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					Page 1                                                  GLOSSARY OF ADULT EDUCATION TERMS
                                                                                    MSDE LWIS
                                                                   Last Update: November 13, 2008

            Contains terms not included in Staff Policies, Definitions, and Directions.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) includes instruction for learners at the Beginning and
Intermediate levels. Key objectives include increasing basic academic skills; life skills, job
readiness skills, job seeking skills, job retention skills, parenting skills, and meeting personal
goals such as being able to read the bus destination banner.

Adult Secondary Education (ASE) includes instruction for learners at the Advanced level. Key
objectives include: life skills, parenting, citizenship, preparation for the GED examination, the
Maryland Adult External High School Diploma Program, employability skills, job readiness, job
seeking skills, and job retention.

English as a Second Language (ESL) includes instruction for learners from Beginning to
Advanced levels. ESL provides instruction in six English language skills (listening, speaking,
reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar) to non-English proficient or limited English
proficient adults. Class content may include life skills, workforce development, and citizenship,
while integrating the Maryland Content Standards for ESL/ESOL Adults. ESL programming
should include services that assist learners with transitions to the workplace and further education.

English Literacy & Civics (EL/C) is an educational program that emphasizes contextualized
instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic
participation, and U.S. history and government. The goal is to help learners acquire the language
skills and knowledge to become active and informed parents, workers, and community members.
Programs providing instruction to EL/C learners must apply the Maryland Content Standards for
ESL/ESOL Adults.

Family Literacy (FL) requires instruction in collaboration with one of the MSDE-AELS
approved early childhood providers. Services must be provided to families with at least one
parent eligible for adult education services and at least one child aged birth through age 16.
Services must be of sufficient intensity and duration to make sustainable changes in a family and
integrate all of the following:
    1. Interactive literacy activities between parents and children;
    2. Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full
        partners in the education of their children;
    3. Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency; and
    4. Age appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences.

Maryland Adult External High School Diploma Program (EDP) is a competency-based,
applied performance, high school diploma program for adults 18 years of age or older who have
acquired academic and occupational skills through their life experience. To preserve the integrity
and validity of the program, all EDP General Requirements must be met as well as National
External Diploma Program standards. Funding is limited to eligible applicants.
Page 2                                                  GLOSSARY OF ADULT EDUCATION TERMS
                                                                                    MSDE LWIS
                                                                   Last Update: November 13, 2008

Adult General Education (AGE) requires instruction and services for Adult Secondary
Education (ASE) and Advanced English Proficiency. Funding is limited to local school systems.

Literacy Works (LW) funding emphasizes and requires accountability by providing for data
collection activities. Direct learner instruction may also be allowed using Literacy Works funds.

Services for the Institutionalized (I) includes instruction for learners in Adult Basic Education,
Adult Secondary Education and English Literacy. Local correctional institutions include local
jails and detention centers. Other institutionalized programs and residential services include state
and local medical, mental health, or rehabilitation facilities.

Applications for Institutionalized adults are limited to residents of an institution. This includes
any prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, detention center, halfway house, community-based
rehabilitation center, or other similar institution for the confinement or rehabilitation of criminal
offenders. It also includes services to residents of local or state medical, mental health, or
rehabilitation facilities.

Adult: In terms of the Adult Education Act (as amended by the WIA Title II-1998), an individual
who has attained 16 years of age and is not currently enrolled in a regular school program.

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA): This legislation is Title II of the
Workforce Investment Act (WIA-P.L. 105-220, August 1998). The AEFLA authorizes a state
grant program for the delivery of ABE, ASE, and ESL instruction.

Adult Education Instructional Personnel Terms:
   1. Computer Lab Instructors/Technicians: Staff who provide instruction in a computer
       laboratory or in a networked classroom.
   2. Full Time & Part Time: Defined by local program’s personnel regulations.
   3. Paraprofessionals: Staff who work alongside and assist professional staff members but
       do not have full professional responsibility, for example, teacher/classroom aides and
       teaching assistants. This does not include staff who assist in a computer laboratory.
   4. Teachers: Staff who instruct learners.
   5. Volunteer: Staff who do not receive compensation for services.

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS): A nationally-normed evaluation
system designed to assess a number of specific skills. The primary, official assessment
instrument for MSDE funded Adult Education Programs.

