Report of Regents Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) Committee to The Board of Regents
Your ACCES Committee held its scheduled meeting on February 9, 2015. All members were present, with the exception of Chancellor Emeritus Bennett and Regent Tilles, who were excused. Additional members included Regent Finn, Regent Phillips, and Regent Tallon.
MATTERS NOT REQUIRING BOARD ACTION
The Impact of the New Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act on Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES (D) 1) – the Committee was provided information on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that was signed into law in July, 2014. WIOA requires states to align their workforce development programs, which include amending two core programs administered by the State Education Department: the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title IV of WIOA). WIOA also requires each state to develop and submit a single, unified strategic plan submitted for approval by the Governor and State Workforce Development Board for all core programs, including vocational rehabilitation and adult education, starting in July 2016. To meet these new requirements, the recommendation is for ACCES staff to analyze the changes required in procurement procedures to meet WIOA guidelines; explore options for addressing expanded transition services; and work closely with NYS Department of Labor to establish five joint work groups, each with ACCES-VR and Adult Education representation, to analyze and recommend approaches to WIOA implementation and explore the dedication of up to 2 percent funding to support WIOA transition planning in meeting all of the new requirements.
ACCES-VR Strategic Plan Final Recommendations (ACCES (D) 3) – the Committee was presented with the final recommendations from the ACCES-VR Strategic Plan. ACCES-VR initiated a strategic planning process to identify recommendations which would enhance and improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Six priority areas were identified: service delivery; communication; partnerships and alliances; operations and fiscal management; human resources and accountability; and technology. Teams were formed to address each priority area and, after completing a full analysis of their area, each team developed recommendations that were presented to ACCES-VR staff. ACCES plans to implement each team’s recommendations to increase ACCES-VR’s effectiveness as an agency and result in moving toward its vision that all individuals with disabilities who want to work will have the opportunity to achieve employment and independence.
First Year Implementation of the new High School Equivalency Exam (ACCES (D) 4) – the Committee was provided an update on the new national High School Equivalency exam, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC) since it was first administered in January, 2014. In the first few months of 2014, only 2,000 individuals took the TASC. However, the rate of testing increased by the third quarter and by the end of the year there were 24,442 individuals who took one or more subtests of the TASC. The TASC Test’s annual calendar will end in March 2015, at which point CTB/McGraw-Hill will release final test participation and pass rates for the TASC. Although final numbers are not yet tabulated, preliminary data indicates that of the 22,598 New Yorkers who took all five subtests in 2014, 11,281 passed all five and received their HSE Diploma for an estimated 2014 New York State passing rate of 49.92%. In addition, NYSED’s policy to allow grandfathered GED® scores has added an additional 1,876 HSE Diplomas. The TASC 2014 pass rate is largely consistent with historic pass rates for examinees who took the GED® in New York State.
Amendment of Section 100.8 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Local High School Equivalency Diplomas based upon Experimental Programs (ACCES (D) 2) – the Committee discussed proposed amendments to extend the authority of boards of education to issue local high school equivalency diplomas based upon experimental programs from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2017. This two-year extension is recommended to ensure that all current NEDP students in the approximately 22 program sites across the state are provided with an opportunity to complete their programs and earn a local high school equivalency diploma. In addition, the Committee asked that ACCES and P-12 staff consider how the NEDP informed local high school equivalency diploma might align with the CDOS credential to provide Special Education students a diploma pathway.