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Narrative Report for Washington 2021

State Leadership Funds - Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) Section 223

State Leadership Funds (Adult education and family literacy act Section 223 (AEFLA))

Describe how the State has used funds made available under section 223 (State Leadership activities) for each the following:

AEFLA Section 223(1)(a)

Alignment of adult education and literacy activities with other one-stop required partners to implement the strategies in the Unified or Combined State Plan as described in section 223(1)(a)

In accordance with Section 223(1)(a) Washington State Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) and regional Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) developed a Shared Vision, Principles, and Goals of Collaboration Guidance document to guide the alignment of adult education and literacy activities with the one-stops. This document continues to guide all MOU and IFA development, revision, and implementation across all 12 workforce regions.

In December 2021, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) met with the director of the Washington Workforce Association (WWA) representing the WDC directors across the state to clarify the roles, responsibilities, and timeline in the review of Title II AEFLA open and competitive Request for Applications 2022-27 applications. Feedback forms were developed and jointly agreed on and a conflict-of-interest agreement was completed for all reviewers. Applications were provided for review in February 2022. As a result, all Title II applications were approved for alignment with local industry sectors. Subsequent MOUs and collaborations continued throughout 2020-2021.

All programs continued to contribute to Infrastructure Funding Agreements (IFAs), but due to Washington state’s cautious reopening following COVID19, the established Title II presence in WorkSource (one-stop) Centers across the state was still significantly reduced. SBCTC continued to work with Washington state’s Economic Development Department to provide WorkSource co-enrollment/proportional use data in support of state-wide IFA discussions and completions. While the pandemic closures continued to complicate Washington’s cross-agency collaborations, the following are examples from the past year:

  • Wenatchee Valley College, operating in rural northcentral Washington, works in collaboration with their WDC to offer adult basic education instruction at the local one-stop center.
  • North Seattle College hosts a Seattle/King County WorkSource affiliate site on their campus and their Dean of Transitional Studies has moved into the role of WIOA Title II representative for the region assisting in coordinating partner efforts.
  • Workforce Central, the WDC in Pierce County, continues to fund a navigator position focused on the recruitment of Title II students. The navigator works at the five Title II providers in the county with the primary function of recruiting students for Title II programs, Workforce Central funds the position. This strategy is viewed as a best practice, and is working so well the WDC expanded this model adding a navigator to specifically recruit opportunity youth students.

AEFLA Section 223(1)(b)

Establishment or operation of a high-quality professional development programs as described in section 223(1)(b)

Guided Pathways remains the approach used to contextualize pathways for students served through BEdA programs. This year we honed our focus on training that leads with equity in curriculum development and execution, data research, and student navigational services. Elements of our approach to integrating WIOA compliance contextualized pathways and BEdA special programs are evident in system training such as New Director’s Orientation, BEdA Faculty 101:  New Faculty Training, Integrating CCRS, Equity Informed Data Series, Decolonizing English Language Acquisition, Aligning Math Pathways, and Teaching the Skills That Matter.

This year there were 49 trainings that served 969 participants, including, but not limited to, Integrating CCRS, ABC’s of EDI, Leading with Racial Equity, Decolonizing English Language Community of Practice, Teaching the Skills That Matter, Positive Mental Health, Navigating Through Series, Sustaining Instruction Past COVID, BEdA STEM Pathways and Promoting Culturally Sustainable and Trauma Informed Practices.

Our office hosted our biennial conference, and approximately 165 participants attended. The BEdA 2022 Biennial Conference:  Reflect, Recharge, Regroup was held every Friday in July 2022 and connected professional development centering equity, diversity & inclusion, disability justice, and developing equitable curriculum. The conference featured 18 different sessions between 6 topic areas:  Anti-Blackness in Higher Education, BEdA Get on the Pathway, Decolonizing English Instruction, Disability Justice & Accessibility, Positive Mental Health, and Teaching Skills That Matter-Equitable Classroom Instruction. We hope to return to an in-person conference in 2024.

COVID-19 continued to have a profound impact on our delivery of professional development. However, we provided a wide array of professional learning events online using our state Learning Management System, Canvas, and virtual meeting spaces such as Zoom. By providing multiple modalities for practitioners to engage, we continue providing another layer of contextualized learning, as integrated technology skills, new applications, and online resources are embedded in every training.

AEFLA Section 223(1)(c)

Provision of technical assistance to funded eligible providers as described in section 223(1)(c)
  • CASAS Training:  Trained 76 people on WA State Assessment Policy, test record reporting requirements, and confirmed that staff in all funded programs have current CASAS training certification.
  • NRS Training:  Trained 45 directors, program coordinators, and data entry staff in key NRS data quality collection concepts. Converted training for new program directors into an online training that can run during suspended on-campus operations.
  • WABERS+ Training:  Trained 32 people on the use of our state’s NRS data collection system called WABERS+. Training included a review of state-wide policy and procedure updates impacted NRS data collection, review, and reporting requirements.

AEFLA Section 223(1)(d)

Monitoring and evaluation of the quality and improvement of adult education activities as described in section 223(1)(d)

Virtual Program Review and Technical Assistance Visits were conducted by BEdA staff with 20 providers. Monitoring visits were as follows:

  • 13 were full program reviews.
    • Scheduled revisits with 11 providers for continued monitoring of corrective action plans.
  • 7 were follow-up visits to check progress on Corrective Action Plans.
  • Moved 2 providers to Enhanced Monitoring with more frequent check-ins.
  • Followed up on newly established corrective actions.
  • Conducted desk audits and followed up with providers to ensure issues were resolved and confirmed with evidence of corrected practice.

AEFLA Section 223(a)(2)

As applicable, describe how the State has used funds for additional permissible activities described in section 223(a)(2)

Section 223(a)(2)(B) Instructional Technology

SBCTC continues to support the use of instructional technology through the use of the Integrated Digital English Acceleration (I-DEA) program in Washington. The ELA/I-DEA program administrator offers training and technical assistance to programs offering I-DEA. To ensure that everyone has current and up-to-date information on I-DEA, BEdA maintains I-DEA pages on the SBCTC website.

SBCTC has also incorporated the instructional technologies into HS+ modules, as well as newly developed IELCE modules to ensure that students in all programs of instruction are utilizing technology and developing the skills they will need to successfully transition to their college and career pathway. Training and assistance for the modules is provided by program administrators and policy associates.

Finally, SBCTC continues to support the use of technology in Washington Corrections Institutions. Correction’s faculty members have access to on-campus Canvas support, and a website with information on how to use offline Canvas and the SMC tool that faculty use to deliver and create and convert curriculum for delivery has been updated with additional support resources. In addition, SBCTC continues to support the conversion of existing curriculum such as HS+ for use in the corrections Canvas environment.

Section 223(a)(2)(D) Integrated Education and Training (IET) and Career Pathways

Washington state continues to expand I-BEST in tandem with the statewide Guided Pathways initiative. In a nutshell, Guided Pathways “presents courses in the context of highly structured, educationally coherent program maps that align with students’ goals for careers and further education” (“What We Know About Guided Pathways”; Colleges organize program offerings under different “meta majors” or areas of study connected to high demand, living wage jobs and further educational opportunities.

Part of this initiative is the expansion of the “Academic I-BEST” model. This I-BEST model contextualizes “gateway” courses in English and Math and other core content areas to both the College and Career Readiness Standards and pathway content so that students can start their degree pathways earlier and with more support. The Academic I-BEST model offers flexibility for pathway degree programs alongside the traditional I-BEST model.

We continue to support team teaching I-BEST faculty through quarterly trainings. These trainings have been adapted from an all-day face-to-face training to a multi-week facilitated Canvas course. This allows for more participation and deeper learning and application compared to face-to-face training. We plan to continue running the course even as face-to-face and travel opportunities resume.

We consider financial planning for students a core, integrated component of IET and pathway development. This includes building a robust statewide support system for our case management-style navigator group of professionals and the development of a funding guide that is used system-wide to identify the variety of grants and programs available to adult education students seeking a college program of study that leads to high demand living-wage work. The centerpiece strategy for financial planning is Ability to Benefit and our state-approved process that allows students who co-enroll in I-BEST and HS+ to demonstrate eligibility (Ability to Benefit) from the first quarter of study, without having to take an additional test or earn six college credits first. Rules for our state grant program mirror the rules for ATB, including the state option.

