Secondary Credentialing Practices

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST) Program Pima Community College Tucson, AZ

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST) Program

Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ

Helping adult learners attain a GED® while they simultaneously earn college credits.

Description of Practice

Pima Community College’s (PCC) IBEST programs offer courses to adult learners that build basic skills while they pursue a certificate in Career and Technical Education (CTE). IBEST courses use a co-teaching model that pairs an adult education instructor and a CTE faculty member to provide learners with the critical knowledge, skills, and support systems needed to help them persist and succeed in the CTE program, earn industry-recognized certificates, and earn a GED® credential. 

PCC’s IBEST programs rely on industry and WIOA Title I partners to inform programming and ensure adult learners have access to employers and employment opportunities. Learners are co-enrolled in the ARIZONA @ WORK-Pima County One-Stop Career Center to support employment and further training. Additionally, IBEST provides critical wraparound supports and coordinated systems of communication.

Innovative Features

  • Integrated instruction supports GED® attainment
  • Extensive wraparound and support services for participants, including dedicated advisors
  • Learners are co-enrolled in the ARIZONA @ WORK One-Stop Career Center
  • Partnerships among IBEST, ARIZONA @ WORK One-Stop Career Center, community-based support services, and PCC CTE faculty
  • Learners who have not yet earned a high school diploma can access federal financial aid through the Ability to Benefit provision of the Higher Education Act 

Target Population and Requirements

IBEST typically serves adults whose TABE®11/12 scores are at NRS Adult Secondary Level. Learners must also meet ACCUPLACER® entry requirements for each CTE program.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

To implement IBEST, an adult education program must have partnerships with career and technical training providers. The program also needs partnerships with community organizations to be able to refer learners to wraparound and support services. 

Program Contact

Pima Community College
Adult Basic Education for College and Career
1255 North Stone Avenue, Room AH130
Tucson, AZ 85709
(520) 206-7330
www.pima.edu/adulted

 

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo Integrated High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program Western Technical College La Crosse, WI

Integrated High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program

Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI

Helping adult learners earn a high school diploma and college credits in two semesters. 

Description of Practice

Western Technical College’s (WTC) HSED shortens learners’ time in earning Wisconsin’s 5.09 HSED, facilitates their transition to college, and provides flexibility for learners to complete the program through the delivery of blocked units of instruction and the use of technology. 

The practice is a two-semester program. During the first semester, learners participate in five thematic integrated units with 27 lessons or learning activities that address Wisconsin’s HSED competencies. If learners complete one or more units and then have barriers to their continued participation, they can participate in the online version of the units or take a break from the coursework and return within two years to continue. 

During the second semester, all learners are enrolled in a course that addresses career exploration and employability skills and for which they can earn credit for prior learning.  Learners also can take a second credit-bearing, graded course that is part of a degree or credential program of interest. The HSED instructor supports learners in the graded course by checking in with them periodically to ensure that learners have the best chance for success. Critically, the program works with learners to find resources to cover the costs associated with the courses.

Innovative Features

  • Two-semester model means that learners earn a high school credential more quickly than in traditional programs
  • Integrated units allow flexibility for learners who experience interruptions in their education
  • Team teaching approach
  • Supports learners in the transition to college
  • Learners can receive credit for prior learning and earn up to six college credits upon completion of the program 

Target Population and Requirements

To enroll in the HSED program, the state of Wisconsin requires that learners are at least 18.5 years of age, hold proof of Wisconsin residency, have no prior secondary credential, and participate in an assessment and counseling session. To enter the HSED program at WTC, learners must attain a reading score at the NRS Level 3 or higher on Level M, D, or A of the TABE® 11 & 12. Learners may begin in an Alternative High School Program, GED® preparation, English language learner (ELL) classes, or at the Literacy Council before they attain the required TABE® Reading test score to transition to the HSED program.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

Access to computers is preferable. The curriculum is available through Blackboard software and can be copied. The curriculum could also be used on another platform. The curriculum is designed to be taught by certified bachelor’s or master’s degree educators. Ideally the co-instructors teaching the 5.09 course are experts in opposite fields. For example, a math/science instructor and a communications/social studies instructor would co-teach.

Program Contact

Western Technical College
Learning Support and Transition Division
400 7th Street North
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-9200
www.westerntc.edu

 

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo Multi-Craft Core Curriculum High School Equivalency Diploma (MC3/HSED) Program Literacy Services of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI

Multi-Craft Core Curriculum High School Equivalency Diploma (MC3/HSED) Program

Literacy Services of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Earning a high school credential and an industry-recognized credential in a pre-apprenticeship program. 

