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How Do You Help Low-Skilled Adults Access and Succeed in Post-secondary Education? A Conversation with Practitioners in the Breaking Through Initiative - Full Transcript - Workforce - Discussions

How Do You Help Low-Skilled Adults Access and Succeed

in Post-secondary Education? A Conversation with Practitioners

in the Breaking Through Initiative


Full Transcript



Discussion Dates: May 16-20, 2011

Moderator: Dr. Donna J. G. Brian

Description | Preparation | Guest Participants


[Workforce 236] Workforce Discussion next week! Spread the word! 5-10-11

Brian, Dr Donna J G

Greetings, Workforce list members,

As promised earlier, we have a great discussion planned for next week! The official announcement is below in bold letters. The announcement has also been forwarded to the LINCS website to spread the word, and I'm sure you will want to invite your colleagues who are not currently members of the list to join the list and take part in the discussion.

Gloria Mwase presented information about the Breaking Through initiative at the COABE conference, and our discussion next week will both recap and expand on that information. We have the added benefit of the experiences of practitioners who have been involved in the initiative. Should be most informative and interesting!

There will be specific questions that will be the focus of each day's discussion to help us touch base with all the issues, and I will put those out later this week. We're inviting members of the Transitions to Post Secondary Ed, Learning Disabilities, and Adult English Language Acquisition discussion lists to join us, and waiting until the end of the week to put out further information will give them a chance to join the our list so that they will get the information too.

The Breaking Through initiative is one of the most promising initiatives out there right now for getting our learners into the workforce with the skills they need to succeed and advance, and this is your opportunity to learn more about how you can use these strategies in your work. Don't hesitate to ask questions and take part. It can't be a "discussion" without your participation!

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


How Do You Help Low-Skilled Adults Access and Succeed in Post-secondary Education? A Conversation with Practitioners in the Breaking Through Initiative

Please join us May 16 - 20 on the Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List for a discussion on lessons learned from the Breaking Through initiative and how you can adapt these strategies in your work. Breaking Through is a national initiative working with 41 community colleges in 22 states to help low-skilled adults prepare for and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs. Counteracting high attrition rates in adult basic education and developmental education programs, Breaking Through colleges improve outcomes by focusing on strategies that create effective pathways through pre-college and degree-level programs and result in college completion. The initiative is proving that low-skilled adults can advance through remediation and credential programs within a reasonable time and with reasonable success. These strategies can be engaged by adult educators both within and outside of community colleges.

Some questions to be addressed in the discussion include:

  • How do you work across diverse programs and services to create real pathways for lower-skilled adults?
  • How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students?
  • What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students?
  • How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways?

To read more about the effective practices developed by the Breaking Through initiative in response to these questions, please go to: http://www.jff.org/publications/education/breaking-through-practice-guide/1059

Discussion Guests will include Gloria Cross Mwase, Program Director, Jobs for the Future (which managed the Breaking Through initiative) as well as several practitioners profiled in the Breaking Through Practice Guide, including:

  • Vicki Boyd, Director of Adult Education Services, Owensboro Community and Technical College
  • Ellen O'Donnell, Dean, Division of Human Services, North Shore Community College
  • Pat Phillips, Associate Dean, School of Foundational Studies, Davidson County Community College
  • Amy Dalsimer, Director, Pre-College Academic Programming, LaGuardia Community College
  • Elaine Baker, Director, Breaking Through, Community College of Denver

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 241] Next week's discussion information 5-13-11

Brian, Dr Donna J G

Workforce educators,

Next week is our scheduled discussion titled "How Do You Help Low-Skilled Adults Access and Succeed in Post-secondary Education? A Conversation with Practitioners in the Breaking Through Initiative." To lead us in this discussion, we are fortunate to have as our guests Dr. Gloria Cross Mwase, Program Director with Jobs for the Future, and some of the practitioners who have implemented this initiative:

  • Ellen O'Donnell, Dean, Division of Human Services, North Shore Community College
  • Pat Phillips, Associate Dean, School of Foundational Studies, Davidson County Community College
  • Amy Dalsimer, Director, Pre-College Academic Programming, LaGuardia Community College
  • Elaine Baker, Director, Breaking Through, Community College of Denver

Jobs for the Future (JFF) develops, implements, and promotes new education and workforce strategies that help communities, states, and the nation compete in a global economy. In more than 200 communities across 43 states, JFF improves the pathways leading from high school to college to family-sustaining careers. Gloria Cross Mwase's life journey has taken her from Mississippi, where she earned a B.A. in economics from Tougaloo College, to Boston, where she earned a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Massachusetts. On the way to JFF, she served the Annie E. Casey Foundation as its Boston representative and taught adults at Cambridge College, a unique environment where working adults can build their education in a lifetime of learning. At JFF, Dr. Mwase's work centers on helping low-skilled adults advance to family-sustaining careers, while enabling employers to build and sustain a productive workforce. Her projects include Breaking Through, enabling adults with less-than-8th-grade skills to prepare for and succeed in community college technical programs. One report she has authored on this project is "Better Together: Realigning Pre-College Skills Development Programs to Achieve Greater Academic Success for Adult Learners." She also leads the capacity-building and peer-learning efforts of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which supports local funding collaboratives investing in workforce partnerships that recruit, train, place, retain, and advance new and incumbent workers in key industry sectors. Dr. Mwase will begin next week's discussion by introducing the Breaking Through Initiative and its results. The specific question the guests will focus on for Monday will be, "How do you work across diverse programs and services to create real pathways for lower-skilled adults?" List members are encouraged to ask questions at any time during the week, and Dr. Mwase and the practitioners will address any issues that you have. Although there will be specific questions posed in advance for each day, Dr. Mwase has said that any questions from list members will be welcome at any time, so please don't hesitate to ask. They want to be sure to include the information that is important to you, and it's hard to have a discussion when it is a one-way conversation!

The following web pages will provide supplemental background information you may want to peruse before the discussion:

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 242] New members info 5-13-11

Brian, Dr Donna J G

Greetings!

I've had some questions from new members about how this discussion will work. The discussion list is a "listserv" and so since you have joined, you will get all the messages that are posted and you are able to post any questions or comments to the discussion at any time. The guests have also joined the discussion list, so they will give information and respond through the list and receive the posts that other members post with questions and comments. If that sounds kind of like a free-for-all, well, it is! One thing that helps the conversation flow is if you make an effort to change the subject line to match the subject of your post. If the guests or other list members respond to your post, they should keep the same subject line. That way, it is easier to follow the various strands of the conversation.

As the moderator, I have to approve each post that is sent to the list before it goes out to members, but, especially during a scheduled discussion, that happens almost immediately because I just stay online 24/7. I mostly just make sure the discussion stays civil and on topic, and as a government sponsored list, I can't let anything through that is considered "lobbying," and I also monitor for and delete any spam so it doesn't get through. Everything else I will approve. The guests will probably put some "food for thought" out at the beginning of each day and then just wait for responses and questions. When they see responses, they'll just respond to those. That's about it. If that still seems confusing, let me know and I'll try again!

I also want to especially invite you to take an active part in the discussion. You probably joined the list specifically because we were planning this discussion, and it sometimes happens that new members are hesitant to "get their feet wet!" Know that (all 64 of you!) new members are more than welcome to be the first to post a question or an observation. The "old" members will welcome your contributions.

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 242] Discussion begins! 5-16-11

Brian, Dr Donna J G

Greetings and welcome, one and all 1024 of you! Yes, we have had 63 new members join the Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List since the announcement for this discussion came out! We're excited to have you, and we encourage you, and "old" list members too, to jump right in on this discussion with your questions, comments, sharing of experiences, reactions, thoughts, observations, etc.!

Just a few suggestions to help with the flow of the discussion:

  • If you want to send a message to the list that opens a new line of discussion, use the subject line in your message to identify your topic and send the message to workforce@lincs.ed.gov.
  • If you are replying to any message, you only have to hit the "reply" button, and your message will come to the list.
  • Before you hit the "reply" button, check to see that the subject line of your message matches the content of your message. We may have several strands of conversation going at once in our discussion, and it is easier to follow the discussion if the subject line matches the content.
  • Also before you hit the "reply" button, edit the messages you are replying to by deleting the parts of those messages that are not pertinent to your message. This is especially helpful to any subscribers who have chosen to receive their list messages in digest format, so that their digest is not inordinately long.

Our guests will be posting their opening messages soon. I've been in contact with Gloria (Dr. Mwase) this morning, and she is ready to begin. She will send a message to the list with background information about the Breaking Through Initiative and some more specific information about today's question, which is, "How do you work across diverse programs and services to create real pathways for lower-skilled adults?" Questions or comments about this question or about any other aspect of workplace literacy are welcome at any time.

Thank you all for your interest. If you have questions for me about anything, you may send them directly to me at my personal email address off-list (see below). Let the discussion begin!

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 243] Introducing Breaking Through and Today’s Discussion 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Good morning everyone,

Thank you, Donna, for that wonderful introduction on Friday and lead in this morning. It is a great pleasure to be able to join you and the other members of the Workforce Competitiveness list for this discussion about Breaking Through. As you noted on Friday, Jobs for the Future is engaged in a number of initiatives to help lower-skilled adults get the skills they need to obtain family supporting jobs and help businesses to be more competitive.

My task this morning is three-fold:

  1. Provide a brief overview of Breaking Through and its results to date;
  2. Cue up other members of the Breaking Through network, who will be joining our discussion; and
  3. Launch today's topic!

So, here we go:

In partnership with the National Council for Workforce Education, Breaking Through began in 2004 with some national research seeking to address one question: What, if anything, are folks in the field doing to help lower-skilled adults (which we define as having eighth grade or less reading, writing, and math levels) enter into community college occupation and technical degree programs?

The answers we found were: "Not much". "It can't be done."

But, we also found some pockets of innovation out there and documented them in a report: Breaking Through: Helping Low-Skilled Adults Succeed in College and Careers. You can find this document on our website.

We also surfaced four high leverage strategies that were being implemented:

  • Accelerated pace of learning so students advance to credentials as quickly as possible, accomplished through strategies such as modularization and compression of courses and contextualization of remedial curriculum with occupational/technical content
  • Comprehensive support services, including trained advisors/mentors, academic support, and access to financial and social services that address factors that put low-income students at risk of not persisting and completing, and including effective college/transition counseling services;
  • Increased labor market connections and payoffs, so that pre-college and college-level instruction connect instructional content to work and students to employers, and so that pathways build in intermediate and “stackable” certifications that provide interim wage gains while students are still progressing through pathways; and
  • Aligned and linked programs that bridge the gap among remedial, non-credit, and credit programs to create clear and structured pathways to high demand occupations.

In 2005, we began a national demonstration, which further tested these strategies in community colleges across the country. Our approach was to focus not only on building the skills of our adult learners who were not "college ready", but also on helping our programs to become "ready" to better serve them. From 2008 to the present, we have been working to scale up this work (more on that later). We are currently working with 41 community colleges in 22 states, including the spread of these strategies to tribal colleges, to Latino serving institutions on the Texas-Mexico border and to state networks of colleges and adult basic education providers across the country.

We greatly appreciate the financial support of the Charles Steward Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, the OVAE/Ready for College Initiative/NC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation throughout the phases of our initiative.

Here's a quick summary of our results for some of our scaling up work (more information is available on our website as well).

  • 75% of participants successfully completed their program and entered credit pathways in construction, nursing, nurse’s assistant certification, and manufacturing
  • Of students who were unemployed prior to starting their career pathway program, 78% are now employed (72% in their career pathway field)
  • Higher percentages of students originally placed in developmental education becoming college-ready in both math and reading
  • High percentages of such students beginning to earn college credits toward a credential. For example, 72% passed all of their developmental math courses (versus 50% of the non-Breaking Through comparison group
  • 47-82% of students earned at least one postsecondary certificate (depending upon the program), with 16% earning an Associate's degree (significantly higher than research indicates this population is likely to achieve)
  • Current Breaking Through Scale-Up colleges are seeing retention rates averaging 75% - higher than the average for all first-time community college students
  • Breaking Through students are demonstrating powerful gains in learning. At one such college, North Carolina’s Durham Tech, 96% of students showed academic gains in reading; on average, Breaking Through students at Durham Tech demonstrated academic gains in reading of 1 grade level (.98).

We think these results are impressive, given the skill levels at which our students are starting. While the locus of our interventions have been focused on community colleges, we also believe that these same strategies can be applied and adapted by organizations or programs outside community colleges as well. I hope we'll talk a bit about this over the course of the week.

2. Introducing Breaking Through Practitioner-Experts

From the outset in Breaking Through, we recognized that the college partners with whom we were engaged were blazing a new trail in the field. These programs were developing new strategies (and adapting old ones) to better serve this lower-skilled adult population. Through the initiative, we created a "learning community" amongst these practitioner-experts to help them share effective practice and problem-solve together on common challenges. It is through their efforts, along with the support of JFF and NCWE, that we have been able to demonstrate success.

We are, therefore, delighted to have a few of these practitioners joining us for this discussion this week. They are:

  • Ellen O'Donnell, Dean, Division of Human Services, North Shore Community College
  • Pat Phillips, Associate Dean, School of Foundational Studies, Davidson County Community College
  • Amy Dalsimer, Director, Pre-College Academic Programming, LaGuardia Community College
  • Elaine Baker, Director, Breaking Through, Community College of Denver

Each of them will take an opportunity this morning to introduce themselves and their work in a separate email. (A few others may join us during the week as well, as they'll introduce themselves along the way, too.)

3. Launching today's topic!

We have decided to use questions centered around our four high leverage strategies as the topics for our discussion this week. We will address one question a day.

Of course, we will be happy to respond to questions not related to these topics and to continue strands began in previous days.

Today's topic question is:

How do you work across diverse programs and services to create real pathways for lower-skilled adults?

We know that many programs, even within community colleges, exist in silos. Adult basic education and ESOL programs are disconnected from workforce training programs (often non-credit), which are also often disconnected from credit-level programs within the college. This separation exists not only in programming, but in the administrative procedures and processes. For example, each of these programs often collect data on different indicators with different data collection systems that don't "speak" to each other, making it difficult to track how students are advancing along a pathway.

In reality, a pathway often doesn't exist, or hasn't been clearly defined, and usually hasn't been communicated to the adult learners. So, this is where we must begin our work.

We've implemented several approaches to help create pathways across programs and services for lower-skilled adults. These include:

  1. Aligning adult education programs with college
  2. Aligning noncredit courses and programs with academic courses and programs
  3. Aligning developmental education with technical education.

We look forward to sharing more about these approaches over the course of the day. However, we'd like our conversation to be guided by your interests. Plus, we're very interested in learning about your work, too.

So, what accomplishments or progress have you made in creating pathways for lower-skilled adults? What are the issues or challenges that you are confronting?

We're looking forward to your questions and comments!

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166
gmwase@jff.org
www.jff.org


[Workforce 244] RE: Introducing Breaking Through and Today's Discussion 5-16-11

Donna Miller-Parker

Regarding efforts to align non-credit courses with academic or professional-technical programs, we are beginning to have some success. The most successful initiatives are faculty-driven, if not faculty-instigated. .It is powerful when faculty get together and realize that there is significant overlap or duplication of their course outcomes and significant similarity between the student populations.

Creating the environment in which these conversations occur and then providing support to move them forward to action is an administrative challenge. It can also be a frustratingly time-consuming process!

Donna MIller-Parker

Dean for Basic & Transitional Studies

South Seattle Community College


[Workforce 245] Breaking Through 5-16-11

Pat Phillips

Hi,

I am Pat Phillips from Davidson County Community College in Lexington, NC. Our college has participated in Breaking Through since 2006 when we became a Breaking Through college through a generous donation from the Glaxo-Smith Cline Corporation located in Durham, NC. Our work in Breaking Through has allowed us to look at how to serve our lower-skilled adults more effectively and to transition them to credit career pathways as a more seamless transition from Adult Education.

