State Leadership Funds (Adult education and family literacy act Section 223 (AEFLA))
AEFLA Section 223(1)(a)
WVAdultEd continued to work with all core and required partner agencies under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well as other agency partners to provide programs and services to eligible participants. WVAdultEd Regional Coordinators or an Adult Education (AE) representative continued to serve on regional Workforce Development Boards (WDB), assisting with adult education presence at local One-Stop locations, and contributing to the local plan goals. WV has seven Workforce Development Board regions. Within several regions WVAdultEd is co-located with other partner agencies contributing toward infrastructure costs. In other locations, WVAdultEd assigns instructors to provide services on a predetermined schedule.
WVAdultEd participated with the Workforce West Virginia, Workforce Development Team, to include WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth; Division of Rehabilitation Services; Wagner-Peyser; and other required partners for a series of meetings to share in the workforce development of workgroups, toolkits, cross-training, performance metrics, and developing the new Combined State Plan. After completing the 533-page Combined State Plan, the Workforce Development Team continues partnership communications sharing progress reports, program updates, and goal strategies to maintain our momentum and support as we look forward to the development of the 2024 Combined State Plan.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(b)
After a year of entirely virtual professional development, FY22 brought the opportunity to transition back to in-person offerings, while maintaining virtual options. The year began with program updates delivered via a self-paced Schoology course. The course emphasized programmatic changes and focused on areas such as assessment, data management, career pathways, Integrated Education and Training Programs (IETPs), certifications, distance education, and professional development initiatives.
In September, the annual fall conference was held in collaboration with the West Virginia Adult Education Association, Inc. The conference was held as a hybrid event, in which participants could attend in-person or attend sessions virtually on a modified schedule over the course of the four-day event. Sessions included topics such as pandemic recovery, fostering emotional intelligence, developing career pathways and IETP opportunities, strategies for serving ESOL students, and becoming familiar with new distance education software. The conference also partnered with agencies to familiarize instructors with services available to students locally. Additionally, representatives from TABE Mastery, TABE Tutor, Study Buddy, and Aztec delivered training to support instructional materials available to instructors statewide.
Virtual instruction continued to be offered around the state with virtual intake, remote assessment and instruction, and distance education options. TABE Assessments were available for remote proctoring with ProctorU. Instructors utilized Microsoft Teams and Zoom to provide remote instruction to students who were unable to attend class in-person. The professional development team provided technical assistance to instructors to ensure ability and understanding of virtual intake procedures. Verkada camera trainings were conducted to support the use of cameras in remote instruction.
The distance education program utilizes state leadership funds to offer seven learning management systems (LMS) for instructor use: Essential Education, Aztec, CSM, GMetrix, Burlington English, Edgenuity, and Schoology. CSM, an online basic literacy and numeracy course with built-in career strategy and critical thinking components, was added this year. An articulation agreement between CSM and the public community and technical colleges in West Virginia provided the opportunity for students to earn college credit upon completion of the online course. Professional development was offered relating to all seven LMS throughout the year to ensure utilization and skillful facilitation. This included question and answer sessions, webinars presented by company trainers, and ongoing technical assistance from the professional development team.
New instructors completed a self-paced pre-service Schoology course to train on the critical components of WVAdultEd. The course was revamped for the new year to ensure new personnel properly utilize standardized assessments, document student progress and achievements, and report accurate information to meet federal or state program needs. It involved recorded videos, quizzes, assignments, and check-ins with state and regional staff. Mentors were assigned to new instructors to assist with questions, model procedures, and provide support. Instructors who took on new specialties also participated in relevant training. Regional Adult Education Coordinators requested the pre-service course information be available to all instructors. As a result, a Seasoned Refresher course was developed in Schoology. Instructors were invited to complete the course to review policies and procedures.
It was announced that a new high school equivalency exam would be selected for West Virginia. The High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) was selected, and training began in January. Training was offered in-person and virtually to prepare for this change. This included training on the Official Practice Test (OPT) and Diploma Sender. A purchase agreement was made with Essential Education to provide the online OPT. Virtual question and answer sessions were offered throughout the transition process.
There was a strong emphasis on IETPs throughout the year. The professional development team travelled around the state to visit classrooms and discuss IETP implementation. Additionally, regional work sessions were held to support development of IETPs for in-demand occupations. Contextualized instructional materials and career-specific educational technology were highlighted and shared to assist with IETP development.
