Holistic Approach to Adult Education Services

 Advancing Innovation in Adult Education logo

Alternative Sentencing Program
Crawford County Adult Education Center
Van Buren, AR

First of its kind program in Crawford County in which adults can participate in an education program in lieu of jail time, community service, and/or fines while accessing a variety of wrap-around services.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Crawford County Adult Education Center, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

The Alternative Sentencing Program began in January 2018 to provide justice-involved individuals charged with nonviolent offenses an opportunity to participate in education and training programs in lieu of jail time, community service, and/or fines. Through this first of its kind education program in Crawford County, AR, the Crawford County Adult Education Center (CCAEC) staff work collaboratively with the District Court Judge and probation officers to determine the best course of study for each justice-involved individual eligible for and interested in CCAEC services. Instruction for learners is highly individualized based on their needs and their Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE®) assessment scores, as outlined in their alternative sentencing contract. Learners receive supports that include employment assistance, assistance applying for benefits, and counseling. CCAEC staff have developed strong partnerships with employers who are willing to hire learners from the program. 

Learners can enroll in any of the classes that CCAEC offers, such as GED® preparation, English-as-a-Second Language, citizenship, and classes that lead to industry-recognized certificates. Learners in the Alternative Sentencing Program are fully integrated into the CCAEC programs provided to adult basic education and English language learners.

CCAEC has staff who provide supportive services such as applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and, for expecting parents, Parents as Teachers. Learners who are interested in enrolling in postsecondary education can also receive help applying for available scholarships and grants, and in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Each learner meets with a certified counselor. CCAEC also receives donations from the community and maintains a supply closet with clothing and household supplies for learners to help meet their basic needs. The program works with local community organizations and churches to provide meals twice per week in the evenings prior to classes. 

Innovative Features

  • CCAEC has developed a strong working relationship with the District Court Judge and Crawford County Probation Office. The three parties work together to determine the best course of study for each justice-involved individual eligible for CCAEC services.
  • CCAEC is highly involved in the community. To provide the needed level of support services to their learners, CCAEC has built relationships with local churches and families as well as employers in the community who help the program. The Community Resource Center provides food, clothing, and household supplies, and is a referral resource for household furniture and appliances for learners.   
  • CCAEC’s court liaison communicates about learners’ progress with all parties, and meets with the District Court Judge monthly to discuss program successes and areas for improvement. CCAEC’s relocation to the building where the District Court and other services are located has advanced the Alternative Sentencing Program and CCAEC staff’s partnership with community services such as Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Division of Services for the Blind, and Department of Workforce Services.  
  • CCAEC staff have developed strong partnerships with employers who have helped support the Alternative Sentencing Program, including Tyson Foods, Simmons Food Inc., Walmart, and Pepper Source, Ltd. For example, CCAEC developed a leadership training for Simmons employees to help the company with retention. Local employers share job openings with CCAEC staff that they promote widely with learners. CCAEC’s program director is on the Chamber of Commerce and this membership is an important source of information about local businesses and job openings. 
  • Through CCAEC’s partnership with the Vincennes University Military Education Program, learners are referred to postsecondary education located on the CCAEC campus. They can enroll in college courses if they receive permission from the District Court Judge and earn an associate degree on the CCAEC campus through Vincennes University.

Target Population and Requirements

The Alternative Sentencing Program serves justice-involved individuals who are at least 16 years old and have been charged with non-violent offenses. Individuals must be referred by the District Court Judge and/or probation officer to participate in the program. There is no required minimum basic skills level to enter the program. The District Court Judge and probation officer track participation and attendance through the CCAEC court liaison. The recommendations made by the District Court Judge and/or probation officer are considered in developing learning plans. CCAEC staff also have flexibility in designing the course of study based on the learners’ preferences.  

Resources Needed to Implement Program

A court liaison attends all district court hearings and maintains communication with the District Court Judge, probation officers, and CCAEC staff and instructors. The court liaison is responsible for data entry for learners and sends the probation office a letter documenting learners’ completion of the program.  Learners may borrow or check out a computer or internet hot spot with their driver’s license or identification card. CCAEC staff use Essential Education for instruction and the 2005 Texas Institute of Behavioral Research’s Unlock Your Thinking, Open Your Mind manual for counseling services. 

Program Contact

Crawford County Adult Education Center 
Arkansas Adult Education 
605 Alma Boulevard Circle 
Van Buren, AR 72956  
(479) 471-0019 
https://crawfordcountyadulteducationcenter.webs.com

 

Breaking Barriers
Jefferson Community and Technical College—Kentucky Skills U
Carrollton, KY

Adults in rural communities can access a fully online program with college and career navigators who provide advising and support for transition to postsecondary education and employment support.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, JCTC-Kentucky Skills U, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

Jefferson Community and Technical College—Kentucky (JCTC-KY) Skills U’s Breaking Barriers practice provides a fully online option (which began in 2019 and uses online video conferencing and instructional platforms), as well as hybrid and in-person options for adult education learners. The goal of the program is to enable prospective learners, who live in a rural area that covers eight counties, to enroll and participate in Skills U services with minimal barriers. Learners can participate in classes at different times throughout the day and can view recorded classes online. 

College and Career Navigators (CCN) assist learners in developing their career pathway plan and provide them with advising and assistance in applying for employment or postsecondary education and training. The CCNs and instructors communicate frequently to address learners’ barriers to participation. The CCNs meet regularly with learners to discuss progress on their career pathway plan. They follow up with learners who are absent from class and connect learners with other JCTC-KY Skills U staff or outside organizations that can help learners apply for wraparound services such as the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program benefits. The CCNs assist learners in completing the admissions application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship application. 

Innovative Features

  • JCTC-KY Skills U employs CCNs who provide comprehensive support to learners from the time of their enrollment in the program though the completion of the program. The CCNs are instrumental in guiding and tracking learners’ progress toward attaining their goals, referring them to resources, and providing encouragement to keep them focused on achieving success.  
  • Breaking Barriers is a technology-driven program that enables learners to participate in adult education services from any location; access classes tailored to their skill level; have flexibility when they access services; and receive guidance and support virtually. This online program design is not commonly found in adult basic education.    
  • To accommodate learners’ entry into classes on a rolling basis or their absence from class, the program has organized a system of online resources and recorded classes. This system also includes an opportunity for learners to meet with instructors virtually or in person to ask questions. 

Target Population and Requirements

JCTC-KY Skills U serves both adult basic education and English-language learners across all National Reporting System (NRS) levels. Most learners enroll in the program with the goal of obtaining their GED®; and some learners want to improve their basic skills to transfer to college or obtain employment. Most adult basic education learners in the program have baseline assessments at NRS Education Functioning Level (EFL) 3 or higher. English-language learners generally enter the program at EFL 5 or higher.   

Resources Needed to Implement Program

JCTC-KY Skills U staff use the New Readers Press Scoreboost for TABE® textbook as a key resource. The program also loans calculators as needed and began a laptop loan program. Learners can use a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone to access the online classes. The local libraries loan out hotspots so learners can connect to the internet and they can also use the public Wi-Fi at the college campuses, city courthouses, and libraries. 

Program Contact

Jefferson Community and Technical College–Kentucky Skills U 
1607 U.S. Hwy. 227 
Carrollton, KY 41088
(502) 213-5212 
https://jefferson.kctcs.edu/community/adult-education.aspx

 

Career4U Academy
Houston Community College Adult Education & Literacy Programs
Houston, TX

Online integrated education and training program that helps adult learners access high-demand occupations in a range of sectors.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Houston Community College, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

Career4U Academy is an integrated education and training (IET) program that is part of the Houston Community College (HCC) Adult Education & Literacy program. The Career4U Academy focuses on high-demand occupations in five sectors: healthcare, construction management, information technology, business technology, and logistics transportation. There is an Academy for each high-demand occupation, and learners participate simultaneously in workforce training, contextualized adult education and literacy, and workforce preparation, as a part of an Academy.
 
