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Establishing Career Pathways. Turning the Dark Into Day.

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Presentation on theme: "Establishing Career Pathways. Turning the Dark Into Day."— Presentation transcript:

1 Establishing Career Pathways

2 Turning the Dark Into Day

3 What Do You Call This? According to the US Census (2010) approximately 43 million adults in the United States do not have a high school diploma. 30 million American adults can perform only the most basic literacy tasks – this has not changed in more than a decade.

4 Illiteracy By Region South 16 Million Northeast 9 Million Midwest8.5 Million West9.5

5 Why Career Pathways Career Pathways for Adult Education (AECP) recognizes the potential in every student and replaces the tradition of treating AE as a terminal program. Multiple entry and multiple exit points create a system of lifelong learning and lifelong earning.

6 AECP Programs: A Brighter Future AECP is about life-long learning for life- long earning. Uses career ladders to promote career growth. Provides a framework of incremental success rather than a one shot deal.

7 AECP Works for the Most Challenging Populations  Low skilled adults/ex-offender re-entry students are in strong need of AECP.  Each population is “at-risk” more than the general Adult Education population and, under a traditional system, is likely to fail.

8 Risk Assessment Low-Skill Students Undiagnosed learning disability(ies) Lack a sense of purpose Identify closely with failure Often need extensive support in soft-skill development Re-Entry Students Undiagnosed learning disability(ies) Lack a sense of purpose Identify closely with failure Often need extensive support in soft-skill development

9 Mentoring: The Critical Element  Every low-skill and re-entry student must have a mentor for accountability and encouragement purposes.  These populations are highly successful at quitting and failing.  A strong mentor is a bridge to the future.  Mentoring in partnership with CBO’s and others is a winning strategy.

10 The Right Student, at the Right Time, in the Right Place Grade levels do not singularly determine the best time to transition a student from Adult Education to post-secondary education. Grade level of 6 or above, maturity, established goals and a strong support network determine when a student is ready to enter a post-secondary educational program.

11 Traditional Model Through the Eyes of AE Program Directors Adult Basic Education GED exam preparation Completion of GED program Entry to a post-secondary program Completion of a post-secondary program

12 A Traditional Model Through the Eyes of Low-Skill Students Swallow pride – admit shortcomings and ask for help Take a placement test to affirm you have low skills – deflation of existing value Begin ABE coursework – lacking purpose Stop out Return to program

13 A Traditional Model Through the Eyes of Low-Skill Students Enter GED program Complete program Welcome to the Jungle Compete to learn about financial aid Struggle to complete paperwork Enter post-secondary program Often unable to navigate the system and quit

14 A Traditional Model Through the Eyes of Re-Entry Students Acknowledge criminal background to strangers Lack funds to pay for classes Compete to learn about financial aid Enter and complete post-secondary program (best case scenario) Fail to secure job because of criminal background and inability to manage the past

15 AECP for Low-Skilled and Re- Entry Students Program intake process must include the following for both groups of students:  Placement Test  Facilitation that includes a brief report on educational and career goals (Day 1)  Use of a career inventory such as CHOICES

16 AECP for Low-Skilled and Re- Entry Students  Contextualized curriculum  Career based breakout classes  Financial aid workshops and use of in-house scholarships  On-going workshops on career options and student support such as learning styles, study skills, time management, financial management, conflict resolution, and soft-skill development

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18 Low-Skill Students Climb Career Ladders Students who TABE at a level 6 are great candidates for many entry-level post-secondary educational programs including:  Certified Nursing Assistant  Office Skills  Construction  Barbering

19 Incentivizing Adult Education Adult Education in itself often fails to provide incentives for many students who are unable to see any long term benefit. AECP programs that allow students to enter career programs while in AE puts light at the end of the tunnel and establishes a sense of pride and accomplishment while also boosting retention and completion rates.

20 Supplemental Learning  Students who function between levels 6-8 need on-going support to succeed in post- secondary programs.  Consider the importance of supplemental learning workshops/classes:  Vocabulary  Math  Soft-Skills

21 Support Groups  Mentoring and peer groups - essential for a strong ongoing support.  Low skill and re-entry students - often ready to begin job shadowing and, in some cases, in-house internships.

22 AECP Pre-Career Academies As part of the career pathways support system, students should have the opportunity to enter pre-career academies.  Health  Technology  Industrial  Business  Public Safety  STEM  Education

23 AECP Pre-Career Academies Pre-Career Academies are interactive:  Professional speakers  Field trips  Project based learning  Group activities  Social bonding  Resume development  Mock interviews (the felony question)

24 Second Chance Act, 2007 “We believe that even those who have struggled with a dark past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief is by helping former prisoners who've paid for their crimes -- we help them build new lives as productive members of our society... [o]ur government has a responsibility to help prisoners to return as contributing members of their community.” President George W. Bush - while signing the Second Chance Act of (Ron Zapata, A True Second Change: Promoting Ex-Offender ReEntry Through Federal Anti-Discrimination Law, 2011)

25 President Obama: Town Hall Meeting in Tampa, Florida, 2010 “A smart crime reduction strategy must also incorporate outreach to those who have paid their debt to society and have become responsible and contributing members of their communities. Prisoner reentry programs have been tested and proven effective.” President Barack Obama during a Town Hall Meeting, Tampa, Florida (Ron Zapata, A True Second Change: Promoting Ex-Offender ReEntry Through Federal Anti- Discrimination Law, 2011)

26 Previous Re-Entry Program Initiatives Previous initiatives are commonly short sighted and fail to support long term success because they:  Focus on limited skill development  Focus on job placement in low wage jobs  Neglect long term educational planning  Often lack on-going support for career growth  Neglect to implement a holistic approach

27 AECP Financial Assistance Community Based Partnerships Strong Facilitation/Orientation Contextual Core Curriculum

28 Mapping the Route to Your Destination…Through AECP Career Goal Identification Begin AE Classes Enter an AECP Academy/Develop Career and Soft Skills – interview skills and conflict resolution Secure Financial Aid Enter Postsecondary Program with a mentor AE Intake Enter Workforce as a Life- long Learner

29 2011 National Career Pathways Network Conference Orlando, Florida October 12–14 Orlando World Center Marriott.


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