Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IEL/Civics) is a federally funded, competitive, categorical grant program intended to provide non-native English speaking adults with instruction in:
- English (ESL),
- Civics (including at least 1 of the 4 pillars of civics: U.S. Government, U.S. History, Citizenship, and Community),
- Work Preparation (skills needed to succeed in the workforce and defined in Minnesota through the ACES Transitions Integration Framework), and
- Work Training (integrated work certification programming helping participants complete industry-recognized credentials).
The Minnesota Department of Education Adult Basic Education office administers this program and issues a bi-annual RFP (Request for Proposal) to eligible providers. Eligible providers include nonprofit and community based organizations, public schools and other entities that are defined in the annual RFP.
Annually, about 10-20 programs are selected through a competitive process to deliver IEL Civics services to eligible adults. Grants typically have a maximum award of $50,000. Federal policy on IEL Civics encourages a multi-year funding approval process and Minnesota allows successful applicants and grantees to operate for two years, as long as they adhere to policies and grant requirements.
The specific civics content focus may change from year to year, so potential applicant programs are advised to carefully read the new RFP.
Moving from EL/Civics to IEL Civics
Starting in 2015 due to the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), EL/Civics transitioned to IEL Civics, or Integrated English Language and Civics. IEL/Civics will be a 4-part program for immigrants, refugees and other English Language Learners that moved from just ESL and Civics to the 4 parts noted above.
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