When they begin the program, learners attend a virtual group orientation and a virtual one-on-one orientation with their career navigator who hosts weekly sessions to help them identify transferrable skills, develop a resume, practice interviewing, and attend job fairs. Learners are concurrently enrolled in adult education and workforce preparation activities through online adult education and literacy classes. They attend HCC classes for high-demand occupations, some of which are held on the HCC campus, and receive job search support through HCC’s Career Hub.

Innovative Features

  • Career4U is a strong partnership among HCC presidents, deans, chairs, and advising, enrollment, and adult education staff. Career4U staff meet weekly with HCC college faculty to discuss learner progress. 
  • Career4U provides an opportunity for learners with or without a high school credential to obtain a college certificate in an occupational area that enables them to continue to an associate degree program in Texas community colleges.  
  • Some Career4U IET programs are in higher-wage occupations that are less commonly implemented in adult education, such as Information Technology. 

Target Population and Requirements

Career4U typically serves adult basic education learners with baseline assessment scores on the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE®) at the National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Level (EFL) 4 or higher and Spanish speaking English-language learners with baseline assessment scores on the BEST Plus 2.0 at the NRS EFL 4 or higher. Learners without a high school diploma or its equivalent can enroll concurrently in Career4U and in an HCC Adult Education high school equivalency course. 

Resources Needed to Implement Program

Career4U employs a program director, a program manager, a data specialist, two career navigators, and four program assistants. The staff and faculty at Career4U use Edmentum Online Learning Programs, BurlingtonEnglish, and the Empyra OneFlow online case management platform to deliver the online program. Learners have access to computers and Wi-Fi via HCC’s garages and on site.

Program Contact

Houston Community College 
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002 
(713) 253-2764
http://www.hccs.edu/changemylife
 

Career Training
Wayne Township Adult Education
Indianapolis, IN

An integrated education and training program that provides adult learners with a life coach who provides advice and support in addressing barriers such as transportation and childcare.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Wayne Township Adult Education, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

The Career Training program is an integrated education and training (IET) program in the Wayne Township Adult Education (WTAE) program of the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Wayne Township that began in 2017. The IET program has three components of services: training in a range of occupational sectors, including health care, construction management, education, and accounting, that leads to industry-recognized credentials; an academic skills lab that provides online instruction in reading, writing, and math; and instruction in employability skills. Learners enter the program using the online Career Training Program Portal, through which the program’s learner intake and selection processes are conducted. A life coach advises learners on the career pathway and entry-level wages of the occupational path they select and works with them to address barriers they may face in attending class, such as childcare and transportation. The online instruction provided in the academic skills lab is individualized to learners’ academic needs. Learners can work on building their academic and employability skills independently or with a tutor in small groups or with one-on-one support.

WTAE staff partner closely with the Area 31 Career Center for space to hold classes for occupational training and with local colleges and training organizations for the workforce training. WTAE staff partner with Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University, Indiana University Health, Hope Training Academy, and local truck driving employers to offer the Career Training program occupational classes. Each of the classes leads to an industry recognized credential. WTAE partners with WorkOne to provide employment assistance support.

Innovative Features

  • WTAE staff have a strong partnership with the Area 31 Career Center, which has resulted in training opportunities for adults that are usually available only to high school students. Through this collaboration, the adult education program staff have been able to connect with high schools in three counties at the superintendent, principal, and counselor levels as well as with activities involving employers, such as the Employer Partnership Day and Industry Council networks.
  • WTAE also has a direct relationship with the superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township that has resulted in strong support for adult education within the school district. As such, school staff members refer parents to WTAE or enroll in classes such as the paraprofessional educator class.
  • WTAE implements a rigorous learner selection process that can be completed online. The comprehensive selection process ensures that learners who enroll in the Career Training program are committed to completing the program.

