VALRC Logo
Blank Image

Home |  About Us |  Professional Learning |  Program Leadership |  Regional Providers |  Calendar |  FAQ

Back to About Us Homepage

Our Initiatives

Career Pathways: Virginia’s 3-Tiered Framework for Adult Education
Career Pathways in Virginia’s adult education programs will align with a three-tiered framework of integrated and contextualized instruction that will prepare adult learners academically for education, training, and careers while utilizing partnerships to build relationships with industry, post-secondary institutions, and partnering state agencies. Three levels constitute the pipeline: pathways, workforce, and careers. Click here to read more.

PluggedInVA: Expanding through Partnerships
PluggedInVA is a career pathways program that provides motivated adult learners with a contextualized high school equivalency curriculum integrated with industry-specific technical training as a means to develop essential workplace skills for entry-level jobs in targeted industries. Click here to read more.

Standards-based Instruction
Virginia’s standards-based instruction initiative (SBI: VA) aims to improve the quality of instruction in adult education classrooms by promoting instruction that is rigorous, engaging, and aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education and Virginia Adult Education Content Standards for English for Speakers of Other Languages Instruction. Click here to read more.

Civics It Up!
Civics It Up! is an online instructional tool for teachers of Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE). The purpose of the site is to help teachers plan and implement instructional units and lessons that integrate language learning with rights and responsibilities of citizenship, civic participation, and workforce training. Click here to read more.

Virginia’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:
This combined State Plan signifies a new age for workforce development in the Commonwealth. Governor Terry McAuliffe has engaged directly in statewide workforce development efforts, convening a dedicated team of subject matter experts to pursue five strategic goals reflected in an economic policy vision he calls the New Virginia Economy. Click here to read more.

More About Our Initiatives

Bar Image

Career Pathways: Virginia’s 3-Tiered Framework for Adult Education
Career Pathways in Virginia’s adult education programs will align with a three-tiered framework of integrated and contextualized instruction that will prepare adult learners academically for education, training, and careers while utilizing partnerships to build relationships with industry, post-secondary institutions, and partnering state agencies. Three levels constitute the pipeline: pathways, workforce, and careers. All tiers focus on strengthening academic skills, foundational professional soft skills, digital literacy skills, goal-setting, and working with local industry partners and other state agencies to connect learners to work experiences, training providers, and credentialing opportunities. The pathways tier serves learners from the literacy level to the fourth grade level and focuses on workplace readiness skills and job readiness; the workforce level serves learners at the fifth to eighth grade levels and focuses on career exploration; and the careers level serves intermediate to advanced learners and focuses on industry-specific contextualized instruction and preparation for higher education and training. Currently, programs in Southside Virginia are piloting the Pathways curriculum, and through DARS and TAA-funded partnerships, the workforce tier is expanding to serve more adults in preparation for mid-level credentials and high-wage work in demand occupations.

Return to Top of page

PluggedInVA Logo

PluggedInVA: Expanding through Partnerships
PluggedInVA is a career pathways program that provides motivated adult learners with a contextualized high school equivalency curriculum integrated with industry-specific technical training as a means to develop essential workplace skills for entry-level jobs in targeted industries. Central to the PluggedInVA curriculum is the development of digital literacy skills, 21st century skills, and professional soft skills to prepare learners for employment in a variety of industries as they complete their GED® credential, Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), college credits and training, and industry-recognized credentials. PluggedInVA began in 2009 as a pilot in Southwest Virginia and has expanded to 15 areas across the state through various funding streams and partnerships, including a line item in the governor’s budget dedicated to PluggedInVA, a partnership with the Virginia Employment Commission, community college TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program) grants, a statewide SNAP-ET (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education and Training) grant, and a DARS (Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services) project. The program continues to expand not only geographically but to serve adult learners at all skill levels interested in a wide range of industry sectors.

Return to Top of page

Standards-based Instruction
Virginia’s standards-based instruction initiative (SBI: VA) aims to improve the quality of instruction in adult education classrooms by promoting instruction that is rigorous, engaging, and standards-aligned. The Virginia Department of Education has adopted the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, which focus on the skills and content that are most relevant and essential in preparing adults to succeed in the 21st century economy. The Virginia Adult Education Content Standards for English for Speakers of Other Languages Instruction continue to be used to guide ESOL and IEL/Civics instruction for adult English language learners.

SBI:VA builds on years of focused work on standards-implementation by Virginia adult educators, including most recently participation in the CCR Standards-in-Action initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. SBI: VA training materials focus on the real work of educators, narrowing the gap between the standards and classroom teaching to lead to instruction that is excellent as well as standards-aligned. Because aligning with rigorous college and career readiness standards requires a change in the culture of adult education programs, meaningful and sustained professional development for educators is essential. Core to SBI: VA is the launch and support of standards-focused professional learning communities (PLCs) around the state.

Return to Top of page

Civics It Up Logo Civics It Up!
Civics It Up! is an online instructional tool for teachers of Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE). The purpose of the site is to help teachers plan and implement instructional units and lessons that integrate language learning with rights and responsibilities of citizenship, civic participation, and workforce training. It was developed recognizing the need to supplement current instructional materials with civics and workplace content not found in published textbooks or other resources. The content is organized by life skills topics, because this is an organizing principle familiar to most teachers. The life skills topics developed for Civics It Up! include: health literacy, consumerism, and employment.

The intent is for the Civics It Up! curriculum framework to be used as a supplement to current materials and curricula as a way to meet WIOA requirements for IELCE. It is not a comprehensive civics curriculum; but, rather, a tool for teachers and other users to incorporate authentic civics and workplace content into their existing lessons and materials. Civics It Up! is maintained by the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Return to Top of page

Virginia’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:
This combined State Plan signifies a new age for workforce development in the Commonwealth. Governor Terry McAuliffe has engaged directly in statewide workforce development efforts, convening a dedicated team of subject matter experts to pursue five strategic goals reflected in an economic policy vision he calls the New Virginia Economy. These goals focus Virginia’s workforce development system on 1) the attainment of workforce credentials to make our job seekers more competitive in the job market, 2) emphasizing career pathways toward “middle skills jobs,” 3) identifying avenues for family-sustaining wages for Virginia’s workers, 4) accelerating business engagement in the workforce system, and 5) realizing a high return on the investment taxpayers make in the system.

The VALRC provides opportunities throughout the Commonwealth for professional development, technology integration, and technical assistance. The VALRC serves over 3,500 of Virginia's adult education administrators and practitioners annually. As a division of the Literacy Institute at VCU, the VALRC has access to research and development projects and disseminates research-based best practices to the field. The VALRC funds full-time specialist staff in the areas of: adult education and literacy, ESOL and IEL/Civics, career pathways and work force development, instructional standards, and technology integration. The VALRC will improve instruction by using state leadership funds to design, develop, and facilitate online courses in the areas of competency-based reading instruction; writing; numeracy; basic and multilevel ESOL classes; and courses in ABE instruction, ASE instruction, and ESOL instruction.

Return to Top of page

KC iconBlackboard iconvaeln iconpluggedin iconfacebook icontwitter iconGED icon

The Literacy Institute @ VCU  |  Contact Us  |  Sitemap  |  © 2016 VALRC. All rights reserved. Updated: 4-17-17
The VALRC, located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU School of Education), is funded primarily through the VA Department of Education.