Section 223(a)(2)(F) Transitioning to postsecondary

High School+ (HS+), a competency-based high school completion program and part of our college and career guided pathways initiative which allows students to obtain a high school diploma and then transition into postsecondary education. This program has also expanded to act as a dual credit program for students without a high school diploma enrolled in college-level pathways. Co-enrollment in I-BEST and HS+ allows students to access Ability to Benefit through Washington’s approved third options.

Section 223(a)(2)(G) Literacy and English Language links to employers

Integrated Digital English Acquisition (I-DEA) includes four modules on Personal Inventory, Career Exploration, Work Readiness, and Job Search and Interviewing that focus specifically on employment and employability skills.

In addition, SBCTC is in the process of completing IELCE module development to help students build the skills need to successfully transition into their college and career pathways. The IELCE curriculum includes three career focused modules: Professional Technical Writing, Preparing for Work, and Workplace Rights.

Section 223(a)(2)(H) Workplace adult education

SBCTC promotes the I-BEST @ Work model, an IET model that can meet IELCE standards and provides the opportunity to further WIOA Title II initiatives. This model includes a company trainer, adult basic education instructor, and a navigator to provide wraparound support. The program is designed to quickly teach workers literacy, technology, work, and college-readiness skills so they can move into postsecondary education or living wage jobs faster. The pandemic posed a challenge for this model in that it was primarily based in on-site learning in industries hit hardest by the pandemic:  retail, hospitality, food service, and tourism.

Section 223(a)(2)(I) CCRS

SBCTC Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) continued to integrate CCRS into all relevant professional development continuing a focus on culturally responsive instruction and assessment through problem and project-based learning with the CCRS as the foundation of that instruction and assessment.

Rigorous monitoring ensured that all funded programs fully implemented the CCRS in instruction curriculum and assessment.

Performance Data Analysis

Performance Data Analysis

Describe how the adult education program performed in the overall assessment of core programs based on the core indicators of performance. Discuss how the assessment was used to improve quality and effectiveness of the funded eligible providers and any plans to further increase performance in future reporting years.

Measurable Skill Gains

Washington State achieved a 27.91% (28% when rounded) overall Measurable Skill Gain (MSG) rate for the program year 2021-22, significantly lower than its MSG target of 43.8% (rounded to 44%). This is due to statewide governor-ordered suspended operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and our providers’ inability to CASAS test. According to Table 4B, only 3,967 participants were able to post-test in PY2021-22 out of a possible 26,251 participants in all periods of participation. This is a minuscule amount compared to the number that have been able to post-test before the pandemic. It is nearly four times the amount as last year in which our state was also ordered to suspend operations. Gains achieved using the HS Credit Option, IET MSGs, and the EFL gain for a program exit and transition to postsecondary EFL during the program year, contributed to the higher levels of gains showing in ABE 4 (39%), ABE 5 (40%), and ABE 6 (65%) [see Measurable Skill Gains: All Colleges/Organizations chart below].


Post-exit Outcome Measures

Washington State exceeded all targets for post-exit outcome measures for PY2021-22, but it was noted in our federal program review that our Credential Rate was not calculated correctly. Table 5 shows that although performance levels were similar to last year, the cohorts are lower than the previous year by 9-38%. Our employment results are likely skewed since Washington relies solely on social security numbers (SSN) matching with the SWIS unemployment insurance dataset. English language learners made up about 44% of our program and reported SSNs at a much lower rate (38.8%) than students in our ABE programs (78.7%) according to internal research. It’s impossible to know the true rate of SSN collection among the ELL population since our state’s college data system collects SSNs and ITINs (tax ID numbers) in the same field. The strongest component of the overall credential rate is still the Attained a Postsecondary Credential while enrolled or within one year of exit measure. Strong performance is supported by our state’s special program Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST). This program allows students to work on college-level studies right away, while receiving basic skills instruction, and leads to certificates and degrees. Many of these programs were suspended during the pandemic leading to a drop in MSG as well as our Credential Rate overall.