Target Population and Requirements

The program typically serves learners with Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE®) baseline assessments at National Reporting System Educational Functioning Level (EFL) 4. Although learners without a high school diploma or equivalent can enroll in the Career Training Program, WTAE encourages learners to earn an HSE diploma prior to enrollment to facilitate their success in the program. Learners without a high school diploma or equivalent can enroll in a four-day High School Equivalent Boot Camp prior to beginning Career Training.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

Career Training Program instructors are expected to hold a license or credential in their occupational field, and to have six years of work experience and prior teaching or training experience. The life coaches have six years of experience as a licensed instructor or in case management. Career Training Program classes require a fully outfitted career and technical education classroom.  

Program Contact

Wayne Township Adult Education 
MSD of Wayne Township 
1155 South High School Road, Door 2 
Indianapolis, IN 46241 
(317) 988-7968 
https://adulted.info/ 

 

High School Equivalency Honors Boot Camp                                               
College and Career Readiness Program, Nash Community College
Rocky Mount, NC

An intensive 100-hour course taught over a five-week period can enable motivated learners to earn a high school diploma and plan for next steps in further education.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Nash Community College, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

The High School Equivalency (HSE) Honors Boot Camp (Boot Camp) began in the summer of 2016 and is a 100-hour course that is offered four days per week over a five-week period. The Boot Camp prepares learners for the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®) through a 100-hour, five-week intensive course with a firm schedule and includes an optional lab session for additional practice each day. 

Boot Camp courses occur in-person or in a hybrid mode that uses the Moodle online learning platform. The course is taught using direct instruction with lectures and practice exercises and addresses a separate HiSET® test each week to provide a focused learning experience. Learners who do not pass the HiSET® test can attend additional adult basic education classes or Boot Camp classes based on their needs identified in the HiSET® test score report. At the end of the HSE Honors Boot Camp, the College and Career Readiness program (CCR) hosts a cap and gown graduation for learners who pass the HiSET® and earn the North Carolina HSE Diploma. 
 
The CCR program has a transition coordinator who helps learners identify their career interests and develop a plan for postsecondary education or transition to employment. The transition coordinator helps learners apply to continuing education (non-credit) or curriculum (for-credit) programs at Nash Community College and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Innovative Features

  • A transition coordinator provides career planning and preparation for enrollment in postsecondary as a key part of the Boot Camp’s activities. These planning activities occur at the beginning of the Boot Camp so that learners will have completed their college application and financial forms by the time they complete the Boot Camp.  
  • The Boot Camp provides an intensive, five-week instructional program to prepare learners to pass all subject areas of the HiSET® test through an immersion approach in which learners study one subject area each week and then take the HiSET® practice test at the end of the week. During each week, learners also have access to additional assistance based on their learning needs. The Boot Camp is structured to meet the needs of learners who can spend a concentrated period completing their HSE.

Target Population and Requirements

The program serves adult learners aged 16 or older without a high school diploma and whose baseline Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE®) assessments are at National Reporting System (NRS) Adult Basic Education EFL 4 or higher in reading and math. Learners must commit to the program by signing a contract that stipulates they will attend all classes and study at home.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

The College and Career Readiness Program has one instructor teach all subject areas for program efficiency, accountability, and consistency for learners. The Boot Camp instructor uses The Official Guide to the HiSET® Exam (Educational Testing Service), HiSET® Scoreboost, (New Readers Press), and the Common Core Achieve Series, (McGraw Hill). CCR staff also use the Moodle online learning platform to host courses, Google sheets to track learner progress, and the Traitify online platform to help learners identify their career interests.

