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Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans (EARN) Resources

This resource provides information on the federal EARN project as well as tips and strategies that adult education programs in Virginia are using to enhance access to refugees and new Americans on the state and program level.

The National EARN Project

“The Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans project provides resources and technical assistance to adult education state agency staff, local programs, and instructors who serve or are aiming to serve English learners in Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) programming and are interested in using an immigrant integration approach. Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) requirements offer IELCE programs opportunity to support learners’ linguistic, economic, and civic integration needs.” (LINCS)


The Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans (EARN) project launched a spotlight series focused on critical topics within Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE)/Integrated Education and Training (IET) implementation.

  • Enhancing Access: Using Bridge Strategies to Connect IELCE Activities to IET Programs: Bridge strategies are one approach to delivering IELCE activities in combination with IET programs. This spotlight describes how states, regions, and programs are using bridge strategies to prepare learners in IELCE activities for IET programs. EARN also has released a video highlighting how one program, Montgomery College in Maryland, connects IELCE and IET programming and contextualizes civics content in IELCE activities to prepare learners for the IET program.
  • The Role of Navigators in IELCE/IET Career Pathways: Career navigators and advisors help English learners and immigrants navigate complex U.S. systems and access services to help support their integration into U.S. society. This spotlight explores potential actions for navigators to take as they support English learners along an IELCE/IET career pathway.
  • Serving Refugees in IELCE Activities: Refugees and New Americans face unique challenges in acclimating to the United States, from gaining English language proficiency to successfully navigating American systems and entering careers with family-sustaining wages. This spotlight highlights strategies in serving refugees in adult education programming and IELCE.
  • Using Multilingual Approaches to Support English Language Acquisition: A multilingual approach offers instructional strategies to supplement instruction in English and support English language acquisition. Multilingual approaches allow learners to access their full linguistic repertoire for the purposes of accelerating their English proficiency.
  • Expanding the Use of Online Resources in IELCE Activities to Support Immigrant Integration and Inclusion: This guide offers tips and guidance for program administrators and instructors on using virtual learning strategies for serving ELs, especially in the Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) context. This guide also describes how programs can leverage online resources for IELCE instruction to support immigrant integration and inclusion, as defined in the next section.
  • Supporting the Economic Integration of Adult Learners with Emerging Literacy SkillsMany immigrants, including those with emerging literacy skills, are already working and contributing to the U.S. economy and their own households. Others need support building the relevant skills to help them obtain employment and navigate economic systems. Adult education programming funded under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act can utilize Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) and Integrated Education and Training (IET) activities to support immigrants’ broader economic integration.
  • Serving Internationally-Trained Professionals in IELCE Activities: ITPs frequently attend adult education programs; they often take English language acquisition classes or participate in IELCE activities. This spotlight shares promising practices that states, programs, and individual practitioners can use to support ITPs in applying their assets, skills, and credentials to achieve economic integration. Many of these practices support ITPs as they navigate career pathways, especially those that include IELCE and Integrated Education and Training (IET) activities.
  • Civic Integration Resources – Civics in the Adult Education Classroom and Contextualizing Civics for the Workplace: The rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation are critical components of civic integration and a key component of IELCE. IELCE instruction in this topic can include information about documentation and citizenship preparation as well as community engagement more broadly, such as through topics like navigating community services and achieving a more digitally equitable future. These resources highlight how IELCE activities can support civics education and deliver citizenship and civic participation services.

This LINCS website provides more information on the national EARN project.

Enhancing Access for Refugees and New Americans in Virginia 

The following webinar recording contains strategies for how adult education programs in Virginia are utilizing robust partnerships, providing access to sustaining career pathways, and engaging diverse learners in order to enhance access for and support the linguistic, civic, and economic integration of refugees and new Americans.


Webinar Resource Folder

Please reach out to VALRC for support on implementing these or other strategies for enhancing access to refugees and new Americans through adult education services or to share your strategies for these efforts by sending us an email at vdesk@vcu.edu.