At Davidson, we have developed and use contextualized curriculum and career oriented hands-on activities to engage and connect students to short-term credit career pathways through one and two semester certificate or diploma programs. As a part of their class work in Adult Basic Education (ABE) or General Educational Development (GED), students used reading, math and writing activities that are using materials they would encounter in their credit classes. This makes a real-life connection about why the students need to study reading, math and writing since it connects to their career goals and daily lives. While in phase one of Breaking Through, we found that students who used the contextualized curriculum and hands-on activities as a part of their program of study in ABE and GED transitioned to credit pathways at a rate of 72%.

In creating our contextualized curriculum pathways, we worked with all areas of the college, our local Employment Security Commission and our local Workforce Investment Board to determine which pathways would have the most opportunities for employment in our region. We involved faculty and staff from all departments in planning and development of the curriculum and credit pathways. Currently, we have 16 pathways that have been developed and are being used by our students.


[Workforce 246] Introducing Breaking Through and Today’s Discussion 5-16-11

Ellen Odonnell

Hello All,

Thank you Gloria, for inviting me to participate in this discussion. Per you request, I will give a brief introduction outlining our work at North Shore. Since 2006, I have coordinated the Breaking Through at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts. North Shore Community College has three main campuses located on the north shore of Boston. As a Breaking Through college, we developed a Child Development Associate (CDA) career pathway targeting Spanish speaking incumbent workers in the field of home-based child care. The CDA is a short-term, nationally recognized credential that we turned into credit courses with articulation into the Early Childhood Associate Degree program at the college. Our intent was to create a replicable model for assisting low-income, low-skilled adults attain credentials and degrees in career programs. We then used the CDA model to develop a an ESL/Certified Nursing Assistant career pathway that articulates into our Human Services Practitioner Associate Degree program.

Based on our success in these areas, we applied for and received a FIPSE grant to add additional career pathways in health care, paralegal/criminal justice, education, and business. We have incorporated the four high leverage strategies promoted by Breaking Through in our career pathways. Key features of are : "achievement coaches" to conduct outreach, intrusive advising, and assessment; contextualized ESL non-credit courses and workshops, contextualized developmental courses, hybrid course formats; bilingual orientations and study groups, personal development courses focused on particular careers, career maps, close collaboration among the critical departments on campus and with community-based organizations.

Ellen


[Workforce 247] Breaking Through 5-16-11

Victoria Lichty

Pat;

Would you be able to elaborate on the pathways you are using in your geographical area?

Thanks,

Vicky Lichty

Coordinator/Move Up Program

Reading Area Community College


[Workforce 248] Breaking Through - sustainability 5-16-11

John Dirkx

It is great to see Breaking Through a focus of discussion here on the Listserv. The efforts represented by institutions participating in Breaking Through clearly reflect many of the basic principles we have come to associated with adult learning. There is little doubt in my mind that we need more widespread application of the ideas and principles represented in this program.

What I am curious about, however, is how we are able to bring these wonderful, grant-supported ideas to scale and to be able to institutionalize the organizational, curricular, and pedagogical changes they imply.

jd

--

John M. Dirkx

Professor

Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education

Michigan State University

517-353-8927

FAX: 517-884-1392


[Workforce 250] Breaking Through 5-16-11

Pat Phillips

Victoria,

We currently have the following pathways:

  • Nurse Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Phlebotomy
  • Health Information Technology
  • Welding
  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  • Logistics
  • Plumbing Assistant
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Early Childhood
  • Business
  • Truck Driver Training
  • Automotive Technology

and two that are being developed now which are Industrial Maintenance and Advanced Manufacturing


[Workforce 249] Breaking Through - sustainability 5-16-11

Vickie Choitz

One challenge in taking promising programs to scale is securing funding. CLASP has authored a toolkit on how to use several federal funding streams to support career pathway and bridge approaches, specifically. Here is the link: http://www.clasp.org/postsecondary/pages?id=0003.

Vickie Choitz

Senior Policy Analyst

CLASP | 1200 18th Street NW | Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20036

p (202) 906-8048 | f (202) 842-2885 | c (202) 680-0308 |

vchoitz@clasp.org


[Workforce 251] Breaking Through: aligning credit and non-credit courses 5-16-11

Dr. Donna J G Brian

Donna,

Can you tell us what you had to do to "create the environment" that got faculty interested in having the conversations about aligning non-credit courses with the academic or professional-technical programs? If a student starts out in a non-credit course, can they skip some part of the beginning academic program and go into the next level after succeeding in their non-credit course?

Donna Brian


[Workforce 253] Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

David J. Rosen

Hello Gloria,

"Career Pathway" has a range of different definitions in K12, higher ed and adult ed. I particularly like the one below used in A Cross- Case Analysis of Career Pathway Programs (Page 10), National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at the University of Minnesota, October 2007. I think it suits adult basic education students well but also, since it is written from the learner (not institutional) point of view, would apply equally well to high school students and post- secondary students.

Career pathways attempt to provide low-skilled adults with a seamless system of coordinated, integrated, and focused steps leading to specific careers that offer labor-market benefits. They have been described as a new "systemic framework" for reforming the educational system. In a concept paper prepared by individuals associated with the College and Career Transition Initiative (CCTI) of the League for Innovation for Community Colleges and an initiative named Breaking Through affiliated with the National Council for Workforce Education and Jobs for the Future (JFF), the following definition was provided for career pathways: "A career pathway is a framework for connecting a series of educational programs with integrated work experience and support services, thereby enabling students and workers to combine school and work and advance over time to better jobs and higher levels of education and training" (Agrawal et al., 2007, p. 3).

I wonder if you -- and the other panelists -- could comment on this definition. Do you like it? If so, why, and in what particular ways do you find it useful in your work?

David J. Rosen

djrosen123 at gmail.com


[Workforce 252] Engaging the "Right" Faculty 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Thanks for your comment, Donna. Please share more about your work with aligning programs to create real pathways.

I completely agree that having the faculty engaged in and committed to this work is key. These are the folks who help to make learning successful in the classroom.

We often describe it as engaging the "right" faculty. Certainly, you need to identify the instructors who are willing to try new approaches that are more effective. Sometimes, these potential innovators are already in your current faculty or instructor pool. At other times, you may need to bring in some new folks who are ready to implement new ideas.

More than finding a handful of folks who can help with a small demonstration, we need to focus on recruiting, retaining, and supporting (professionally and financially) an ever increasing cadre of faculty across the spectrum (ABE/ESL/GED, workforce training, and credit level programs).

Yet, we need strong professional development to ensure that faculty are aware of effective approaches and are utilizing them in their programs. And we need resources to support these hard-working faculty.

To all: What are some of the strategies that you are finding helpful in getting your faculty on board? What have you done to help credit level faculty see and support the potential of your lower-skilled adult learners? What challenges are you confronting in this regard?

Gloria


[Workforce 254] working across diverse programs 5-16-11

Elaine Baker

Hi, this is Elaine Baker, Breaking Through project director at the Community College of Denver and former project director for Colorado SUN, a seven college initiative funded under the OVAE "Ready for College" grant. Before coming to CCD I worked as a GED and family literacy instructor, as well as curriculum coordinator for a large non-profit adult education provider in Denver. My work at CCD has involved writing and directing grants for workplace literacy, welfare to work programs, and accelerated developmental learning communities for academically underprepared students, including a dedicated program for GED completers piloted with Breaking Through funds, called "College Completion".

What struck me during the "Ready for College" project was how the different funding streams, accountability structures and staffing patterns worked against joint efforts to create effective transition programs, despite the fact that both entities were dedicated to the students that we shared. I think the key disconnect was the different accountability systems that we worked under. It was unreasonable to expect adult educators to add college preparation onto their already heavy workload in a time when they were evaluated based on TABE level gains and GED attainment. What allowed us to accomplish our goal of transitioning students from ABE to college, in addition to a small amount of funding, was the dedication of both groups and the specific structuring of opportunities for both groups to look at issues of pedagogy, accountability, effective supports, policy, and data. Communication around these issues reduced tension between the two systems and allowed us to work together to create a truly exciting and effective bridge program, College Connection. They did not, however, solve these issues. What they did accomplish was to establish a platform for ongoing communication and feedback to our respective administrations. Our program outcomes were strong, and some colleges found ways to continue " College Connection", but it was clear to me that without policy changes at OVAE these programs would not be adopted outside of a few committed partnerships. The dedication and depth of experience of adult educators and community college developmental education instructors is stunning, but without support from OVAE and without incentives to serve this high-risk population, I don't see the support for the kind of collaboration that is necessary to "work across diverse programs". I'd be happy to hear how others have sustained their efforts.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost,

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 255] Breaking Through at LaGuardia Community College 5-16-11

Amy Dalsimer

Hi all,

Thank you, Donna and Gloria, for inviting me to participate in the discussion this week. I am Amy Dalsimer from LaGuardia Community College at the City University of New York. LaGuardia joined the Breaking Through Initiative in 2006 and, with generous support from MetLife Foundation, developed the GED Bridge to College and Career Program. Recognizing that many low-skilled adults need to first earn the GED in order to enroll in the majority of NY’s post-secondary educational programs, the GED Bridge Program model strengthens the pipeline from enrollment in GED/adult education classes to post-secondary attainment.

The Bridge model is a rigorous GED preparatory program that develops academic skills through sector-focused, contextualized instruction and integrated career pathways activities to bolster success on the GED exam and the transition to post-secondary education. The program has successfully served more than 600 students since inception and LAGCC is now partnered with MDRC to complete a randomized small scale evaluation of the model’s effectiveness.

Building on the experience and efforts of our Breaking Through peer group, LAGCC has also recently initiated a number of integrated health care career pathways programs (similar to I-BEST but crafted to local conditions) that have been very successful in accelerating adult learners’ ability to access and succeed in post-secondary training programs in high demand occupations.

Looking forward to the discussion.

Best,

Amy


[Workforce 256] Re: Engaging the "Right" Faculty 5-16-11

Pat Phillips

Donna,

At Davidson CCC, we began our development of the pathways by engaging faculty from both the credit and non-credit sides of the house. We then chose faculty from both areas who were excited and interested to work with us in the development of the curriculum and the hands-on activities with the students. Having faculty who are excited about the changes and are interested in the development of the pathways made our jobs easier and less stressful to get our pathways developed. Also, having credit and non-credit faculty working together on the same project was a good growth opportunity for both faculty groups and helped both groups appreciate the jobs of the other group more.


[Workforce 257] Re: Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

Pat Phillips

I do agree with the definitions below which focus on seamless pathways and connections for low-skilled adults. The more seamless we can make our programs when students transition, the better it works for the students. Low-skilled adults have many barriers to overcome in entry and completion of pathways, so the connection of services and support is critical to most of them for their success.


[Workforce 258] Re: Breaking through - sustainability 5-16-11

Stephanie Moran

I echo John's question about larger-scale replications; our SUN/College Connection program in Colorado and 3 other states was highly successful but costly to implement, and OVAE published our results (e.g., see CLASP's reference in its March 2011 bulletin). Accelerated instruction, strong college navigational support focusing on removing barriers to long-term success, contextualized learning, creating partnership among adult ed centers, community colleges, and workforce centers-these all work, and I hope the governmental entities take them all into consideration vs. funding only separate, siloed strands.

Stephanie


[Workforce 259] Re: Engaging the "Right" Faculty 5-16-11

Ellen Odonnell

When we started creating career pathways, we formed a working group that included developmental faculty in math, communications skills and ESL, in addition to non-credit and credit content faculty. Our focus was on recruiting faculty who were willing to take risks, were open to adopting new strategies, and were able to influence their departmental colleagues. In addition, we invited representatives from Student Support and Advising, Grants, Educational Testing, ABE/GED at the college, our learning communities, community-based organizations and our Workforce Investment Board to join us. Our goal was to form a strong cross-component group to promote and support this important work.

Ellen


[Workforce 260] Re: Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

Kristin Ockert

We believe that the career pathways concept does and should include services for the "most in need," as well as higher level ABE and ESL students. It is important that a definition be used that supports contextualized ramps-up-to occupational instruction for students who begin with very low skills, as well as integrated/coordinated basic skills instruction for specific careers at higher levels. I think this one does.

Kristin Ockert

Policy Associate – ABE Office

WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

1300 Quince St.

PO Box 42495

Olympia, WA 98504-2495

Phone: 360- 704-4361


[Workforce 261] Making Pathways Explicit 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Thanks, Ellen.

I know that North Shore has created a great career map to illustrate the early childhood education pathway. While we'll talk more about the use of these tools for career exploration, perhaps you can share your map as an illustration of your pathway? Sometimes it's helpful to see a visual.

Gloria


[Workforce 262] Re: Breaking through - scale and sustainability 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi John,

Well . . . you've asked the million dollar question and it's a hard one!

We're currently in the process of trying to answer this question, but let me share some of what we've been doing thus far.

First, let me talk about scale.

Drawing from some prior work, we've develop some "dimensions of scale" as a framework for how we build out from small demonstration programs to expand our impact. These are part of a "scaling tool" we are releasing shortly, but here's a quick summary.

We believe institutions and/or organizations need to address the following issues to help get to scale.

  1. Programmatic scale: An expansion strategy that aims to significantly increase student recruitment, progression and completion in Breaking Through pathways. (This might mean more students in existing pathways or more pathways engaging more students.)
  2. Internal partnerships: A collective effort by a wide spectrum of people across multiple department of the college. (While some cross-institutional group is needed to even launch a Breaking Through project, the idea here is that more and more folks are getting on board in support of this work.)
  3. External partnerships: Strong relationships with employers, workforce investment boards, and community-based organizations. (Again, these are growing beyond the initial collaboration.)
  4. Communications: An active, intentional outreach strategy, including partners as well as those not involved in Breaking Through.
  5. Sustainability: Sufficient funding and staff capacity to maintain and grow the Breaking Through initiative beyond the grant period.
  6. Data: Systemic data collection to help make the case about effectiveness to help support scale and sustainability.
  7. Policy: Identification of institutional and state policies that support or impede program growth.
  8. Leadership: Ongoing, increasing, and visible support from senior leadership and a centralized decision-making process as well as a defined leadership transition strategy.

This framework is helping us work with our college partners to identify areas they need to develop or strengthen to promote scale. You can read some case studies about some of them in a new publication: Achieving Ambitious Goals: Case Studies of Scaling Up Programs for Advancing Low-Skilled Adults.

At the same time, we are working with several state networks (in KY, NC, and MI) that are engaging multiple institutions in the state that are implementing these strategies. State networks bring together key state agencies (overseeing adult education, workforce development, higher education, TANF, etc) to spread the innovation across multiple campuses and look at state policies across multiple agencies that can support this broader dissemination. We think the state network approach has shown some real promise, and are expanding our focus in this area through a new initiative focused on states and integrated pathways (more on that later).

So, these efforts are helping us think about scale and some of our college partners have been implementing them in their work.

But how do you get to larger scale, when, in this financial climate, you're having a hard time maintaining the good work you've been doing in smaller, demonstration programs?

This is where we currently focused. As much as possible, folks have been working to embed these strategies within existing work with (more or less) sustainable funding sources. So, even if there are some cuts, the work is continuing. At the program/institution and state level, there are lots of efforts underway to braid funding to make these pathways viable. There is no one strategy in this regard, but tools like the one that my colleague, Vickie Choitz, mentioned can be very helpful in identifying the funding sources that are available to scale and sustain these programs.

While we have achieved some strong results, one area where we are focusing more is in documenting program costs. This is the other side of the sustainability question. Documenting costs more systematically can help us make the case to the funding sources about scale and sustainability. Also, as resources continue to be constrained, we want to be able to demonstrate that these programs are helping students be successful and are cost-effective, too, and therefore worthy of ongoing investment. But it takes some time to get to the point where the program model is "solid", as a lot of experimentation and change occurs in the early stages of demonstration.

So, we're developing some tools around program costs, too, and will be sharing these as well. Some colleges have already been doing some of this work. For example, perhaps Elaine Baker at Community College of Denver can share about their experience in this regard.