Integration with One-stop Partners

Integration with One-stop Partners

Describe how the State eligible agency, as the entity responsible for meeting one-stop requirements under 34 CFR part 463, subpart J, carries out or delegates its required one-stop roles to eligible providers. Describe the applicable career services that are provided in the one-stop system. Describe how infrastructure costs are supported through State and local options.

In Washington, for each of the 12 local workforce development regions, eligible providers were identified through the competitive RFA process. In 2021-22 providers included 34 community and technical colleges and, at the beginning of the year, six community-based organizations (one of these CBOs, Northwest Indian College chose to end Title II services in December 2021). These providers supported the local one-stops with a wide range of Title II programming and services in adult education, ELA, IET, and IELCE. All Title II provider continuations, and new RFA 2022-27 applications were approved for alignment with the local workforce plan by the local workforce board and detailed one-stop contributions, both financial and in-kind as agreed to in local Infrastructure Funding Agreements (IFA). Contributions are detailed in a state-level Shared Vision, Principles, and Goals of Collaboration Guidance document developed by and signed by the Washington Workforce Association (WWA) and SBCTC. The collaboration document details the support services and programming that are jointly provided including:  case management, pathway development, education opportunities, job placement, vocational rehab, etc. The scope of these collaborative contributions are funded by both state and federal funding, including WIOA Title II and Perkins funds, included in WA State Combined plan. In the coming year both the Guidance document and State Plan will be reviewed and revised.

Examples of these collaborative contributions include Green River College serving not only as a WorkSource Connection Site, but also offered collaborative workshops at the WDC Center in Auburn to assist WorkSource clients transition into Title II education services. Spokane Community College (SCC) and Spokane Workforce Council (SWC) jointly applied for a grant to allow them to offer education and employment opportunities to refugees and immigrants. SCC also provides instruction and case management at SWC NEXT Gen Zone center. Edmonds College works closely with Workforce Snohomish to provide WorkSource resources on campus as an affiliate site, and also by providing workshops and trainings at both the Lynnwood and Everett WorkSource locations to meet both student and client education and employment needs.

Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE)

Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education

Describe how the state is using funds under Section 243 to support the following activities under the IELCE program:

IELCE Funds and grants

Describe when your State held a competition [the latest competition] for IELCE program funds and the number of grants awarded by your State to support IELCE programs.

We recently completed the open and competitive grant process for the 2022 – 23 year. Twenty-eight IELCE grants were awarded during this cycle. Each provider outlined how they will utilize the funds as described in a budget and match narrative. Since the IELCE grant process aligned with our Master Grant, providers also submitted detailed descriptions of how the programs will offer IELCE instruction and navigation for English Language Learners through our IET pathways.

Training activity

Describe your State efforts in meeting the requirement to provide IELCE services in combination with integrated education and training activities;

Washington State continues to provide technical assistance opportunities for IELCE funded programs including:

  • Providing ongoing technical assistance via Zoom training sessions, phone calls and email to support providers in meeting IELCE requirements;
  • Supporting programs through the monitoring process and corrective action plan follow up;
  • Increasing expansion from IELCE programs into IET Pathways and programs within the Guided Pathways model.

IELCE Section 243(c)(1)

Describe how the State is progressing towards program goals of preparing and placing IELCE program participants in unsubsidized employment in in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency as described in section 243(c)(1) and discuss any performance results, challenges, and lessons learned from implementing those program goals; and

Over the past 5 years Washington state has implemented the Guided Pathways model throughout the 34 community and technical colleges. This model is designed to clarify and shorten pathways for students to obtain certificates and degrees that lead to living wage employment. I-BEST is a core integration strategy for Title II programming. This intentional integration supports progression for English Language Learners (ELL) from IELCE programming directly into professional technical I-BEST programs. All I-BEST programs must meet workforce standards by providing access to a college certificate or degree that leads to verifiable living wage employment. Each program must also demonstrate the industry is in-demand within Washington state. I-BEST has also been designed to provide access and support to ELL students who might otherwise be ineligible to take college level course work.

