One of the primary purposes of adult education instruction is to assist adults who are parents to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children. The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) utilizes federal Workforce Investment Act dollars to promote targeted family literacy services through some of the following initiatives:
Family Literacy Grants
These grants deliver an integrated and comprehensive approach to serving families that provides families with services in the following four components:
adult education instruction to parents that offers instruction in reading, mathematics, writing, English language acquisition and/or secondary school completion;
age-appropriate education for children;
- parenting education; and
- interactive literacy activities between parents and children.
In 2008-09, 17 adult education providers were awarded federal program improvement grants to implement family literacy activities.
Family Learning Curriculum Connections
These projects build collaborations between adult education programs and elementary schools to help families understand the curriculum expectations for their children. In 2008-09, 10 adult education providers were awarded mini-grants to implement these projects.
Transition to Post-Secondary Education/Training
The Department of Education strives to broaden opportunities for learners in adult education by creating a bridge between adult education programs and post-secondary education and training institutions. The primary goal is to provide adult learners with the requisite skills to successfully enroll in and complete the post-secondary program of their choice.
Initiatives at local adult education programs target learners who are enrolled in a mandated high school completion program and are scheduled to earn a diploma or its equivalent during the current fiscal year. Several of these projects are funded through a priority area in the federal Program Improvement Projects (PDF) grant.
The Adult Education Role
The Department envisions the following role for adult education in creating these bridges:
- take the initiative to raise the awareness of Community College leaders about adult education; forge partnerships with colleges for the joint use of staff, facilities and other mutual support;
- establish increasingly ambitious goals for the number and percentage of their students who will make transitions to postsecondary education;
- initiate or join in collaborative planning process with colleges to determine which institutions can best provide the various services that students need to progress through adult education and transition to postsecondary education;
- join with colleges in creating seamless curriculum as well as articulated assessment and placement systems that link adult education services to postsecondary education and the world of work;
- take the initiative to expand adult education programs to make sure that all graduates have the skills necessary to succeed;
- partner with colleges to establish college preparation and bridge programs to facilitate transitions and to create greater synergy between adult education and developmental education programs;
- adopt data systems to track students throughout the educational system; and
- establish leadership networks within adult education to expand understanding of linkages with community colleges and take the initiative in strengthening those links.