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National Leadership Activities

Section 242 of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), provides funds for the Secretary of Education to carry out a program of national leadership activities to enhance the quality and outcomes of adult education and literacy activities nationwide. Within the U. S. Department of Education, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) administers section 242 national leadership activities.

Required National Leadership Activities

Section 242 of AEFLA specifies required national leadership activities as well as provides an illustrative list of permissible national leadership activities. Required national leadership activities include the provision of technical assistance to states and local adult education providers on meeting the performance accountability requirements of section 116 of WIOA. OCTAE meets these requirements through its NRS Technical Assistance which includes trainings, webinars, online courses, and other professional learning activities.

The national leadership activities requirements in section 242 of AEFLA also include requirements to conduct research and evaluation. To meet these requirements, OCTAE collaborates with the Institute of Education Sciences. Currently, OCTAE is funding two IES studies, a study of WIOA implementation during program year 2019 -2020 and a feasibility study to identify potential adult education interventions that may be ready for rigorous impact evaluation.

Additional National Leadership Activities

In addition to these activities to address the required national leadership activities in section 242 of AEFLA, OCTAE also uses funds to support states in improving the quality and outcomes of adult education and literacy activities. These federal initiatives include supporting states’ implementation of content standards in adult education classrooms; integrating technology into teaching and learning; scaling evidence-based instructional practices in content domains such as, reading, math, and English language acquisition; and supporting the development of career pathways including high quality integrated education and training programs.

OCTAE also uses national leadership activities to support adult education practitioners and learners through the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS). LINCS includes multiple online communities of practice; a searchable online resource collection including research, reports, curricula, and toolkits and guides on a wide variety of topics; numerous online and face-to-face professional learning opportunities; and, a learner center in which adult education students can independently access online learning organized by students’ goals.