Program Contact

College and Career Readiness 
Nash Community College 
522 North Old Carriage Road 
Rocky Mount, NC 27804 
(252) 451-8215 
https://www.nashcc.edu/courses-programs/continuing-education-programs/detail/college-career-readiness

 

Integrated Education and Training (IET) Culinary Arts Program 
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Ludlow, MA

The first and only correctional education program to offer an IET program in Massachusetts, the IET Culinary Arts Program is a collaboration between the Hampden County Sheriff’s department and Holyoke Community College.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Hampden County Sheriff's Department, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) is a medium-sized correctional facility located in Ludlow, Massachusetts that offers a variety of academic classes including adult basic education services. HCSD’s IET Culinary Arts Program began in 2017. The program serves pre-release residents and combines academic instruction in basic skills and high school equivalency preparation and vocational training in the culinary arts in a 15-week IET program. The program involves the Massachusetts State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE), HCSD, and Holyoke Community College (HCC). 

During the last nine weeks of the program, learners attend a hands-on culinary arts class taught by a chief instructor at the Culinary Arts Institute at HCC. The culinary arts instruction includes training in skills such as kitchen etiquette, food terminology, weights and measures, recipe conversions, safety in food handling, cooking basics, and proper table setting techniques. Learners complete a capstone project at the end of the program, which involves preparing and serving a three-course meal to over 90 guests. After completing the IET Culinary Arts Program, learners who have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential can enroll in HCC to obtain a certificate or an associate degree in culinary arts. 

All learners are assigned a job coach, who meets with them weekly to help with their transition plan, their resume, and preparing for employment. The job coach supports learners in identifying and applying for potential employment opportunities, which includes how to respond to questions about their period of incarceration by highlighting the positive programs they have completed and how they will become productive community members upon release. Within six to eight weeks of release, the job coach may refer the learner to the HCSD Reentry Center’s employment team, which supports learners in accessing benefits and wraparound supports. 

Innovative Features

  • The IET Culinary Arts Program is a collaboration between HSCD and HCC. Pre-release learners earn the ability to take classes off site at HCC in the Culinary Arts Institute. Learners are eligible to receive six college credits at HCC when they complete the culinary arts program and can continue their career pathway to obtain a certificate or their associate degree in culinary arts at HCC. 
  • The IET Culinary Arts Program has a strong partnership with MGM Resorts. Learners participate in mock interviews with MGM staff and in virtual tours of the MGM facilities as part of the IET curriculum. MGM also hires IET program completers.

Target Population and Requirements

The program serves pre-release residents within six to nine months of release who score at least at the National Reporting System Educational Functioning Level 4 in reading and math, are interested in the field of culinary arts and committed to the coursework, do not already hold the ServSafe® and OSHA 10 certificates, and do not have a history of disciplinary actions. Learners must also have a beginner knowledge of digital literacy. Learners do not need a high school diploma; the program targets learners who are close to earning their high school equivalency diploma. 

Resources Needed to Implement Program

The IET Culinary Arts Program requires access to a fully equipped restaurant-grade kitchen and fully furnished restaurant setting with tables, chairs, and silverware. The program also requires access to a computer lab for learners to participate in the academic and digital literacy instruction and take practice ServSafe® exams. The program requires culinary instructors who are certified by the American Culinary Federation and ServSafe® instructors or test administrators. 

Program Contact

Hampden County Sheriff's Department 
Education Department
627 Randall Road 
Ludlow, MA 01056 
(413) 858-0440 
http://hcsdma.org/  

 

Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership
Delaware Area Career Center Aspire Program
Delaware, OH

Online English literacy class for deaf and hard of hearing adult learners made possible by interagency partnerships.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Delaware Area Career Center Aspire Program, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

The Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership (the Partnership) provides an online English literacy course for learners who are deaf or hard of hearing. The course was offered beginning in January 2019 through an interagency partnership among the Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) Aspire, which provides funding and adult education expertise; Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the state agency that oversees vocational rehabilitation and refers adults to the course; and the Ohio School for the Deaf (OSD), which provides a deaf education instructor who is funded by DACC Aspire to teach the course. Staff from OOD provide case management services to all learners to help them with non-literacy issues. 

