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Program Planning and Procedures

Needs Assessment/Setting Priorities/Developing a Plan/

Managed Intake and Enrollment


Student Fees- August 2013

A program plan guides the work.  It is the roadmap that gives everyone in your state direction.  With that guidance and within the parameters of the plan, your colleagues can be creative.  Without guidance and parameters, your colleagues wander.


There are four critical elements in the program planning process.  Click on any of these four elements to access resources.


1.   Conducting the Needs Assessment:  A plan is based on a thorough needs assessment that incorporates multiple perspectives.  Who do you involve, and how do you be inclusive?  What information helps you best identify the needs? What are your current assets?  Who can help you analyze the information?


2.   Linkage with Partner Organizations:  One key feature of successful adult education programs is linkage to at least five other agencies or organizations (1991 National Evaluation of Adult Education Programs).

  • Our adult students need an education, but they also need other services. Their participation often depends on other needs being addressed.

  • In addition, there are partner provider organizations (e.g., CBOs and FBOs) whose specialties contribute to adult services.

As a tool for state planning, we have captured several strategies that are used by states to involve partner organizations in planning and delivering adult services at the state and local level.


3.   Setting Priorities:  You cannot do everything.  How do your assets match your needs?  Where are the gaps?  What are the options for filling those gaps?  What do you omit?  Who helps you set those priorities? 


4.    Developing the Plan:  The actual plan, whether it be your State Plan or a special statewide initiative, provides the framework for your program operations.  What roles do your partners play in developing and implementing the plan?  Who else should be involved in developing the planís content?  Are there guidelines on what the plan should include, e.g., the State Plan?  Who needs to approve the plan before you can move forward?  Is public comment required?  What timelines are involved?  What resources will be required for plan development?


5.   Evaluating the Results:  Evaluation should be an ongoing process through all phases of plan development and implementation.  How will you document and monitor the implementation of the plan?  How will you evaluate the process and the outcomes?


Managed Intake and Enrollment


Program Administrators' Sourcebook

A resource on NCSALL's research for adult education program administrators.

Managed enrollment is discussed in Section 1: Teaching and Learning, Classroom Dynamics Study on page 23. 


Classroom Dynamics in Adult Literacy Education

The first major study in a quarter century to investigate classroom behavior in adult literacy education.  Continuous vs. managed enrollment is discussed in Chapter 6 Shaping Factors: Enrollment Turbulence beginning on page 87. 


An Evidence-Based Adult Education Program Model Appropriate for Research

This monograph seeks to establish a way for researchers to choose programs that offer an opportunity to employ the most appropriate research method for identifying and evaluating effective interventions.

Managed enrollment is discussed in Chapter One: Introduction: The Next Step on page 5 and also in Chapter Five: Participating in a Program: Classroom Management on pages 65-67.


Managed Enrollment Discussion - ALE Wiki

There is a great discussion of managed enrollment at the Adult Literacy Education Wiki.  There are also some links to programs and models already in place.


Managed Enrollment Pilot Study

Report from a pilot study: Introducing managed enrollment into an ESL program.



How Managed Enrollment and Pizza Changed a GED Program in a Correctional Facility

Report from a pilot study on managed enrollment and the use of student incentives


First Impressions Count:  Options for Managed Intake and Enrollment (2006 NC Basic Skills Conference)

Powerpoint Presentation


Intake Survey

Student Intake Resource Packet


Quality Framework




Contact us: Dr. Lennox McLendon, Executive Director; 444 North Capitol Street, NW; Suite 422; Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-624-5250; Fax: 202-624-1497; Email: