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Adult Basic Education
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
A component of adult education. ABE is instruction in the basic skills below the 9th grade level (0-8.9)
Adult Basic Education (ABE) Authorization
A CDE professional authorization for instructors of adults in
Colorado. (formerly LIA)
Services or instruction below the postsecondary level for
- Have attained 16 years of age; and
- Are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law;
- Lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable the individuals to function effectively in society; or
- Do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
- Are unable to speak, read, or write the English language
Adult Education Act of 1966
The federal legislation that first established adult literacy as a distinct federal program. In 1991 the National Literacy Act was incorporated into the AEA. Repealed and replaced by AEFLA in 1998.
Adult education and literacy activities
Services or instruction in one or more of the following categories:
- Adult education and literacy services, including workplace literacy services
- Family literacy services
- English literacy programs
Adult Secondary Education (ASE)
A component of adult education. ASE is instruction in basic skills at or above the 9th grade level (9-12). Adult High School (AHS) and GED preparation are Adult Secondary Education.
Adult Education Act
Adult Education and Family Literacy. An office of the Colorado Dept. of Education. AEFL (or CDE/AEFL) is responsible for the administration of the federally-funded state-administered adult education grant program in Colorado. Go to the AEFL Staff Index
Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. AEFLA is
Title II of the Workforce Investment Act.
Adult High School
Annual Performance Report (APR)
Performance reports that AEFLA-funded programs are required to submit to the state annually. APRs include (but are not limited to) programs' data on student learning gains, enrollment numbers, and achievement of learners' goals.
Annual Performance Report
Adult Secondary Education
The state policy that describes the assessments local programs are to use, when local programs are to administer pre- and posttests, training requirements for assessments and assessment administration and reporting requirements. Go to Assessment Policy and Guidelines Web page
A listing of a variety of requirements, found in different federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, that applicants agree in writing to observe as a condition of receiving federal assistance.
The Basic English Skills Test (BEST) was developed during
the 1980’s as a measurement tool designed for adult
English learners at the survival and pre-employment skill
levels. The BEST consisted of an oral interview section and a
literacy skills section. The BEST Oral Interview Section has
been replaced by BEST Plus. The BEST materials are no longer
available for purchase as of September 30, 2006. AEFLA
funded BEST users should have completed the transition to
BEST Plus or CASAS by FY06.
Information for former BEST users
An established point of reference against which to compare or measure progress.
Basic English Skills Test
BEST Plus is an adaptation of the Basic English Skills
Test (BEST) oral interview. BEST Plus comes in two versions -
a computer-adaptive assessment on CD or a semi-adaptive
print-based version. Both versions are administered as a
face-to-face oral interview.
More about BEST Plus
Board of Cooperative Educational Services
Colorado Adult Education System for Accountability and Reporting
Colorado Adult Education System for Accountability and Reporting.
All AEFLA-funded programs are required to use CAESAR for data collection and reporting.
Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System. Standardized assessment instruments for assessing adult basic skills within a functional context. CASAS materials can be purchased and administered by agencies and programs that have received training from a CASAS certified trainer and are designated as certified test centers. AEFL provides CASAS training annually through the Northern Colorado Professional Development Resource Center to AEFLA funded programs so that they may purchase and administer CASAS tests. About CASAS
Community based organization
Colorado Department of Education
An educational program that emphasizes contextualized instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic participation, and U.S. government and history to help students acquire the skills and knowledge to become active and informed parents, workers, and community members.
Statewide electronic communication system (listserv) for adult education and family literacy programs. To subscribe to CLICK, contact the list administrator, Debra Fawcett, at 303/866-6914; firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Family Literacy Consortium
The Consortium develops policies and procedures, provides tools and resources, and conducts training to improve and expand family literacy services throughout Colorado.
The state welfare reform program that replaced Aid to
Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Job
Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) programs in Colorado. The
Colorado Works program serves low-income families with
children by providing income assistance and supportive
services to help participants become and remain
self-sufficient. Colorado Works is a division of the Office
of Self-Sufficiency (OSS) within the Colorado Dept. of Human
Services and operates in all counties of Colorado.
Core Indicators of Performance
The outcomes required by the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, which are:
- Improvements in literacy skill levels in reading, writing and speaking the English language, numeracy, problem-solving, English language acquisition, and other literacy skills;
- Placement in, retention in, or completion of, postsecondary education, training, unsubsidized employment or career advancement; and
- Receipt of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
Core outcome measures
The central measures of the NRS which address the requirements for core indicators of performance in the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. The core outcome measures are:
- Educational gains (achievement of skills to advance one or more educational functioning levels);
- Enter (or retain) employment;
- Placement in postsecondary education or training; and
- Receipt of a secondary school diploma or GED certificate.
