FAQs

General Program Information
Career Pathways
Staff Qualifications & Training Requirements
Additional Questions
Helpful Links


General Program Information:

  1. Where can I find a copy of the AEL Rules?
  2. A: The rules are posted on our webpage:
    http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/twc/rules-chapter-805-adult-education-literacy-twc.pdf

  3. What populations do AEL funds serve?

    A: Federal AEL funds may be used for AEL programs for out-of-school individuals who have attained 16 years of age and:
    (1) Function at less than a secondary school completion level;
    (2) Lack a secondary school credential; or
    (3) are unable to speak, read, or write in English (40 TAC 805.3(a))

    State AEL funds are to be used for AEL programs for out-of-school individuals who are beyond compulsory school attendance age and:
    (1) Function at less than a secondary school completion level;
    (2) Lack a secondary school credential; or
    (3) are unable to speak, read, or write in English (40 TAC 805.3(b))

    The proportion of students served who meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, but do not meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, must not exceed the grant recipient's percentage of federal funds to the total allocation (40 TAC 805.3(c)) http://www.twc.state.tx.us/twcinfo/rules/20112012/adopch805_022414.pdf

  4. What are the program and fiscal years for Adult Education and Literacy?
  5. A: State Fiscal Year: A twelve (12) month period used for accounting, budgeting and reporting purposes, indicating the period in which the disbursement or other financial transaction occurred. For the State of Texas, the State Fiscal Year begins on September 1 of each year and ends on the following August 31. 

    For example, State Fiscal Year 2015 began September 1, 2014 and ends on August 31, 2015.

    Program Year: A twelve (12) month period indicating the period in which the grant funds are awarded to the State. 
    A Program Year’s beginning and end dates can, but do not necessarily coincide with those of the calendar year, fiscal year and/or grant period.  For the AEL Program, the Program Year begins July 1 of each year and ends on the following June 30.  For example, Program Year 2015 begins July 1, 2015 and ends on June 30, 2016.

  6. Where can I find the adult education curriculum used for TxCHSE and for Adult Basic Education
  7. A: Texas does not have an adult education curriculum. Rather, the state provides its programs and teachers with the Texas Adult Education Standards (TAES).
    These content standards describe “what learners should know and be able to do.”  Instructors use content standards to plan instruction, and learners use standards to set learning goals.  Standards help instructors and learners develop plans that keep them focused and engaged. Standards-based education provides a structured approach for state adult education agencies and local programs to create a system that explicitly links standards, assessments, and instructional delivery” (p. 1, A Process Guide for Establishing State Adult Education Content Standards, http://www.adultedcontentstandards.ed.gov/ReferenceFiles/Guide/Adult_Education_Process_Guide.pdf

    The TAES do not prescribe a specific curriculum.  Instead, instructors and programs are encouraged to develop lesson plans and learning activities using the TAES as a reliable and valid guidepost.
    The TAES are available online at http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/taesp/guide08/cover.html.

  8. Where can I find out information about Adult Education and Literacy and job training?

    A: Check here to find a local provider and available programs: http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/provider/search.htm

  9. How do I register to take the high school equivalency exams? 

    A: At this time, the GED is the only high school equivalency exam available in Texas.  However, this will be changing this year, at which time we will update this information.
     
    To register for the GED, first, go to www.ged.com to initiate the registration process.  At this point, you will have access to preparation resources or you can proceed to schedule your exams.  The testing centers will appear in order of closest proximity first.  Alternatively, you can register by calling 1-877-EXAM-GED (877-392-6433). For more information, go to the TEA High School Equivalency Page.

  10.  How do I get a duplicate copy of my Certificate of High School Equivalency with scores?

    A: Obtain a printable PDF containing your Certificate of High School Equivalency and test scores by visiting Texas GED Certificate/Transcript Search. The mandatory fee of $5 can be paid by credit card or check (ACH). The certificate must be printed during this transaction.

