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Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) Higher Education & Training Initiative.

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Presentation on theme: "Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) Higher Education & Training Initiative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) Higher Education & Training Initiative

2 Why Focus on Transitions? ABE students are the workforce and higher education systems’ next students -- we want to ensure that transition We see ABE as one of the building blocks of Minnesota’s economic and workforce development efforts The goal of this initiative is to increase ABE program capacity for ABE clients to move seamlessly into post- secondary education and training programs

3 What Do We Know? From Joyce Foundation initiative: We need to improve student transitions to credit-bearing postsecondary programs from developmental (college remedial) education, adult basic education, and English literacy, particularly for low-skilled adult workers We need to define goals and accountability measures across adult and postsecondary education workforce training economic development, and human services We need to improve data capacity to track student transitions within education and then through their advancement in the labor market.

4 What Do We Know? From the GWDC Skills and Wage Advancement Committee The “stair step” diagram accurately (and painfully!) reflects our current status. We need to develop a policy framework and plan to implement the middle two steps of the “Bridging the Gap in the Education and Training Infrastructure.” We need to also be attentive to opening the ABE/adult education pipeline to those who are not even currently in our “potential” pool of program participants.

5 How Can ABE Help? ABE programs can provide better pathways to higher education and training programs through three strategies: 1) “Extending” traditional credential programming (e.g., GED, HS diploma) 2) Articulating instruction with existing higher ed and training pathways 3) Focusing on building “schoolability/college readiness” and employability in all ABE participants and potential future ABE participants

6 1) Extending ABE Programming ABE recognizes that we have many GED completers who reach minimum passing GED scores, but lack necessary skills to successfully transition to and take advantage of higher education and training opportunities A model for improving this is extension programming like “GED Plus”

7 GED Plus GED Plus curriculum extends beyond typical GED instruction to include skills beyond the minimum set require to pass the GED Many MN ABE programs already have implemented “managed enrollment” i.e. students are required to commit to participate in a complete GED prep experience that extends their learning beyond the minimal goal of passing the GED Over the course of the next year ABE will explore and provide learning opportunities for ABE providers to become trained and/or to partner with others to create this holistic experience.

8 2) Articulation of Instruction ABE programming will articulate instructional activities with education and training opportunities in the higher ed/training systems. As an example, there are currently pre-certification program curricula designed to provide ABE participants the opportunity to develop the core literacy skills necessary to support successful participation in CNA, CDL, CDA, welding, CNC, and manufacturing certificate kinds of education and training opportunities. We are actively working to identify other “short-term”, often certificate-based training opportunities with which to articulate.

9 3) Focus on Schoolability and Employability ABE programs will build their capacity to provide learning opportunities for students to increase their “schoolability” and employability skills – the knowledge and skills in addition to core literacy needed to be successful in educational and workplace settings – the so-called soft skills We are mindful that there are future potential learners who also need these skills Two approaches to advancing this focus are…

10 Schoolability/Employability Through: …a shared and recognized credential that includes “situational judgment” and other skills as the National Work Readiness Credential (NRWC) currently being piloted in MN does …provision of “wrap-around” services as some ABE partners now provide in conjunction with workforce service providers (e.g., Anoka)

11 When Will We Do This? ABE Transition Initiative Process 3-year implementation: FY 2008, 2009, 2010 MDE-ABE will provide formula-based funding to ABE consortia to support this initiative – receipt of this funding each year is contingent upon local consortia doing the following each year: Year 1 Meet and greet: reach out to local higher ed providers, get to know their structure, staff, programs, etc. host meetings, convene groups, etc. Learn what’s possible. Participate in one or more: state sponsored transition conference, Dev ed conference (MNADE), Innovate MN (DEED/MnSCU), read transition research and best practice posts from MDE-ABE, participate in transition study circles, visit consortia that are already collaborating Use learning from the above to determine possible implementation activities Year 2 – develop/obtain needed resources, e.g. curriculum; and pilot at least one initiative Year 3 – Fully implement and sustain at least one or more initiatives

12 What Outcomes Will We See? Increased seamless, articulated transitions programming Reduce the instances of overlapping or duplicative programming Increase referrals between higher education and ABE (and define terminal and “value added” educational pathways) Reduce numbers of ABE clients that need remedial college prep classes

13 How Will We Measure Success? Through the Joyce Initiative, NGA Policy Academy and other efforts, we should develop shared goals and expected outcomes as noted earlier The ABE system will track referrals from ABE to additional training/education as well as learner outcomes ABE partners will also track need for remedial ed coming into ABE

14 Why Is This Good? We will reduce the use of federal and state aid spent on non-credit bearing developmental education classes We will reduce matriculation duration The base of prospective students and workers will be broadened We will increase enrollment and strengthen retention of ABE clients in the higher education system

15 What’s Next? Action Steps Discuss this initiative with state-level partners (now through July 2007) Secure commitments from partners for: Shared commitment to articulating common goals and outcomes Participation in specific strategies Possible matching funds to support strategies going forward Begin roll-out with ABE partners by October 2007

16 Last Thoughts Opportunity Abounds: the confluence of the Joyce Initiative, NGA academy and this initiative creates opportunities not to be missed Keep Talking: Even as we have to keep our individual efforts moving, we want to have clear and continual communication Thank you for time today! For further information, contact Barry Shaffer, State Director of ABE at 651-582-8442 or

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