But there is still a lot to figure out here. How do we scale up the supportive services that are often critical to the success of this population? How do you scale up the professional development, so that these effective strategies are embraced by most, if not all, faculty? We're working with our partners to develop answers to these questions.

We agree that changes need to made at the state and federal levels to enhance and sustain these efforts. Some of these changes are already underway at OVAE, which has been a strong supporter of Breaking Through. We envision that these changes will be further advanced when WIA is reauthorized.

We know it's hard to think about adopting or adapting new strategies when its hard to do the work you have on your plates currently with the resources that you have. But if we can get better results with our students, these strategies are worth considering and implementing, and we need to figure out (together) how to develop and sustain this work.

I'd love to hear what others are doing around the scale and sustainability question.

Gloria


[Workforce 263] Re: Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

Jane Robin Shore

Hi there,

I wonder if there might be someone who can elaborate on how the program discussed, the Breaking Through Initiative, has addressed the needs of adult ESL learners in transition OR how programs you are familiar with might be doing so? I have seen mention of contextualized non-credit Adult ESL courses, bilingual orientations, and a focus on career pathways for higher level ESL learners. Are there any other specific ways in which such initiatives are reaching the needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse adult learners that so often are a large part of adult ed and developmental programs in community colleges?

Thank you,

Jane

Jane R. Shore, Ed.D

Research Scientist

Educational Testing Service

jshore@ets.org


[Workforce 264] Re: Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi David,

Yes, I like these definitions. They include all the elements that we have found to be important to our work --seamless pathways, accelerated learning, supportive services, and labor market value-- all with a focus on lower-skilled adults as a target population.

The fact is that career pathways are not "skill-level" specific. Once the pathway is defined, anyone at any skill level should be able to access it. In addition, there should be multiple entry and exit points, as we know that adult learners often have to "stop out" for work or other reasons.

However, we do absolutely support a focus on lower-skilled adults. Those with higher skills often don't need our assistance in navigating education and training leading to higher paying careers.

To all: In general, I think most people agree with the career pathway concept. It's operationalizing it by "connecting the dots" that is often a challenge. What issues are you confronting in this regard? Are there particular partners or programs you are having a hard time getting involved?

Gloria


[Workforce 265] Engaging English Language Learners 5-16-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi Donna,

Several of our Breaking Through partners have been engaged in engaging English language learners in their Breaking Through programs. These include North Shore Community College and Community College of Denver, who are in this discussion, as well as Cerritos College, the Community College of San Francisco and others.

I'll let them weigh in about their own programs.

We also have a Breaking Through network in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that is focused on Latino lower-skilled adults. My colleague, Heide Wrigley of Literacy Work International, who is also on this list, will be presenting about some of this work in South Texas and other efforts to transition English language learners during a May 30-June 3 joint discussion with this list and the English Language Acquisition list. However, she will likely weigh in a moment on this question, too.

Stay tuned!

Gloria


[Workforce 266] Re: Engaging the "Right" Faculty 5-16-11

Amy Dalsimer

Along with funding considerations, I think professional development is an essential component in scaling up.

At LaGuardia, we have sponsored a variety of professional and curriculum development activities to bring basic skills, occupational, and degree program faculty together to work on non-credit to credit career pathways initiatives. To find faculty that are interested and willing to try something new, we have offered campus workshops in designing contextualized curriculum so instructors can explore the rationale for and goals of contextualized basic skills instruction, make connections between effective teaching strategies and sector-focused content, and begin to develop lessons collaboratively with their peers.

When piloting a new integrated or contextualized program, we try to build in time and resources for co-planning and curriculum development so the basic skills and content faculty can work together outside of class before and during the semester. Finally, we used technology to host a successful multi-session bicoastal faculty professional development project to exchange ideas and share best practices with our colleagues in Washington State.

Amy M. Dalsimer

Director, Pre-College Academic Programming

LaGuardia Community College/CUNY

C Building, Room C-400

31-10 Thomson Avenue

Long Island City, NY 11101

www.lagcc.cuny.edu

718-482-5357/or

718-482-5385

adalsimer@lagcc.cuny.edu
http://www.laguardia.edu/pcap/


[Workforce 267] any online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-16-11

Julie Strawn

One aspect of the scale question is the time consuming nature of developing new contextualized basic skills and ESL curricula for lower skilled, career pathways students. Can anyone suggest good websites that collect and share such curricula free of charge with other educators?

[Workforce 268] Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

Valerie Hunt

David

Could you email me the referenced article on career pathways. Since our legislature now separates vocational/technical from K-12, it has been a challenge to enroll high school youth into those programs. Since the dropout rate nationally is bordering on 60% and higher for minority youth, it behooves all of us to interest youth in PSEO, post secondary education opportunity courses, where they may enroll in college classes free while attending high school. I like these "bridge" programs to expose youth to higher education and even "lower functioning" youth, once challenged and interested, begin to accelerate. I worked with the "sister" program to Elaine Baker's at Community College of Denver, only working with the disabled and found even those learning disabled can complete programs given tutoring support.

Valerie Hunt M.A., CRC

Director of Training and Employment Services

The Empowerment Program

1600 York Street

Denver, CO 80206

Phone: 303-320-1989

Fax: 303-320-3987

valerie-hunt@empowermentprogram.org


[Workforce 269] career pathway definition 5-16-11

Elaine Baker

I think the definition of career pathway that David cited from CCTI that mentions an "integrated work experience" that combines school are work is a laudable, but elusive goal within our current fiscal climate and organizational constraints. At the same time, I think we can serve a significant number of students by helping them identify an appropriate career pathway and giving them a sense of the academic skills needed in their prospective careers by contextualizing curriculum that integrates vocational and academic skills. In some cases this might include work experience, but the intensity/costs of the services that are required to support this model is prohibitive under our current financing models. Unless the funding model supports the development and monitoring of internships and job placement, the number of students who can be served with an "integrated work experience" model will remain a small percentage of our population. Career pathway programs are the gold standard, but the costs are prohibitive in relationship to the numbers of students who need services. Having said that, there are things that can be done to move students along the path to a career. Many of these strategies were implemented by Breaking Through colleges over the course of the last six years. These include thoughtful career guidance and exploration presented through an integrated English and reading curriculum; an understanding of how to use labor market information, informational interviews and job shadows; support services that address non-academic challenges; and contextualized curriculum for specific occupational clusters.

Elaine Baker


[Workforce 272] Re: Breaking Through: aligning credit and non-credit courses 5-16-11

Jean McAlister

We have worked with chairpersons in technology, hospitality studies and healthcare to articulate our career training programs. Our recently articulated was Solar Professional. Students earn between 12-24 credits upon graduation, depending on program. We have students complete credit applications at the start of the program. The students not only feel part of the college community from the beginning, but have access to Microsoft software discounts. We are now starting to have students take the ACCUPLACER as a class as they near completion, to try to reduce the testing barrier and get started in credit programs.

Additionally, we are offering non-credit customized training courses that articulate to the hospitality program. Our hospitality faculty teach them. We had 45 in program last year, and approx. 15 earned 12 credits (professional studies certificate). But all received at least 3 credits.

To be successful in CE to CR, an institution does indeed need chairpersons and faculty who understand the academic rigor of a CE career training program.


[Workforce 271] Re: Breaking Through: aligning credit and non-credit courses 5-16-11

Donna Miller-Parker

We had a little money (less than $1000) to pay faculty to participate in a Faculty Inquiry Group. I asked some questions of ABE and Math Faculty about what they were teaching, what texts they were using, and what their student population looked like. Then I mentioned to the other group that I saw a lot of overlap and that they might find it useful to share with each other, come up with an inquiry question, and be paid to participate in the discussions and the inquiry activities. About four faculty indicated an interest in looking into it. From the first conversation, they determined that there were opportunities to streamline the path from basic studies through developmental math and into college-level math. Their inquiry project (designed by them) involves using the same textbook in the highest level of ABE Math and the lowest level of Developmental Math. They are also administering the same end of quarter assessment. If it shows that the students are equally successful, they expect to allow successful ABE students to skip the first level of the developmental math sequence. It may spread to other math courses. They have also come up with a proposal to have a shared basic-level Math lab with tutors who specialize in working with lower-level and math-challenged students so now we're looking for a way to fund that.

An interesting side effect is that English faculty observed this and started their own conversation with our GED faculty. Their first conversation led to the premise that a student who writes a strong GED essay is ready for English 101 and could skip the Developmental English sequence altogether. That remains to be tested and determined, but is an indication of the potential for this project. If as a Dean I had proposed that students who receive a passing score on the GED Writing Test should be admitted directly into English 101, I doubt that it would have been welcomed!

This may be one of the very few benefits to the current economic climate. Everyone understands and acknowledges that students can't afford any extra time or tuition and that the college can't afford to offer classes which are duplicative. It makes it easier to have conversations about how to streamline things!

Another Donna !

Donna Miller-Parker, Dean for Basic & Transitional Studies

South Seattle Community College

6000 16th Ave. SW

Seattle, WA 98106-1499

(934) 768-6869

donna.miller-parker@seattlecolleges.edu

www.southseattle.edu


[Workforce 270] Re: any online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-16-11

David J. Rosen

Julie, and others

There's a web page on the Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki to gather and list free, work-contextualized basic skills and ESOL curricula. It isn't comprehensive, and it relies heavily on U.K. and Canadian resources (perhaps because there aren't as many workplace or workforce curricula available on the web for free in the U.S. ) The list will get better if people participating in this discussion -- and others in the LINCS Workplace Competitiveness Discussion Group -- would add good, free workplace curriculum resources they know about on that page. There are directions for how to do that at the bottom of the page.

http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Work-contextualized_curriculum

While you're there, if this is your first time at the ALE Wiki, go to http://wiki.literacytent.org to see the other topics included in the wiki's 1470 pages.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com


[Workforce 274] Re: Breaking Through's Definition of a Career Pathway 5-16-11

David J. Rosen

Valerie and others,

The paper I referenced with the career pathway definition (page 10) will be found at

http://136.165.122.102/UserFiles/File/pubs/Career_Pathways.pdf

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com


[Workforce 275] Recapping Monday's Discussion 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

Hello everyone,

Thank you for an engaging discussion yesterday on our question: How do you work across diverse programs and services to create real pathways for lower-skilled adults?

A number of thoughtful points were raised, which I will briefly summarize here, before leaving you with a few questions to help you assess your own work or capacity in this area.

Of course, we will likely continue some of the threads that we began yesterday, and we are happy to do so. So, keep the comments and questions coming!

Yesterday, we noted that:

  • We need to envision and develop career pathways that link programs and services in seamless way, while providing opportunities for accelerated learning offered with needed supports and resulting in credentials with labor market value.
  • The is a great desire to focus on those most in need in our career pathways programs.
  • Creating pathways often means that we have to align programs across adult basic education/ESOL/GED, noncredit workforce training and credit level programs, though funding silos can make this a challenge.
  • Fostering alignment requires partnerships with key department and institutions in the college as well as potential partners external to it. These include adult education and developmental education units, credit level deans and faculty, customized training divisions, and folks engaged in student enrollment management (admissions, registrar, financial aid), and student support services. It also includes employers, Workforce Investment Boards, and community-based partners.
  • Promoting alignment also means we need to look at how the curricula in one program is articulated so that the exit standards of one program or course align with the entry standards of the next program or course along the career path.
  • Finding ways to offer credit, even in early courses, is a powerful way to strengthen motivation of adult learners to continue along a pathway.
  • Valuing and supporting faculty engagement around their own alignment with each other and with faculty in other programs is an important way to garner critical buy-in to the career pathway programs being developed. Once faculty get committed, they often draw in their peers!

Of course, we also talked about "small" issues like scale and sustainability and professional development :-), and we'll likely return to these issues throughout the week.

As you think about your own work, here are some questions you might consider about your own capacity and areas where you might need to strengthen it. (These questions are drawn from our Career Pathways Self Assessment Tool.)

  1. Do you have clear pathways from adult education programs (ABE, ASE, GED, ESOL, etc.) to postsecondary workforce education programs?
  2. Do you have collaboration among administrators, faculty, counselors, and other key staff to ensure cohesive curricular connections across programs?
  3. Does the college integrate adult education into the structural decision-making bodies of the colleges (e.g. faculty senate, President’s Cabinet/senior leadership team, or other subcommittees of shared governance)?
  4. Do you have adult education (ABE, ASE, GED, and ESOL) connected to workforce education and college curriculum, with aligned course content and credentials throughout the adult career pathway?
  5. Do you have curricula aligned with industry-recognized skills and knowledge leading to specific family sustainable jobs and career opportunities?
  6. Do you allow dual and/or co-enrollment on various levels, including adult education, ESL, developmental and college-level programs, encouraging acceleration through the curriculum?
  7. Do you have easy-to-navigate transitions from non-credit to credit curriculum?
  8. Do you have multiple entry, exit, and re-entry points that lead to meaningful certifications, degrees, and credentials?
  9. Do you have clear roadmaps (plans, guides) for students to chart their course to and through the program?
  10. Do you have meaningful professional development opportunities provided to faculty and other staff?

Please let me know if you have any questions about these questions. :-)

Now, on to Tuesday's discussion . . .

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166
gmwase@jff.org
http://www.jff.org


[Workforce 276] Re: any online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula 5-17-11

Jennifer Vanek

Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development and our State Department of Education have a site for banking new curricula. The site launched late last year. Content is being added gradually. I think this will be a huge bank someday soon! Many of the courses and materials developed and then shared on this site were funded by our State of MN FastTRAC (our career pathways and transitions program). Here’s the link to the site: http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/mnrocapp/SearchMain.aspx


[Workforce 276] Re: Recapping Monday's Discussion 5-17-11

Heide Wrigley

Hello everyone

This is Heide Spruck Wrigley, a consultant for Jobs for the Future in ESL issues. In response to questions and concerns about pathways for adult learners with ESL backgrounds, we will have a follow on discussion in early June, entitled Transitioning Language Minority Adults to Work and Training. But I will try to chime in with examples from the road this week as well .

Best

Heide

Heide Spruck Wrigley

Literacywork International


[Workforce 277] How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

Welcome back!

Thanks for a lively discussion yesterday, which I have recapped in a separate email.

This email is to launch today's discussion, which will focus on the question in the subject line: How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students?

It's no surprise that adult learners with low-skills have a longer path to travel, just based on their skill levels. The myriad issues and life challenges that these students confront -- including working full-time and pursuing education part-time -- can make that path still longer. However, are we making their pathways unnecessarily longer than it needs to be by the way we are designing are programs?

As an example, students who start as English language learners, often follow a sequential and lengthy pathway: ESOL (multiple levels) to ABE (multiple levels) to GED classes. After several years of instruction, if they persist, get their GED and want to transition to college, they may take the college placement test and fall into developmental education. Then they may have years of developmental education and, if they complete that sequence without dropping out, they finally enter the occupational training program that was their goal at the outset of their educational journey. After another year or so, they may have a credential that can get them a job or better job in their regional labor market.

There are a number of "ifs" here, because we know that many of our students give up long before they get to the end of this pathway. The "barrier of time" is a significant one, because while our students have significant academic skill gaps, the length of time it takes to close the gaps often work against the motivation, persistence, and retention necessary to do so.

Surely, there is a better way.

Breaking Through colleges have been implementing a number of strategies focused on "accelerating the pace of learning" that have shown some success in reducing time to completion for lower-skilled students.

These include:

  • Compress the material for two courses into the time of one course-an approach sometimes called "accelerated learning."
  • Customize the content and delivery of remediation to meet individual students' needs.
  • Contextualize remedial content for the occupation or industry in which the student seeks to advance.
  • Integrate basic skills development with occupational training to academic and technical skills concurrently.

Our guest practitioner-experts will share about the work they have been doing related to these strategies, including some of the issues and challenges they have confronted, and how they have overcome them.

Of course, we also want to hear about your efforts in this regard, so please tell us about your work.

