Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans

Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans Title ImageThe Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans project provides resources and technical assistance to adult education state agency staff, local programs, and instructors who serve or are aiming to serve English learners in Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) programming and are interested in using an immigrant integration approach.

What is Immigrant Integration?

The Migration Policy Institute defines immigrant integration as “the process of economic mobility and social inclusion for newcomers.”i Other definitions describe immigrant integration as “a dynamic, two-way process in which immigrants and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities.”ii

Executive Order 14012: "...as a nation of opportunity and of welcome, it is essential to ensure that our laws and policies encourage full participation by immigrants, including refugees, in our civic life."

Why does it matter in adult education?

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) requirements offer IELCE programs opportunity to support learners’ linguistic, economic, and civic integration needs. This matters because “beyond studying to meet citizenship requirements, many immigrants also seek to continue advancing their English proficiency, educational attainment, digital literacy, and workforce skills, given the relationships among these assets and their earning potential and ability to better support their family”.iii This also aligns with Executive Order 14012, which calls upon the United States to be “a nation of opportunity and of welcome” by ensuring “that our laws and policies encourage full participation by immigrants, including refugees, in our civic life.”iv

How to Get Involved

The Enhancing Access project will be sharing more information about upcoming technical assistance resources through the LINCS Community and through LINCS Community Announcements and through a project distribution list. Email jboyette@rti.org to be added to the distribution list. Activities will begin in Spring 2022.

About the Project Team

RTI International leads the Enhancing Access project team, which includes researchers from RTI International, Word Education, Safal Partners, and WestEd.

For more information, email Jessie Stadd at jstadd@rti.org.


I Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/topics/immigrant-integration.

ii OneAmerica: https://weareoneamerica.org/what-we-do/issues-and-organizing/immigrant-integration/#:~:text=Immigrant%20Integration%20is%20a%20dynamic,%2C%20vibrant%2C%20and%20cohesive%20communities.&text=We%20have%20understood%20that%20we,to%20the%20economy%20and%20society.

iii McHugh, M. & Doxsee, C. (2018). English Plus Integration: Shifting the Instructional Paradigm for Immigrant Adult Learners to Support Integration Success. Migration Policy Institute Policy Brief.

iv Executive Order 14012. Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. (February 2, 2021).