Achieving Equity in IET
Student Access to IET Opportunities
Review current student recruitment strategies through an equity lens. Consider the following questions:
- Which populations are underrepresented in your IET programs compared with your college’s student body and your district’s local workforce? How does representation vary across the recruitment pipeline (e.g., application, assessment, enrollment, retention, transition to the next credential in the career pathway)? Use the Equity Decision List (Central Carolina Community College) and the Examining Identity tool (Colorado Department of Higher Education Equity Toolkit) to consider a range of populations/identities to assess for representation.
- What supports are provided to prospective students during the application, assessment and enrollment processes?
- How are IET opportunities publicized? What languages are used in marketing? What reading level is used (See Microsoft Word’s readability statistics)? Are these materials accessible to individuals with disabilities? Are these materials inclusive of different backgrounds and identities? Who is involved in creating and reviewing these marketing materials?
- Which local community groups and/or leaders does your IET program collaborate with for marketing and recruitment? How are these relationships built? e.g., job centers, tribal organizations, community resource centers, libraries, shelters, organizations that serve justice-involved individuals, organizations that serve refugees.
- How are previous IET students involved in the process for recruiting new IET students?
See ‘Best Practices for Marketing to Adult and Non-traditional Students’ from Hanover Research for additional recruitment ideas.
Funding Models to Help Pay for the Cost of Instruction
- WIOA funding (such as Title I) can pay for the training component for IET programs if the training organization is listed on the state’s list of Eligible Training Providers. To find eligible training providers, visit the Job Center Program Search website.
- AEFLA funding can also help cover the cost of instruction.
- College foundation or other similar funding could provide scholarships for IET students.
- State and federal financial aid funding can support the postsecondary portion of IET. For students who do not yet have a high school diploma, there are several Ability to Benefit financial aid options available, including 1) if a student successfully completes six credits of a qualifying postsecondary program or 2) if a student participates in a concurrent high school equivalency/postsecondary program that meets certain criteria. Either of these options can make the student eligible for Title IV federal financial aid, and they are accessible for students of all backgrounds, abilities, and socioeconomic levels. For more information, see our Adult Education and English Language Learning page and watch the WTCS Ability to Benefit video.
- Employer-sponsored IET models can cover the cost of tuition through scholarships. For example, Sand Valley golf resort provides scholarships for the Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) Sand Valley Culinary Training program and the Central Wisconsin Manufacturers Alliance sponsors the tuition for students in the MSTC Metal Mania IET program.
Supporting Student Success
Teaching practices that promote equity in student success:
- For information and resources on inclusive teaching strategies, see the ‘Inclusive Teaching’ Innovative Practice page on fostering belonging, engaging growth mindsets, and employing Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
- Faculty can use the free Copilot-Ascend tool from PERTS (Projects in Education Research that Scales) to assess the student experience within their courses and identify evidence-based strategies to continuously improve equity in student success.
Recommendations for student supports:
- Cohort model in which students take the same sequence of courses together. Based on research of the I-BEST model, programs that did not have a cohort model had lower student success rates than programs with cohorts (CCRC research on the I-BEST model, 2012).
- Comprehensive case management and early alerts to provide needed services to students with lower academic performance, attendance, etc. (e.g., JFF resource on providing comprehensive support services).
- Emergency assistance to help meet students’ needs as they arise (e.g., childcare, transportation, housing).
- Supportive transition services for IET students to continue within their career pathway after their IET is completed (CCRC research on the I-BEST model, 2012).