Basic Education for Adults. The community and technical colleges (CTCs) are required under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and reauthorized under the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act of 2014, to provide adult education for persons over the age of 16 who are not enrolled, or required to be enrolled, in secondary school under state law, and who:
Adult basic education instruction is designed to help an individual achieve mastery of skills in reading, writing, oral communication, and computation at a level sufficient to function effectively as a parent, worker, and citizen. It also includes English as a second language and preparation and testing services for high school equivalency certificates.
The CTCs may waive all or a portion of tuition and services and activities fees for students 19 years of age or older who are eligible for resident tuition and are enrolled in a course or program to finish their high school education.
The Caseload Forecast Council. The Caseload Forecast Council (CFC) oversees the preparation and approval of the official state caseload forecasts. The CFC estimates the number of persons expected to meet entitlement requirements and require the service of public assistance programs; state correctional institutions; state correctional non-institutional supervision; state institutions for juvenile offenders; the common school and charter school systems; long-term care; medical assistance; foster care; the College Bound Scholarship Program; and adoption support.
As a courtesy, the CFC must forecast the number of state residents ages 18 to 44 who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent or post-secondary credential, and the number of students expected to enroll in basic education for adults courses at community and technical colleges.
The CFC may request data from the state board for community and technical colleges and the education data center.
PRO: When we think about meeting the states attainment goal, we need to know who those adults are. This bill helps accomplish that by making sure we know who needs access to these programs. This bill brings access to thousands of adults who simply need to improve their lot in life. As people become adults and work at dead end jobs they think there is not hope. This bill asks the system to begin looking at the needs of these students. The data will help the state board identify and design appropriate programs. Adult basic education is a vital service our community colleges are uniquely positioned to provide. Predictability and stability in enrollment provides the same for staff. These annual counts will assist the CTCs in planning effective outreach and recruitment and deploying resources to support students. These new tools will help students earn secondary credentials and enter postsecondary education. This bill is the community and technical colleges top priority for this session. This bill will provide all partners in education a valuable snapshot of who could be engaged in the education pipeline. These projections will inform the workforce boards strategic planning as well as evaluation of the overall workforce system. Forecasting will not only provide valuable planning information but also recognition of the value and contributions this population can and do bring to our states workforce.
PRO: Adult basic education can be a pathway out of poverty and into a family wage job. Forecasting the adult basic education caseload will provide valuable planning for the future because it will provide the data and knowledge about who in our communities would benefit from adult basic education and will help our community and technical colleges to be better prepared to meet the needs of these students.