Program Design

Developing an IET program requires intensive collaboration with partnering occupational training institutions, state agencies, community partners, and local employers. The resources on this site provide useful guidance for building a program and a curriculum that will meet the needs of your learners, partnering organizations, and employers.

Access the sub-menu in the navigation bar for additional resources  Employer Engagement.

The IET Blueprint presents a flexible framework for integrated and contextualized instruction. The model emphasizes a competency-based approach to instruction that is aligned to adult education standards. 

Steps to Building an IET:

  1. Determine need and fit: Based on local regional employment needs and trends and in conjunction with local employers and the Workforce Development Board (WDB), identify a targeted industry for an IET program.
  2. Develop the IET model: Work with employers and the local workforce development board to develop a program plan and occupational competencies needed for successful employment. Identify resources for contextualizing instruction to the targeted industry, and develop a plan to integrate instruction through projects and assignments that align to the occupational training.
    1. Develop a Unified Competency List that integrates academic and literacy skills, workplace readiness activities, and occupational training competencies.
  3. Identify a student cohort*: Recruit for students who demonstrate interest, aptitude, and the appropriate skill levels for the targeted industry. Assess students to determine strengths and areas for additional focus.
  4. Adapt the model for your students: Tailor the program to students’ needs, goals, and skill levels. Identify supportive services that are needed by your students and work with WIOA partners to determine eligibility. Focus on the academic skills that are most relevant to the targeted industry and are most important to your students’ needs.

*Some cohorts are built with an intact cohort of students in mind and begin with this step, customizing an IET program to the needs, skills, and interests of the students. 

Essential features of an IET

  • Academic instruction aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards and the English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education;
  • Contextualized content targeted toward workplace readiness and / or a targeted industry or industry cluster;
  • Integrated technology applications, using computers and mobile devices,
  • Job readiness activities that include resume preparation, interview practice, and job searching practice;
  • An explicit and directed focus on professional soft skills – either general or industry-specific – with opportunities to demonstrate those skills through role plays, presentations, or group projects;
  • Integrated activities and project work that require learners to collaborate with each other through problem-solving tasks that connect learning objectives and make learning directly relevant to students’ interests and goals; and
  • Vocational training – provided through a partnering training or postsecondary institution – that results in a transferable, industry-recognized credential.

WIOA Legislation regarding IET

  • Full final regulations
  • IET briefs and definitions
    • CLASP memo on IET
    • National Skills Coalition IET Policy Toolkit (Oct. 2016)
    • U.S. Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education memo on Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) under WIOA (Jan. 2016)

Links to the standards

Model Programs, Partners, and ELL Resources

This page provides links to IET policy positions, model programs, downloadable tools, and information for adult ESL students.

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