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Adult Education State Plan

Designing for Racial Equity: Pathways to College & Careers for Washington’s Emerging Workforce

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) is responsible for administering the Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy Act components of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

Under the guidance of the Governor-appointed Adult Education Advisory Council, the 2020–2023 state plan reflects insights from public planning documents, open forums, and surveys. The plan shapes the future of adult basic education in Washington and ensures that adult basic education and English language education open up new career pathways and equitable educational opportunities for adults to develop the skills and earn the diplomas, certificates, and degrees necessary to reach their educational and career goals.

The four-year plan provides policy level guidance to implement comprehensive college and career pathways to make certain that Washingtonians have the skills needed to succeed. The college and career guided pathways model identifies students’ ultimate educational and career goals from the very beginning, and puts them in contextualized learning environments. Students learn skills and practice and apply them in areas that have meaning in their lives and to their careers.

These guided pathways allow students to progress as skills are developed and outcomes met rather than focusing on seat time — allowing students to greatly accelerate progression. Students can often bypass years of basic skills and precollege education.


William Durden
Director of Basic Education for Adults

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Leading with racial equity, our colleges maximize student potential and transform lives within a culture of belonging that advances racial, social and economic justice in service to our diverse communities.

Basic Education for Adults works collaboratively to offer culturally responsive and equity focused college and career pathways that address barriers and enable students to obtain meaningful employment, meet workforce needs, and reduce economic disparities.

Basic Education for Adults’ work is guided and informed by our commitment to:

  • Students’ cultural capital: voice, experience, perspective
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion: racial, economic, and social justice
  • Quality: collaborative, evidence-based innovative pathways

Our success is measured by the success of our students.

  1. Intentionally review, develop and implement culturally responsive policies and practices that promote racial and economic justice.
  2. Implement and scale equity-focused, comprehensive, and innovative college and career pathways to accelerate student completion and advance racial and economic justice.
  3. Provide students with the equity-focused navigational and support services needed to create and follow a college and career pathway plan that identifies the funding and resources needed to reach their goals.
  4. Create and strengthen inclusive instructional practices that honor and support the diverse needs of all students while maintaining academic integrity that ensures college and career readiness.
  5. Guide and support culturally responsive and equity-focused instructional practices that accelerate student completion to certificates, one year of college plus a credential, degrees, and living wage employment.
  6. Develop and offer culturally responsive coursework that is contextualized to college and career pathways leading to high school completion, postsecondary education, and living wage employment.
  7. Create and maintain strategic partnerships and alliances to leverage local resources and support integrated service delivery.
  8. Create an environment that values and respects the diverse identities and strengths of students and empowers individuals to claim their personal agency.

The purpose of the act is to improve the workforce by reducing welfare dependency, increasing economic self-sufficiency, meeting the skill requirements of employers, and enhancing productivity and the competitiveness of the nation. It requires better alignment and collaboration between all of the vital workforce programs in our state. OCTAE is beginning to align the measurements they have for our funding titles. This will help remove the barriers of who may serve whom and for how long. The titles specific to WIOA are:

  • Title I: Workforce Development Activities
    Employment and Training programs
    Disadvantaged Youth Services
    Economically Disadvantaged Adult services
    Dislocated Worker Program
  • Title II: Basic Education for Adults
  • Title III: Wagner-Peyser Employment Services
  • Title IV: Vocational Rehabilitation Services

The three key principles to keep in mind are:

  • Program alignment: this involves unified strategic planning across all core programs.
  • Increased accountability: establishes common performance measures across core programs.
  • Enhanced service delivery: Requires the engagement of employers and alignment of education and training activities through the establishment of career pathways.

Adult Education State Plan

Read the Washington State Adult Education 4-Year Plan 2020–2023.

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Last Modified: 1/31/24, 8:25 AM

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