    Special note about changes to the certificate appearance
    – The style of the Certificate of High School Equivalency has changed and while both the old and the new Certificate of High School Equivalency will continue to be recognized, starting in January 2012, TEA will only be issuing the new style certificate for examinees, including duplicate certificates.

  11. Will providers be allowed to prep students for the GED2014 test in both English and Spanish?

    A: Bilingual instruction is allowable. In designing a class that will utilize bilingual instruction, the Offeror should ensure that students in a bilingual class all share a common native language (Spanish, for example); ensure that the class adheres to the AEL Assessment Guide; and ensure that sufficient English literacy instruction is provided so that students make educational functioning level gains.  Native language instruction should be used to support the development of English literacy and aid in the communication of complex concepts and content learning.  

  12. Can a bilingual TxCHSE teacher cover TxCHSE material in Spanish if he/she was being paid with TWC Adult Education Funds?

    A: This is allowable; the main issue to keep in mind is that the students must still be assessed according to the Assessment Guide. There are no Spanish language tests on the NRS.  A strategy that some programs use is to supplement ESL classes (where they are testing students according to policy), but supplementing with Spanish TxCHSE prep.

  13. I am an adult education instructor who has a student who originally scored into the High ASE in all three areas (math, reading, and language) for the baseline test. The student does not want to test for the GED 2014, because of test anxiety. My question is what type of post-test assessment can I give the student so that I can register something on TEAMS?
  14. A: For students whose Domain of Significance (DOS) is Adult Secondary Education (ASE) High, there is no federal performance target for level completion.  TEAMS NRS tables show a % completion for this level based on high school equivalency attainment, but we are not held to any specific target percentage by the federal government, for this level.  Rather, the state/local grantees are held to a % of high school equivalency obtainment   

    On the Participant Roster, the student who has an ASE High for their DOS who is not TxCHSE certified shows as not completing a level, as they haven’t completed the only achievable gain for this level..

  15. I am very interested in learning more information about becoming certified to become an Adult Literacy & High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher.
  16. A: Unlike the Texas K-12 system, which requires a state-licensed teaching certificate, there is no teaching certificate for adult education in Texas at this time. The main requirement for teachers of adult literacy and high school equivalency in Texas is that they must possess a bachelor's degree.  This is the only state requirement.  However, local programs may have other requirements in place. The official requirements for staff can be found in the Texas Administrative Code: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/twc/rules-chapter-805-adult-education-literacy-twc.pdf

  17. What adult education programs are currently available in Texas?

    A: There is an online directory of providers available at: http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/provider/search.htm

  18. Can a teacher serving a class with a variety of student funding eligibility be paid from TANF funds?
  19. A: Yes, a teacher can be paid for with TANF funds if they are teaching a class with students of various funding types.   However you need to have some documentation as to the percentage of the class that represents TANF customers and use that percentage to charge the teacher’s time to TANF.  For further information, please see: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/ael-01-15-change-1-twc.pdf  

  20. Are we supposed to be providing TANF Students with special materials of any kind?

    A: No, special materials for TANF customers are not necessary. A student’s TANF designation is used to indicate a funding source, only.

  21. Our TANF students sit side-by-side with our regular Adult Education students.  Are TANF students to be served differently than our regular Adult Education students?

    A: No, TANF customers do not need to be served differently.

  22. Are there any additional recordkeeping requirements for TANF students that are different from our regular Adult Education students?

    A: Yes, you must keep documentation of the student’s TANF eligibility for monitoring purposes. AEL Letter 01-15, Change 1 addresses TANF documentation and eligibility; http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/ael-01-15-change-1-twc.pdf

  23. Can students that score low on the TSI be referred to Adult Education and Literacy?

    A: Yes.

  24. I am aware of the approval list for Distance Learning for Adult Education in Texas. Can you provide information in regards to qualifications and the process to have the A+ GED Readiness Program evaluated for this list?

