Through the use of leadership funds, the state provides opportunities throughout the commonwealth for professional development, technology and technical assistance, state and regional networks of literacy centers, and the Race to GED initiative.
Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center (VALRC)
The VALRC at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) serves over 3,500 of Virginia's adult education administrators and practitioners annually. As a division of the Literacy Institute at VCU, the VALRC assists in the Institute's research and development projects and disseminates research-based best practices to the field. The VALRC offers on-site training sessions, web-based workshops and courses, a website that serves as a clearinghouse of adult education resources, a toll-free GED help-line, a listserv open to all adult education professionals, a printed quarterly newsletter, three monthly electronic newsletters, and a wide variety of printed and online publications.
Regional Literacy Coordinating Committees (RLCCs)
RLCCs are regional interagency groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss strategies for improving adult education and literacy services through collaboration among business communities and other agencies. Eighteen RLCCs have been established in Virginia with many consisting of the same localities that comprise the regional workforce investment boards. The Council of Lead Agents, a representative group from the RLCCs, meets regularly to promote statewide interests. The three main projects supported by RLCCs are Race to GED, health literacy, and family literacy initiatives. The RLCCs produced a CD on health literacy that was distributed to doctors, health centers, social services, and hospitals throughout the state. Each RLCC sponsors a family literacy project such as Books for Babies or Reach Out and Read. Each RLCC has provided local libraries with information about the Official GED Practice Test and routinely provides scholarships for the GED Test. Many RLCCs have sponsored a GED testing center and regional GED graduations.
Virginia Adult Education Summer Institutes
The Institutes provide summer staff development opportunities for adult education teachers and other practitioners through in-depth sessions on a specific topic in a two- to three-day format. Institute themes focus on adult basic education, English literacy, General Educational Development (GED), and other related fields and are held at individual colleges or universities throughout the state annually.