WVAdultEd transitioned to the Literacy, Adult and Community Education System (LACES) for reporting on students and programs in March 2020. Because of the pandemic, all training had to be shifted to virtual delivery. This was a challenge for some instructors. In March 2022, a LACES trainer came to West Virginia to provide two days of in-person training. Additionally, there was a continued focus on the desktop monitoring tool to ensure programs were monitoring their classes from the local to the state level. Updates were made to refine the tool and shared with instructors. Question and answer sessions occurred for each region relating to LACES and the desktop monitoring tool.
In the spring, WorkForce WV announced the Job Jumpstart Program in which eligible West Virginia residents could earn a stipend by completing an approved training program. WVAdultEd, recognizing this was an opportunity to offer the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification and training program, partnered with WorkForce WV to provide free testing and preparation statewide. Instructors were trained as proctors to administer the MOS exam and utilized GMetrix and LearnKey to assist with test preparation.
The West Virginia Department of Education’s Adult Certification and Preparation Program provides professional practitioners with the opportunity to participate in a Career and Technical Education Teacher Preparation Program. The program is offered in collaboration with Marshall University, which affords adult education instructors without a Professional Teaching Certification (K12 credential) the opportunity of attaining a Career Technical Education (CTE) Certificate with an Adult Education Endorsement. The certificate is equivalent to a Professional Teaching Certification and provides a path to a permanent certification. Seven instructors completed the program, including a series of advanced professional development courses and implementation of on-site plans crafted during the coursework.
In addition to participating in the fall conference, there were six additional opportunities for instructors to earn non-degree graduate from Marshall University. Credit could be earned by completing the customer service certification, the Certificate of Work Ethic Proficiency, the IC3 Digital Literacy Certification, Microsoft Office Specialist/Expert or Intuit QuickBooks Certifications. Additional options included completion of three Essential Education courses in reading difficulties, blended learning, and motivating adult learners, or completion of three Essential Education courses related to money, work, and computer skills.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(c)
Regional Adult Education Coordinators review all programs within their regions on a monthly basis for intensity and duration of instruction, data management, and assessment and program implementation. In addition to monthly reviews of program data, quarterly meetings occur to monitor program performance. All WVAdultEd staff are available to provide technical assistance to programs as needed or upon request.
WVAdultEd has a plethora of tools to support classes. The tools are designed to assist instructors with the skillset to increase MSG attainment and improve core indicators within their programs. The teachers have access to the following: Desktop Monitoring Report (DMR), Data Quality Audit, Goals Met by Type Summary Report, the National Reporting System (NRS) tables, and an overabundance of various reports. Teachers, Regional Coordinators and Program Administrators can access these reports and identify if technical assistance is needed. Using LACES as the MIS, it provides the ability to deep dive into our data and enhance programs.
AEFLA Section 223(1)(d)
WVAdultEd has committed itself to providing a quality education to those most in need in the state. WVAdultEd has implanted various research-based strategies, procedures and promoted these in order to meet the needs of all adult learners in which we serve. In turn, this will enhance the student experience within the WVAdultEd classroom, and students will gain further success.
WVAdultEd programs are regularly monitored to confirm compliance of NRS standards. All programs are evaluated annually, and each is monitored on a recurring schedule. LACES has effectively provided a higher level of accountability and provided meaningful program enhancement through improved data analysis at both the state and local levels.
The monitoring schedule was impacted for monitoring and providing technical assistance to correctional programs, and the facilities were often shut down with no visitors permitted due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Three correctional programs were visited, while others were delayed until the following program year. Ten adult education programs were visited, while eight programs received technical assistance. Due to staffing changes with a regional coordinator, three scheduled monitoring visits were changed to technical assistance visits.
Data Quality Audits are completed by the accountability team with the support of regional coordinators that represent the six individual segments of the state. The audits monitor the accuracy of data entered in the MIS, while ensuring all required documents are complete. The monitoring process aids in identifying areas of improvement in local programs with the goal of preventing inconsistencies with data. An Annual Performance Profile Report is compiled to determine how individual programs achieved Federal Core Measures and Indicators. The Annual Performance Profile Report ranks individual classes to award programs of the year at the Annual Awards Celebration as well as pinpoint programs not meeting state standards and identifying classes subject to technical assistance and/or monitoring.
WVAdultEd uses the following criteria to monitor classes and provide technical assistance:
- All programs are monitored statewide by the desktop monitoring report, which summarizes multiple reports from LACES. Regional adult education coordinators and state staff review desktop monitoring reports monthly and provide technical assistance to programs with low program performance.