We know there are a number of tools out there that might be helpful, too. For instance, we developed a Contextualization Toolkit as a guide for faculty or instructors seeking to contextualize their curricula. You can find it at http://www.jff.org/publications/education/breaking-through-practice-guide/1059.

If you have other resources related to accelerating the pace of learning that you'd like to share, please do so.

Looking forward to the conversation!

Gloria


[Workforce 279] Re: How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-17-11

Pat Phillips

At Davidson CCC, we have used several strategies to accelerate learning for our students. The most recent is a program that the NC General Assembly passed in the fall of 2010 which allows us to enroll and waive tuition for students in credit classes which lead to a certificate or a diploma while they are in the GED classes working toward a high school credential. This is helping us remove a previous barrier for students, which was that they could not afford tuition for classes because at our school , students did not qualify for financial aid without a high school diploma.

Another acceleration strategy that we use at Davidson is the combination of developmental reading and English into one course to accelerate students time in developmental studies classes. We also have combined our two lower level developmental math into 2 eight week modular sections to allow students to move at their own pace. Most can complete two developmental math courses in one semester.

A third component to our acceleration strategies is the use of contextualized curriculum in the GED and ABE classes and in some developmental classes. Making the connections to students' vocational aptitude and interest areas has helped us build the mindset that a high school diploma is not enough and thereby has helped us transition more students directly after completing the GED. Now with the Basic Skills Plus, we can work to transition them while they are working to complete the GED!


[Workforce 280] Re: any online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi Julie,

OVAE has launched a new initiative called Designing Instruction for Career Pathways, which will be collecting and disseminating curricula for bridge programs, among other things. The initiative is being led by Jeff Fantine of DTI/Kratos, who was the former director of adult education for Maine, which has a very successful transition initiative.

Folks can learn more about the Designing Instruction initiative by going to: http://www.acp-sc.org/

Gloria


[Workforce 281] Re: How do you accelerate learning to reduce timetocompletion for low-skilled students 5-17-11

Julie Strawn

that's terrific that NC is waiving tuition for those students! Another option (not nearly as good, though) is for programs to help students use the new federal path to student aid eligibility through completing six credits successfully instead of passing an Ability to Benefit test. We've written a short summary of the new policy, for those who want to learn more:
http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/Ability-to-Benefit-Final.pdf



Julie Strawn

Senior Fellow

CLASP | 9131 East 29th Avenue | Denver CO 80238

p (303) 386-2306 | jstrawn@clasp.org


[Workforce 282] Re: any online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Wendy McDowell

I noticed this site asks for log-in email and password. How can people outside of Minnesota register to use this site?

Thanks,

Wendy


[Workforce 283] online resources for educators looking for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Dr. Donna J G Brian

Wendy and others,

The site does ask you to log in, but if you just go ahead and click the information you want to see at the bottom, it lets you see it with logging in.

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 284] How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

Pat, you have a lot going on at Davidson! :-)

It strikes me that you have quite a portfolio of accelerated strategies -- integrated programs that combine basic skills and occupational training through Basic Skills Plus; linked or combined courses that compress instruction; and contextualized courses/curricula that serve as on-ramps into particular pathways (about 16, which you listed yesterday). It's great to see how they link together to help advance your students.

But how did you get started? What were some of the road blocks you had to work around? And what have been some of your results to date?

Gloria


[Workforce 285] acceleration 5-17-11

Elaine Baker

Acceleration of basic skills is certainly possible, as we are learning from several sources. The key seems to be related to the intensity of instruction and the redesign of curriculum. At the Community College of Denver, we adapted a successful accelerated developmental education learning community format that was initially funded by the Lumina Foundation to our GED population as part of a Breaking Through grant. The result was an eight-week summer bridge, four hours a day, four days a week, with a two-hour block for math and a two hour block for English/reading and a one-hour student success course. The program, called "College Connection", showed strong gains in both OVAE levels and ACCUPLACER levels, with strong college enrollment and retention. It was replicated at seven community colleges through a "Ready for College" grant. I will try to find the links to different reports that detail the project. Two of the colleges have continued the program as a seven-week credit bearing offering that allows students to complete several levels of remediation and enroll in college courses in the last half of the semester. One has continued as a summer bridge.

Pedagogy and logistics are all challenges, but the greatest programmatic challenge is finding funding for a part-time case manager, which we call a "navigator", whose job includes recruitment, screening, helping students access support services and working with students on negotiating college processes. Curriculum redesign is not the challenge. The greatest student challenge is students' busy lives and the difficulty of committing to the hours needed to accelerate effectively. Contextualization is a strategy within acceleration, as it is within learning in general. It creates efficiencies in skill acquisition, increases motivation and gives students the opportunity to engage in real=life applications. The learning community format creates a support community for students during and after the program. I think of acceleration as the reason that students come to the program, and the learning community and the interactive pedagogy as the reason that students succeed. Accelerated bridge programs that lead to specific career pathways are even more effective, but they have their own challenges, such as identifying enough students who are interested in a specific occupation who can meet at the same time, and identifying occupations that have sufficient labor market demand to be viable for multiple semesters.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 286] Recapping Monday’s Discussion 5-17-11

Barbara Tondre

Gloria and Colleagues:

I know that La Guardia Community College is hosting a "Designing a Contextualized GED Course" workshop on June 3 and 10. There has been some discussion about providing a distance option of the workshop for those of us in other parts of the country who cannot make it to La Guardia next month. I really want to encourage such an endeavor. Discussion is good, but hands on is always better. I'd like to encourage successful programs to make use of distance learning to share their successes and help others with the how to's.

Barbara Tondre

Texas LEARNS


[Workforce 288] Using Technology for Professional Development 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

Thank you Barbara.

I've sat in on just a segment of the LaGuardia workshop and it's not only worthwhile in terms of learning about contextualization, but a lot of fun, too! I hope others will check it out.

However, your point about using technology is a good one. Most of our programs use technology in instruction in one way or another.

To all: What have you been doing around using technology for professional development related to helping low-skilled adults advance along a career pathway?

We'd love to hear about your efforts!

Gloria


[Workforce 287] Recapping Monday’s Discussion 5-17-11

Dr. Donna JG Brian

Find information about the course Barbara mentions below at http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/uploadedFiles/ACE/pdf/Designing-a-Contextualized-GED-Course2.pdf

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 289] How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-17-11

Pat Phillips

In planning stages and starting any new idea, it is always key for us at Davidson to have buy-in from the top. That way there are no surprises. Therefore, in any new initiative, we begin with our president and academic vice-president to present ideas and seek their feedback. That means that we have their support from the very beginnings as we undertake a change in the old way of doing things.

A second suggestion is that you choose people to help you with planning and implementation who are fully supportive of the idea. When we changed to our combined English and reading classes last fall, the dean and I interviewed all of our full-time and adjunct faculty about their interest and willingness to change the way they were teaching to teach these new classes.. We offered professional development over the summer for those who were interested. It was critical to the success of our students to have faculty who were teaching them and were enthusiastic about the subject being taught. That is one question we frequently ask at Davidson. Do we have the right person in the right position, or do we need to make a change in roles? Sometimes that is hard, but is critical to success. We had a meeting with our developmental math faculty last week about going completely to the modularized sections in fall of 2011 and will offer them the same support for professional development that was offered to the English and reading faculty last summer..

Continued funding and sustainability is always an issue for new initiatives. However, if you have data about student success and keep the administration aware of the success of your students, you are more likely to have continued support for sustainability of the program, at least from our experience at Davidson.

If I could say one thing we have learned by experience: it is better to over-communicate with those involved in the change than to under-communicate.

Results and evaluations to date: As I discussed yesterday, more of our students who use the contextualized curriculum transition to credit programs. In our combined developmental English and reading courses, students can complete two developmental classes in one semester in the combined course. That helps students accelerate and also not spend more financial aid on developmental courses that will not give them any credit. Our pilot modularized math course this spring had a 72% retention rate and a 100% pass rate of those


[Workforce 290] online resources for career pathway bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Jennifer Vanek

To access the MN Repository of Coursework, go to http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/mnrocapp/

Here's a screen shot that shows you where to click: http://screencast.com/t/xEZw7unz


[Workforce 291] acceleration 5-17-11

Jennifer Vanek

In MN FastTRAC programs in St. Paul MN, one strategy we've used for acceleration of instruction is to require an online component to our FastTRAC bridge course work. The online work does two things. First, it give learners a second venue for instruction and practice that complements what they see in class. Second, it requires them to get used to online learning before they get to post-secondary classes. (Hamline University/ATLAS reported in the ATLAS 2008 Instructional Practices Alignment Survey that 70% of all MN State


[Workforce 292] any online resources for career pathways bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Robert Purga

This looks like a very good resource/initiative.


[Workforce 293] acceleration 5-17-11

Gloria Mwase

We know that not all students are prepared for accelerated programs, especially those that compress instruction. Also, those who think they are ready may not be able to keep up for a number of reasons.

Have you developed any different assessments for students going into these programs or plans for those who might fall behind?

Gloria


[Workforce 294] any online resources for career pathways bridge curricula? 5-17-11

Stephanie Moran

Debra Bragg worked with us on the SUN/College Connection grant as our external evaluator, and Jeff Fantine really knows his stuff, so this is a welcome resource.


[Workforce 295] Contextualized career pathway curricula 5-17-11

Paul Jurmo

Hello, All,

Thanks for the interesting and important discussion on how to build effective career pathway systems.

Well-designed, contextualized, integrated curricula that use effective adult education practices and respond to both learner and employer interests are a big piece of the puzzle. A fair amount of work has been done over the past two decades in this area in the US and other countries, though much of that work (including considerable work done with federal funding) is sitting in various archives (and probably should be re-examined and updated). Here is an example of one such program:

In a project funded by North Jersey WIRED (a US Department of Labor Initiative) a few years ago, a team at a community college developed nine curricula that were to serve in a career pathway initiative for the transportation/logistics/distribution (TLD) industry (a major industry not only in the major international transportation hub of northern New Jersey but in much of the US). The courses covered these topics:

  • "Introduction to TLD Careers": This PowerPoint described the industry, the jobs in it, the skills and other requirements of those jobs, and where to go for more information. It was used in recruiting sessions for the TLD program and in the "TLD Career Planning" course described below.
  • "TLD Career Planning": This 24-to-36 hour course went into more depth about the types of jobs available in the TLD industry (e.g., everything from truck driver to mechanic to warehouse "picker/packer" to dispatcher to purchasing agent). Participants used web sites (e.g., the Bureau of Labor Statisticsand O*NET to learn about jobs, created PowerPoints about what they learned, and prepared TLD career plans, resumes, and portfolios to use in their communications with TLD employers.
  • "TLD Ready": In this 36-to-45-hour course, participants developed a range of basic skills -- as defined by the Equipped for the Future standards -- needed for various kinds of jobs in the TLD industry. They practiced the communication skills that a dispatcher might use to communicate with truck drivers or that a truck driver might need when communicating with a customer. They practiced using the Internet to shop for a particular type of truck part and so forth. In this course (and most of the other courses described here), participants developed a combination of basic skills, TLD occupational knowledge, and computer skills required for TLD jobs. Though geared toward the TLD industry, the skills could be adapted to many other industries as well.
  • "TLD Safety and Health": In this 24-to-36 hour course, participants learned about how to avoid various health related hazards common in the TLD industry (and most other industries, as well). They include injuries related to poor ergonomics, poor diet, stress, and workplace accidents. Learners developed a Personal Wellness Plan to guide them to healthy working and healthy living.
  • "TLF Financial Literacy": In this 24-to-36 hour course, participants learned about how to manage the income and benefits they earned in a TLD job as well as how to deal with various financial tasks they might encounter in jobs such as truck driver, mechanic, and purchasing agent. They used Excel to learn about how to make simple budgets and record financial information, and used web sites which told them about how to manage credit cards, loans, and other financial tasks.
  • "Small Business Skills for Owner-Operators": This 45-hour course was developed with input from a truck driving school partner. Participants were either current truck drivers or people interested in running their own trucking business. It covered the basics of the various tasks involved in setting up and running a business, and incorporated examples taken from the trucking industry.
  • "TLD Electronics": This course -- taught by an experienced electronics technician and small business owner -- used a hands-on approach to cover the basics of electronics repair. Because electronics is a technology widely used in many facets of the TLD industry (e.g., in warehouse tracking devices, in vehicles, etc.), participants were prepared to get jobs in many types of TLD workplaces as entry level repair personnel.
  • "Supply Chain Management": This served as an introductory course to the supply chain management procedures used widely in the shipping industry.

These free non-credit courses were field-tested over a one-year period and had good enrollments. They were adapted to various learner populations, including English language learners -- including recently-arrived evacuees from Haiti -- and formerly incarcerated individuals. With the help of a TLD Coordinator (an experienced logistics industry employee), employers were involved (to varying degrees) in giving input in the design of the program, as guest lecturers, and as attendees at job fairs set up for program graduates.

Unfortunately, because the program was being implemented in the middle of the big national recession, the industry was in a doldrums, with little hiring going on. The program could also have been improved with more careful selection of participants, better professional development for instructors, and more active, substantive involvement of the college's academic departments, local workforce development programs, and state agencies.

While this program was missing a number of the components of the kind of effective career pathway model being promoted by the Breaking Through Initiative, it did produce a framework of curricula (as well as other lessons learned) that could be adapted for other career pathway initiatives nationally. As we move ahead to develop the kinds of career pathway systems now being promoted nationally, the field should take the time to learn from various kinds of work-related curricula already developed in the field. (Sources include the Equipped for the Future initiative, the National Workplace Literacy Program, the National College Transition Network, CLASP's "Language of Opportunity" report, union-based worker education programs, the Welcome Home Centers, and many others.)

Paul Jurmo, Ed.D.

Senior Advisor

U.S. and Africa Divisions

World Education

44 Farnsworth Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1211

USA

Telephone: 617-385-3648

Fax: 617-482-0617

E-mail: pjurmo@worlded.org

World Education is home to the National College Transition Network (www.collegetransition.org) and The Change Agent, an adult education newspaper for social justice. (Consider ordering a subscription for yourself or colleagues at www.nelrc.org/changeagent/.)


[Workforce 296] Using Technology for Professional Development 5-17-11

Amy Dalsimer

Thanks Barbara, Gloria, and Donna for highlighting LAGCC's "Designing a Contextualized GED course" workshop. We have found that hands-on training is most effective when a group of practitioners work together over a sustained period to develop a shared understanding of the rationale , objectives, and effective teaching strategies used in contextualized classrooms. Please look forward to our distance PD option in the near future!

We've used Illuminate, Adobe Pro Connect, and wikis to conduct and participate in professional development. While all these and other tech options are great ways to connect, challenges remain for both participants and facilitators involved in distance peer learning. In the best distance option we would be able to replicate the same kind of hands-on participation, engagement and detailed discussions that are possible in face-to-face learning environments. Perhaps this is a good forum for others to share some of the best uses of digital technology for professional development workshops. What combination of tools and services would you suggest for maximum benefit and sustained participation in a distance pd project?

Amy

Amy M. Dalsimer

Director, Pre-College Academic Programming

LaGuardia Community College/CUNY

C Building, Room C-400

31-10 Thomson Avenue

Long Island City, NY 11101

www.lagcc.cuny.edu

718-482-5357/or

718-482-5385

adalsimer@lagcc.cuny.edu
http://www.laguardia.edu/pcap/


[Workforce 297] How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-17-11

Allen French

Gloria et al:

As I am a child of the age of skepticism, I always have questions or raise doubts about suggested solutions to problems. I do this not to discourage such a discussion, but to encourage clarification and expansion of ideas in a way that can be helpful in my particular situation - which is undoubtedly quite common among community college basic skills programs.

I completely understand the problem we are facing with students who need and want to advance and achieve their goals faster than has been happening. Still, I want to make sure any changes that we undertake are both practical, sustainable and not diluting the education provided.

I am currently teaching low-intermediate ESL students and so am responding from that perspective.

