The final Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) regulations, released in July 2016, provide assurance and incentives for adult education, workforce development, and postsecondary education partners to design and implement a key strategy in career pathways.
IET is a promising practice based in adult learning theory. Through IET programs, participants seek goal-oriented, relevant, practical knowledge. Providing education that truly leads to economic mobility offsets the opportunity costs for individuals with family and work responsibilities.
Integrated Education and Training is the core educational strategy for career pathways developed between WIOA partners. But IET alone won’t meet the requirement to promote “educational and career advancement”; the education component of IET must be aligned with a state’s content standards and the IET program must be part of a career pathway. This goes beyond classroom innovations; career pathways must provide robust participant support services, including career counseling, navigation, placement, and retention services.