Educational Functioning Level (EFL): A set of skills and competencies that learners at that
level can accomplish in the areas of reading, writing, numeracy, speaking, listening, and
functional and workplace areas. There are four levels for ABE, two for ASE, and six levels for
ESL. To determine a learner’s appropriate Entry and Update Educational Functioning Level,
programs administer a standardized assessment.
Page 3                                                GLOSSARY OF ADULT EDUCATION TERMS
                                                                                  MSDE LWIS
                                                                 Last Update: November 13, 2008

General Education Development (GED): A term frequently used by instructors, learners, and
others to describe:
    1. A high school diploma awarded upon successful completion of a battery of nationally
         normed and scored tests: (She passed the GED.), or
    2. A class (John is going to GED Class.), or
    3. An educational functioning level (Takesha is at GED level.).

Literacy: An individual’s ability to read, write, and speak in English; compute; and solve
problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s
goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.

Local Education Agency (LEA): The standard local governmental unit that controls a public
school district.

Managed Enrollment: Managed enrollment is a system of permitting learners to enter a class
only during specific pre-defined enrollment period. There must be multiple entry points during a
class term except for those classes which are specifically designed to deliver a set curriculum or
content area such as a GED Fast Track class.

MIS: The acronym for Management Information System.

Multi-Service Community Center (MSCC): Provides for the coordination and development of
local programs and services to meet the identified educational, vocational, and employment
readiness needs of in- and out-of-school youth and adults. Major program components include
information and referral services, career and vocational counseling and assessment, and job

National Reporting System (NRS): The national, accountability system for federally-funded
Adult Education Programs. This system includes a set of learner measures to allow assessment of
the impact of adult education instruction, methodologies for collecting the measures, and
reporting forms and procedures.

Non-Traditional High School–By credit only: Adults (16 years of age and older) enrolled in
high school credit classes in the evening, extended day, or weekend that lead to a high school
diploma. Learners who are concurrently enrolled in the regular senior high school or, who are
eligible to be counted for State Aid for Current Expense must not be entered into an Adult
Education Program. Programs must maintain an adequate tracking system to ensure there is not
duplicate enrollment.

One-Stop: A physical site where information about and access to a wide array of job training,
education, and employment services is available for customers at a single neighborhood location.
Customers will be able to easily:
    Receive a preliminary assessment of their skill levels, aptitudes, abilities, and support
       service needs.
    Obtain information on a full array of employment-related services, including
       information about local education and training service providers.
Page 4                                                GLOSSARY OF ADULT EDUCATION TERMS
                                                                                  MSDE LWIS
                                                                 Last Update: November 13, 2008

        Receive help filing claims for unemployment insurance and evaluating eligibility for
         job training and education programs or student financial aid.
        Obtain job search and placement assistance, and receive career counseling.
        Have access to up-to-date labor market information which identifies job vacancies,
         skills necessary for in-demand jobs, and provides information about local, regional
         and national employment trends.

Reporting Period: The reporting period that conforms to state and local guidelines. For the
state, reporting periods are generally quarter, semi-annual, and annual. For local programs, this
could be a semester or a class cycle.

Student Performance Level (SPL): There are 10 levels, and each contains a set of skills and
competencies that ESL learners at that level can accomplish in the areas of General Language
Ability, Listening Comprehension, and Oral Communication. These descriptors for ESL learners
were originally developed by the Mainstream English Language Training (MELT) project in the
mid 1980s. An SPL chart is available in the BEST Plus Test Administrator Guide and on the
Center for Applied Linguistics Website (

Workplace Education: Includes instruction in Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary
Education and English Language Acquisition that is customized to address basic skill needs of
employers, especially in the changing workplace. Local education providers, in partnership with
business, industry, labor organizations, or local workforce boards, provide instruction to workers
in need of more advanced skills to maintain or advance in their jobs. Instruction is also provided
to help unemployed individuals develop skills to identify a career path and obtain or keep a job.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA): A federal law passed in August 1998 (WIA-P.L. 105-220)
that focuses on meeting the needs of businesses for skilled workers and the training, education,
and employment needs of individuals. There are five titles to the act: Title I authorizes the new
Workforce Investment System. Title II (AEFLA ) reauthorizes Adult Education and Literacy
Programs for Fiscal Years 1999-2003. Title III amends the Wagner-Peyser Act to require that
Employment Service/Job Service activities become part of the "One-Stop" system and
establishes a national employment statistics initiative. Title IV reauthorizes Rehabilitation Act
Programs through Fiscal Year 2003 and links these programs to State and local workforce
development systems. Title V contains general provisions that include authority for State unified
plans relating to several workforce development programs, incentive grants for States exceeding
negotiated performance levels under the Workforce Investment Act, Adult Education Act, and
Perkins Vocational Education Act, and transition provisions.

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