    A: The request for approval must be submitted by the program director of a TWC funded Adult Education and Literacy Program.  The completed application is submitted to adulteducation@twc.state.tx.us.  The application is then sent to our state’s Distance Learning Work Group, whose members review the completed documentation.  Trial access for members will be requested to the software for a limited time and/or a product demo from the vendor for committee members.
    The DL Work Group meets quarterly, so typically decisions are made at the quarterly meeting unless there is a rush, in which case a call for an electronic vote will be called. Once approved, the software is added to the state’s List of Approved Distance Education Curriculum. For further information on DL policy and curricula: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/adult-education-literacy-distance-learning-policy-twc.docx

  25. Where can I find out about contracting opportunities with TWC’s AEL Program?

    A: Contracting Opportunities are posted via the Texas Comptroller’s website on the Electronic Business Daily.  http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/ Questions regarding specific RFP Postings can also be found here.   

  26. Where can I find information regarding TWC funding opportunities?

    A: Information on TWC funding opportunities, including Adult Education and Literacy, can be found on our website: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses/workforce-solutions-market-place

  27. What kind of documentation do we need to gather as evidence of TANF status?

    A: Documentation must be collected that a participant qualifies for use of TANF funding for AEL services, either as a current TANF recipient, a former TANF recipient, or parents of children living at home who are deemed eligible for TANF-funded services. For students to qualify for AEL services under TANF funding, eligibility must be determined prior to any instruction.
    See TANF Eligibility Requirements:  http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/ael-01-15-change-1-twc.pdf

  28. How does one become a vendor for the state?
  29. A: Find how to do business with Texas Workforce and learn about state procurement requirements. We award competitive and formula-allocated grants that support workforce development services and initiatives. We also purchase goods and services needed to support our Texas programs and Workforce Solutions offices. http://www.twc.state.tx.us/customers/bemp/business-texas-workforce.html

  30. What is the process for requesting amendments to current contracts?

    A: You should contact your local program contract manager to ensure you are using the appropriate forms and submissions. Inquiries should go to aelcontracts@twc.state.tx.us

  31. Where can I find a copy of the state assessment policy for Adults?

    A: The correct address for the state assessment policy is:
    http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/administrators/docs/assmtpol/index.html,or http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/twcael/assessmentPolicy/toc.htm

  32. Can you buy your high school diploma online?

    A: No

  33. What is the purpose of TEAMS?
  34. ATexas Educating Adults Management System (TEAMS), an online tool accessible through the internet, is used to maintain information about adult education programs throughout the state. Some participant information is shared by multiple Grant Recipients while other data is Grant-Recipient-specific. http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/adultlit/teams-reference-guide.pdf

  35. How does one apply for TEAMS access?

    A: Instructions for accessing TEAMS can be found at: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/instructions-accessing-teams-twc.pdf

  36. Can TEAMS data be automatically integrated into our local program’s database (or similar type of questions)?
  37. A: Presently we cannot facilitate an automated integration of TEAMS data into your client database due to limited our very limited programming staff.  However, almost all of the data reporting features in TEAMS may be exported in multiple formats, including spreadsheets.  These may then be imported easily using mapped fields into your client database.

  38. Where can education providers find information on Professional Development opportunities that meet contractual requirements?

    A: http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/twcael                


Staff Qualifications & Training Requirements

1. Q. Where can I find the rules for AEL Staff Qualifications and Training?

A. Adult Education and Literacy providers funded by TWC must ensure that staff providing grant services meet required staff qualifications and training.  The applicable rules for staff qualifications and training can be found in Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 20, Subchapter B §805.21: AEL Rules Chapter 805

2. Q. Will the requirements related to required Tier 1 training change as a result of the new staff qualifications and training rules published by TWC?  For example, is goal setting training still required?