The Partnership staff strive to establish formal language learning among individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing by teaching an English literacy class completely in American Sign Language (ASL) with the goal of improving English literacy and building ASL skills. The English literacy course is online, which is taught using direct instruction via video conferencing platforms; has pre-recorded videos that are translated into ASL; and provides homework. Instructors use the video conferencing platforms to deliver group instruction and give individual feedback and assistance to learners. The Partnership staff have produced a series of videos recording the signing of a reading passage by a native language ASL signer as the instructor reads the passage. 

Innovative Features

  • The Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership is a strong interagency partnership that includes DACC Aspire, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and Ohio School for the Deaf. DACC Aspire provides the funding and adult education expertise; Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the state agency that oversees vocational rehabilitation, refers adults to the course; and the Ohio School for the Deaf provides the deaf education instructor, funded by DACC Aspire, to teach the course. 
  • The Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership provides a model for offering distance learning opportunities for learners who are deaf or hard of hearing. Distance learning removes the site-based limitations of an in-person course and enables the program to recruit and enroll enough learners to meet Aspire’s enrollment requirements for offering a course. 

Target Population and Requirements

The Partnership course was developed for learners with lower literacy levels who are deaf or hard of hearing. Learners from across Ohio can enroll in the course. There are no criteria requiring prior ASL knowledge; however, all learners who have enrolled in the course thus far have basic knowledge of ASL. 

Resources Needed to Implement Program

The Partnership model requires an instructor trained and experienced in deaf education, who has a background in English language and is proficient in American Sign Language. The instructor must know how to use online technology platforms for instruction. The model also requires certified interpreters to facilitate testing. Additionally, the model requires a Certified Deaf Interpreter to assist with the production of ASL materials and ASL literacy.

Program Contact

Aspire 
Delaware Area Career Center 
4565 Columbus Pike 
Delaware, OH 43015 
(740) 203-3206 
https://www.delawareareacc.org/o/adult-ed/page/aspire-ged-esol

 

STEPS for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship                                      
Calhoun Community College Adult Education
Tanner, AL

Adults interested in careers in the manufacturing sector have opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials and obtain jobs with leading employers.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Calhoun Community College Adult Education, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

The Adult Education Students Taking Effective Pathways to Success (STEPS) for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a cohort-based IET program that offers pre-apprenticeship training leading to industry-recognized credentials, employment opportunities, and enrollment in postsecondary education. Calhoun Community College’s Adult Education Program began implementing the practice in November 2019, to meet local industry demand for employees in the growing manufacturing sector. The STEPS Pre-Apprenticeship Program combines the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician 4.0 (MSSC CPT) and Alabama’s Ready to Work readiness curriculum in an eight-week, in-person, or online program. Adult learners can enter and exit at any step along the pathway while earning industry-recognized credentials. 

STEPS program staff have strong relationships with other departments at Calhoun Community College and with local employers. Learners who complete the program can enroll in the FAME AMT apprenticeship program at Calhoun Community College. Calhoun Community College Adult Education navigators meet with learners at least four times throughout the program to discuss options for employment in the manufacturing industry. Learners also meet with mentors each week from local employer partners, who share information about careers in the industry or options for further education. The program also provides supportive services for learners such as Ride United, which provides transportation to attend classes, and the college provides a food pantry.

Innovative Features

  • The program was developed in response to requests by local manufacturing employers. Program staff have developed strong relationships with industry partners such as Mazda Toyota, YKTA, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, TBAKI, LLC, and DNUS, which not only employ graduates of the program but also send the industry partners’ current employees to Calhoun Collage Adult Education training programs for upskilling.
  • Learners earn short-term industry-recognized credentials at each step and can enter and exit throughout the program. Learners also meet with mentors from employer partners weekly to learn more about the industry. 
  • The program is offered fully online and in-person with a hybrid option that will be available soon. 

Target Population and Requirements

The program typically serves adult learners with Tests of Adult Basic Education baseline scores in reading and math at National Reporting System, Educational Functioning Level 5 or 6. Learners who do not meet this requirement may enroll in the STEPS Academy, which is a sixteen-week version of the manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program. Learners without a high school diploma or equivalent can enroll concurrently in GED® classes and the STEPS Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Learners must have a high school diploma or equivalent prior to enrolling in the FAME AMT apprenticeship program at the community college.