- Programs failing to meet at least 60% of the core measures for two consecutive years were prioritized for technical assistance. In addition to the steps in (1) above, these programs were scheduled for a future on-site monitoring visit.
- Requests from program grantees or administrators, correctional institutions undergoing re-accreditation, or regional coordinators identify programs in need of support.
- On-site monitoring reports include findings, recommendations, and commendations. Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) identify the finding, required actions, evidence of completion, responsible parties, and goal dates for addressing findings. After programs address all findings, evidence is submitted for review, and the Office of Adult Education issues a CAP closure letter.
AEFLA Section 223(a)(2)
Performance Data Analysis
WVAdultEd achieved the following in PY2021-2022:
- WV had a statewide negotiated Measurable Skills Gain (MSG) target of 53% and achieved 58.03%.
- WV served a total of 9,986 students with 5,211 being NRS qualified students
- 35.4% of the 5,211 students were post-assessed.
- 64.95% of students that were assessed achieved an EFL gain
- 92% of Social Security Numbers were collected for NRS students served
- 999 NRS qualified students were enrolled in Distance Education. 46.83% of those NRS qualified students obtained a MSG.
- WVAdultEd met six of the 12 educational performance measures: ABE Level 5, 6 and ESL Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 totaling an achievement of 58.03%.
- 50% of the Follow-Up Indicators of Performance were met.
- The expected Employment Rate (Q2) was negotiated at 39.6%; WV achieved 43.36%.
- Employment Rate (Q4) was negotiated at 40%; WV achieved 33.14%.
- Median Earnings goal was $3,294; WV achieved $3,782.91.
- The targeted credential attainment rate was 47%; WV achieved 13.96%.
Based on the assessment above, WVAdultEd will implement the following strategies to improve program quality and future program performance:
- A Schoology course will be developed to create continuous training on data entry, NRS and state reporting, and common troubleshooting techniques.
- Continue hosting training materials in Schoology for easy access.
- Offer technical assistance at the request of the program, regional adult education coordinator or program administrator.
- Pilot LACES Online Registration to determine if it decreases errors with data collection.
- Modification of the Student Profile Form to mirror data fields within the MIS.
- Resume on emphasis on credential attainment.
Integration with One-stop Partners
WVAdultEd continued to collaborate with core and required partners to provide Title II AEFLA services. WVAdultEd Regional Coordinators or an Adult Education (AE) representative continued to serve on regional Workforce Development Boards (WDB), assisting with adult education presence at local American Job Center locations, and contributing to the local plan goals. WV has seven Workforce Development Board regions. Within several regions WVAdultEd is co-located with other partner agencies contributing toward One-Stop infrastructure costs. WVAdultEd continued to provide core services to include intensive basic academic skills, high school equivalency diploma preparation, job readiness, career exploration, computer literacy, work process skills, English Language Acquisition programs, distance learning, pre-college preparation, and academic assessment.
WVAdultEd Career Pathway programs continued to leverage partnerships with all WIOA one-stop core and required partners, numerous additional state agencies, local educational authorities, workforce development boards, community colleges, career and technical education centers, and business and industry to solicit enrollments and co-enrollments to maximize resources leading to post-secondary education, employment opportunities, and industry-recognized credentials.
Instructors continued conducting Advisory Council meetings to perform community service resource mapping to ensure knowledge of all partners and what each public and private agency can provide to help students achieve their goals. Employers played a significant role in these Council meetings as our Career Pathway programs are employer driven. Alignment with these employers allowed WVAdultEd to identify training and skills needed in careers that were and continue to be emerging and growing, along with utilizing the Labor Market Information (LMI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
WVAdultEd assisted students entering Career Pathway programs with identifying barriers and joined forces with partnering agencies identified during their resource mapping for support at removing these impediments to better coordinate, align, and avoid duplication of services. Students entering Career Pathway programs were also referred to the WorkForce Development Board for eligibility determination for funding assistance through Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) when moving into further or higher post-secondary education opportunities.
WVAdultEd programs continued offering IETPs in an in-demand occupations/clusters for their region.
It was brought to the attention of WVAdultEd that county boards of education were having trouble recruiting qualified candidates that could pass the service personnel competency exams. This could have been a result of moving the competency exams from a paper-based format to an online assessment. Examination of the in-demand occupations/clusters showed that, in fact, board of education service personnel positions are near the top of the in-demand occupations for WV. WVAdultEd began working from the public Assessment Guides for each classification to develop a self-paced IETP courses which a potential applicant could complete to successfully pass the competency exam as required by WV State Code.
