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Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Jobs for the Future October 15, 2014 Improving & Designing Pathways for Adult Learners at Our Community Colleges.

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Presentation on theme: "Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Jobs for the Future October 15, 2014 Improving & Designing Pathways for Adult Learners at Our Community Colleges."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Jobs for the Future October 15, 2014 Improving & Designing Pathways for Adult Learners at Our Community Colleges

2 Today’s Presentation Overview of the Accelerating Opportunity Model Best Practices for Program Development and Implementation Opportunities and Challenges Resources 2

3 Accelerating Opportunity: An Overview Multi-state, multi-college career pathways initiative Started with a planning year in 2011 Approaching the end of the three-year implementation phase now Primary emphasis: redesigning Adult Basic Education and Career/Technical Education to enable more low-income adults to complete postsecondary credentials that are of value in the labor market. 3

4 7 States, Over 85 Colleges 4

5 Programs lack supports and are ill-equipped to meet the needs of non- traditional students The “black hole” of developmental education: Low completion rates for underprepared students Remediation not customized to career pathway requirements Lack of alignment with career/technical credential programs postsecondary entrance requirements Traditional ABE/GED Programs Developmental Education Postsecondary Career Programs Multiple Loss Points Low rates of program completion and credential attainment Disconnected Educational Pathways 5

6 Accelerated skill-building integrated with credit coursework Support through gate-keeper courses Intensive transition counseling Comprehensive supplemental services Intensive counseling Flexible program options Job placement More Adult Learners Succeeding in ABE to Credential Pathways Articulated Career Pathways Stackable Credentials with Labor Market Value Accelerated and Integrated ABE and GED programs Career exploration Contextualized learning Skill-building for postsecondary/career success College and career counseling Streamlined Adult Education Pathways 6

7 Accelerating Opportunity’s Core Components 7

8 The Accelerating Opportunity Instructional Model Career/ Technical Pathway At least 25% overlap in classroom instruction Adult Education Support Services 7

9 Current Progress: Enrollments, Credentials, Systems Change 9

10 Student Population Adults (17+) with low basic skills –6 th -12 th grade in math or writing –Low English language skills With or without a high school credential/GED 10 Gender Age

11 Best Practices Career Pathways/Stackable Credentials Accelerated, Relevant Instruction Comprehensive Supports Labor Market Alignment Partnerships Focus on Policy and Practice Buy-In at Multiple Levels Provide Professional Development for Faculty & Staff 11

12 Best Practice: Stackable Credentials Series of interconnected education and training programs Start with short-term credentials Include multiple stop-out points – and make it easy for students to come back Build in ladders and lattices Encourage students to continue on the pathway Develop maps that help students visualize their career and educational plans 12

13 Best Practices: Integrated (or Contextualized) Instruction Strategies: Team Teaching Contextualization Dual Enrollment Benefits: Promotes Acceleration: –Students need to earn a credential and find a job quickly – they don’t have time to spend a year or more on remediation –Academic/CTE content covered simultaneously, not sequentially Relevance: –Connect basic skills instructions to students’ career goals Embedded support: –Model how to be an effective student –Focus on study skills, time management –Supplemental instruction to build skills 13

14 Best Practice: Comprehensive Support Services Barriers to Persistence and Completion 42

15 Best Practice: Comprehensive Support Services Academic Advising: to support academic success Nonacademic Advising: to foster students’ sense of connection to the college, enhance self-confidence, ability to access resources and make decisions Career Services: to identify student goals, share information, ensure alignment of courses with goals and facilitate transition to employment Financial Services: to support financing of studies and build students’ self-efficacy around managing finances Social Services and Counseling: to help manage personal lives to support persistence and completion 42

16 Best Practice: Comprehensive Support Services 42 Provide a full range of coordinate supports Make supports an integral part of the program model Develop partnerships to complement college resources Coordinate provision of supports among partners Communicate the availability of supports to students, faculty, and staff Reduce barriers to access Remember the value of relationships

17 Best Practice: Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement Why? –Leverage resources, expertise –Create widespread buy-in and momentum for systems change Who? –State-level partnerships between education, workforce, commerce, social services –Local partnerships: Workforce Investment Boards/One-Stops Community-based Organizations Employers Industry Associations Making it work: –Partnerships take time to develop – both sides need to see a benefit –Ongoing engagement, not episodic –Communication is essential – be sure to have a consistent message 17

18 Best Practices: Labor Market Alignment Why is this important? –Students need jobs, so local demand needs to exist! –Employers need to be confident that students have the credentials/skills/knowledge needed to be successful Strategies for assessing demand: –Traditional and real-time labor market data –Input from local employers, WIBs, industry associations Best practices: –Assessing programs and curricula – are students learning what they need to know? –Balancing output with employer demand 18

19 Best Practice: Dual Focus on Policy and Practice Why include a policy component? –Remove barriers to implementation –Incentivize adoption of the model –Provide new sources of funding –Promote sustainability –Facilitate culture change Examples from Accelerating Opportunity: –Delayed placement exams –Enrollment policies –Tuition funding –Performance-based funding measures 19

20 Best Practice: Dual Focus on Policy and Practice Best Practices Start with assessment Develop a policy team Develop a work plan Examine both hard and soft policy Create feedback loops between state systems and institutions 20

21 Best Practice: Buy-In at Multiple Levels Why is this important? Commitment of high-level leadership helps with changing institutional policy change reallocate resources High-level support can legitimatize the initiative You also need buy-in from the people charged with implementation – faculty, staff, support services, college admissions and registrar Best practices: State and local commitment to the goals of the initiative Clear messaging about why the initiative is needed and the problems it is trying to solve Frequent communication about initiative progress – what’s working and what’s challenging Ongoing professional development and communities of practices 21

22 Best Practice: Professional Development for Faculty and Staff Why is this important? Changing instructional practice is difficult Those administering a new program need guidance as well, including clear definition of roles and responsibilities. Best practices: Provide ongoing PD, not just at the beginning of the initiative Provide a range of PD opportunities that target those just getting started as well as more experienced faculty and staff Provide PD to instructional staff, support staff, and administrators Create opportunities for faculty and staff to share best practices within and across institutions Make sure faculty and staff have someone to turn to when they have questions or when challenges arise Develop internal expertise to train new faculty and staff as they come on board 22

23 Resources Initiative Overview: Publication: Promoting Persistence through Comprehensive Supports Accelerating Opportunity Field Guide: Resource Library: 23


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