Adult Education Q and A
Q: What is AEFLA?
A: AEFLA is the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998.
This is federal legislation that provides funding to U.S.
states (and the District of Columbia and U.S. territories) to
provide basic educational programs to adults. Each state must
submit a State Plan for Adult Education to the U.S. Dept. of
Education that explains how it will carry out the provisions
and requirements of AEFLA. One of these requirements is to
distribute multi-year grants to local programs on a
competitive basis. Programs that wish to receive AEFLA grants
must submit proposals that explain how they will carry out
the goals, policies, and requirements that the State has
established. Although there is no competition for AEFLA
funding for Fiscal Year 2008, the RFP page provides an
overview of the general requirements for funding, details on
post-funding requirements, and links to additional
information about providing AEFLA services.
For information on the AEFLA grant process in Colorado, see the RFP page >
Q: What is adult literacy?
A: There are two definitions of adult literacy in common use in the U.S.:
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
(Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act)
The ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential. (The 1992 and 2003 National Assessments of Adult Literacy)
Q: What are Colorado's goals in supporting adult education and family literacy programs funded under AEFLA?
- To expand the geographic reach of adult education and family literacy services by developing program technical assistance services to providers in unserved and underserved areas of the state, especially those areas with high and/or growing populations in need
- To improve the quality of existing services through the development and implementation of program improvement strategies and services
- To serve Colorado's workforce by developing and expanding partnerships between adult education providers and local Workforce Centers and Boards
- To expand family literacy services as a strategy for school improvement and closing the achievement gap
- To support adult education and family literacy programs
through state leadership activities that:
- inform instructional practice to increase student achievement
- provide technical assistance and professional development for program improvement
- provide data, statistics, and research that informs educators, employers, policy makers, legislators, funders, and the public about the need for and benefits of adult education and family literacy in Colorado
- improve and expand support services to enhance the provider network infrastructure
- To fully integrate and coordinate with other state and federal programs including Even Start, Head Start, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and Closing the Achievement Gap in order to maximize the benefits of adult education and family literacy to Colorado's families, schools, and workforce.
Q: What programs in Colorado are funded under AEFLA?
Q: What services are provided by AEFLA programs?
A: Local programs may provide any or all of the following educational services:
- Adult Basic Education (ABE)
- Adult Secondary Education (ASE)
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- English Literacy and Civics Education (EL/Civics)
- Family Literacy
- Workplace Education
- Workforce Education
- In addition to these educational services, programs may offer--directly, in collaboration with partner agencies or other service providers, or through referrals--non-educational and/or support services to adult learners and their families.
Q: Who is eligible to participate in Adult Education and Family Literacy programs?
A: AEFLA programs serve adults who are over the age of 17 and not currently enrolled (or required to be enrolled under state law) in school, who lack a high school diploma or the basic skills (including English literacy) to function effectively in the workplace or in their daily lives. The children of such adults may also be served in AEFLA programs that provide family literacy.
Note: Persons who are in the U.S. on F-1 visas are not eligible for AEFLA funded adult education services. (Pursuant to Title VI, Subtitle B, Sec. 625 of Public Law 104-208 (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996): Foreign students with an F-1 visa are prohibited from enrolling in AEFLA-funded adult education and family literacy programs. Federal immigration law prohibits the granting of F-1 visas to non-immigrant foreign students who enroll in a public elementary school or in a publicly funded adult education program. Visas are void for those foreign students with the F-1 visa who do enroll in such programs.)
Q: How is instruction delivered?
A: This varies by program. Instruction may be one-on-one with a tutor, in small groups, in classroom settings, or learning lab based. All AEFLA funded programs are required to provide instruction that integrates life skills and academic skills. Some programs offer instruction in cooperation with employers related to the workers'/employers' needs. All programs are required to integrate instructional technology into instruction, which may include opportunities for students to access computer-aided instruction, distance learning, and/or the Internet.
Q: What does it cost to enroll in an adult education program?
A: Policies, rates, and fee structures vary among those programs that charge for tuition, books/materials, and/or registration. Some programs offer waivers, scholarships, or other arrangements to students in need. Contact individual programs for specific fee policy information.
Q: How do individuals become teachers or volunteers in adult education programs?
- Qualifications and requirements for paid instructional staff vary by program. Although there are no state mandated requirements such as certification or licensure for adult education teachers, the federal legislation requires that AEFLA programs be staffed by well-trained instructors, counselors, and administrators. In addition, some programs are required to comply with their host institution's requirements for instructional staff.
- See the Adult Basic Education Authorization Web page for information about requirements, time lines, and options for the authorization of instructors employed by AEFLA and Even Start.
- There is no Colorado-based clearinghouse of position openings in adult education, although some programs post their job announcements on CLICK, the state wide listserv for adult educators
- There is a national clearinghouse of job announcements hosted by the National Institute for Literacy
- Some of Colorado's adult education and family literacy programs (both AEFLA and non-AEFLA) are registered with online services that match prospective volunteers with volunteer opportunities:
- Individuals and groups may contact individual programs directly to find out whether they are seeking volunteers.
For additional information contact Debra Fawcett; email@example.com