A. No, the revisions to the staff qualifications and training rules do not impact contract requirements related to Tier 1 training.  AEL contracts for 2016-17 require the following Tier 1 trainings, including:

  • training for the administration of pre- and post- tests in compliance with the AEL Assessment Guide and test publisher’s administration guidelines;
  • basic training on TEAMS;
  • student intake, enrollment, and orientation;
  • goal setting as defined in the AEL Assessment Guide;
  • career awareness; and
  • other training in topics where local staff have subject matter expertise.

3. Q.  What kind of training counts toward the new principles of adult learning requirement?

A.  The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 805.2 defines principles of adult learning as: “A wide variety of research-based professional development topics that include instructional and advising characteristics specific to adults, and support the range of knowledge, skills, and abilities adults need to understand and use information, express themselves, act independently, effectively manage a changing world, and meet goals and objectives related to career, family, and community participation. Instructional principles include, but are not limited to, engaging adults and customizing instruction on subjects that have immediate relevance to their career and personal goals and objectives, building on their prior knowledge and experience, and supporting them in taking responsibility for their learning.”

TWC is providing trainers and providers flexibility in developing training courses that meet this definition; the training agenda and curriculum should clearly indicate how the training meets this definition. 

TWC envisions that many training courses will meet this definition, and, because these principles represent effective practices in adult instruction in general, other training courses, such as a training on teaching English as a Second Language, or reading instruction training, may also have principles of adult learning embedded in the curriculum.

To ensure adequate intensity in the training topic, TWC is recognizing training that has as its main objective principles of adult learning content as meeting the three hour requirement.  If providers are uncertain if a training meeting this definition, they should consult their Professional Development Specialist at TRAIN PD. Additionally, TRAIN PD is working with TWC to identify existing training courses that will count as principles of adult learning courses and will identify those in the training title, with an extension of. PAL (ex: adultinstruction.pal). TRAIN PD has also published a list of training currently available that has been identified as PAL.

4. Q. What kind of training would satisfy the requirement for “relevant areas of literacy instruction?”

A. 40 TAC 805.21 defines Literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak in English, and to compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual, and in society.” TWC is providing trainers and providers flexibility in developing training courses that meet this definition. The training agenda and curriculum should clearly indicate how the training meets this definition.  If providers are uncertain whether training meets this definition, they should consult their Professional Development Specialist at TRAIN PD. Additionally, TRAIN PD is working with TWC to identify existing training courses that will count as “relevant areas of literacy instruction”, and will identify those in the training title, with an extension of. LIT (ex: mathinstruction.lit). TRAIN PD has also published a list of training of training currently available that has been identified as .LIT.

5. Q.  Will a certificate of completion from TRAIN PD show that a particular training fulfills the principles of adult learning or literacy instruction requirement?

A. Yes, a certificate issued by TRAIN PD or the PD Portal will identify which requirement the training fulfills, and how many hours of professional development have been earned from the training. If the certificate of completion is issued by the local program, it should also include which requirement the training fulfills, and how many hours of PD are earned. If the training meets more than one requirement it should be noted by the local program which one the training is intended to fulfill. The PD Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that PD requirements are fulfilled for all AEL staff.

6. Q. How will TEAMS reflect which requirement a training fulfills?

A. As trainings are put into TEAMS, the title will be tagged so you will know which requirement it fulfills. TEAMS version 2.9, expected to be released at the end of September, 2016, will also add the additional training types.  As reports are remediated, reports will also reflect these new requirements.  The process of reports remediation will take place over the next year.

7. Q. Are there PD requirements for clerical and janitorial staff?

A. No. Clerical and janitorial personnel are exempt from PD requirements.

8. Q.  Is “preservice” no longer a requirement?

A. The term “pre-service” was removed in February of 2014 when the original Chapter 805 rules were approved.  In historical practice, “pre-service” were sometimes work-related activities that were required before an individual was hired or were unpaid, both practices that may violate wage and hour laws.  In 2014, pre-service was replaced with in-service requirements that must be completed before an individual begins instructional or assessment activities. 

