training had to drop out when their employer sponsor didn't receive the expected federal funding or contract and withdrew the apprentice opportunities.
In addition, staffing for the program became hard. A shortage of ESL teachers, at points, impacted the academic component of the program and finding a vocational teacher who can speak Spanish is a rare find!
IELCE Section 243(c)(2)
Title II is working towards a more direct integration with the state's one workforce development board. Currently, IELCE students participating in the apprenticeship program are linked to DOL's apprenticeship system and IELCE programs have developed collaborations with local companies in need of the trainees exiting the IELCE programs. In PY 21, the Title II State Director worked with the Workforce Development Board's new Executive Director to include neglected pools of workers including IELCE participants in the Board's goals and start supporting ELL trainings to fill job vacancies.
Adult Education Standards
Delaware did not adopt new standards for PY21. Delaware Adult Education continued to implement the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCR), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (ELP). No changes were necessary in PY 21.
Delaware’s Adult Basic Education Manual included the NRS EFL descriptors that aligned to the CCR. All programs were provided with copies of the CCR standards. Manuals were posted in Schoology for easy access by all Delaware adult educators.
Programs for Corrections Education (AEFLA Section 225)
When considering recidivism, the National Institute of Justice refers to an individual’s relapse into criminal behaviors, measured by subsequent rearrests, reconvictions or returns to prison over a 3-year period following release. Annually, the Delaware Statistical Analysis Center (the Center) evaluates recidivism events by re-arrest, recommitment, and return to prison.
Delaware’s 2022 Recidivism Report examined cohorts 2016 – 2018 of released individuals, focusing on those released in 2018. Delaware maintains a unified correctional system, with all correctional facilities existing within the jurisdiction of the State. The Center’s 2022 report tracked 1,021 unique individuals (approx. 90% male) for up to three years following their release from a prison term in 2018. Improved measures are used to analyze recidivism, however conclusions should be drawn with caution as considerations such as understanding criminal behaviors are not included in this examination.
Rearrests events were removed from this examination, as they are associated with behaviors established by offense date, and not arrest with and intent to signify a return to criminal behavior. Recommitment events were based on secure custody readmissions (detained or sentenced) irrespective of sentence length, and return to prison events are recommitments with a sentence of 1 year or more. The findings revealed the recommitment rate for individuals in the 2018 cohort during year one was 36.7% and by year three was 55.9%. The return to prison rate for cohort 2018 during year one was 2.8% and 7.9% by year three.
The formula used by the Center to generate the findings was:
Interval Recidivism Rate = Recidivists_______________ *100%
(Recidivists + Non-Recidivists)
Similarly, identifying students with 12 or more instructional hours during PY 21 who were released between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 obtained a relative rate of recidivism for individuals in Prison Education. 47 students met these criteria. The Department of Correction’s MIS system was used to identify whether students recidivated between July 2, 2021 and November 30, 2022. Separate statistics were kept for male (N=28), and female (N=19) individuals who are justice involved.
The formula used by Prison Education to generate the findings was:
ABE Recidivism Rate = FY 22 ABE Recidivists *100%
(FY 22 ABE Recidivists + FY 22 ABE Non-Recidivists)
Given a limited sample size for the reporting period described above, readers are cautioned in drawing conclusions on the relative rate of recidivism. In performing an initial analysis, the data revealed:
- 9.5% of females participating in ABE programs returned to prison by 12/01/22.
- 12.5% of males participating in ABE programs returned to prison by 12/01/22.
While many aspects of PY 21 signaled a return to normal operations, the lingering effects of the pandemic remain. As a result, the number of incarcerated individuals used in this formula is smaller in relationship to pre-pandemic numbers. These statistics should be viewed with caution and do not necessarily constitute a baseline for future comparison.