One idea you mention is to "Compress the material for two courses into the time of one course-an approach sometimes called 'accelerated learning.'" At South Seattle CC faculty have identified "critical outcomes" from the larger list of skills taught at the various ESL levels. Still, it is a large list and difficult to achieve in the desired single quarter. Intermediate-level students need more time than higher levels to become competent in any communication skill. My worry is about students who make the transition to credit classes but then fail to complete because of lack of preparedness. This fear applies more to academic programs than vocational ones.

Another idea you mention is "customize the content and delivery of remediation to meet individual students' needs." This sounds great, but how do you do this when you have a class of 25-30 students, all with different backgrounds, goals and needs? At SSCC we have sub-levels, and even in my 3A class, there is a wide range of communicative abilities. If someone out there can show us how to provide customized instruction to all 25 individuals in a class, I would be most grateful.

Your third theme for today is "contextualize remedial content for the occupation or industry in which the student seeks to advance." My response is similar to what I said above. A further point is that many of our level 3 students are not very clear as to their goals, and to the extent that they have goals these are fluid and susceptible to change.

One additional idea that I have seen on this listserve today is intensification of instruction, meaning more hours of in-class or online learning. That is a great idea and I believe that it would be effective. There are two problems with this: $$$ and student barriers. With overall funding going down in many states, how can more classroom hours be afforded? Would other parts of a program have to be sacrificed (e.g., one idea floated about this state was to eliminate level 1 and 2 ESL classes). Second, we have traditionally been told to focus on those sectors of the population most in need. However, those also have the most barriers to overcome just to attend our current classes (work, child-care, etc.), that intensifying their instruction may well force them to give up. There is a tension between demanding commitment and seeking out those most in need.

A final idea that I have heard discussed in various venues is adopting a dual-track program: separating those students who want to go on to academic programs (where writing skills would be given much more attention) from those who just want to get a better job and may also have a lower level of L1 education meaning that they need more time to progress. I like this idea but, again, we are faced with the conundrum of how to create additional classes (or pathways) with less money.

I repeat, I would really appreciate suggestions as to how we can overcome such obstacles towards both better and faster progress for our students.

At SSCC, I serve on the Transitions Committee and fully endorse and contribute to our substantial efforts at transitioning upper ESL level students to our college's credit-bearing programs. I am one of the faculty members that Donna Miller-Parker has referred to as being involved in instigating a push for curriculum and program reform. I can second her comments that faculty support is essential, but that getting faculty consensus is oftentimes difficult and slow-going. This is not because we are unwilling to change; quite the contrary, we all seek change but sometimes have very different ideas on how to get there.

Thanks for patiently getting through all of this!

Allan

====================================

Allan D. French

ESL Instructor and Assessment Coordinator

Basic & Transitional Studies Division

South Seattle Community College

206-934-6836
afrench@sccd.ctc.edu


[Workforce 299] How do you accelerate learning to reduce time to completion for low-skilled students? 5-18-11

Ellen Odonnell

Hello Allan,

You have pointed out some key challenges for accelerating the learning for ELLs. In trying to meet the needs of our existing early childhood workforce, many of whom are not yet ready for the rigors of college course work and may need English language assistance, we have developed several models of support. For those incumbent childcare workers who are not literate in their own language, we have conducted weekly workshops centered on children’s literature with English language lessons infused. The workshops are conducted by bilingual achievement coaches ( our term for intrusive advisors) who promote and model good child care practices while at the same time supporting English language acquisition. Although the development of language is not as fast as we would like, students do increase their skills, become comfortable with the college environment, receive peer support for their learning, and learn good child care practice that they can use every day with the children in their care.

For those at the intermediate level of ESOL, we designed non-credit contextualized ESOL courses. We have offered these courses at the College and in the community. The goal is to have students advance to the point where they can skip developmental course work and proceed directly into the first college level course "Child Growth" which is the first course on the Child Development ( CDA) track leading to an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. We have used a similar model with our ESL/Certified Nursing Assistant students.

We are continuing to refine and revise our approaches to promote student success. Unfortunately, for those students who are not literate in their own language, the road to proficiency is a long one. Since much of the basic ESOL instruction is not done at the community colleges in Massachusetts, we work closely with the community based organizations (CBOs) in our area. To align the pathway from ESL instruction at the CBOs to our college programs, we conducted a GAP analysis, examining the curriculum and practices of 11 CBOs in our service area. As a result of that study we designed and delivered a professional development and outreach initiative for ESL instructors to promote best practices and to increase the visibility of the

college.

Needless to say, we are still learning and welcome any suggestions for improving our work.

Ellen


[Workforce 298] Accelerating Time to Completion: Assess Yourself 5-18-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi,

I think it may be likely that we'll continue our conversation today on accelerating the pace of learning for lower-skilled adults, so I'll wait until later to summarize the key points of the discussion.

However, drawing from our self assessment tool, I did want to post the self-assessment questions for this topic before moving on to a new one.

As you think about your work and building your own capacity in this area, consider the following:

  1. Is high quality instruction offered across the curriculum, spanning courses offered in adult education to workforce or credit level education?
  2. Is there an emphasis on short-term, intensive learning that permits rapid progress toward program completion?
  3. Are there diagnostic assessments to identify students’ learning needs, including learning disabilities and other forms of disabilities?
  4. Are assessment results used to create individualized competency-based instruction focused on what each student needs to master?
  5. Is course content contextualized, using an occupational focus, to help students learn more and faster?
  6. Is integrated basic skills and occupational instruction offered as an option to accelerate time to completion?

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166

gmwase@jff.org

www.jff.org


[Workforce 300] What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Gloria Mwase

Hello again!

Today's topic is focused on addressing the challenges that many adult learners face, which have the real potential to impact their focus, persistence, retention, and completion.

We know that many adult learners have complex lives, with many responsibilities as well as barriers. What are the comprehensive support services our students need and how do we make them available to our students?

Breaking Through college partners have utilized a number of strategies to give lower-skilled adult students the supports they need to succeed:

  1. Connecting students to academic and non-academic supports. We know that lower-skilled adults need academic supports, such as basic skills development, tutoring, career counseling, etc. However, many also need an array of nonacademic and material and financials supports. In addition to the traditional services programs engaging these adults tend to offer (transportation, child care), adult learners often require counseling and case management, peer support, assistance for short-term crises (e.g. loss of housing, medical emergencies) as well as subsidies for books and other educational supplies and sometimes food and clothing, too. Colleges have used a variety of strategies to make these services available -- from allowing "pre-college" students to access supportive services offered to "regular" college students, to partnering with external organizations to offer these services, to deciding to offer these services within their own adult basic education units.
  2. Providing proactive support. It's noteworthy that, by the end of the first year, all of the initial set of demonstration colleges had identified a "center of gravity" to help students access supports, though many of them did not have this resource in their initial plans. The tremendous value of having a staff member who could serve in this role became clear very quickly. Whether called a case manager, Achievement Coach, Success Coach or just "navigator", this type of proactive (sometimes called intrusive) advising and support has proven to be a critical component of the retention and completion strategies for many of these programs. In some instances, a dedicated individual is hired to do this work, while in others, a staff member or faculty person is tasked with this additional responsibility.
  3. 3. Training coaches and other staff to work with low-income, low-skilled adults. A key area of professional development is around increasing the capacity of coaches, staff and even faculty to work with low-income, low-skilled adults effectively. Many of these advisers may have little understanding of how best to help with certain situations or where to turn to get help for their students. In addition, they may need help supporting students in ways that increase the personal responsibility and efficacy for students, and reduce the stress and burn-out for the staff.

So, what have been your experiences in this regard?

What kinds of supports are you providing? What supports are needed that you feel unable to provide?

We know that supportive services are important to educational progress, but many faculty may still feel that this is not their responsibility. How are you addressing this challenge?

What partners are you engaging to help you in this area?

How are you sustaining these services in the face of budget cuts in multiple arenas?

We look forward to receiving your thoughts and questions and will, of course, weigh in with our experiences as well.

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166

gmwase@jff.org

www.jff.org


[Workforce 301] What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Pat Phillips

Hello on a Wednesday morning!

At Davidson we do have our Student Support Services, including disability services, available to all students, including the Basic Skills students. However, one of our major challenges is that we don't have resources to have the number of support staff available to serve this large number of students. Many of the Basic Skills students have a lot of barriers that they need assistance with and the staff we have may not have the time that it takes to help the students move through all their issues/needs. Do others have suggestions about how you might have worked toward a solution of this problem?


[Workforce 302] What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Jim Williams

Perhaps the greatest barrier for these students is their inability to read at an independent level. Teaching basic reading skills for adults can be an extremely time intensive process. Providing an adequate amount of direct instruction using a traditional model of instruction where a teacher works directly with a student or a group of students presents innumerable challenges. The cost for an institution can be prohibitive; students must commit to a process that can take literally years. Students have transportation issues, family issues, work issues, etc. But online-based instruction eliminates virtually all of these issues. The cost for the sponsoring institution can be extremely cost effective. Students can study from any computer at home, school or work at any time during the day or night. And students are not limited to a set number of instructional hours per week. A student can study as often as he desires. After enduring a lifetime of failure in reading, many students are hungry to learn this most fundamental and critical of skills. Each student is able to proceed at the pace that is appropriate; most literacy classes have students with a wide range of reading levels and learning abilities. An online literacy program offers an individualized course of study for each student while still providing the institution with the option of offering blended instruction combining traditional classroom instruction supplemented with online access for students.

Jim Williams

Email Address: jw@weallcanread.com

Web Address: www.weallcanread.com


[Workforce 303] Accelerated Learning 5-18-11

Gina Jarvi

Hi Gloria, et al~

I am the technology teacher in the Minneapolis ABE program which is housed in the K-12 school district, so our program is a bit different than most of yours in the Community Colleges. We are really on the beginning strand of developing a career pathways model for our program, so I am immersed in information. I also don't have a lot of time to respond in depth to this very comprehensive conversation, but I did want to share the concerns of accelerated learning for low-level students in ABE and ESL. Clearly this is a serious one since some of our students may never achieve a GED.

This year we started using the Star Reading program with our ABE students. This is an evidence-based reading instruction program: http://www.startoolkit.org/index.html

I am not one of the teachers, but I have seen the results! (Our Star teacher might be reading this so I will invite her to share her experience). My experience working with her students in our computer lab has been exciting. Some of her students have made gains of two grade levels or more in just a 6 week period. It is exciting to see the changes in behavior of these students. They are more confident, more focused, and their attendance has improved. It is as if they finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Reading is, in my view, the most serious issue in learning for low-level adult learners, and for those with learning disabilities, the most frustrating to overcome. I believe it is more important for on-the-job training than writing or math, but I do not wish to start an argument :)

I would very much like to hear what other strategies/programs have worked. As a technology teacher, I am eager to hear if technology has helped your students accelerate their learning? I have seen some benefits with Skills Tutor (used with high level ELL students and ABE) and USA Learns (Intermediate ELL and Transitions) as supportive learning tools and for Distance Learning. I am currently engaged in trainings about Learner Web and Minnesota's FastTRAC initiative (to improve collaborative service delivery for improving education and employment outcomes of adult Minnesotans, particularly adults who lack the basic and foundational skills to enter and complete post secondary education, including occupational skill training.) http://www.cte.mnscu.edu/perkinsIV/fasttrac2008.htm

Finally, I agree with Alan regarding concerns about 'diluting education'. I feel that much is already diluted as we teach to the tests, which is why I share the Star Reading approach. If we can assess our learners as deeply as the Star program does, perhaps we can teach to what they need, rather than what we want them to achieve.

Thank you to all of you who are sharing your experiences and I hope I find time to share more of mine.

Gina Jarvi

Computer and Technology Teacher

Minneapolis Adult Basic Education

1500 James Ave. N

Minneapolis, MN 55411

612.668.1863
http://mpsabe.mpls.k12.mn.us/


[Workforce 304] accelerating learning 5-18-11

Elaine Baker

Nikki Edgecombe, of the Community College Research Center, put out a paper last month on acceleration as part of the CCRC series on evidence-based instruction. You can access it on the CCRRC website. Nikki discusses several formats of acceleration, including "mainstreaming", which places the highest level of developmental English students with college level students, in conjunction with an additional class in developmental English with the same instructor. She also discusses compression, citing FastStart at CCD, which accelerates in English, reading, and math by offering to four courses in one semester in a learning community format. There are several reports on FastStart that were done as part of the Breaking Through project, including an analysis of outcomes at 24 and 36 months, and a report on scaling up, which I believe can inform our previous discussion of scale. Gloria, will you see that they are posted on the JFF website and let us know how to link to them? In the meantime, the report on scaling can be found on the OCCRL website. The report on outcomes at 24 and 36 months shows dramatic differences in outcomes for both English/reading and math students, as does the report on scaling, which also addresses how the program went from serving 25 students a semester to 400 students a semester.

An upcoming CRCC study of FastStart, which will be released next month, calls acceleration an independent with respect to completion of the developmental education sequence. FastStart is a holistic program that combines compression if instruction with career exploration, and student support. As I mentioned in my previous post (which I am not sure went through), FastStart was adapted to serve a GED population in a summer bridge format, using the same principles of compressed acceleration, career exploration and student support. Debra Bragg's Scaling_Up report describes both the FastStart and College Connection programs.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 305] What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Robin Matusow

Hello all, we have a small system of support for our students with disabilities (they are sometimes our low- level students as well). We have two programs:

  1. traditional vocational; students are VR sponsored when appropriate (that often takes care of $$$ issues.) Some are also provided a case manager from the local center for independent living (CIL). The CIL has, as part of a contract with our county, and as part of their charter, am agreement to provide tutoring, case-management, transportation and various support services for the students. They get the support that all low- level learners need as well as assistance with issues specific to disabilities.
  2. we just opened a culinary program for students with disabilities designed for vocational students who will need more support than our traditional vocational students. This program is work based, taught by a chef and is partnered with our local United Cerebral Palsy CBO who provides case-management, employment skills and job placement. The program has articulation to a traditional psav culinary program built into it for those for whom it is appropriate. Both programs were designed to bring in CBO's who were paid by someone other than the school system, to provide what the school system did not provide but the students needed. The process of getting other organizations to work with you is a slow go at the beginning, but in my opinion worth exploring. There may be local CBO that will work with your students based on income or factor other than disabilities.

[Workforce 306] Accelerated Learning 5-18-11

Dr. Donna JG Brian

Gina and all,

I'm trying to remember what it's called when both online and face-to-face learning are combined. Is it "blended" learning? Anyway, the research I've read documents great progress for this combination, and I'm wondering if any of the Breaking Through colleges or any of the rest of you have used this and could share some of your thoughts about it with the list.

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

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[Workforce 307] What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Dr. Donna JG Brian

Robin,

It’s great that you’ve been able to leverage support for your students from so many different sources! Are you the one that actually makes the contacts to get the cooperation of the various programs in providing this support? I’ve heard from others that Vocational Rehab is just not available to their clients, so I’m wondering whether others have been able to get that help for their clients, or if this is a problem area.

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

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[Workforce 308] Re: Accelerated Learning 5-18-11

Ellen Odonnell

At North Shore Community College, we call online and face to face combinations 'hybrid' courses. In our FIPSE funded Project G.R.A.D (Getting Ready to Achieve Degrees and Certificates) which is designed to

assist underprepared adults to enter programs leading to high demand careers, we are developing contextualized developmental courses and offering them in a hybrid format. This semester, for example, we are running a contextualized developmental reading and writing course for the Health Career Pathway. In the early weeks, students spend more time in the classroom, while doing some assignments online. As they become more comfortable with the content and the technology, they are able to complete more of the work online. The reading material for the course includes* The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks *and *Night *by Elie Wiesel. . As part of the course, students learn scientific and medical vocabulary, research specific medical issues, and create powerpoint presentations to share with the class. The academic growth of the students and the retention rate has been outstanding. Using on the template for the successful health care developmental course, we are creating developmental reading and writing courses for the legal and education fields.