Description of Practice

The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum High School Equivalency Diploma (MC3/HSED) program enables adult learners to concurrently earn Wisconsin’s HSED and the industry-recognized MC3 pre-apprenticeship certificate. This practice involves Literacy Services of Wisconsin’s (LSW) 5.09 HSED and the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) program. The 5.09 HSED is a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction-approved, competency-based alternative diploma program.

LSW delivers a contextualized HSED program in partnership with WRTP’s Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program (BIG STEP), an industry-led, worker-centered, and community-focused organization. In addition to earning an HSED and the industry-recognized MC3 pre-apprenticeship certificate, learners accessing this practice are prepared for employment or enrollment in a registered apprenticeship program in the building trades. 

LSW and WRTP jointly recruit learners, meet with them to discuss goals and fit, and provide an orientation to the program that includes union member participation. Learners also receive wraparound services including tutoring, career guidance, and job placement support.

Innovative Features

  • Concurrent high school diploma and industry-recognized credentials 
  • Learners engage in a pre-apprenticeship program and interact with professionals from a variety of trades, providing them with an authentic understanding of jobs in their area of interest
  • Completion of the MC3/HSED program qualifies learners to apply for an apprenticeship
  • Academic and career training opportunities without learners having to commit financially to enroll in college
  • Model can be applied to other occupational areas

Target Population and Requirements

To enroll in the HSED program, the state of Wisconsin requires that learners are at least 18.5 years of age, hold proof of Wisconsin residency, have no prior secondary credential, and participate in an assessment and counseling session at LSW. To be eligible for the MC3/HSED, learners (1) may have participated in either an adult basic education (ABE) or ELL program; and (2) must have demonstrated good attendance and motivation in this program or in another program at LSW. It is strongly preferred that learners have a positive referral from WRTP, LSW, or another community-based organization.  

A final requirement is that learners attain a score at the NRS Level 3 or higher on Level M, D, or A of the TABE® 11 & 12. Learners must also demonstrate basic computer skills.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

This program requires a partnership between an adult education provider and an entity able to provide the MC3 programming. The program involves fees for tuition, books, and supplies; these costs vary by training provider. LSW works with their local workforce investment board; WIOA, Title 1-B, Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs; FoodShare Employment and Training Funds (FSET); and philanthropic partners to access funds to pay for the cost of learners’ participation in MC3/HSED.

Program Contact

Literacy Services of Wisconsin
555 North Plankinton Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 344-5878
www.literacyservices.org

 

Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo National External Diploma Program® Mercy Learning Center Bridgeport, CT
National External Diploma Program

Mercy Learning Center, Bridgeport, CT

Enabling adult learners to earn a high school diploma based on their academic skills, life skills, and college and career competencies.  

Description of Practice

The NEDP is a web-based alternative high school credentialing program for adults and out-of-school youth. It is a competency-based, applied performance assessment system that enables learners to demonstrate their skills in a series of simulations that parallel work and life activities, and to earn a traditional high school diploma based on their mastery of those skills. The NEDP does not provide instruction but uses a Diagnostic Assessment phase to determine readiness to participate in a Generalized Assessment phase. 

For the Diagnostic phase, learners must meet benchmark Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS®) scores in reading and mathematics and complete a writing assessment. Learners also complete self-assessments in career exploration and technology and a determination of their individual skills such as employment, training, and readiness for postsecondary education. Learners who do not qualify for the Generalized Assessment are advised to participate in tutoring and then are retested.  
     
In the Generalized Assessment phase, learners demonstrate their skills in 10 academic and life skill competency areas. They complete these demonstrations independently and submit their evidence electronically. Learners then meet with an assessor to defend their submissions. As part of their individualized assessment, learners demonstrate one of four types of skills related to college and career competencies. Learners skills are assessed through their development of a portfolio of evidence; presentation of documentation of their prior learning or experience; or their demonstration of current skills. Learners must demonstrate 100% mastery of competencies in order to earn a diploma.

Innovative Features 

  • Competency-based framework
  • Credit for prior learning and experience
  • Time-flexible structure 
  • Integrates college and career readiness skills and advising activities from early stages
  • Web-based delivery

Target Population and Requirements

The NEDP is recommended for self-directed adults with life experience, work history, prior training programs, or interest in postsecondary education. 

Resources Needed to Implement Program 

To operate an NEDP, an adult education program must have the technological infrastructure needed to support its online activity and have staff who can complete the NEDP assessor/advisor training that CASAS sponsors. The NEDP can be implemented as part of a state’s adoption of the NEDP in multiple programs or a local program’s adoption. Costs include a state license fee, implementation training, and based units per learner.  

The adult education program also must work with the state adult education office or a local school board concerning the awarding of a state or local high school diploma. CASAS staff are available to facilitate this process.  

Program Contact

Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc.
637 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 334-6699
www.mercylearningcenter.org