Any prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, detention center, halfway house, community-based rehabilitation center, or any other similar institution designed for the confinement or rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
Colorado Affiliate of TESOL (Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages)
Division of Adult Education and Literacy. A division of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Dept. of Education. DAEL administers the federal grant for adult education (AEFLA).
The levels at which students are initially placed based on their ability to perform literacy-related tasks in specific content areas. After a set period of time or number of instructional hours, students are again assessed to determine their skill level (ending EFL).
Equipped for the Future
Educational functioning level
English Literacy and Civics Education. Sometimes referred to as EL/CE.
The sole state entity or agency responsible for administering or supervising state policy for adult education and literacy consistent with state law. In Colorado, the eligible agency is the Colorado Dept. of Education.
A local educational agency, a community-based organization of demonstrated effectiveness, a volunteer literacy organization of demonstrated effectiveness, an institution of higher education, a public or private nonprofit agency, a library, a public housing authority, a nonprofit institution that has the ability to provide literacy services to adults and families, or a consortium of such organizations. For-profit entities are not eligible providers under AEFLA.
English language learner
A federally mandated program designed to ensure that all
able-bodied food stamp participants are engaged in activities
that will improve their employability. Colorado
Employment First is administered by the Colorado Dept. of
Human Services. All individuals who apply for food
stamps in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption
criteria must participate in Employment First activities such
as workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation,
literacy, job search classes, and part-time work.
Colorado Employment First
English as a Second Language (ESL)
A component of adult education. See English literacy program.
English Literacy and Civics Education (EL/Civics) grant program
Federal grant funds, made available under AEFLA, to enable
local programs to provide integrated English literacy and
civics education services to immigrants and other limited
English proficient populations. EL/Civics programs provide
integrated services that incorporate both English literacy
and civics education so that students improve English
language skills in the context of learning to understand and
participate in education, work, and civic opportunities; and
to navigate governmental, educational, and workplace systems
and key institutions such as banking and health
EL/Civics Web page
English literacy program
A program of instruction designed to help individuals of limited English proficiency achieve competence in the English language.
Equipped for the Future
EFF is a system reform and accountability project of the
National Institute for Literacy. The EFF approach to program
improvement includes three main system reform tools: the EFF
Content Framework, the EFF Assessment Framework, and supports
for implementation of EFF.
EFF content standards
English as a Second Language
English for Speakers of Other Languages
Employment and Training Administration (U.S. Dept. of Labor)
Even Start is a federally-funded state-administered grant
program that assists in breaking the cycle of poverty and
illiteracy by improving the educational opportunities of
low-income families through the integration of adult
literacy, early childhood education, interactive parent and
child literacy activities, and parenting support into a
unified family literacy program.
Colorado Even Start
House Bill 02-1303 concerning the establishment of a
Family Literacy Education Grant Program was signed into law
by Governor Owens as the Colorado Family Literacy Act of
2002. The legislation supports the educational development of
adults and children within a family unit, as an effective
strategy in closing the achievement gap.
Family Literacy Education Fund Web page
Family literacy services
Services that are of sufficient intensity in terms of hours, and of sufficient duration, to make sustainable changes in the family and integrate all of the following activities:
- Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children (PACT)
- Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children
- Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency (ABE, ASE, and ESL)
- An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences (early childhood and school age)
Faith based organization
The outcome measures pertaining to those main and secondary learner goals that programs are required to follow up on in order to collect outcome data to be entered into the Adult Education MIS. Goals requiring follow-up (which may occur after a student has left the program) are: obtain a job, retain current job, earn a secondary school diploma or achieve GED certificate, and enter postsecondary education or training. In addition, programs must report outcomes related to educational gains for all students.
Fiscal Year. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.
General Educational Development
GED Information Web page
General Education Provisions Act. Section 427 of GEPA
requires each applicant for assistance under U.S. Dept. of
Education programs to develop and describe in the grant
application the steps it proposes to take to ensure equitable
access to and equitable participation in its proposed project
for program beneficiaries with special needs.
OMB enclosure on GEPA Section 427 (PDF)
Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs which serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families with the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families. For more information go to the Head Start Web site.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual.
Intensity and duration
Services that provide sufficient hours of instruction each week, and sufficient weeks of instruction per year, to make sustainable changes in the skill levels of adults.
