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The Office of Adult Education Initiatives was established to provide support and leadership to the field of adult basic education in Colorado. To that end, AEI administers three funding opportunities: the federally funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant, the state funded Adult Education Literacy Act (AELA) grant of 2014 and the state Workforce Diploma Pilot Program (WDPP) of 2019.
Each grant provides funding and support to local agencies serving adult learners across Colorado. CDE is committed to understanding the needs of our adult learners in Colorado, analyzing needs for services, and determining if there are ways to help fill those gaps as we work with our partner agencies and organizations. We are in a challenging budget and economic situation in the state, so it will be even more important to understand the needs of adult learners given the impacted economy and workforce. As a partner in this work, CDE is committed to working with the entire field of adult education providers to support adult learners. To that end, the office maintains a list of other potential adult education funding sources.
Adult Education and Literacy Act (In Review)
AELA Request for Applications
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) is soliciting additional applications from eligible adult education providers that provide adult basic education, including digital literacy instruction, adult education leading to a high school equivalency credential, English as a second language instruction, or skills training as part of a workforce development partnership or education attainment partnership. This grant cohort will be funded through both state adult education funds authorized in SB 23-007 as well as federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to specifically serve adults disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
SB23-007 makes available approximately $1,819,288 for the remainder of the 2023-24 fiscal year as well as an additional $1,852,124 for 2024-25. Because of the timing of the release of these funds, CDE anticipates awarding grants of approximately $3,671,412 for the remainder of the 2023-24 fiscal year and through the 2024-25 fiscal year. This award will have a grant period of January 1, 2024-June 30, 2025. Grant funds cannot be obligated nor spent prior to CDE’s approval of the grantee’s 18-month budget. Funding in subsequent years for grantees is contingent upon funding appropriations and grantees meeting all grant, fiscal and reporting requirements.
- Release Date: Monday, Oct. 23, 2023
- Technical Assistance Webinar: Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. MT (Join the RFA webinar)
- Grant Application Q&A
- Submit questions about the grant application to the AEI Office
- View responses to questions about the grant application submitted to the AEI Office
- Application Due: Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. MT
- Applications Reviewed: Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 - Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
- Anticipated Notification of Preliminary Award Status: Monday, Dec. 4, 2023
- Anticipated State Board of Education Vote: Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024
Application Submission Process
- Submit completed applications through the online application form by Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. MT
- Within the online application, applicants will complete Part I with their applicant information (listed as Part A below) and upload attachments as described in the Required Elements section of the RFA.
- Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt of your submission from the application system within 24 hours after the deadline, e-mail CompetitiveGrants@cde.state.co.us.
- Current AELA grantees will have an opportunity to request supplemental AELA funding once the competition closes in mid-November. At that time, AEI will let current AELA grantees know the amount of funding remaining and provide instructions for budget revision steps to request from those remaining funds. AELA grantees requesting funds in this way will not need to complete the grant application. However, there is no guarantee that additional funds will be available after the completion of the competition. Current AELA grantees interested in applying for funding through the full competition may do so but will need to complete the entire application, competing against other, non-current AELA grantees also competing for those funds.
Application Required Elements
Adult Education and Literacy Act Grant Request for Applications (PDF) Updated 10-24-23
Part A: Applicant Information Template (Not submitted as an attachment; Word)
- Part B: Workforce Development Partnership Signature Page (Word)
- Part C: Education Attainment Partnership Signature Page (Word)
- Part D: Financial Management Survey (Word)
- 23-25 AELA Budget Template (Excel)
- Attachment E: AELA Documents and Assurances
- 23-24 AELA Locations and Partners List (Excel)
- 23-24 AELA Accessible Design Assurances (Word)
- 23-24 AELA Assessment Assurances (Word) Updated 11-09-23
- 23-24 AELA Attendance Assurances (Word)
- 23-24 AELA Local Data Assurances (Word)
- 23-24 AELA Distance Education Assurances (if applicable; Word)
- 23-24 AELA General Program Assurances (Word)
- 23-24 AELA Program Income Assurances (Word)
The state Adult Education and Literacy Act (AELA) was originally passed in 2014 and revised in 2020. This grant program provides adult education programs funding for adult basic education, adult education leading to a high school equivalency credential, English as a second language instruction, or integrated basic education and skills training as part of a workforce development partnership or education attainment partnership. CDE conducted an AELA grant application process from March – June 2021, and the current AELA grant cycle is from July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2025. HB21-1264, the Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills bill, funded through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, passed in June 2021 gave a one-time additional $5 million in federal American Recovery Plan Act funding to the AELA grant to provide next-level education and training to Colorado unemployed adults disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency for better employment outcomes. CDE used a portion of the SLFRF funds to supplement existing AELA-funded programs and ran a competition for the remainder of the SLFRF funds between January and March 2022.
The following organizations are current AELA grantees:
- Asian Pacific Development Center
- Colorado Mountain College
- Community College of Aurora
- Community College of Denver
- Durango Adult Education Center
- Emily Griffith Technical College
- Harrison School District 2
- Mesa County Libraries Adult Learning Center
- Metropolitan State University Family Literacy Program
- Mile High Youth Corps
- Montrose Adult Education Center
- Morgan Community College
- School District 11 Adult & Family Education
- Spring Institute
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Higher Education
Colorado Adult High School Program (In Review)
The Colorado Adult High School Grant Program was created under SB 23-003 and provides state funds to create a pathway for Coloradans who are 21 years of age or older and do not have a high school diploma to attend high school and earn a diploma at no cost. Students may also earn industry-recognized certificates, career and technical education certificates, or college credits at no cost through the program. The act requires CDE to award a grant to a Colorado community-based nonprofit organization to operate the program as an education provider. The education provider is required to meet requirements outlined in the act when offering the Adult High School Program.
CDE will be conducting a grant application process for this award between September - November 2023. Key dates within that timeline are listed below as well as application materials.
- Release Date: Friday, Sept.15, 2023
- Technical Assistance Webinar: Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, 2 – 3 p.m. (MT) (webinar link)
- Grant Application Q&A:
- Application Due: Friday, Oct. 20, 2023
- Applications Reviewed: October 20, 2023 – October 31, 2023
- Anticipated Notification of Award Status: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023
- Application Materials:
- Request for Applications Updated 9-26-23
- Part A: Cover Page - Applicant Information
- Part B: Partnerships for Industry-Recognized Certificates and College Credits
- Part C: General Program Assurances Form
- Part D: RFA Financial Management Risk Assessment Updated 9-26-23
- Part E: Records Management
- Appendix E COAHS Budget Template
Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Closed)
The federally-funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act was reauthorized as Title ll of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July 2014. The federal program provides formula funding to state agencies that distribute funds as grants to local adult education programs. Allowable services include adult basic and secondary education and English language acquisition in many contexts: foundational literacy, high school equivalency, family literacy, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation, workplace education, and integrated education and training.
CDE conducted an AEFLA grant application process from February - June 2020. The current AEFLA grant cycle is from July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2024. The following organizations are current AEFLA grantees:
Asian Pacific Development Center
Colorado Northwestern Community College
Community Educational Outreach
Durango Adult Education Center
Jeffco Schools Adult ESL and Literacy
Mesa County Adult Learning Center
Metropolitan State University Family Literacy Program
Montrose Adult Education Center
Northeastern Junior College
Pikes Peak Library District Adult Education
School District 11 Adult & Family Education
The Learning Source
Trinidad State Junior College Adult Education Services
Information about the release of Request for Applications will be shared through the CLICK Listserv. To subscribe, please email AEI@cde.state.co.us.