Resources Needed to Implement Program

The STEPS Pre-Apprenticeship Program’s instructor must have a bachelor’s degree and complete and pass each instructor level test for MSSC. Calhoun Community College Adult Education uses online programs to teach MSSC and Alabama’s Ready to Work content. 

Program Contact

Calhoun Community College Adult Education 
6250 U.S. Hwy. 31 
Tanner, AL 35671 
(245) 890-4989  
https://calhoun.edu/adult-education/

 

Transition to College/Postsecondary Training
Catholic Charities - El Centro
Boston, MA

Partnership with Catholic Charities and other service providers for supportive services encourages ESOL learners to plan for and transition to postsecondary education and training.

Description of PracticeAdvancing Innovation in Adult Education Logo, Catholic Charities - El Centro, Innovator in Holistic Approaches to Adult Education Services

El Centro’s Transition to College/Postsecondary Training (Transition Program) prepares learners to enroll in college and meaningful postsecondary occupational training programs that lead to high-demand jobs. The goal of the Transition Program is to develop a pathway from lower- to upper-level English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes that prepares learners to succeed in postsecondary education and training. The Transition Program is four semesters long, which includes three semesters of ESOL classes and one semester in which learners are dually enrolled at a community college while they take additional math coursework at El Centro to prepare for college math classes. This dual enrollment model allows learners to accelerate progress toward their educational goals.

Learners are placed in courses based on educational background, goals, personal circumstances, and assessment results. Language classes include integrated digital skills development. Learners receive highly personalized academic and career advising, access to Catholic Charities’ wraparound services, and continued supports once enrolled in college.  

The Transition Program provides learners with access to a wide range of wraparound social services offered by Catholic Charities such as case management to address housing, financial, medical, transportation, and food security needs. El Centro staff also have partnerships with local education and workforce development institutions such as MassBay Community College, Bunker Hill Community College, Duet and Southern New Hampshire University, Urban College of Boston, Year Up, and Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) Bridges to College.

Innovative Features

  • The Transition Program is unique in its focus on preparing ESOL learners to transition to college from Lower ESOL levels because it shapes learners’ goals as the progress made rather than working with learners who already have college goals and are close to college readiness in skills. The Transition Program’s use of the Sheltered Instruction methodology with content from math, science, technology, and other subjects for general language skills development also distinguishes it from other ESOL programs.
  • Learners receive instruction from two instructors, which exposes them to different teaching styles. The advising process is conducted collaboratively among El Centro staff and includes team advising in which instructors serve as advisors. All instructors at El Centro teach a lower-level ESOL class and an upper-level ESOL class, so instructors can build a rapport with learners as they progress through the program and can understand learners’ skill needs as they enter the upper-level classes. 
  • Learners are dually enrolled in college and in adult education while continuing to receive math classes at El Centro to better prepare them for college-level math. El Centro staff provide ongoing support/advising to learners as they enroll in college to help ensure their success. 

Target Population 

El Centro serves individuals who want to improve their skills and education, regardless of age, residency, educational level, and English proficiency level. ESOL learners entering the Transition Program generally score at NRS English as a Second Language EFL 4 and above on the Tests of Adult Basic Education assessment.  

Resources Needed to Implement Program

A master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is preferred for instructors but teaching experience and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification can suffice. The program prefers individuals who have worked with multicultural, multilingual groups of learners; have worked or lived in other countries; and speak another language. All advisors are immigrants who experienced the U.S. educational system as immigrant adults and are at least bilingual. The Transition Program uses the Longman Academic Reading Series (pre-college) as base textbooks and the Sheltered Instruction methodology for general language skills development. 

Program Contact

El Centro Adult Education Program 
Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston, Inc. 
175 West Broadway Street 
Boston, MA 02127 
(617) 680-7526 
https://www.ccab.org/elcentro