June 30, 1992 to July 1, 1995
Adult Education Act, P.L. 100-297 as Amended by the
National Literacy Act, P.L. 102-73

Submitted by:

California Department of Education
Specialized Programs Branch
Youth, Adult and Alternative Educational Services Division


Chapter 14a

California will expand its teacher training and staff development programs, provide technical support for more intensive evaluation efforts, and develop and demonstrate better ways to use technology and modern management methods to make adult education more accessible, accountable, effective and efficient.

The Adult Education Act [P.L. 100-297], as amended by the National Literacy Act [P.L. 102-73], requires that at least two-thirds of the 15 percent spent for Section 353 projects is spent for teacher training [Section 353(b)]. Under the previous State Plan, this section of the Act has provided support for innovations that have been widely adopted throughout California. These include competency-based education, the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS), the ESL Institute, the Adult Leadership Training Program, the Executive Development Program, the Evaluation of the Federal Four Year Plan Project, the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN), the Adult Literacy Instructor's Training (ALIT) Institute, and the Adult Education Institute. Projects under this new plan will build on this experience while developing better ways to use technology and modern management methods to make adult education more accessible, accountable, effective and efficient.

This chapter describes the experimental and demonstration projects and teacher training that occur under Section 353 of the Adult Education Act. There are three types of projects:

  1. Staff Development
  2. Learning Resources Development and Dissemination
  3. Long-term Plan Implementation

The various projects in these categories are integrated with one another in the context of the long-term plan for adult education. Each project attempts to realize one or more of the goals of the long-term plan, namely, to improve accessibility, accountability, quality and responsiveness, and planning and coordination.

Staff Development

Six projects focus on the training of teachers and other staff. These projects are the Adult Literacy Instructor's Training (ALIT) Institute, the ESL Teacher Institute, the Leadership Training Program, the Executive Development Program, the Mentor Teacher Program, and the California-Mexico Adult Literacy Project. In addition, the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) has components of staff development.

The ALIT and ESL Teacher Institutes are teacher resources. The Leadership Institute is primarily a management resource. These Institutes help prepare professionals who are adept at reaching out to and building the self-esteem of adults with the greatest educational needs, such as adults with limited English proficiency, incarcerated persons, persons with handicaps and learning disabilities, chronically unemployed, homeless, disadvantaged and minorities. In addition, both the ALIT and the ESL Teacher Institutes provide for the training of professional teachers, volunteers, and administrators, with particular emphasis on--

  1. Training for full-time professional adult educators;

  2. Training for minority educators;1

  3. Training for educators of adults with limited English proficiency; and

  4. Training teachers to recognize and more effectively serve illiterate individuals with learning disabilities and individuals who have a reading ability below the fifth grade level. [Section 353(a)(3)]

A.ALIT Institute. The ALIT Institute was modeled after the English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Teacher Institute that was funded under Section 353 of the previous four-year Plan. The creation of the ALIT Institute reflects priority placed in the Revised State Plan on the recruitment and effective education of the hard-to-reach, functionally illiterate adults who are native speakers of English. The Institute's goal is to prepare a corps of extremely well-prepared professionals in the field of literacy education. These individuals will receive high quality training in language acquisition and cognitive development, as well as in motivating and teaching individuals who have not responded well to traditional schooling and educational methods. Much like the ESL Institute, the ABE Institute will train and certify teacher trainers, conduct workshops and courses, and provide technical assistance to ABE teachers with respect to advice on materials and instructional methods.

B.ESL Teacher Institute. This is a skill-based training regional program designed to meet the need for systematic delivery of training for the large number of new English as a Second Language instructors entering the system annually. The ESL Teacher Institute has been replicated by other states.

C.Mentor Teacher Program. A new initiative in the Revised State Plan is to establish a mentor teacher program. The purpose of the mentors is to develop capacity at the local level for ongoing assistance to teachers in developing their instructional strategies. In order to establish a mentor teacher program, the Section 353 teacher training projects will provide technical assistance to local school administration for initiating a mentor program and ongoing technical assistance to mentors from local programs. Assistance to new teachers will focus on developing instructional strategies that have proven effective with the adult learner (e.g. language experience, lesson planning) using previously developed products. Assistance to experienced teachers will focus on incorporating into their repertoire strategies that reflect current research/practice (e.g., cooperative learning, higher order thinking skills, process writing). This assistance will include the development of new products and processes. This initiative will also explore ways of maintaining the system through regional networks. It may result in the establishment of a recommended number of mentors per agency or site, and it may eventually become an ongoing service.

D.Leadership Training Program. The Leadership Training Program (LTP), which was begun under the previous State Plan, will continue to provide courses and workshops for adult education administrators and coordinators. LTP will focus on helping participants become better instructional leaders as well as orchestrators of community resources to improve the delivery of services to groups that may benefit from ABE and ESL instruction.

E.Executive Development Program. The Executive Development Program (EDP) which was developed under the previous State Plan is a one year program designed specifically for experienced leaders of adult education. The program purposes are futuring, strategic planning, peer professional assistance, and management skill development.

F.California/Mexico Adult Literacy Project. This project will expand initial research on migration patterns; implement demonstration projects; utilize Mexican adult basic education materials and methods in the United States; Exchange among collaborating teacher and administrator programs; expand upon technical assistance for adult education programs located near the California/Baja border (i.e., the ESL Teacher Institute, the ALIT Institute, the Leadership Training Program and the OTAN System) expand on distance learning strategies; expand the United States/Mexico Border States Task Force; expand worksite literacy research as it relates to border industries and industries which hire large numbers of migrants; develop a data base of community - based organizations that work with migrants.

G.Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS). CDE requires that a sample of all federally funded Adult Education Act [P.L. 100-297, Section 321] ABE programs use CASAS. This assessment instrument measures the identified competencies of local education programs for all levels of ABE and ESL, including pre-vocational curriculum. The major goals of CASAS are to: provide effective assessment materials and procedures for correct placement of students into ABE, ESL and vocational programs; measure student achievement in competency-based programs; and certify attainment of competencies for movement of students to advanced program levels and for local certification programs.

Learning Resources

This Plan proposes the implementation of an Adult Education Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) to integrate the development, dissemination and effective use of learning resources. Included are the demonstration of new ways to use technology and modern management methods to improve the accessibility and quality of adult education.

The Outreach and Technical Assistance Network consists of highly qualified professionals in the field of learning resources technology and the adoption of innovative practices. Some are full-time while others work part-time for both the Network and an adult education provider. These individuals are stationed in different parts of the State, yet they work together as a team. In a sense, they operate as adult education "extension agents." They perform four separate but related functions:

  1. Conduct Outreach and Develop Programs in Unfunded Counties
  2. Provide Regional Technical Assistance and Networking
  3. Develop and Disseminate Technology and other Learning Resources
  4. Improve the availability of instructional information and research information

These four functions are described below:

In sum, the Adult Education Outreach and Technical Assistance Network is a major force for innovation and outreach in California adult education. In addition to keeping the field abreast of modern methods and materials, the Network is in the vanguard of finding efficient and fundable ways to provide adult education at any time and in (almost) any place.

1 This is training for educators who are members of minority groups.


*****Continued On "Ch.14b Special Experimental Demonstration Projects and Teacher Training Projects"*****