Explore the Innovative Practices

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo

The Advancing Innovation project highlighted practices from across the country that improved outcomes for adult learners. The resources below offer valuable insight for adult education professionals on the innovative practices that were selected.

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo, Innovators in Adult Education, student and teacher in library

Round 1: Secondary Credentialing Practices

The following practices illustrate innovative approaches for adults to attain a secondary credential while developing career-readiness skills, earning college credits, or obtaining an occupational certificate in a career pathway. Learn more about each of the practices. 

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (IBEST)
Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ 

Integrated High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program
Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI + satellite sites

Multi-Craft Core Curriculum High School Equivalency Diploma (MC3/HSED) Program
Literacy Services of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 

National External Diploma Program® (NEDP)
Mercy Learning Center, Bridgeport, CT 

Gallery of Innovative Practices – Explore the Gallery of Innovative Practices for short profiles of the innovators in secondary credentialing for adult learners.

Compendium of Innovative Practices: Secondary Credentialing – Download this resource for an in-depth look at the innovators in secondary credentialing for adult learners and to learn more about the review and validation process for identifying innovative practices.

Secondary Credentialing Practices Showcase Webinar - Watch this one-hour webinar for an inside look at four adult education programs that have found innovative ways to facilitate secondary credentialing for adult learners, including key insights on their practices, their motivation to innovate, and the conditions necessary for innovation to occur.

Slides | Transcript | Chat Summary 

Round 2: Bridge & Integrated Education and Training (IET) Programs

The following practices illustrate innovative approaches for bridge programs, which prepare adults to enroll in postsecondary education and training through occupationally contextualized literacy and numeracy instruction and college and career success activities. Learn more about each of the practices.

Bridges to Careers Expansion
Rochester Adult Literacy at Hawthorne (Hawthorne), Rochester, MN

Connections 101
Great Falls Career and College Readiness Center, Great Falls, MT

PluggedIn Virginia (PIVA) Boot Camp
Peninsula Regional Education Program (PREP) Newport News, VA

The following practices illustrate innovative approaches for IET programs, which enable adult learners to develop their foundational skills and workforce preparation skills through occupational training that leads to educational and career advancement. Learn more about each of the practices.

Career Pathways
South Bay Adult School, Redondo Beach, CA

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
Jennings County Education Center, North Vernon, IN

Explore the resources below to learn more about the bridge and IET practices. 

Gallery of Innovative Practices – Explore the Gallery of Innovative Practices for short profiles of the innovators in bridge and IET adult education programs.

Bridge Programs | IET Programs

Compendium of Innovative Practices: Bridge & IET Programs – Download this resource for a detailed look at the innovative practices in bridge and IET programs and the role of partnerships in improving outcomes for adult learners.

Bridge & IET Showcase Webinar - Watch this one-hour webinar to meet the five innovative practices in bridge and IET programs and learn the benefits of strong partnerships between adult education programs and workforce partners. 

Slides | Transcript | Webinar FAQ

Round 3: Holistic Approach to Adult Education Services

The following practices represent holistic approaches to delivering adult education services. For the purposes of the Advancing Innovation project, we defined a holistic approach to adult education services as a range of activities that support adults’ access to and enrollment in adult education, development of skills and knowledge, attainment of learning goals, and preparedness for next steps in education and the workforce. In each of these practices, adult education programs partner with community college career and technical education faculty and staff, workforce development agencies, human service agencies, community-based organizations, and employers. Learn more about each of the practices.

Alternative Sentencing Program
Crawford County Adult Education Center, Van Buren, AR

Breaking Barriers
Jefferson Community and Technical College – Kentucky Skills U, Carrollton, KY 

Career4U Academy
Houston Community College Adult Education & Literacy Programs, Houston, TX

Career Training 
Wayne Township Adult Education, Indianapolis, IN

High School Equivalency Honors Boot Camp
College and Career Readiness Program, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount, NC 

Integrated Education and Training (IET) Culinary Arts Program
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Ludlow, MA 

Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership
Delaware Area Career Center Aspire Program, Delaware, OH 

STEPS for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship
Calhoun Community College Adult Education, Tanner, AL

Transition to College/Postsecondary Training
Catholic Charities - El Centro, Boston, MA

Explore the resources below to learn more about the practices with a holistic approach to adult education services. 