Workforce WV provides training to a WVAdultEd staff member to enter services in the Mid Atlantic Career Consortium (MACC) system to capture and report business services related to strategic planning, economic development, accessing untapped labor pools, training services, incumbent worker training services, rapid response/business downsizing assistance, and planning a layoff response.
Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education
IELCE Funds and grants
Program year 2021-2022 was the third year of the awarded five-year grant cycle. West Virginia receives the minimum award amount of $60,000 to provide Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) activities. In FY22 two programs were recipients of Section 243 funding. Berkeley County English as a Second Language (ESL) program in Martinsburg, WV and Hardy County English as a Second Language (ESL) program in Moorefield, WV were awarded the grants. In the next state competition, it is our hope to expand the IELCE services in West Virginia.
In accordance with Section 243, both Berkeley and Hardy County ESL instructors were provided professional development regarding IELCE program requirements. Guidelines and procedures for ensuring Integrated Education and Training Programs (IETP) were developed and available for offering all IELCE students, although not all were required to participate. Technical assistance was provided to the ESL instructors regarding implementation and documentation of the IETP policies, specifically related to Section 243.
IELCE Section 243(c)(1)
The Hardy County ESL continues to partner with Pilgrim’s Pride and the community on deterring Wagner-Peyser unemployment claims by assisting through this IETP with enhancing job opportunities and retention of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (poultry processing) workforce. Pilgrim's Pride operating in Moorefield, WV, attracts many immigrant workers to the area. As such, the partnership with this local employer continues to be an excellent opportunity to collaborate on an IELCE IETP. While providing the English language acquisition, Hardy County included contextualized instruction on how to be an effective employee as one part of meeting the three components of an IETP.
The Berkeley County ESL program initiated a partnership with Quad Graphics in Martinsburg, WV. Due to many of the ESL students being currently employed with the company, Quad Graphics and the ESL instructor have formed a collaboration to provide workforce training assistance. With an influx of ELLs relocating to the Martinsburg area, this initiative quickly became advantageous for the community. The instructor provided contextualized ESL services to the students both in the classroom and onsite at Quad Graphics.
IELCE Section 243(c)(2)
As a part of awarding the Section 243 grants, WVAdultEd assessed the ELL population and employers with in-demand occupations and found many of their incumbent workers are currently enrolled in the Berkeley and Hardy County ESL programs. Therefore, these two counties were selected as this presented the perfect opening for collaborating with local employers in implementing IELCE IETPs and enhancing the student’s occupational language skills to ensure greater employment opportunities and retention success. However, a large challenge in a rural state with many in the ELL population is that they have primarily identified their goal for learning the English language as the purpose of survival, communicating within the community, and carrying on meaningful conversations with family and friends as the ELL population in the state resides here to due spouse’s occupation within the local business industry or college campus. Therefore, many are not interested in employment.
Adult Education Standards
WVAdultEd programs continue to provide instruction aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for Adult Education as developed by MPR Associates under contract with USDOE/OCTAE. In addition to these academic standards, WVAdultEd also utilizes the Employability Skills Framework (ESF) which was developed through collaboration with policy makers, educators and employers by the U.S. Department of Education.
Classrooms are equipped with instructional materials and online curricula that support mastery of the CCRS and ESF. This includes TABE Mastery, TABE Tutor, and TABE/HiSET Academy. With continued emphasis on development of IETPs, instructors are required to contextualize and align instruction to the CCRS and ESF.
New full-time instructors without a Professional Teaching Certification (K12 credential) are required to participate in the Career and Technical Education Teacher Preparation Program in collaboration with Marshall University. The coursework involves studying the CCRS and developing and implementing lesson plans aligned to the standards.
WVAdultEd continues to seek a partnership with other states/agencies who have developed an online self-paced CCRS course for new instructors.
Programs for Corrections Education (AEFLA Section 225)
WV Schools of Diversion and Transition began a new method of collecting recidivism data in 2021 through parole/probation officers employed by the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation with a current recidivism rate of 24%.
Mandatory education programs in the GOALS (Getting Over Addicted Lifestyles) class and the WV Legislature allowing for, “Good Time” education days off sentences provides additional incentives for education programs to assist with the reduction in recidivism. With over 250 education/training programs including Federal Division of Labor approved Apprenticeship programs reductions in recidivism continue.