Adult Education and Immigrant Integration: Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA), Theoretical Framework

This Theoretical Framework is part of the overall strategy for designing and implementing the NINA initiative.

Kallenbach, Silja
Lee, Kien, S.
Downs-Karkos, Susan
and Beaubien-Taylor, Madeleine
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
World Education, Inc.
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages
Product Type

The Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA) initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) in order to strengthen adult education programs’ ability to 1) improve immigrants’ access to effective and innovative English language programs; 2) support immigrants on the path to citizenship; and 3) support immigrants’ career development through training and education.OVAE builds on the New Americans Citizenship and Integration Initiative, a White House initiative that brought together a core group of Federal agencies to coordinate Federal immigrant integration efforts, including the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor.

This document, the Theoretical Framework, is part of the overall strategy for designing and implementing the NINA initiative. Its purpose is to put forth an evidence-based, theoretical framework that will guide the technical assistance for supporting immigrant integration networks in five communities. Existing immigrant integration efforts at the national, state, and local levels provide a strong foundation for strengthening and informing the NINA initiative. This initiative will add to that portfolio an innovative, place-based model designed for replication focused on education as the essential foundation for immigrant integration.  

Benefits and Uses

This Theoretical Framework is a useful resource for the adult education field because it identifies models of immigrant integration and, further, it firmly grounds those models  in the theoretical and empirical literature in the field.  The Framework will be useful for those who are interested in learning about the various holistic services that need to be provided to both low and high skilled immigrants in order to help them attain linguistic, civic and economic integration.  This most significant features of this document include its extensive literature review; its numerous examples of successful initiatives; its detailed discussion of civic, linguistic and economic issues; its identification of specific strategies, and examples as to how traditional adult education services might be appropriately altered to better meet the linguistic, civic and economic integration needs of the immigrant and refugee community.  

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