[SpecialTopics 93] Re: Persistence Strategies

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Maurio, Rebecca RMaurio at carrollcc.edu
Mon Jul 10 12:55:53 EDT 2006

Great discussion and it's only early Monday! I appreciate hearing ideas
and learning what has worked in other settings - this topic is so
critical to our work!

Renata's comments lead me to ask - how can we help our funders and other
stakeholders to understand the realities our students and our programs
face? While we all need to be held to certain accountability measures,
there will be many students who can benefit from even what most would
consider irregular attendance - and I believe that's a good thing. How
can we demonstrate other benefits - perhaps without the number of hours
of attendance or without the score on a standardized post-test?

I also wonder - what activities and strategies are programs employing to
keep learners connected to their programs even when they cannot attend


Becki Maurio

ESOL Coordinator / Project Developer

Carroll Community College

Westminster, Maryland


From: specialtopics-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:specialtopics-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Renata Russo
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 12:43 PM
To: specialtopics at nifl.gov
Subject: [SpecialTopics 92] Re: Persistence Strategies

Hello Bruce,

Thank you for sharing the two strategies that you have found helpful
when dealing with persistence. A comment I have about the second
strategy relates to funding and accountability. We as teachers and
administrators understand our learners' barriers to participate.
However, accountability has become a major barrier for some programs in
recent years. The performance-based approach and funding measured by
contact hours can have a major impact in our programs.


-----Original Message-----
From: specialtopics-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:specialtopics-bounces at nifl.gov]On Behalf Of Bruce Carmel
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 11:26 AM
To: specialtopics at nifl.gov
Subject: [SpecialTopics 91] Persistence Strategies

Dear John,

I've been working in adult literacy since 1989, and student
persistence (and retention) has been a challenge in every setting I have
known. Students' dropout or irregular attendance makes educational gain
difficult and really frustrates teachers. I learned a lot when you and I
worked together on the Wallace Funds project, where we focused on
persistence among library literacy students. There are two main
strategies I have found helpful:

1) Offer high-quality instruction in a supportive environment
(There are many components of this.)

2) Re-define success. Accept that students are going to attend
classes in a way that fits into their lives and satisfies their needs.
This might not fit into staff's concept of intensity and duration of
instruction--so staff have to accept a new, irregular, sporadic model of

What do you think? What do you think are the key issues,
strategies, suggestions for programs and staff struggling with student

From Bruce Carmel

Turning Point

Brooklyn, NY

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