A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998
Objective 3.4. All adults can strengthen their skills and improve their earning power over their lifetime through lifelong learning.
Context: As the world of work changes, many workers need to upgrade their skills and some need to be retrained for entirely new jobs. Objective 3.4 focuses on providing educational opportunities for these adults--through postsecondary education, adult basic education, or vocational rehabilitation--that will lengthen their productive years and benefit the economy by creating a more flexible and highly trained workforce.
Key strategies for FY 1999
- Employment for individuals with disabilities.
- Work with other agencies to fund grants to let state and local consortia identify and work towards eliminating barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.
- Use the $2.3 billion request for Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants to support education and employment-related services, including vocational training and job placement.
- New performance standards for state vocational rehabilitation agencies.
- Issue proposed standards to more effectively measure and require high quality outcomes from all state vocational rehabilitation programs.
- High quality adult basic education and secondary education.
- Continue studies of "what works" in adult basic education and English as a second language (ESL) programs to enhance the quality of services.
- Use the $361 million request for Adult Education State Grants to help states increase the number of adults served and improve the quality of adult education programs to enhance retention and student achievement.
- Use the $20 million request for an initiative to develop model ESL programs involving different instructional approaches, delivery methods, teacher qualifications, and resource levels.
- Financial support for postsecondary and employer-provided education.
- Offer grants of up to $3,100 to adults seeking postsecondary education and training with the $7.6 billion request for the Pell Grant program (adults comprise an estimated 10 percent of Pell Grant recipients).
- Pilot the use of technology and other innovations in non-traditional education to improve the delivery of postsecondary education and lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens with the $30 million proposal for Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships.
- Encourage adult learners to go back to school to learn new skills with the new $15 million Early Awareness Information program, through the $30.6 million request for TRIO's Educational Opportunity Centers, and through the $2.5 billion request for the Lifetime Learning tax credits that will help an additional 7.1 million students obtain postsecondary education.
- Adult education an integral part of reformed welfare systems.
- Disseminate information and provide technical assistance to key state and local adult education contacts on best practices and models for integrating pre-employment and work readiness activities in basic skills programs
- State and local program management in adult education.
- Create a national performance based reporting system for the adult education delivery system.
- Lifetime Learning tax credit. Coordinate with the Department of the Treasury to implement the Lifetime Learning tax credit.
- School-to-work transition services. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) will work with the Department of Labor and the School-to-Work office to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate school-to-work transition services.
- Work disincentives. RSA will address with the Social Security Administration (SSA) the disincentives to work that affect SSA beneficiaries.
- Adults with disability in literacy programs. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) will work with the National Institutes of Health, the National Adult Literacy and Learning Disabilities Center, and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to develop information concerning learning accommodation strategies to facilitate the participation of adults with disabilities in literacy programs.
- National distance learning project in family literacy. OVAE and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education will join forces to launch a national distance learning project in family literacy.
- National adult literacy survey. OVAE will partner with the National Center for Education Statistics to support the development and execution of a second National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS).
Programs supporting this objective
- Adult Education State Grants
- Adult Education Evaluation and Technical Assistance
- National Institute for Literacy
- Star Schools
- Community-Based Technology Centers
- Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants
- Independent Living
- Projects with Industry
- Supported Employment
- Pell Grants
- Campus-based programs
- Federal Family Education Loans
- Direct Student Loans
- TRIO's Educational Opportunity Centers
- Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships
Selected performance indicators and charts
Objective 3.4 measures lifelong learning with indicators that measure the effects of federally funded programs and tax credits on encouraging adult literacy and employment. The indicators track how many people use Lifetime Learning tax credits, the percentage of individuals who receive vocational rehabilitation services and then obtain and maintain employment, the literacy skills of adult Americans, and the percentage of students in adult basic education who achieve proficiency in basic skills.
In vocational rehabilitation, the percentage of all persons who obtain employment after receiving vocational rehabilitation services will increase each year. (Goal 3, indicator 20)
Indicator background and context. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) state grants provide services to help persons with disabilities prepare for and engage in employment to the extent of their capabilities. The program includes services such as vocational evaluation, counseling, mental and physical restoration, education, vocational training, work adjustment, job placement, and post employment services. Priority is given to serving individuals with the most severe disabilities. In recent years, the percent-age of individuals with severe disabilities as a proportion of all individuals achieving an employment outcome has risen; the cost of rehabilitating individuals with severe disabilities has been consistently higher than for individuals with non-severe disabilities. As a group, persons who achieve employment as a result of VR services show gains in their ability to function in economic terms.
Data source. Annual RSA state data.
By fall 1999, adults at the lowest levels of literacy (those in beginning ABE and Beginning ESOL) will comprise 45-50% of the total national enrollment. (Adult Education State Grants program plan, indicator 3.1)
Indicator background and context. The Adult Education Act emphasizes serving the most educationally disadvantaged adults, those who demonstrate basic skills at or below the 5th grade level or who are enrolled in the lowest level of an adult education program. For example, in making subgrants, states are to consider the applicant's past effectiveness in and commitment to serving individuals most in need of literacy services. The indicator highlighted here underscores the importance of targeting services to an increasing percentage of educationally disadvantaged learners in the adult education system, despite any difficulties and the time needed to achieve outcomes for this population as opposed to adults with less need for basic education.
Data source. Adult Education Management Information System.
Verification/validation of performance measures: Ongoing evaluations of Adult ESL and ABE providers, and of consumers receiving services from state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, will provide independent information regarding program outcomes. Routine monitoring and on-site reviews of Vocational Rehabilitation and Adult Education programs will specifically address State procedures to verify grantee reports.