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Suggested Solutions for Common IET Challenges

Submitted by Lindsay Tipton, Director of Career Pathways, CCR

Based upon the notes from the Quarterly Status Review, I have noticed a few trends in some of the challenges with running IETs.

While some programs are already following these practices, I wanted to offer a few reminders that may help with some of the common challenges associated with running IETs.

No Student Interest

This is a common and understandable reason for not running an IET. Sometimes a credential doesn’t turn out to be as popular or sought after as we may have thought or is less popular in one area of our state than another. We may also be missing out on marketing to a broader audience. Career Pathways offer us an excellent opportunity to reach individuals in our communities who may not have been motivated to finish their high school diploma, learn English or improve their basic skills, but are motivated to enter a certain career field. Instead of marketing those pieces of our program, consider marketing the credential itself with the caveat, “don’t have your high school diploma? Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that!”. For some, the idea of finishing high school or becoming proficient in English is daunting, but the idea of working as a welder or in a medical office is intriguing. While reaching out to your current students is an excellent idea and should most certainly take place, don’t forget to reach out to the community to reach those who may not have considered coming to your program. Great places to partner with to disseminate information are:

  • Libraries
  • Local food pantries
  • Partnership for Children/Smart Start/ NC Pre-K
  • Housing Authority – either a mailing or flyer near mailbox area
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Local school system – with a good relationship in place, you may be able to reach out to parents of students in the local schools. Just make sure the school system knows, understands and trusts that you are not trying to encourage current students to leave school.
  • Department of Social Services

Many more! Please feel free to share your ideas and experiences with us.

Student Separated Before Attaining MSG

This can easily happen, and often there is not much we can do about it. However, IETs can often serve your program well in this manner. Be sure when filling out the MSG section on your IET template that you are entering benchmarks to credential attainment. Here are a few examples of how this can work:

MSG 3 – While 12 credit hours over the course of 2 consecutive semesters are required for MSG 3, the federal language indicates “progress in the training course” as evidence for MSG. As such, completion of each individual course leading toward the 12 credit hour total may earn a student a MSG for type 3. To count each individual course, the full 12 credits must be mapped out, planned for and open to the student over the 2 consecutive semester time period.

MSG 4 – Progress milestones for MSG 4 are set in partnership with an employer as you are developing a Workplace Literacy program. For example, if your Workplace Literacy program is designed to improve the English language skills of employees at a local workplace, milestones the employer may request could be specific workplace vocabulary, safety vocabulary so that the employee may respond in an emergency situation, etc. As the participants achieve each indicated milestone, they may earn a MSG for type 4. For Workplace Literacy participants working on their basic skills or toward their high school equivalency/adult high school diploma, the employer may indicate certain level gains on a NRS approved test as a milestone, or they may indicate passing each subject are of the HiSet or GED as a milestone. This way, if a student leaves their job for any reason prior to completion of the course, they may have already earned a MSG.

MSG 5 – Any test required as part of a training course leading to a credential may count as a benchmark for MSG 5. Unit tests, midterms, or mini credentials that are required as part of a larger credential count as a benchmark toward MSG 5.

Please remember that only one MSG may count per POP. The idea here is, the earlier you can capture a MSG, the more motivating it is for your students and the more protection for your program in case that individual moves or leaves your program for any other reason.

If you want to discuss any of these ideas further, please reach out (Lindsay Tipton, Director of Career Pathways,! Brainstorming with all of you constantly helps me to learn more and better serve all our 69 programs across NC.

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