Intergenerational literacy activities
- Provide regular opportunities for adults and children to interact through a literacy focus
- Are developmentally appropriate for both adults and children
- Encourage verbal interaction between parents/adult caregivers and their children, and engage children in problem solving and decision making
- Provide information for parents/adult caregivers on independently initiating and integrating adult-child learning activities in everyday family routines
- Include a means of assisting adults in transferring adult-child activities into the home setting
In implementing an intergenerational component in a local
AEFLA program, it is strongly recommended that programs use
the activities described in the Intergenerational Literacy
Notebook or develop/adapt their own activities using
the Checklist for Intergenerational Literacy Lesson
Checklist for Intergenerational Literacy Lesson Plans (PDF)
Intergenerational Literacy Notebook
Learning disability(ies) or learning disabled
Local education agency
A student's reason for enrolling in and attending adult education class(es). As part of the enrollment process, students must designate at least one goal (main goal) for attending. A secondary goal is optional. The main and secondary goals to be reported are:
- Obtain a job--Retain current job
- Improve employment
- Earn a secondary school diploma
- Earn a GED diploma
- Enter postsecondary education or training
- Improve basic literacy skills
- Improve English skills
- Increase involvement in children's education
- Increase involvement in children's literacy activities
- Complete work-based project (for Work-based Project learners only)
- Other personal goal(s)
Learning disabled adult
Adult learners who have deficits (related to neurological impairments) in capacity in defined limited areas related to learning, including dyslexia (reading disability), dysgraphia (writing disability), dyscalculia (math disability).
Limited English Proficient or Proficiency
Limited English proficient, proficiency (LEP)
Refers to an adult or out-of-school youth who has limited ability in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, and whose native language is a language other than English, or who lives in a family or community environment where a language other than English is the dominant language.
Multi-sensory language program that offers intensive
treatment to develop reading, spelling, language
comprehension, visual motor processing, and the ability to
follow oral directions.
See also the LDA Fact Sheet Adult Literacy Reading Programs for Literacy Providers on the Learning Disabilities Association of America Web site
An individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English, compute, and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family, and in society.
Literacy Volunteers of America
Literacy Volunteers of America; merged with Laubach Literacy International in 2002, forming ProLiteracy Worldwide.
The MEES program provides home-based family literacy services - including early childhood and parenting education - to migrant families. MEES parent educators assist families with enrollment in community adult education programs and conduct group meetings for parents. Colorado does not currently have a MEES grant.
Management Information System. The former AEFLA data collection system. In FY05, a new system--CAESAR--was developed.
Monitoring and evaluation
A process for examining performance and outcomes using indicators that help measure progress toward achieving goals.
Memorandum of Understanding. Title I of the
Workforce Investment Act (Section 121[C](1)) requires that
each local Workforce Investment Board develop an MOU with
each One-Stop partner. A WIA MOU is a non-financial
agreement outlining the areas of agreement among the One-Stop
partners and the principles that will guide the operation of
the One-Stop system in the local area. Questions about
the required partnerships among One-Stop partners in
Colorado, including AEFLA programs, should be directed to
Douglas Glynn; email@example.com.
MOU requirements of WIA on the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Web site
Adult literacy legislation superseded by AEFLA
National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS)
An outcome based reporting system for the state-administered federally funded adult education program. Developed with the support of the U.S. Dept. of Education's Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL), the NRS is the result of an ongoing cooperative process between state adult education directors and DAEL to identify appropriate outcomes for adult education. The goals of developing a national reporting system were to establish a national accountability system for adult education programs by identifying measures for national reporting and their definitions, establishing methods for data collection, developing software standards for reporting to the U.S. Dept. of Education, and developing training materials and activities on NRS requirements and procedures. Using a common set of outcome measures and a uniform data collection system, adult learner outcomes are measured and documented. Local programs collect and report data from students at each instructional site using the Adult Education Management Information System (MIS). Data entered into the MIS is automatically submitted to the State for statewide aggregation and reporting to DAEL. Data from all states is aggregated by DAEL and reported to Congress.
NCFL Foundations Training
Provides beginning family literacy practitioners the framework needed to fully understand the comprehensive, four-component family literacy model. Foundations is designed to provide a basic overview of the principles and practices of family literacy and the research that supports those practices.
The former National Center for ESL Literacy Education, replaced by CAELA.
National Reporting System (for Adult Education)
Also called One-Stop Career Centers, One-Stops, or
Workforce Centers. Under WIA Title I, the One-Stop
Career Center provides information about and access to a wide
range of employment, job training, and education services to
customers at a single location. One-Stops provide a triage of
services to job seekers: core services, intensive services,
and individual training accounts (ITA) or vouchers. One-Stops
provide core services to all adults, with no eligibility
requirements, and provide intensive services for unemployed
individuals who can't find jobs through core services alone.