The new rules provide additional flexibility as “instructors new to AEL or direct student service delivery”must receive at least 6 clock hours of professional development within 30 calendar days of providing instructional activities, rather than prior to conducting those activities as with the previous rules. 30 days will be counted from the time they are assigned instructional activities in TEAMS.

9. Q. There is an option for “preservice” in TEAMS, when do I use that?

A. Do not use the “preservice” option in TEAMS. All PD should be tagged as in-service. While it may appear simple to non-computer programmers, removing the “pre-service” option in TEAMS is a costly and time consuming re-programming issue. TWC is prioritizing other TEAMS enhancements at this time.

10. Q.  Are the 6 hours for new instructors in addition to the 15 required hours?

A. No, the 6 hours count toward the total of 15.  All AEL instructional staff, except substitutes, paid with AEL grant funds, or who acquire student contact hours, including volunteers, shall receive at least 15 clock hours of professional development each program year; at least 6 clock hours of the required professional development must be received within 30 calendar days of providing instructional activities, if new to AEL or to direct student service delivery (3 principles of adult learning, 3 relevant areas of literacy instruction).

11. Q. Does the reduction in required PD hours for staff hired after Jan. 1 apply to all staff?

A. No. This applies only to the following positions:

  • AEL Directors, Supervisors, and other staff with program oversight or coordination responsibilities;
  • AEL instructional staff, including volunteers, that acquire student contact hours (except  substitutes)

12. Q.  Do we have to give the waiver for 18 hours of college credit?

A. No, that is the decision of the local Program Director.

13. Q.  Is the 18 hour waiver for college credit in a literacy instructor’s primary content area a yearly or a one-time waiver?

A. 40 TAC §805.21 (6)(A)(iv) allows for six clock hours of content area in staff professional development to be waived for individuals who have 18 or more college semester undergraduate or graduate credit hours in relevant areas of literacy instruction.

The waiver falls under Section 805.21 (6), which describes professional development requirements for AEL instructional staff in “each program year”, thus, the waiver may be granted each program year by the local Program Director. Local Program Directors may require additional professional development at their discretion.

14. Q. What documentation do I need for the waiver for the 18 hours of college credit in the   primary content area?

A. You need a copy of an official college transcript on file, as well as documentation from the Program Director (email in the file is fine) that states the waiver is granted, and for what period.

15. Q.  I have an instructor that teaches more than one content area. Do they need 6 hours of PD in both content areas?

A. No, 6 total hours of literacy instruction in one or both content areas fulfills the requirement. How many hours in each content area of literacy instruction would be at the discretion of the Program Director  (ex: if an instructor teaches two distinctly separate areas of instruction, the Program Director may allow 3 hours of each content area).

16. Q. What are the Staff Qualifications and PD requirements for Career Pathways Navigators?

A.

  • Career Pathways Navigators are “staff providing support services or college and career transitional support” and thus must meet the following minimum requirements found under Staff Qualifications and Training (40 TAC §805.21):
  • AEL aides, administrative, data entry, proctoring staff, and staff providing support or employment services to students shall have at least a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate.
  • All staff providing support services or college and career transitional support, who are paid through an AEL grant, shall receive at least three clock hours of professional development each program year.

Career Pathways

  1. Will Grant Recipients ever be able to use AEFLA funds to pay for job training for students?
  2. A: Yes, training, under an Integrated Education and Training, is an allowable activity for AEFLA under WIOA.  Further guidance on how these models must be implemented will be available when the final regulations are released in the summer of 2016. Please see AEL Letter 02-16: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/ael-02-16-twc.pdf

  3. We’ve received some previous guidance regarding scholarship incentives for AEL students, but we received a slightly different question and I wanted to verify with you all. As you know, on the 15th the commission approved funding re-allocation of federal AEFLA funds for some of our grantees at a higher cost-per to fund career pathways programs, specifically integrated education and training (IET).  One of our grantees would like to purchase chrome books with these funds for participants to be used as part of the training for the IET program and offer them as incentives upon successful completion.  Is this allowable?