In 2021 the community and technical college system was having challenges with the interpretation and implementation of IELCE programming. SBCTC published a resource guide which supported the development of IELCE-funded navigator positions. This has led to the successful increase of staff specifically dedicated to providing wrap around support and services to IELCE students. We have also seen an increase of 3% from 2021 to 2022 in IELCE funding being maximized to support ELL students. One of the lessons learned has been providing clear examples and interpretation of the legislation that allows providers to define and develop IELCE programs on their campuses. Most providers think of IELCE as a funding stream, not a program. Helping them to define the programmatic aspects of IELCE has helped them understand how the funds can be spent.

We have maintained and increased positive performance results from 2021 – 2022 with 23% of eligible IELCE Participants earning a Measurable Skills Gain (MSG). In addition, 36% of students gained employment within the Employment Second Quarter After Exit Cohort. Within the Employment Fourth Quarter After Exit Cohort, 34% of students gained employment. The median income for these Participants over all Periods of Participation was $6,821.26. Lastly, 64% of Participants in the cohort completed the Credential Attainment outcome.

IELCE Section 243(c)(2)

Describe how the State is progressing towards program goals of ensuring that IELCE program activities are integrated with the local workforce development system and its functions as described in section 243(c)(2) and discuss any performance results, challenges, and lessons learned from implementing those program goals.

The relationships between SBCTC and the Workforce Development Councils is under continuous development. With many of the One-Stop centers closed during the pandemic, system wide alignment and collaboration was a challenge. We are currently in the process of strengthening our partnerships with the WDC’s and One-Stop centers. Early conversations have proved promising and we look forward to reporting on our successes in next year’s report.

Adult Education Standards

Adult Education Standards

If your State has adopted new challenging K-12 standards under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, describe how your Adult Education content standards are aligned with those K-12 standards.

Washington State’s K-12 system adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2011. To ensure Title II Adult Education alignment with K-12, Washington adopted the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) (aligned to the Common Core) in fall of 2014.

Through a series of regional trainings in 2015, SBCTC helped provider faculty become familiar with the CCRS as they integrated these standards into their curriculum and instruction. All providers implemented the CCRS into their programs by July 1, 2016. Since 2016 SBCTC BEdA infused the CCRS into most professional development to establish the standards as the foundation of instruction and to demonstrate the clear applicability to student learning. This continued in 2021-2022 through virtual professional development for faculty and administrators.

Programs for Corrections Education (AEFLA Section 225)

Programs for Corrections Education (AEFLA Section 225)

What was the relative rate of recidivism for criminal offenders served? Please describe the methods and factors used in calculating the rate for this reporting period.

Currently, the Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) cannot disaggregate the recidivism rate for individuals who received educational services. Recently passed state legislation should provide this capability by FY 26 or sooner. The current 3-year recidivism rate for WADOC is 30.7%.

WADOC uses many definitions of recidivism. Recidivism provided in this report uses the standard definition of recidivism used in our Results DOC measure.

Definition:  Re-incarceration as a Washington state inmate within 3 years of being released as a Washington state inmate.

Inmate is defined as an individual who is serving the confinement portion of their sentence under the jurisdiction of WADOC. The majority of inmates are incarcerated in a WADOC prison, however, included in this definition are individuals on work release, community parenting alternative, graduated/rapid reentry (electronic home monitoring), and jail, juvenile, and out-of-state facilities.

Violators are not included in our measure. A violator is someone who has a violation(s) on their terms of supervision that results in a brief stay(s) at either a jail or prison facility.

Release cohort is a group of individuals that were released from confinement during the same calendar year.

Counting Rules - in addition to the above, individuals are only counted once in each release cohort. For example, if an individual is released and re-incarcerated multiple times during the same calendar year they are only counted for the first re-offense. If an individual reoffends multiple times during the same calendar year but releases in a new calendar year, they are included in that release cohort. The three-year follow-up period restarts every time they are included in a new release cohort. Individuals are excluded if their release from incarceration was caused by death or execution. Some sentences may be revoked or returned, in which case an individual may return to prison as an inmate. These are counted as recidivism even though no new crime has been committed.