Intensive services include more comprehensive assessments,
development of individual employment plans, case management,
etc. In cases where individuals receive intensive services
and still can't find jobs, training services directly linked
to job opportunities in the local area may be available.
These services include on-the-job training, skills upgrading,
job readiness training, and adult education and literacy
Colorado Workforce Centers Web page
Rural Workforce Consortium Web page
Office of Vocational and Adult Education. OVAE is an Office of the U.S. Dept. of Education. OVAE manages a number of federal programs and grants, including Adult Education through its Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL). See also the OVAE Web site.
Parent and Child Together time. One of the four components of a model family literacy program.
Program Accountability and Improvement Review. PAIRs are conducted on a rotating basis annually. The purpose is to provide an evaluation of programs' compliance with the requirements of WIA and the implementation of their program and instructional plans. PAIR teams work with AEFLA funded programs on compliance and quality issues. Formerly known as Peer Review.
A form of testing that requires learners to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list. Sometimes called alternative or authentic assessment, it requires performance of the skill being measured. Performance assessment can be administered by gathering data through systematic observation of students' directly observable behavior.
The awareness of the sounds (phonemes) that make up spoken words.
The initial assessments administered to students to determine proficiencies in basic skills. The results guide placement into the appropriate instructional program and educational functioning level.
The Portfolio provides an alternate route to the
Adult Basic Education Authorization. The Portfolio process is
designed for candidates for Adult Basic Education Authorization (ABEA) who have a minimum of an Associate's
degree and can demonstrate through documentation the
equivalency of their experience and/or education to
completion of one or more of the required courses.
Applicants wishing to demonstrate competence in a content
area will provide documentation to the Portfolio Committee
outlining professional teaching experience, coursework
completed, training, and/or volunteer experience in Adult
Education and/or Family Literacy.
Portfolio Web page
Tests administered to students upon completion of learner goals, or completion of a course of study, or during the final quarter of the fiscal year (April, May, or June). The results are used to determine learning progress and ending educational functioning level.
Tests administered to students to establish an initial benchmark against which learning progress is measured.
The means and opportunities by which teachers acquire the knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare adult learners for their roles as citizens, workers, and family members. The goals of Colorado's adult education professional development system are to address the training needs of adult education teachers and staff; recognize and strengthen adult education teachers as professionals; and improve instructional services to adult learners.
Professional Development Advisory Group (PDAG)
The mission of PDAG is to create an integrated,
accessible, and flexible system of professional development
for adult education instructors and program directors in
Colorado. PDAG members represent community colleges,
community-based organizations, school district adult
education programs, State Literacy Professional Development
Resource Centers, and the State office. Membership comprises
representation from large and small programs in urban, rural,
and mountain communities and includes both program directors
and classroom teachers with ABE, ASE and/or ESL
Professional Development (PD) Point System
The Professional Development Point System provides a means
for Colorado adult education teachers to receive recognition
for the professional development activities in which they
engage each year. The point system was developed jointly by
the Professional Development Advisory Group (PDAG) and the
Adult Basic Education Authorization Committee.
PD Point System (PDF)
Professional Development Self-assessment for Colorado's Adult Education Teachers
A Web-based tool developed by the Adult Education and
Family Literacy Professional Development Advisory Group that
enables adult educators identify their professional
development needs and plan their professional development
Self-Assessment Index page
Sample Self-assessment tool (PDF)
Sample Self-assessment individual and program reports (PDF)
An international volunteer literacy organization, formed
by the merger of Laubach Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of
America. For more information, go to the
ProLiteracy Web site
A document used to apply for program or grant funds.
Receipt of financial assistance from federal, state, or local government agencies, including TANF, food stamps, refugee cash assistance, old-age assistance, general assistance and aid to the blind or totally disabled. Social Security benefits, unemployment insurance and employment-funded disability are not included under this definition.
Question and answer
Obtaining meaning from print.
Objects (such as coins and food packages) and real-life print materials (such as job applications, phone books, maps, tax forms, and bus schedules) used as teaching tools.
Colorado's annual conference for adult education and family literacy service providers. Co-sponsored by CDE and CAEPA.
Strategies employed in order to prevent students from dropping out of a program before achieving learning goals.
Request for proposals
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills
In 1990, the Secretary of Labor appointed this commission
to identify the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
The SCANS Skills are made up of five workplace competencies
based on a three-part foundation.
Definitions of SCANS competencies and foundation skills
More information about SCANS on the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Web site
Correlation of CASAS and SCANS Competencies (PDF)
Student educational plan
State Professional Development Resource Center.
State Literacy Resource Center. See State Professional Development Resource Center.
