Enhancing Integrated Education and Training Opportunities for Adults

Our nation’s economy and global competitiveness depend on an educated, skilled workforce that can quickly adapt to changes in technology and business processes. Adult educators understand that adult learners need opportunities to obtain workplace and career management skills through work-based learning experiences that prepare them for the complex future they face. 

The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has changed the landscape of adult education by focusing the field on workforce development outcomes and programming that support the integration of education and training and career pathways. Integrated Education and Training (IET) is an educational practice grounded in adult learning theory. IET programs help adults who lack basic skills, relevant occupational skills, and essential workplace skills to attain the competencies and credentials needed for in-demand careers. 
The Enhancing Integrated Education and Training Opportunities for Adults project developed resources to assist state adult education offices, professional development providers, and local program staff in enhancing and expanding integrated education and training (IET) programs for adult education participants.  The project builds on prior OCTAE investments in developing career pathways for adults including the Policy to Performance Toolkit (OCTAE, 2012), the Career Pathways Planner (OCTAE, 2016), and the Career Pathways Checklist (OCTAE, 2017).
Over the life of the three-year Increasing IET Opportunities for Adults project, several valuable resources have been produced to support the design and development of Integrated Education and Training programs for adults.  These foundational resources walk educators and stakeholders through a 4-phase approach to designing IET programs: 

  1. Research and Assess, 
  2. Plan and Design, 
  3. Develop and Deliver, and 
  4. Evaluate and Improve. 

The IET Design Toolkit includes desk aids, tools, and links to  guide programs in the use of local and regional labor market information; methods for engaging educators, training providers, businesses, and other stakeholders in the IET program design process; tools to identify an IET program structure and an appropriate instructional planning and delivery approach; and information on how the IET program relates to educational, workforce preparation, and occupational skills within a specific career pathway.
Enhancing Integrated Education and Training Opportunities for Adults is being conducted by the American Institutes for Research in partnership with Safal Partners, under contract to the U.S. Department of Education. The project concludes in September 2022. For more information, please email Amanda Ahlstrand, the Project Director, at aahlstrand@air.org, or contact IETDesignCampInfo@air.org.

Project Resources: 
Access the IET Design Toolkit here: https://lincs.ed.gov/sites/default/files/2021-07/IET_Toolkit_Compressed_508.pdf 
Access the IET Program Train the Trainer Materials: Coming in Summer 2022