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5517807bbb5b06336b23857451f28ecdArticle written by Jacqui Walpole, Director of Adult Education, Prince George’s Community College

Last month, a few of us from the Adult Education program at Prince George’s Community College attended the eleventh National Conference on Effective Transitions in Adult Education held in Rhode Island including a pre-conference event, IET Design Institute.  Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Integrated Education and Training (IET) is where adult education and literacy services plus workforce training are concurrent, integrated, and contextualized.  The IET Design Institute was presented by the National College Transition Network at World Education and the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy at Penn State and focused on the components which are crucial to running a successful IET, such as: program planning, design and implementation, partnerships with training providers/employers/organizations that can provide support to students including jobs, and basic skills curriculum development.

I attended several workshops but made a point of attending IET-focused presentations to learn about other workforce trainings besides the usual ones we hear about in Maryland, such as ESL paired with Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training.

I heard a presentation from the staff at Newport, Rhode Island community college who designed an IET with ESL and accounting/bookkeeping for English language learners.  I was interested in learning more about the credential gained in this IET class although it turned out to be not an industry-recognized certificate but one that is issued by the community college.  While not technically an industry-recognized certificate, I was not certain if employers in Newport would recognize this college certificate as being equivalent or even more valuable than an industry-recognized one.  If so, would it then make it an “industry-recognized” certificate?

The most enjoyable workshop was about a coding class (low-level computer programming) for adult learners held at Providence public library which is a free 12-week basic software coding program and where English language learners were welcome.  The coding instructors were superb presenters and the workshop was interactive and fun.  I also learned a quite a bit about coding!

The IET Design Institute and the materials we received greatly assisted us in our planning.  So what are the next IET steps for Prince George’s Community College’s Adult Education program? We think we are ready to take our current class, ESL with baking, to a new culinary IET level in the spring when the college’s new culinary arts building opens. We’re also planning for a bridge to business (which should appeal to all the current and aspiring entrepreneurs in our program) and medical office assistant (bilingual) is a possibility for FY19. Stay tuned!

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