Ellen


[Workforce 309] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Robin I. Matusow

I am the general contact person. Additionally our individual TEC/adult centers have contact with the individual offices as well. To smooth the path we created collaboration committees with outside stake holders to create the initial foundation for our current relationships. If VR is not a resource, we look for other stake holders that can or must serve our students.


[Workforce 310] Re: Accelerated Learning “Hybrid classrooms” 5-18-11

Gina Jarvi

Hi~

The term for combining computer instruction with classroom instruction is "hybrid learning". It is a good combination that supports both tracks, some basic computer skill development such as, logging in, typing, following computer directions, reading online content (which is very different than reading off a worksheet), using good (ergonomic) computer habits, etc., while developing independent learning skills, and of course practicing subject content.

Gina Jarvi

Computer Teacher

Minneapolis Adult Basic Education

1500 James Ave. N

Minneapolis, MN 55411

612.668.1863

http://mpsabe.mpls.k12.mn.us/


[Workforce 311] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Ellen Odonnell

At North Shore, we feel that achievement coaches are essential to the success of our students. In some of our current career pathways programs we have the instructor in the developmental reading and writing and/or personal development courses double as the achievement coach. Coaches are able to advise on academic, career and personal matters. A one credit personal development course covering study skills , time management, stress management and career planning, as well as a one credit web-based math course designed to foster math proficiency, are also part of the program. Since we are using the cohort model, students also receive valuable academic and personal support from their colleagues. I do not minimize the challenge of attracting and retaining achievement coaches in scaling up these successful programs and would be very interested to hear how others are providing comprehensive supports.

Ellen


[Workforce 312] Accelerating English language learners 5-18-11

Elaine Baker

At CCD, we've developed two successful acceleration strategies for ELL students under grants from the Lumina Foundation and Breaking Through. Both of these strategies were fully institutionalized, based on a cost/benefit analysis. The first is an ESL learning community. It meets twice a week for three hours and integrates reading, writing and speaking, and is supported by a case manager with a ratio of 1:175. The class reduces the time from nine hours to six hours for comparable material and creates bonds between the students that promote retention. A study of the program, entitled "English as a Second Language Learning Communities" describes the outcomes and is on the CCD website, or you could google it.

I find the second strategy even more exciting. It is an accelerated learning community that addresses the academic profile of ESL exiters, who we have found to need one level of developmental English and two levels of developmental reading. It combines the two reading and one English course into one course that meets twice a week for three hours instead of nine hours a week if taken separately. The outcomes for this group are truly spectacular, probably in part because students who complete the ESL sequence and enter developmental education are highly motivated. After 36 months,
88.3% of the students who enrolled in the course were either still enrolled, had transferred to a four-year college or had graduated. 29.4% had transferred and 12% had graduated with an associate's degree. I will ask Gloria to post the report. These are students who entered developmental education needing three developmental courses. I love this program!

Both of these programs have been fully institutionalized under general funds and continue to expand.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 313] Re: Accelerated Learning “Hybrid classrooms” 5-18-11

Donna Brian

I can also see that computer instruction has the advantages of being non-judgmental and self-paced, both of which might serve our learners well by building self-confidence.

Donna


[Workforce 314] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Amy Dalsimer

At LaGuardia, we have a part-time transition and retention counselor who works very closely with our Bridge students from intake into pre-college classes through the first year of post-secondary education. To foster strong relationships with students and a team-based approach to student success, the counselor has been fully integrated into the all aspects of the program, playing an essential role in intake/admissions, weekly student conferencing and assessment, and the delivery of contextualized career-focused classroom activities. The counselor provides group and one-on-one transitional services including helping students to develop a career plan, apply to college/training programs, and secure necessary financial aid. She also assists students in finding child care, housing, employment, mental health counseling, and other life challenges that may hinder persistence and success in school.

On the institutional level, key staff from LAGCC's Student Affairs ( Enrollment Management, Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Services) and the Division of Adult and Continuing Ed have formed a "Partnership Group" to examine and improve college admission and enrollment processes for our non-traditional adult students. With support from the College's leadership, this group has been able to address some of the barriers adult students face when transitioning to college and has created a stronger pathway from ABE to degree programs.

Amy M. Dalsimer

Director, Pre-College Academic Programming

LaGuardia Community College/CUNY

C Building, Room C-400

31-10 Thomson Avenue

Long Island City, NY 11101

www.lagcc.cuny.edu

718-482-5357/or

718-482-5385

adalsimer@lagcc.cuny.edu

http://www.laguardia.edu/pcap/


[Workforce 315] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

David J. Rosen

Amy, Gloria and others,

What do we know from research or evaluation about support models for transition/bridge/underprepared students? I wonder if the transition and retention counselor Amy described -- someone who works very closely one-on-one and/or in small groups to provide support is a much more powerful strategy for increasing transition student retention, and ultimately helping students achieve success in college, than some of the other strategies. Is there any evidence that suggests that this is the case? What do the Breaking Through colleges think? What do others think?

A few years ago I heard the director of a community college transition program with a near 100% retention rate say that a full-time counselor was the key. She added that she thought her community college would see significant improvement in retention if the same intense counseling services that were provided to adult transition students could be provided to everyone. She also added that she doubted this would happen because this was a significant expense the college would not be able to support.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com


[Workforce 316] Assess Yourself: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi,

Thanks for a rich discussion yesterday, which I'm sure we'll continue today.

Here are the self-assessment questions for yesterday's topic:

1. Are academic and non-academic student supports provided through the college and/or through partnerships with other organizations?

2. Are these services available to adult education, developmental education or workforce training students, as well as credit level students?

3. Are there diagnostic assessments used to identify student learning needs, including learning disabilities or other forms of disabilities?

4. Is there support for students’ life challenges, including health care, child care, and transportation?

5. Do students have a “go-to” person who can help them overcome obstacles to completing their education?

6. Are there smooth “hand offs” when students move from one program to another within the college?

7. Are there innovative sources of financial aid to help students cover tuition, fees and/or other educational expenses?

8. Does the college or program promote an adult friendly learning environment, especially for adults who work (e.g. flexible scheduling, use of technology, hybrid courses, and distance learning, etc.)? Does the college offer courses in convenient locations or work-based sites?

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Gloria


[Workforce 317] Making Pathways Explicit 5-19-11

Donna Brian

Earlier in the week (Monday) Gloria asked Ellen Odonnell to share the career map that North Shore created showing the childhood education pathway. Ellen sent it in, but I couldn't post it then because it was an attachment that was a graphic that was not ADA compliant. We have since put the graphic up on the Internet and you can access it at http://indigo.cls.utk.edu/pdf/ncacm.pdf . I think it clearly illustrates how the Child Development Associate (CDA) track and the ESL track parallel each other and eventually merge into the Early Childhood Education (ECE) track, and the various credentialing and individual class steps along the track leading to the degree. Sorry we didn't get it out sooner, but it's still valuable for the discussion. (I know David Rosen will appreciate it!)

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

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[Workforce 318] How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Gloria Mwase

Hello,

We'll address our final "high leverage" strategy today: Ensuring labor market pay-offs.

If the path to post-secondary credentials for lower-skilled adult learners is longer, even as we are working to shorten it through acceleration strategies, how do we help them to get some short-term economic benefits along the way? Many of these adults must work to support themselves and their families, even as they are pursuing their education.

Our college partners in Breaking Through have identified several strategies to help create some pay-off for students:

  1. Offer career exploration opportunities that lead to sound career choices. Many adult learners lack sufficient information to make informed decisions about the career pathways they want to pursue. They often do not know where the real labor demand is in their regions, or what the skills and education required for certain jobs are. (For example, we often hear stories from our partners about students who really want to be nurses until they realize they have to touch people or draw blood.) Better career exploration can help adults make good early career choices that increase their motivation and persistence.
  2. Ensure that programs have and use up-to-date information about local labor markets. We need to ensure that our programs are also aligned with where local demand is and is helping to create a pipeline into these high demand, higher paying occupations. Looking at labor market information provided by Workforce Investment Boards and others is a good start, but there also needs to be more robust engagement with employers in these key industry sectors.
  3. "Chunk" training programs into shorter sections that meet employer needs, lead to credentials, and build toward more comprehensive certifications. We know that many adult learners have to "stop out" during their educational path, to work or for other reasons. How can we help them to leave with credentials with value in their local labor markets, while providing opportunities to circle back and continue along their career pathway when they are able? Modularizing curricula and aligning these with stackable credentials (preferably credit-bearing) endorsed by local employers can also help to promote motivation and persistence leading to educational and labor market success.
  4. Participate in regional efforts that target industries offering advancement opportunities for low-skilled adults. In many regions, employers and other workforce development and economic development stakeholders are coming together to promote economic competitiveness and the talent development connected to it. To strengthen economic opportunity for our adult learners, we need to participate in these efforts, including aligning our programming to support the recruitment or retention of industries that offer career advancement potential.

Our guest practitioner-experts will share about their activities in these areas. But please tell us about your work, too.

* What are you doing around career exploration and assessments? Have you developed a career pathway road map that demonstrates how students progress from your program to the next stage along the path?

* How are you using labor market intelligence in your programs (gathered from labor market projections or engagement with employers)? How has it influenced your curricula or other services (e.g. work experience) you might offer in conjunction with your program?

* What has been your experience in developing "stackable credentials"? What are the issues and challenges you are confronting in this regard?

* How have you connected to regional economic development activities? Do your programs help to advance incumbent workers as well as job-seekers?

We're looking forward to the conversation!

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166

gmwase@jff.org

www.jff.org


[Workforce 319] Using Career Maps to Aid Career Exploration 5-19-11

Gloria Mwase

Thank you Ellen and Donna.

The release of the graphic today is timely, as these career maps can also be very useful in supporting career exploration with students by helping them to see the entire career pathway.

Ellen, how have you used it in this way?

To all: Have you found career maps a valuable tool in your own work? Do you use them with employers to validate the advancement pathway and the skills they are seeking?

Gloria


[Workforce 320] How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Janet Van Liere

The Industrial Trades Program at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan has done an excellent job engaging local employers for their input into course design and credentialing standards.

As program director Laura Ann DePompolo explained to us earlier this year, "the Industrial Trades Program works because it is industry-driven and faculty-supported. Area employers play a huge, ongoing role in the program's success, through helping design the curriculum, sponsoring employees to receive training, and hiring students. Faculty members frequently interact with company representatives, mainly production supervisors and company training coordinators, and become natural trusted contacts when job openings occur. More formally, employer representatives annually participate in structured, focus group sessions to ensure the curriculum evolves to meet industry demand."

In addition, the program offers modular courses that students can take on a walk-in basis, and its learning center mimics a manufacturing facility, with a "front office" resource center and a "production floor" industrial training lab where the faculty and industrial equipment are located. Very interesting model!

You can find the full article in our March 2011 Alternative Staffing Report at http://www.altstaffing.org/The%20Alternative%20Staffing%20Report_Mar'11.pdf.

Janet Van Liere

Member Services Coordinator

Alternative Staffing Alliance

617-232-5380

www.altstaffing.org


[Workforce 321] How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Pat Phillips

Good morning to all!

At Davidson, all students who enter Basic Skills do a career exploration assessment as a part of their program orientation.

Once the student's career interest and aptitude is identified, he/she does a scavenger hunt in orientation using our Career Exploration Guide developed by our Career Center staff at DCCC. The guide lists all of our short-term certificate and diploma programs as well as our two-year degree programs, possible jobs available in our labor market, potential starting salaries in our region and the personal skills/attributes students might need to have to be happy & successful in this career path. The guide also has a career laddering chart for students to use to map out a career ladder for themselves, which they also do as a part of their orientation. Students are then connected to activities, both contextualized curriculum and hands-on activities, as a part of their ABE or GED classes.

Making these connections upon entry into the program and reinforcing them throughout their study time in ABE & GED motivates more students to immediately transition.


[Workforce 322] How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

David J. Rosen

Hello Pat,

I would be interested in seeing the career laddering chart. Perhaps other in this discussion would also be interested. Is it posted somewhere?

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com


[Workforce 323] Re: Using Career Maps to Aid Career Exploration 5-19-11

Ellen Odonnell

At North Shore Community College we have used the ESL/CDA Academic Map to advise students on what steps they need to take to obtain their CDA credential and their Early Childhood degree, along with the supports that are available to them. So many students tell us that they prefer the map as a guide rather than our official programs of study. We have also used the map, as well as other maps in the field of education, to illustrate the career opportunities available. At present we have academic maps demonstrating how the Infant Toddler Certificate, the Paraeducator Certificate, the School Age Educator Certificate, and the Family Development credential articulate into the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree. We have a similar map showing the ESL/ Certified Nursing Assistant academic pathway, which articulates into the Human Services Practitioner Associate Degree Program.

Our *Breaking *Through team has also been working on career maps in the health, education, legal, and human services fields that, in addition to showing the academic pathway to certificates and degrees, will provide information on the career itself. These maps include job responsibilities, employment prospects, wage information, related job titles, possible career trajectory, and names of employers in the area. We feel that a combined academic and career map will be more useful to our students. The maps are now being vetted by the college community and once finalized, we will be happy to share them with anyone who is interested.

Ellen


[Workforce 324] How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi Pat,

I know you use some hands-on career exploration tools, too. How have these made a difference for your students?

To all: How have you incorporated any "real experience" into your career exploration activities (visits to employers, etc.)?

Gloria


[Workforce 325] labor market payoffs 5-19-11

Elaine Baker

Enhanced and targeted career exploration and guidance is an area that blends well with the traditional adult education curriculum, as well as being critical to future post-secondary education and training. At CCD, we see career exploration and guidance as a developmental process that can be integrated into the English and reading curriculum in ways that strengthen critical thinking as well as help students clarify career goals and select educational pathways that will lead them to their goals. Interest and aptitude assessments are followed by values clarification exercises as a way of helping students identify the careers they would find most fulfilling. From there we look at labor market information to determine salary and demand. The next step is an informational interview with someone in the field, which can be done by students or in conjunction with the instructor. We help students develop a script for the interview request and the interview itself. Job shadowing is ideal, but dependent on ties to specific employment. The next step is researching how many courses, and which courses students would have to take to qualify for specific positions. We ask students to meet with advisors in specific academic centers to map out a prospective education plan. The last two steps are synthesis and presentation. Students write a paper on why and how they have selected a career path and then do a powerpoint presentation to the class summarizing the process. This approach is an example of contextualizing curriculum. In this case, the content is career exploration and the skills are English, reading, and communication. A review of the process and other contextualized learning examples can be found in a description of the FastStart program in the "Contextual Learning Primer", which I co-authored. It is published by the Research and Planning Group of the California Community College System and funded by the Bay Area Funding Collaborative. I will try and get the link to this and other publications that I have mentioned to the list by next week.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 326] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-18-11

Sonia Socha

I happened to pick up on this strand and wanted to offer my experience of 18 years as Executive Director of the South Baltimore Learning Center (www.southbaltimorelearns.org)--and 15 years prior to that at a community college in student affairs/student development.

If community colleges do not choose to invest in the counselor/case manager model for adult education, then being in the business of adult education and transitioning learners into credit classes may not become one of their successful economic engine components. The question: Is your community college president and leadership strongly committed $$$$ to this area of education as part of its mission?

The first thing I did at SBLC after learning what was happening in Baltimore and observing what was not working and why, was to raise enough money to hire both an academic support counselor and a career/employability counselor. These two FT counselors now support about 800+ learners a year--a stretch, but still workable because the learners are not all here in the program at once.

These individuals have been the key to our success in learner screening, retention, learner outcomes and learner transitioning. We have the highest outcomes in the city and are among those programs with the highest results in the state. We could not have done that without these two positions and the particular staff in the positions, who care deeply about our learners and the many challenges they face as they attempt to succeed in life.

The barriers that low level literacy learners bring to the table often loom in front of effective instruction. Our counselors support the instructors in their work--and every instructor is required to have a weekly case management meeting with the counselor where each and every learner is discussed.

