[Assessment 1119] Re: No Questions or Comments?!

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Forrest Chisman forrest at crosslink.net
Tue Feb 5 18:41:03 EST 2008

Hello List,

As one of the "guests" in this discussion, I want to apologize for being so
late in weighing in. My ISP chose today to go down - ALL DAY. But I'll do my
best now, and Jodi Crandall may join me a bit later.

Let me start with the Andy's contribution, because transitions are a special
interest of mine. I was delighted to learn of this transition program, and
it seems to be doing all the right things. Andy, I think you could help all
of us if you could tell us MORE. For example, how many students are enrolled
in the program each year (or semester), is it limited in geographic area
(and if so what area), do you have waiting lists or can you serve everyone
who applies, how many weeks (terms) does the program run, at what level do
students enter it (or what criteria are used to select them), can you
characterize the curriculum (e.g., how does it differ from standard life
skills or credit ESL, if at all), what are the "internships" (a fascinating
idea!) and support services, what percentage of students who enroll make
transitions to colleges, do you know how successful they are in college?
Finally, how much does it cost on a per-student basis? The cost issue is
often a barrier to establishing and maintaining good transition programs. In
fact, could you support the program without private foundation funding? Is
that a barrier to expanding it? Are there other barriers to expanding it?

I know that's asking a lot, but really good transition programs are hard to
find, and I think you would make a major contribution by telling everyone
more about yours.

Jodi and I agree that there is a great need for more VESL programs. A
problem seems to be that good ones are expensive to develop and maintain.
I've seen too many good VESL programs that were created with grant funding
die because they couldn't be sustained by state funding, tuition, and other
"usual" means. Another problem seems to be the need to target VESL programs
on areas of real labor market need in a given area. Finally, at least some
VESL programs prepare students only for entry level jobs (such as CNA) that
pay very low wages. Often students who complete these programs don't remain
in the vocation very long, or if they do they become members of the "working
poor" - which most of them were to begin with. It seems that VESL programs
that contain a "career ladder" component have better results, both short
term and long term, for both the students and the workforce. I'm wondering
whether these observations correspond to the experiences of people viewing
this discussion, and if they do, what have any of you been able to do to
meet these problems/challenges? In fact, I'm wondering how many of you have
VESL programs, and in what fields.

Forrest Chisman

Vice President

Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Tyskiewicz, Andy
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 8:57 AM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1107] Re: No Questions or Comments?!

We have been funded for an ESL Transition to College program over the next
three years by a private foundation. There is a need in CT to streamline
services and to connect what our adult ed public school based programs do
with community colleges. We need to avoid duplication of services and move
forward with best practices. Our current program (Regional Service Center
entity) is more intensive in services 15-20 hours a week with internships
and close support services - this is a major factor in bridging the route to
higher ed and referrals to the CC ESL program. If students complete our
program they usually skip a level at the CC and avoid using some federal
assistance for non-credit courses, which is itself a controversial issue.
The school districts have free programs. PD is extensively provided in CT
through a centralized service. A next step here is further developing the
linkages with the private sector - more VESL on site - we have an increasing
number of these programs. Some funding is being provided through the Labor
Dept. incumbent worker funds and some by the companies. This is a real
growth area for services.

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Marie Cora
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 6:51 PM
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1103] No Questions or Comments?!

Hello everyone,

I'm so surprised! No one has anything to comment on regarding your
program's effectiveness at helping ESL students advance?? I was very
curious to know if subscribers experience the same types of issues that Dr.
Chisman and Dr. Crandall found in their research: a lack of intensity of
instruction/few protocols for transitioning students/few opportunities for
professional development.

What are the issues in your program that you feel inhibit the ESL student
from advancing? What do you try to do about that?

Please post your questions and comments now.


Marie Cora

Assessment Discussion List Moderator

Marie Cora

<mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com> marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com

NIFL Assessment Discussion List Moderator


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