The East Central College Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) program will receive more than $1.2 million from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support its programs, including Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE).

The AEL program will receive $328,844 for adult education and literacy, and $100,000 for IELCE. The grant is renewable for a maximum of three years totaling $1,286,532.

The grant funding makes it possible for the AEL program to serve the estimated 23,700 adults in the ECC service region without a high school diploma, and almost 18,000 adults who could benefit from English language classes.

According to Alice Whalen, director of the AEL program, the funding for IELCE supports the English language program with an emphasis on civics/citizenship and integration with career/job-training.

“All students in the program are encouraged to take advantage of job training,” Whalen said. “We offer instruction in English specific to a career program a student may enroll in while also in our program.”

She added that this is the second time receiving the IELCE grant. ECC has received the AEL program grant for decades.

The AEL program is free to everyone and offers several class locations in Franklin, Phelps, Crawford, Gasconade and Montgomery counties with both morning and evening classes.

Classes include high school equivalency preparation, English language classes, basic computer training, literacy tutoring and life-skills instruction.  The AEL program also offers HISET prep classes.

The AEL program is currently operating online with plans to face-to-face instruction soon and is enrolling new students in July.

To learn more about the AEL program, and to find course times and locations, visit