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Title II, Chapter
3--Local Provisions, Section 231(d) states: Each eligible
agency awarding a grant or contract under this section shall
not use any funds made available under this subtitle for
adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of
supporting or providing programs, services, or activities for
individuals who are not individuals described in
subparagraphs A and B of section 203(1), except that such
agency may use such funds for such purpose if such programs,
services, or activities are related to family literacy
services. In providing family literacy services under this
subtitle, an eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate
with programs and services that are not assisted under this
subtitle prior to using funds for adult education and
literacy activities under this subtitle for activities other
than adult education activities.
In other words, AEFLA funds may not be used to serve individuals who do not meet the criteria under the definition of Adult Education unless the services are related to family literacy. In that case, assurances must be provided to CDE that the program first attempted to secure funding or support from other programs and services. CDE strongly urges coordination of efforts in support of family literacy services.
Student performance level
Standardized assessments or standardized test(ing)
Tests that are administered, scored, and interpreted in a consistent manner whenever, wherever, and to whomever they are given.
State Literacy Resource Center (SLRC)
Former name of the State Professional Development Resource
Center (SPDRC) program.
State PD Resource Centers
State Plan for Adult Education and Family Literacy
Colorado was required to submit to the U.S. Dept. of Education a 5-year plan for the administration of the federally funded adult education program (AEFLA). The State Plan includes federally mandated progress measures which the State and local programs must meet.
State Professional Development Resource Center (SPDRC)
The Colorado State Professional Resource Center (SPDRC)
program supports three regional resource centers and one
virtual resource center. The regional centers are located in
Denver, Longmont, and Trinidad. The virtual resource center
is based in Cortez. The regional State Professional
Development Resource Centers sponsor regional professional
development and training to AEFLA funded programs, as well as
maintain resource library collections of professional
development and curriculum materials. The virtual center
provides training and assistance in distance education, and
develops Web-based resources for adult education and family
literacy practitioners. SPDRC is the regional training
arm of the Professional Development system in Colorado.
State PD Resource Centers
Student educational plan (SEP)
An individualized plan for instruction that assists a learner in achieving his/her goals.
Student performance level (SPL)
Standard descriptions associated with competency-based learning that summarize an adult learner's ability at a range of levels.
A technique for teaching decoding and spelling that stresses sound-symbol relationships and is integrated into the instructional plan as a component of reading instruction.
Tests of Adult Basic Education.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Assistance given by the funding agency in the development,
operation, or management of a grant project.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
See Colorado Works.
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a
professional association for English language educators.
Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
TABE is a standardized assessment of adult basic skills in
reading, math, language, and spelling.
See TABE information on the CTB/McGraw-Hill Web site
United States Department of Education
A learning needs screening tool developed for the
Washington State Division of Employment and Social Services
Learning Disabilities Initiative; it is not a diagnostic tool
and should not be used to determine the existence of a
Link to the screening tool
Workforce Investment Act
WIA Title I
Authorizes the Workforce Investment System, establishes state workforce investment boards, authorizes governors to designate local "workforce investment areas" and oversee local workforce investment boards, establishes youth councils as a subgroup of the local board to guide the development and operation of programs for youth, establishes a "One-Stop" delivery system, with career centers where citizens can access core employment services and be referred directly to job training, education, or other services.
An instructional or training course in partnership with a local employer that has at least 12 hours and no more than 30 hours of scheduled instruction and is designed to teach work-based literacy skills.
See One-Stop Centers
Instruction related to job acquisition or improvement, job readiness, job retention, or any vocationally specific training.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Signed into Law on August 7, 1998, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) reforms federal employment, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation programs to create an integrated, "one-stop" system of workforce investment and education activities for adults and youth. Local programs that are funded under AEFLA (Title II of WIA) are mandatory partners in this one-stop delivery system.
Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
The entities responsible for ensuring that workforce
development services effectively and efficiently support the
labor and job training demands of local areas' industries and
employers. In Colorado, the State WIB is the Colorado
Workforce Development Council.
Colorado Workforce Development Council
WorkKeys, developed by ACT, is a national system
for teaching and assessing workplace skills. The system
is designed to help businesses fulfill their needs for
workplace skills in hiring and training. It also helps
individuals document their workplace skills.
More information about WorkKeys
Instruction using customized or modified curriculum based on employers' needs. Workplace education can be either on-site or off-site ABE, ESL, or GED instruction.
Workplace literacy services
Literacy services that are offered for the purpose of improving the productivity of the workforce through the improvement of literacy skills. This definition is aligned with the responsibility of the provider to coordinate activities with local workforce development boards.