    A. Yes.  Although AEFLA does not specifically address incentives, they are considered allowable with conditions.  In accordance with WD Letter 27-08, Change 1, nonmonetary incentives can be awarded for successful completion of training services and the attainment of educational goals, i.e., to participants who exceed the minimum requirements of a program, educational institution, or training provider that are not considered requirements of participation.  For more on WD Letter 27-08, Change 1: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/partners/27-08c1.pdf

[View more Frequently Asked Questions about Career Pathways]


Additional Questions

  1. What PD and how much is necessary for “craft” instructors?
  2. A. If they are employed by AEL funds, and generate student contact hours, they would have the same requirements as any other instructor. If they are a workforce trainer as part of an IET, then they must adhere to their local PD requirements per their employer.

  3. What do we do if ICA trainers have left our program and ICA training is no longer available?
  4. A. As with any PD, you should contact your assigned PD Specialist to find out what your options are. Per the AEL contracts, if no local capacity exists for a Tier 1 training, TRAIN PD will provide this for you at no cost, either through training conducted by the PD Specialist, or through a contracted trainer.

  5. Regarding required PD, if a teacher does not do testing do they have to take assessment training?
  6. A. The PD rules do not require instructors to take assessment training; however, because this is a Tier 1 training, it should be determined by the Program Director whether they would require all instructors to take assessment training.

  7. How are we required to document non-traditional PD events such as research projects?
  8. A. This should be clarified with your PD Specialist prior to conducting any research or other special project that is done with the expectation of completing PD requirements.

  9. What is the date the guidance for sign-in and sign-out changed?
  10. A. The sign-in and sign-out requirements for PD verification have not changed since RFP 320-14-10 was initiated, and were a part of the original TWC/AEL and AEL Grantee contracts. (2014)

  11. Will we get Table 4 and 4B back at some future TEAMS update?
  12. A. Table 4/4b is a TEA created table that is a combination of two federal tables that no longer exist, so no.  We’ll be developing new reports that match the new WIOA reporting methodology.

  13. Can we get a chart that shows required PD hour by job title as they are listed in TEAMS?

    A. A chart has been created based on positions listed in the AEL Rules.  You can see the Staff Qualifications and PD Requirements chart here.


 

Helpful Links

Texas Local Workforce Development Boards
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/dirs/wdbs/workforce-development-boards-websites.htm

TWC Financial Manual for Grants and Contracts, as applicable
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/business/fmgc/fmgc_toc.html.

WD Letter 13-08, “Security of Personal Identity Data,” and subsequent issuances.
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/business/fmgc/fmgc_toc.html.

WD Letter 29-12 “Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 – Update” and subsequent
Issuances.
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/boards/wdletters/wd12date.html.

AEL Letter 01-13 “Cash Draw and Expenditure Reporting System Instructions” and subsequent issuances
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/adultlit/ael-01-13.pdf

AEL Rules found on Agency AEL Website
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/adultlit/adult-basic-education.html
Adult Education Content Standards Warehouse
http://www.adultedcontentstandards.ed.gov/

American Institutes for Research
http://www.air.org/

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA)
http://www.cal.org/caela/

Center for Applied Linguistics
http://www.cal.org/

Community Partnerships for Adult Learning
http://www.c-pal.net/

Literacy Texas
http://www.literacytexas.org/

NAEPDC State Resource Library
http://naepdc.org/

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning & Literacy
http://ncsall.net/

National LINCS  
http://lincs.ed.gov/

National Reporting System (NRS)
http://www.nrsweb.org/

NRS Online
http://www.nrsweb.org/trainings/

TALAE
http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/talae/

Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning
http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/

TexTESOL
http://www.textesol.org/

US Department of Education, OCTAE, Adult Education
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/index.html