Skip to content

BEdA Handbook
BEdA Instructional Support and Strategies

The BEdA mission statement of the Washington State Adult Education State Plan 2020-2023 reads:

"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."

Washington state is a national leader in providing instructional innovations that provide students the opportunity to progress quickly toward the goal of employment, either directly or through following a pathway to further training or education.

Expand All

The State Board staff do not mandate or promote any specific curricula or instructional materials of use in BEdA classrooms. All digital software, educational resources and knowledge produced by BEdA-funded providers will carry a Creative Commons attribution license as required by SBCTC Policy Manual 4.10.30 eLearning.

There are many materials available at no or low-cost through sites such as Open Washington. Additional resources are available at OER Commons.

If appropriate open resources are not available, guidance from OCTAE states that requiring text books is allowable. Here are some things that should be considered:

  • Requiring the book can’t be a barrier to attendance/ participation. If a student can’t afford the textbook what will the program do?
  • Instructional materials, such as sets of books to be used by students in the class, are an allowable expense with federal funds. These materials can’t be given to students.
  • The syllabus must clearly reflect the instructional materials that will be used in the class and how students will attain them.

Recognizing the impact that orientation can have on retention for BEdA students, BEdA-SBCTC staff developed a credit system for offering a course that includes components that can support student success as students begin their educational pathways. Student attendance hours must be collected and entered into WABERS+ as either face-to-face or distance education hours.

This can be offered as a variable 1–8 credits (with a maximum eight credits per learner per year) course for adult and family literacy students in all competency levels. A maximum of 4 credits per learner per year for can be offered when course outcomes include orientation to the program, its resources, and services; current student abilities, characteristics, styles, and readiness to learn; student’s personal, educational, and employment background and interests; student’s skill gaps, learning deficiencies, and difficulties; barrier identification with strategies, recommendations, and interventions for improvement; student’s long-term and short-term goals; identification of the skills needed to reach those goals; and a plan of action for the student to achieve the goals (personal learning/action plan). An additional 4 credits for a maximum of 8 credits per student per year can be provided when course outcomes include portfolio development for assessment of competency that integrates basic skills instruction in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and/or math.

The College and Career Readiness Standards resulted from a process to examine Common Core State Standards from the perspective of Adult Education. They provide a set of manageable yet significant CCR Standards that reflect broad agreement among subject matter experts in adult education about what is desirable for adult students to know to be prepared for the rigors of postsecondary education and training.  

English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education are companion standards that assist English Language Acquisition programs to align with the College and Career Readiness Standards. Programs can choose to use these standards, but they are not required.

Team teaching, as used in I-BEST, involves two or more instructors teaching the same course. The instructors are involved in a collaborative endeavor throughout the entire course. Some team teaching is more like tag-team teaching, in which only one instructor meets the class to cover a segment of the material. Tag-team teaching has its benefits, but it misses out on the benefits of dialog and the give and take engaged by the team of instructors.

Advantages of this model include potential deep student learning because of exposure to the connections across the disciplines of the instructors, the ambiguity of different disciplinary views, and the broad support that a heterogeneous teaching team can provide during the entire course

Instruction in which integrated learning to connects skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences; applying skills and practices in various settings; utilizing diverse and even contradictory points of view; and, understanding issues and positions contextually. This model brings together traditionally separate subjects so that students can grasp a more authentic understanding of all subjects.

Contextualized Instruction Definition

In adult education, the term “contextualized instruction describes a set of teaching, learning and assessment practices that are aimed directly at developing the skills and knowledge that adults need to deal with specific situations or perform specific tasks, and that they have identified as important and meaningful to themselves right now in their everyday lives. In addition, rather than focus only on possession of basic skills and knowledge, contextualized instruction focuses on the active application of those skills and that knowledge in a context.

The use of technologies to support students gaining reading, math, and English language skills is strongly encouraged as a method to increase student success in their education or career pathway.  

Washington state developed several instructional models with demonstrated success in accelerating adult student learning. Contextualized and integrated instruction allows students to move further and faster toward their goals by simultaneously combining skill-building in basic education and a particular context using the content curriculum with the College and Career Readiness Standards .

Team Teaching is an instructional model successfully used in a broad range of Adult Education programs including I-BEST, Project I-DEA and High School+.


Find out more about required and optional BEdA training opportunities, including:

  • Training to help faculty develop new instructional practices.
  • Training for faculty, staff and program administrators to help them comply with state and federal regulations.
  • The current BEdA training calendar.

Integrated Education and Training (IET) means a service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement. WIOA section 203(11)

Workplace Literacy (a.k.a. workplace adult education and literacy activities) program means adult education and literacy activities offered by an eligible provider in collaboration with an employer or employee organization at a workplace or an off-site location that is designed to improve the productivity of the workforce. WIOA section 203(16)

Page Manager:
Last Modified: 1/30/24, 3:55 PM

starburst graphic