Gallery of Innovative Practices – Explore the Gallery of Innovative Practices for short profiles of the innovators with a holistic approach to adult education services.

Compendium of Innovative Practices: Holistic Approach to Adult Education Services – Download this resource for a detailed look at the innovative practices in holistic adult education services.

Showcase Webinar: Holistic Approach to Adult Education Services – Watch this webinar to meet the nine innovative practices with a holistic approach to adult education services.

SlidesTranscript 

Podcast Series & Cross-Cutting Virtual Events

The Advancing Innovation Podcast Series – The episodes in this series highlight voices of adult learners and staff from the programs named as innovative practices in adult education.

The Student Voice - Secondary Credentialing Program: MC3/HSED - Holly McCoy, Executive Director of the Literacy Services of Wisconsin and Matt Waltz, Chief Operating Officer of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership speak with Steven Miravete, a current building trades student in the MC3/HSED program. Steven shares what interested him in the building trades and the effect of the support he receives from faculty.

The Student Voice - Bridge Program: PluggedIn Virginia - Samantha Lassiter, a current student in the PIVA Boot Camp program, talks with Danielle Perry, Integrated Education and Training Coordinator of the Peninsula Regional Education Program in Virginia. Samantha talks about the value of participating in the program and her new confidence as she works towards securing logistics certification. 

The Student Voice - IET Program: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant - Fran Johns, a CCMA Instructor in Indiana, talks with Jamie Shepherd, who graduated from the program. Jamie shares how a desire for change and course flexibility led her to enroll.

State Leadership in Supporting Innovation in Adult Education - Judy Alamprese, Principal Scientist at Abt Associates, speaks with Sue Pierson, former Director of Adult Education at the Connecticut Department of Education, about the role of state adult education staff in supporting innovation in local programs.  They discuss the National External Diploma Program, or NEDP, as an example of innovation.

IET Program: Career Pathways - Drew Gamet, Director of the South Bay Adult School in Redondo Beach, California, discusses the Career Pathways program with a former student, Adrian De Leon, El Camino College’s Community Advancement & Business Training Center, Dean Jose Anaya, and Donald McKinzie, Department Manager of Mechanical Manufacturing & Engineering at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, where Adrian now works.

Supportive Services: Alternative Sentencing Program - Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick, Director of the Crawford County Adult Education Center (CCAEC) will be speaking about the Alternative Sentencing Program with District Court Judge Charles Baker for the City of Van Buren, Arkansas and former State Representative Charlotte Douglas, the Crawford County Coordinator with 100 Families/Restore Hope. 

Corrections Program Design: Integrated Education and Training Culinary Arts Program  - Susanne Campagna, Director of Education at the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, known as HCSD, in Ludlow, Massachusetts, speaks with Kermit Dunkelberg, Assistant Vice President for Adult Basic Education and Workforce Development at Holyoke Community College about the Integrated Education and Training (or IET) Culinary Arts Program.

Pima Community College IBEST Virtual Site Visit – Check out the Pima Community College IBEST Virtual Site Visit, which included remarks from Pima’s leadership and one-on-one discussions between OCTAE leadership, program staff, community partners, and students.

Slides | Transcript | Virtual Session Q&A 

Advancing Innovation ACTE Conference Session – The Advancing Innovation team presented this session at the Association for Career and Technical Education Region III Conference. Presenters provided an overview of the Advancing Innovation project, introductions to three adult education program directors recognized for their innovative practices, and a panel discussion on partnerships.