This takes time and money--and until community college leadership understands the reasons for such a strong investment, they will not see ultimate success at this low literacy level. This is tough work and it takes much commitment & heart. Community colleges--as much as they say they care about ALL of their students--are driving an economic engine in the big picture. There are priorities for funding that do not always come the way of those learners who are the toughest and can be the most expensive to serve. However, the need is obviously there and the work needs to be done. Can you convince the leadership at your college to invest the money for these types of critical positions. LaGuardia seems to be on the right track. (Some of Maryland community colleges now have one transition counselor--but is that enough?)

I can also offer that SBLC has also created a model for monitoring attendance & learner progress--and ultimately their transition out of our program into their next steps. (i.e. Attendance teams & Data/Quality Program Improvement teams/alumni follow up).

Sonia Socha,

SBLC Executive Director


[Workforce 327] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Judy Mortrude

Thanks for this terrific list! Here are some thoughts from Minnesota's Adult Career Pathway Initiative: FastTRAC. Career exploration and assessments

William Symonds, author of Pathways to Prosperity, was here in MN the last two days. His rallying cry is for young people to get the kind of career exploration needed to get onto a realistic path to employment. This is equally important for our working learners who continue to churn in low-wage, dead end jobs and short-term, non-credentialed training.

Deciding to enter career pathway education as an adult - with work, family, and community obligations - isn't easy. The road needs to be clear and the pay-off obvious! A collaborative group in Minnesota is putting together a web tool for Working Learners built on the ISEEK platform but with fewer bells and whistles and more fundamental information. We're hoping that will be available for all sometime early next year.

Using labor market intelligence

Minnesota is lucky to have good Occupations in Demand<http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/apps/lmi/oid/> tools. Interestingly, our employer partners have encourage us to also use current job postings - scouring them to see exactly what IS required in terms of credentials for healthcare, manufacturing, and other jobs. This strategy of using "real time" labor market information seems to be growing.

"Chunk" training programs

The best work I've seen in this area has been done by our neighbors to the east in Wisconsin: Madison Area Technical College's Center for Adult Learning - check it out!

Participate in regional efforts

Minnesota FastTRAC is organized by workforce service area region - these workforce development professionals act as conveners to bring together employers, educators, and community based organizations to put together all their efforts in building effective, sustainable adult career pathways. I believe the regional emphasis and the philosophy of "not too loose, not too tight" in our design, has led to great local programs. Then our challenge at the state level is to put in place the policy and funding models that continue to grow the work.

Judy Mortrude | State Program Administrator

Department of Employment and Economic Development

1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200 St. Paul MN 55101

Direct: 651-259-7638 TTY: 651-296-3900
http://www.positivelyminnesota.com

Follow DEED on http://twitter.com/PositivelyMN
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/Minnesota-Department-of-Employment-and-Economic-Development/124482110906863


[Workforce 328] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Wendy McDowell

I would love to hear more about your model for monitoring attendance and learner progress. If there is a hitch in attendance or progress, it seems the early it is identified and addressed, the more success there would be for retention and progress. It is the method of monitoring that interests me.

Thanks so much for sharing. This discussion all week has been very rich.

Wendy


[Workforce 332] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Ellen Odonnell

Hello Sonia,

I agree with you that community colleges need to provide funding for models that successfully transition adult learners into credit classes. So often it seems that rather than providing the resources for the students most in need, we concentrate on those who are most likely to succeed quickly with limited support. The term we often hear to describe this is "creaming". Working with students who are close to college-level leads to better statistics. Without the personal intervention and encouragement from case managers (achievement coaches, career counselors, navigators etc.) many of our adult students will not be able to persist in the academic environment. Colleges claim that although this kind of support leads to better outcomes, it is too expensive. If we are really serious about student success, as is the clarion call both in state and nationally, then we should be shifting resources to support the counselors who do intrusive advising, career coaching, and mentoring and tutoring with low-skilled adults.

Ellen


[Workforce 331] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Anthony DiAngelis

Hmmm, I am not responding to any specific posting but is it possible to send out the list of all the categories (i.e. funding, counseling, modular teaching, hybrid teaching) of the transitioning topic so that we can add to each topic or add topics that aren't. I feel like I am being fed in a fish bowl of food that is falling from the surface and I can't eat it all(and I want to eat it all:)) It is so informative.

Thanks,

Tony DiAngelis


[Workforce 330] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Pat Phillips

At DCCC we have used a series of kits called MECA (Micro-Computer Evaluation of Careers and Assessment) which lets our students practice some actual activities they would be doing in a certain career pathway. For example, the automotive kit guides students through dis-assembly and re-assembly of a small engine. The health kit has students do things such as take temperatures, measure blood pressure, wrap bandages, etc. Through use of these kits in each of our pathways, we have been able to identify if a pathway is not suited for a student and help them re-direct to a more appropriate pathway. An example of this is we have lots of students who think they want to be a nurse assistant and continue to be a nurse. However, several of them have not wanted to touch someone to take temperatures, apply a bandage, etc. Then we have been able to direct them to another pathway, such as Medical Office Assistant, that would not require them to do direct patient care.


[Workforce 329] accelerating learning 5-19-11

Gloria Mwase

We are working on posting the document on FastStart that Elaine mentioned. We are also posting the Career Pathways self-assessment that I've been sending you questions from each day. I'll send you the link when we have it all online.

Gloria


[Workforce 334] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-19-11

Jason Clizer

Is it this software Pat? http://www.conovercompany.com/products/meca/

Jason Clizer

Basic Skills & Transitional Studies Project Director

jclizer at columbiabasin.edu

509-542-4588

Basic Skills & Transitional Studies Homepage


[Workforce 333] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Michael Ormsby

David and others,

The cost of hiring a counselor seems like a lot, but I wonder what the costs are of the high attrition rates to an adult school? Perhaps some of the administrators on the list would have a sense of the actual costs for an entering student - placement tests, admin costs, etc, and what it actually costs to move an adult learner through ABE and GED prep to passing the GED. A common thread at COABE was finding ways to improve productivity of adult education. Seems like keeping students from dropping out would be a cost effective way to leverage existing resources.

Michael Ormsby

541-74-4717

michaelormsby at mac.com


[Workforce 335] summary of discussion to follow 5-19-11

Donna Brian

Tony and others,

It has been a bit untidy, I'll have to agree! That was why I suggested at the start of the discussion that people be careful to adjust the subject line to reflect what their message was about rather than just automatically hitting "reply" and leaving the subject that was on the previous message. Be assured that there will be a summary of this discussion eventually, although it has been dense enough that it may take me a while to get it done, and I will try to organize the points that people shared by topic areas. It's pretty hard to get it done day by day, although that would be the ideal. Thanks for expressing your concern and your suggestion.

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
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[Workforce 336] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-19-11

Elaine Baker

I totally agree with the comments on the importance of case management in college transitions. In our Breaking Through "College Connection" program (our eight-week intensive), we have a position called "Navigator". The role of the navigator is to recruit and screen students, help students navigate college processes like enrollment, financial aid, securing e-mail accounts, etc., and be a resource for students in dealing with non-academic issues. The navigator communicates with instructors and follows up with students who are identified by instructors as having difficulties with academics, or who are missing classes. The navigator also works with work-study students who are called "student ambassadors". Ambassadors send e-mails about college deadlines and events, organize study groups, and provide administrative support to the navigator. At CCD, we calculated the costs of navigator services at less than $200 per student, which is low in comparison to the costs of intensive case management in programs such as TRIO. Despite this low per-student cost, the fact that student services do not generate FTE means that continuing these services is an ongoing struggle that will require political will to sustain.

Elaine DeLott Baker

Senior Counsel to the Provost

Community College of Denver


[Workforce 337] Assessment Questions: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-20-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi,

Donna Brian (the list moderator) has informed me that she will do a detailed summary of this great discussion, so I will, with great appreciation, defer to her for that task. :-)

As you think about how to proceed in your own work, consider the following:

  1. Is the program focused on high demand occupations that have family-sustainable wages and opportunities for advancement?
  2. Are employers actively involved in curriculum development and/or program delivery?
  3. Are reading, writing, and math skills taught in ways related to their use in family-sustainable jobs?
  4. Do students learn marketable skills during the initial stages of the program?
  5. Can students opt to receive short-term credentials valued by employers along their career pathway?
  6. Are hands-on and work-based learning opportunities available to allow students to practice workforce skills?
  7. Do students receive advice on employment related training, benefits, and programs that could lead to employment (e.g. internships or apprenticeships?)
  8. Are there career services offered that regularly connect with employers to assist with career or job placement for students, especially those who may need to work while pursuing their education?
  9. Is the college or program engaged in regional efforts to link education and training to economic development?

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166

gmwase@jff.org

www.jff.org


[Workforce 343] How to keep; this systems reform movement moving ahead. 5-20-11

Paul Jurmo

Hello, Workforce Ed Colleagues,

This week's discussion about Breaking Through and the emerging efforts to build more effective workforce learning systems has been a good one. It has highlighted many of the issues that need to be dealt with. Breaking Through and related efforts in career pathways and educational transitions are trying to demonstrate the potential of better organized, comprehensive, sector-focused systems for educational and career advancement and to get policy makers, funders, practitioners, and other stakeholders to re-think how they can support such systems.

Re-doing our adult basic education and workforce development programs in these ways will take a lot of work, expertise, commitment, and creativity, as well as better use of existing resources and some new resources.

As indicated by the questions raised in just this short week-long discussion, those who want to give this a try will need training, guidance, and sample tools to adapt.

While new ideas need to be developed, we should also learn from past federal, state, and international workplace basic education initiatives which generated lessons learned and practical tools (e.g., curricula, procedures for doing multi-stakeholder planning and evaluation) that can be adapted to the task of building career pathways. For example:

  • Experience in federal, state, and international worker education initiatives in the 1990s showed the need to involve stakeholders in collaborative planning and evaluation of programs, to ensure that services are relevant, supported by stakeholders, and ultimately incorporated into the workplace culture. In response, collaborative planning and evaluation tools were developed and are still being used in some workplace education programs (e.g., in Massachusetts) and internationally (e.g., Canada, New Zealand). Building multi-stakeholder career pathway initiatives at local levels will require similar collaborative planning processes.
  • From about 1986 to 1992, the National Workplace Literacy Program produced a lot of expertise and curricula which could be adapted to emerging efforts to build career pathway systems. Similarly, union-based member education programs, state-level worker basic education initiatives (in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and other states), and trade association basic skills efforts (by the retail, banking, printing, and construction industries) all produced curricula and other tools that could be adapted for career pathway initiatives. (Reports, curricula, and other information from many of these efforts were stored in the ERIC ACVE Clearinghouse at Ohio State University and might still be accessed there. The LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Special Collection also has some of these resources.)
  • Considerable work has been done in the US adult basic education field over the past two decades to develop methodologies for teaching various basic skills (e.g., the Equipped for the Future systems reform initiative, models for serving English language learners, methodologies for using computer and other technologies as learning tools, adult numeracy curricula) and serving various special populations (e.g., women learners, formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants who come with varying levels of education, out-of-school youth). Career pathway initiatives should take advantage of this prior work.

In summary: Career pathway efforts have great potential but will require careful planning and customization to make them relevant to local conditions. We should be sure to build the capacities of the people who will do this work. One way to help build those capacities will be to give practitioners access to useful tools already developed in related fields over the past 25 years.

Paul Jurmo, Ed.D.

Senior Advisor

U.S. and Africa Divisions

World Education

44 Farnsworth Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1211

USA

Telephone: 617-385-3648

Fax: 617-482-0617

E-mail: pjurmo@worlded.org

World Education is home to the National College Transition Network (www.collegetransition.org) and The Change Agent, an adult education newspaper for social justice. (Consider ordering a subscription for yourself or colleagues at www.nelrc.org/changeagent/.)


[Workforce 342] INTRUSIVE ADVISING 5-20-11

Philip Anderson

Ellen,

I have seen the term "intrusive advising" used a lot this week. Would you mind sharing some more about what it entails? I apologize in advance if it was defined at some point and I missed it!

Thanks,

Philip Anderson

Adult ESOL Program

Florida Department of Education

(850) 245-9450


[Workforce 340] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-20-11

Philip Anderson

Pat,

Re: the MECA (Micro-Computer Evaluation of Careers and Assessment) kits mentioned in your post (#330)

Are these a product that can these be purchased, or are they created by your school, and tailor made for use with your population of students and your agency?

I am thinking these kits might have worksheets, planning templates, and information sheets for students. Do they have other items? Are they designed for the student, but to be used in planning sessions with teachers and counselors also?

Phil Anderson

Adult ESOL Program

Florida Department of Education

850-245-9450


[Workforce 341] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-20-11

Pat Phillips

Yes, Jason. That is the company that provides MECA software and hands-on kits.


[Workforce 338] Where Do We Go From Here? 5-20-11

Gloria Mwase

Hello!

Well . . .we've come to the last day of our week long discussion. We've found it to be rich and engaging and we hope you have, too.

Our goal was to share with you a little bit of our work in Breaking Through, using our four "high leverage" strategies as the lens. Thus, we have been talking about how we are working with folks in adult basic education, developmental education, and non-credit workforce training to create pathways into credit-level occupational programs leading to family supporting jobs. We have been discussing the importance of developing real pathways for adult learners that cross over multiple program silos to promote their advancement. We have been examining the critical importance of accelerating learning (through compression, contextualization, customization and integration strategies), so that students move more quickly through their career pathway. We have also been having a lively dialogue about the value of comprehensive (academic and nonacademic supportive services) in our work. And we've been exploring the ways that we can ensure that there are labor market pay-offs for lower-skilled adults engaged in our career pathways.

I'm sure we'll continue these conversations today and, hopefully, even after this formal discussion has ended.

In addition, we wanted to learn about the great work that you are doing, and we are delighted with how much you have responded to help us achieve this goal!

Our discussion topic today is: Where Do We Go From Here?

We want to answer this question a bit, from the point of view of our own work. Then, I'll frame some questions that we can all discuss about how we are all continuing to "fight the good fight" in this work.

So, I'd like to circle back to some comments that I made on Monday. Breaking Through is working to create pathways emanating from adult basic education, developmental education, and noncredit workforce training, and to demonstrate that these pathways can be more effective in advancing lower-skilled adult. We also want to prove that we can scale up these interventions to reach much larger proportions of the lower-skilled adults who need access to these services.

We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to scale up one strand of our work focused on adult basic education through a new initiative called ABE to Credentials. This initiative will increase credential attainment using evidence-based instructional and organizational models, building on the successes of both the Breaking Through initiative since 2004 and Washington State’s experience implementing and scaling up Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST). Incorporating all of our high leverage strategies and other program "non-negotiable elements, the framework for ABE to Credentials promotes and supports:

  • Institutional transformation and state policy analyses to better align programs and funding sources;
  • Program design and instructional strategies, such as acceleration and co-enrollment, to improve the overall ABE instruction and sequencing;
  • The provision of comprehensive support services to address academic and social obligations; and
  • Strategies to link program development with current and projected labor market demands and include employer input in the program design.

We are beginning this initiative by focusing on the states (14 thus far) in which adult education is overseen by a higher education agency. However, we know that there are many other states that are beginning to develop and expand integrated pathways as a key evidence-based model, and we are trying to link with these efforts as well. Over the course of 3 years, states and their colleges and ABE programs will advance over 18,000 adult learners, who will achieve credentials, earn 12 college-level credits or more, and increase their readiness to succeed in college, while also gaining the skills they need for employment in career pathways. In addition, by addressing policy, systemic, and programmatic barriers, ABE to Credentials will enable many more students to succeed in their quest for postsecondary credentials.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new initiative as it unfolds!

We think we will learn a lot from this next phase of our adult basic education strand which we can share with the field. In addition, we will continue to build out our work in developmental education and non-credit workforce training, so that we can begin to scale up the strategies that work in these strands as well.

