National Policy and Practice
The federal government encourages transition to postsecondary education and career pathway initiatives by influencing state policy development through guidelines, funding and research agendas.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 has reformed federal employment, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation programs to create an integrated, "one-stop" system of workforce investment and education activities for adults and youth. The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220) (WIA Title II) is the major source of federal support for adult basic skills programs. AEFLA funding supports instruction in reading, numeracy, GED preparation and English literacy.WIA was scheduled for reauthorization in 2003; however, its reauthorization remains pending. A draft bill is circulating in the Senate and may soon be available to the public. Website
Since 2004 the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the Department of Education has strategically leveraged national leadership funds available through section 243 of AEFLA to conduct research, demonstration and technical assistance activities designed to help adults access the education, training and information resources they need to be college and career ready. Primary initiatives focus on improving instruction by helping states enhance teacher quality through professional development and creating new models of service delivery to help adults access the education, training and information resources needed to be college and career ready. For information on OVAE’s national initiatives, please visit their website.
Congress is divided into approximately 250 committees and subcommittees. Most of the legislation that impacts adult transition programs comes from two committees, however. The key Congressional committees are:
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet
New Path to Federal Student Aid for Those with No High School Diploma or GED
Policies to Promote Adult Education and Postsecondary Alignment
Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States
To Ensure America’s Future: Building a National Opportunity System for Adults: Strengthening Links between Adult Education and Community College
Strategies for Transitioning Adult Education Students to Postsecondary Opportunities