Nonetheless, we hope that you appreciate the strong value of the work that you do and the critical need for us all to work together to do it. It's not about what state or national initiative you're in. It is about implementing the strategies that work to help lower-skilled adult learners advance. We need to create a national movement around this!

So, in today's discussion -- which will be somewhat of an open forum -- we're going to talk about where we all see our work going (including some of the challenges and issues we have to address to get there):

  1. What's really exciting right now in your programs because it's working?
  2. What's keeping you up at night, and how are you staying positive and committed in spite of it?
  3. What's the "first step" that you would recommend for newcomers to this work who are just trying to figure out how to get started.

Our Breaking Through guest practitioner-experts will respond to these questions and, like always, we want to hear from you.

Looking forward to the conversation!

Gloria

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166
gmwase@jff.org
http://www.jff.org


[Workforce 339] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-20-11

Robert Purga

Michael: that has been our experience in NY. As part of a $10 million annual investment to create comprehensive literacy zones in rural and urban communities of concentrated poverty or immigrant communities challenged by high levels of limited English language proficiency, one of the best investments has been funding case managers and counselors to a greater extent than we do in core adult education programs. As a result of stabilizing families and connecting them to services and pathways out of poverty, we are seeing the fruit of that investment. Just from a narrow NRS perspective, we are seeing educational gain of 52% vs. overall state performance of 46%. Looking at indicators beyond NRS----benefits being pulled down from EITCs to health insurance, etc. Also seeing greater retention, persistence, and follow up attainment. You can go to the web site for more information: www.nys-education-literacy-zones.org There are 18 currently running with 17 more beginning July 1. The tab on the left will bring you to the website portals for each of the 18.


[Workforce 344] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-20-11

Pat Phillips

Philip,

The MECA program has a computerized career assessment as well as activities. It also has kits to be used with the software program that give students 10-12 hours of hands-on activities on the content (ie, healthcare, automotive, etc.). We use the computerized assessment and hands-on activities in MECA and additional contextualized curriculum we have created in the 16 pathways with our students.

More information about the entire MECA program can be found at the following website: http://www.conovercompany.com/products/meca/


[Workforce 345] What keeps me up at night 5-20-11

Elaine Baker

What keeps me up at night is wondering who, beside the people who read this list, cares about this population, or to be more exact, where is the political will to support these innovations. I believe we know how to do this work and that our conversations this week are an indication of this, but I don't see where the support will come from to bring these strategies and programs to scale. Colleges don't need the FTE. There are exceptions, but when colleges are over-enrolled there is little institutional reason to take on a population that is the least likely to complete college, particularly with the emphasis on completion. We are actually seeing the opposite, with four year public institutions becoming more restrictive and many community colleges looking at sending lower skilled students to ABE programs.

We can't expect the business to care about this population because there is no labor market shortage. Businesses will employ our folks after they are trained and will sometimes provide internships, but the support of the business community is nothing like it was in the late nineties, when MacDonald's had large signs to advertise openings and IBM paid recruiters to find help-desk workers. I haven't seen many cases lately where the employer community has lobbied for expanded funding to support these programs, other than in job categories like long-term care, with high turnover and no job advancement opportunities. Creating pathways to credentials is an important strategy, but without some key stakeholders supporting policy shifts, I don't see how it can be scaled. There are some strategies that were mentioned this week that are replicable, but policy and funding priorities are critical to reach scale. Perhaps this will emerge in the next few years, but in the meantime I worry about the messages we are sending to adult education providers to innovate and expand without additional resources. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln......... I sleep just fine.

There is great creativity, expertise and commitment in the adult education and community college faculty, staff, and leadership. I am proud to be a part of this community. Thank you for this opportunity.

Respectfully,

Elaine DeLott Baker


[Workforce 346] Where Do We Go From Here? 5-20-11

Stephanie Moran

As a committed adult educator in a state that gives zero state funding to adult education, I have read many of this week's posts with chagrin and frustration-we all know what works, and it is heartening to know that some states are seeing honest, long-term results that are changing lives. While we in Colorado also know what works, we have a continuing need to help the legislature and governor's office to see the worth and expectation of having adult education in every conversation about how we educate and train our adult citizens by maximizing our resources and collective knowledge. This includes having our state agencies-the workforce centers, the career-training centers, K-12, family literacy programs, community colleges and technical schools-all work together more closely. It also means getting state databases to align so that we can share data about students and their successes and understand where the systems aren't working as well. While we are making progress, it still feels like an uphill struggle.

I appreciate this week's exchanges because several key points are indisputable:

  • navigators-those key personnel who wear a variety of hats, all of which are designed to keep students connected and persisting-are an essential component for all adult learners, ABE/GED/ESOL/family literacy/corrections;
  • states where agencies/educational entities/systems interact and where information-sharing is the norm are making terrific gains while other states lag behind due to a dragging institutional/technological infrastructure;
  • we have the professional know-how and data and have proven what works-now, we need the funding (sorry to state the obvious but just had to here).

For question #3-check into the National Career Awareness Project course offered through World Education/ProLiteracy. This is a training program that was offered to several adult education centers here in Colorado and is well organized and designed for both ABE and ESOL students and easily adapted for GED students. It will help the newcomer avoid reinventing the wheel and is a full program with objectives, outcomes, and teaching activities all at hand. Although not free, it is well worth the money and time investment.

3. What's the "first step" that you would recommend for newcomers to this work who are just trying to figure out how to get started.

Thanks to all for sharing your time and expertise. It's one of my true pleasures to work with other dedicated people.

Stephanie


[Workforce 347] INTRUSIVE ADVISING 5-20-11

Ellen Odonnell

Philip,

At North Shore Community College intrusive advising means that we don't wait for the student to come to us, our achievement coaches reach out to each student every week to provide academic support, career guidance, and assistance with personal issues that may be impeding his/her progress. Since the key to success in a community college is first and foremost being there, achievement coaches call students who are not in class and emphasize the importance of attendance. In Project GRAD (Getting Ready to Achieve Degrees and Certificates) career pathways program, our achievement coaches also teach a one credit personal development course in Career and Life Planning, which is required for all students. This gives the coaches the opportunity to build strong relationships with each student, and gain insight into their backgrounds, aspirations and struggles. Coaches hold study groups before tests, assist English language learners access the help that they need, support students in using technology etc. The goal is to provide intensive assistance in the beginning with the hope that students will become more comfortable at the college and more confident as students so that they will eventually be able to navigate the system on their own.

Ellen


[Workforce 348] What keeps me up at night 5-20-11

Kristin Ockert

Very well-put!

I think there is an advantage to keeping our eyes on the prize (better pathways and greater skill increases for students) and our noses to the grindstone (what can WE do to make this happen). Success usually sells itself. If we look up and around too much at the ebb and flow of politics and the economy we can lose our momentum (as well as our sanity). Of course, working the political scene is vastly important and there are people who are ideally suited to that task. In the meantime, as program innovators and implementers, I believe our role is to keep on increasing, improving and streamlining the way forward for students and we can do that no matter what the politics of the moment is doing. In tight economic circumstances we taxpayers can't afford to spend money on stuff that doesn't work, or that works with little effect on improving the lives of students. Indeed, why would we ever. To me, this means taking what resources we do have (not just stuff at the margins) and using them to promote outcomes that will knock people's socks off.

As frustrating as the different world views in the political arena can be, that's what helps me get back to sleep at night.

/Kristin

Kristin Ockert

WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

1300 Quince St.

PO Box 42495

Olympia, WA 98504-2495

Phone: 360- 704-4361

Fax: 360-704-4419


[Workforce 349] Re: What keeps me up at night 5-20-11

JT

The students care! Please encourage your students to vote, and if possible, you may want to help them register. In Missouri, I help my students register to vote on-line.


Jeanne Van Lengen-Taylor

Instructor

Douglass Adult Learning Center

Columbia, Missouri


[Workforce 352] Re: Where Do We Go From Here – Integrating Career Awareness 5-20-11

Sandy Goodman

To follow up on Stephanies's plug (thanks!) for the National Career Awareness Project, this is an extended professional development project that involves the use of a FREE curriculum guide called "Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom (ICA). It was initially developed by SABES in Massachusetts and then expanded and republished by the National College Transition Network (NCTN). It's available from both of our websites http://collegetransition.org/publications.icacurriculum.html and http://sabes.org/index.htm for FREE.

With funding from OVAE through the LINCS Region 1 Resource Center I am leading the NCA Project to state teams (including Stephanie's team in Colorado) selected for participation through an application process. The project involves an online course to prepare instructors and counselors to use the Integrating Career Awareness curriculum guide. Although this online course is only available at the moment to NCA state teams, it will be available as a fee-based professional development course later this year or early in 2012. Stay tuned for future announcements from www.ProfessionalStudiesAE.org or join NCTN to receive quarterly e-news updates.

Great discussion this week.

Best - Sandy Goodman

Director of Career Pathways

National College Transition Network/World Education

44 Farnsworth Street

Boston, MA 02210

Phone: (617) 385-3816

Fax: (617) 482-0617

Help your adult students go to college:

www.collegeforadults.org


[Workforce 351] Thank You! 5-20-11

Gloria Mwase

Hi,

We just wanted to take a moment and thank you all for this week's discussion. It has truly been encouraging and exciting for us to hear about all the great work you all are doing and to see that our work and strategies are so well received.

We are especially grateful to Donna Brian for providing this opportunity for such a meaningful dialogue.

We hope you have found our engagement helpful. There are a number of follow-up steps that we said we would do --mostly, following up on links and tools we said we would provide -- and we'll make sure that these reach you via the list next week.

Going forward, if you have any additional questions or would like to talk with us "offline" about any of this work, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. (See contact information below.)

We'd especially love to hear from you about what you are planning to do with what you've heard, and maybe we'll check with you in an few months to hear how things are going.

Until the next opportunity. . .

Gloria, Ellen, Pat, Amy and Elaine

Gloria Mwase

Program Director, Career Pathways

Jobs For The Future

88 Broad Street, 8th Flr.

Boston, MA 02110

617.728.4446 x166
gmwase@jff.org
http://www.jff.org

Elaine Baker

Director, FastStart at CCD

Community College of Denver

Box 450, P.O. Box 173363

Denver, CO 80217-3363

Phone: (303) 352-6912

Email: elaine.baker@ccd.edu

Pat Phillips

Associate Dean, Foundational Studies

Davidson County Community College

297 DCCC Road

Thomasville, NC 27360

Phone: (336) 224-4570

Email: patp@davidsonccc.edu

Amy Dalsimer

Director, PCAP

LaGuardia Community College

31-10 Thomson Avenue, C400

Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: (718) 482-5357

Email: adalsimer@lagcc.cuny.edu

Ellen O'Donnell

Dean, Division of Human Services

North Shore Community College

1 Ferncroft Road

Danvers, MA 01923

Phone: (978) 762-4000

Email: eodonnel@northshore.edu


[Workforce 350] Thanks to our guests! 5-20-11

Donna Brian

Greetings, workforce educators!

This has been a fantastic week! I've learned a lot, and I bet you have too! We owe a large debt of gratitude to our guests, Gloria Mwase, Ellen O'Donnell, Pat Phillips, Amy Dalsimer, and Elaine Baker! Thank you all so much! Actually, since they all had to join the list to participate, they are no longer guests, but members and colleagues, and the discussion can continue informally whenever you want to access their expertise through the list.

Please let me and our guests know what you liked and found lacking in our discussion. From your messages, my inclination is that many of you have some ideas you want to try out. I'd love to have you share what you want to try and your successes and difficulties in your efforts as you work through your ideas.

One thing that I still want to ask Gloria and the crew is how important they feel it is that all four of the "high leverage strategies," accelerated pace of learning, comprehensive support services, increased labor market connections and payoffs, and aligned and linked programs be in place in order for the programs to demonstrate success. Has there been any research to show how each of these factors contribute to the gains? During the discussion, there seemed to be several people who verified that comprehensive support services contributed a lot to their successes. My guess is that each of these factors would contribute by themselves, but that the combination of the four is even more powerful. Just wondering if there is any evidence for this.

I plan to follow up on this discussion in several ways:

  • I will make both a transcript and a summary of this discussion, and both will be put online on the LINCS site. I'll let you know when they are done and give you the URL to find them.
  • Several resources have been mentioned during this discussion, and some additional resources that are indirectly related have come to my attention this week. I will put those together for your "Thursday Resources" and try to get that done to send out Thursday next.
  • We will be combining with the English Language Acquisition discussion list in the very near future for a discussion with guest Heide Spruck Wrigley with the title of "Transitioning Language Minority Adults to Work and Training." If you remember, Heide weighed in on one of the questions we had about English Language Learners saying that she was working in that environment with the Breaking Through Initiative in Texas. That discussion is scheduled for May 30 - June 3, but at the time we scheduled it, we didn't take into account that May 30 was a holiday for many people. Would May 30 being a holiday make it less or more likely that you could take part? If less, we could schedule as a 4-day discussion, or alternatively, carry the discussion over to Monday of the next week.

I would also like to thank all list members for their interest and participation. I know it was difficult to keep track of all the posts, and I'm sure we overworked your brains and overloaded your inboxes! Thanks for sticking with us!

Donna

Donna Brian

Moderator, LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Discussion List

Off-list contact djgbrian@utk.edu

To post a message:
workforce@lincs.ed.gov

To subscribe/unsubscribe/change options/access archives:
http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/workforce


[Workforce 353] Thank You! 5-20-11

Robert Purga

Gloria: thank you. this has been a very very productive and meaningful discussion. Lot for us in NY to think about but well done and we will be following up. Bob Purga


[Workforce 354] Re: How do we ensure that students receive a labor market pay-off as they advance along their career pathways? 5-21-11

Theresa Pagano

Partners in Learning, Inc. has operated the West Side Learning Center and MANOS Early Education Program in partnership with the Syracuse School District in New York for 22 years.

We serve ELL adults and children ages 3 through 5.

Culturally and linguistically responsive system navigators are the glue that hold it all together with our diverse adult learners, their children, practitioners, and other decision makers. The navigators keep all of us grounded in the realities of learning and living in Syracuse. We depend on New York's Literacy Zone model to support our efforts. We are fortunate to currently have 3 Lit. Zones in our urban area.

Thank you for this extremely valuable share session and access to some career-specific learning tools. We recently purchased one of the MECA software modules to use with our VESOL Healthcare cohort.

Gracias,

Theresa Pagano

Program Facilitator

Partners in Learning, Inc. & SCSD

315.744.3831


[Workforce 355] Research on what works 5-21-11

Elaine Baker

Donna,

Thanks for your thoughtful work through the week and for your synthesis. Several posts have asked about research on program effectiveness in relationship to the four leveraged strategies. It would be helpful if we could have some access to the "Ready for College" evaluations that were submitted to OVAE. I will send the external evaluation that was done by Debra Bragg on Colorado SUN, but I would be interested in the other evaluations, as well.

Dr. Bragg also did an evaluation of College Connection as part of Breaking Through. I think Gloria will be sending that report to be included in the resources. As part of the evaluation, Dr. Bragg did two site visits with each of the College Connection programs and led focus groups with students and faculty. She also analyzed data on levels attained, enrollment in college, short-term persistence, and credits earned. There was not enough time to look at long term persistence or credentials, but the qualitative data is very informative.

Elaine Baker


[Workforce 356] Re: What are the comprehensive support services needed and how do we make them available to our students? 5-21-11

Valerie Hunt

Yes, wrap-around services including case management support is critical to student success; especially so for those with disabilities. Elaine Baker and I both had successful programs at Community College of Denver working with TANF and persons with disabilities providing tutoring, case management support, job coaching, accommodations, internships leading to employment, etc. This model is successful and hopefully more funding like the National Transitional Jobs Network model will continue to fund our programs and support our clients.

Valerie Hunt M.A., CRC

Director of Training and Employment Services

The Empowerment Program

1600 York Street

Denver, CO 80206

Phone: 303-320-1989

Fax: 303-320-3987

valerie-hunt@empowermentprogram.org