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Administrators' Digest

September 2017 (Vol. 8, No.8)

A Conversation with an Adult Education Director: Ensuring Student Success through Guided Pathways

Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is a recognized national leader in bridging education and work to increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy.

The need for improvements in college completion is compelling. Between 1970 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment in the United States more than doubled, while the completion rate has been virtually unchanged. Jobs for the Future's Postsecondary State Policy work advocates for state policies that support structured, accelerated student pathways through community college to high-value credentials and transfer, including innovating and reforming remedial or developmental education.

At the winter 2017 meeting of Jobs for the Future’s Postsecondary State Policy Network, JFF Vice President Michael Lawrence Collins sat down with Jon Kerr, the Washington State Director for Basic Education for Adults, to discuss why community colleges should be more intentional in connecting adult basic education to guided pathways and how federal and state policy could help forge greater ties. Kerr is a member of the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success, which JFF convenes to promote evidenced-based, practitioner-informed policies for scaling guided pathways.

Mr. Kerr stated that “…only about 18 states deliver adult basic education programming through their community and technical colleges. In the other states, basic skills programs are overseen by the K-12 system or community-based organizations. Because of this, basic skills are often left out of the guided pathways conversation.” He goes on to explain how in Washington, they require all of the basic skills students, no matter what their level, to be on a college and career pathway. Mr. Kerr further details how “Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, puts students who might not be college ready into college-level career technical and academic transfer programs. This allows students without a high school diploma or GED to learn their basic skills at the same time they're learning critical workforce skills.”

Read more on JFF Blog.

Source: JFF Blog, Voices for Opportunity, Tuesday May 9, 2017 – A Conversation with an Adult Education Director: Ensuring Student Success through Guided Pathways. by David Altstadt

Serving English Language Learners, Immigrants, Refugees, and Farmworkers in the Workforce System

The California Workforce Association (CWA), the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and The Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) hosted two webinars on serving English Language Learners, Immigrants, Refugees and Farmworkers in the Workforce System. The webinar recordings and other resources are available through the CWDB English Language Learners Immigration Initiatives .

Be sure to check the site often to learn how the workforce system is working to help English language learners gain language proficiency and educational goals through several programs and initiatives. One such program is the ELL Navigator Pilot Program. Agencies can apply for funds from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title 1 Governor's Discretionary funds to develop and implement a Workforce Navigator Pilot Program with the goal to promote increased access, create/enhance program structure and availability, and provide supportive services for California's English Language Learner Population.

To subscribe to updates on the CWDB English language Learners Immigration Initiatives, send an email to ELL@CWDB.CA.GOV  and put "Add me" in the subject line.

Source: http://cwdb.ca.gov/initiatives/english-language-learners-immigration-initiatives/ August 28, 2017

Report: Educator Confidence in Technology Increasing

Sixty-five percent of educators expressed confidence in using digital technology in their classrooms, a 7 percent increase over last year, according to a recent survey commissioned by education and publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).

While 98 percent of educators reported using digital materials in their work, teachers still said there was room for improvement in implementing technology in class. Lack of funding continues to be a significant concern among educators (58 percent in 2017). Forty-six percent said they lack time “to plan for implementation of digital resources into instruction,” according to a news release; 40 percent said there was a shortage of devices in the classroom; and 48 percent of educators said they lacked “access to technology-focused professional development” (PD).

Nonetheless, there were some bright spots:

  • 43 percent said they were collaborating with colleagues to develop engaging and effective instruction for students;
  • 38 percent said they had access to new open source curriculum materials, such as Khan Academy, TED Talks and TeacherTube;
  • 37 percent said they were actually using data to inform and improve instruction instead of just collecting data; and
  • 37 percent said there were more opportunities for real-world application in curriculum and assessment.

Read about the respondent and the findings on THE Journal Web site.

Source: T.H.E. Journal post  by Richard Chang  07/21/17

Jobs for the Future and Persistence Plus Launch Initiative Using Behavioral Science to Help Students Complete Community College and Earn a STEM Degree

“Nudges” for STEM Success Will Engage 10K+ Students over Text Messaging

In August 2017, Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Persistence Plus launched Nudging to STEM Success , a joint initiative funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust that leverages behavioral science and mobile technology to increase community college completion, particularly for STEM students. Starting this fall, tens of thousands of students will receive evidence-based behavioral nudges over text message to help them navigate the complexities of college, succeed in STEM studies and move toward college graduation. JFF is partnering with Persistence Plus to strengthen student success rates broadly, and in particular in STEM pathways, as STEM fields are in high demand and offer strong opportunities for economic mobility.

Half of all STEM jobs are available to workers with less than a bachelor’s degree, offering a pathway to economic prosperity for low-income students who enroll disproportionately at community colleges. However, over two-thirds of STEM associate’s degree candidates do not complete their STEM studies, with half switching to a non-STEM major and the other half leaving college without earning any degree or certification. Emerging evidence shows that well-timed nudges grounded in behavioral science can help more students get to college and stay in college.

Read more on JFF's Web site.

Source: JFF Blog

CALPRO: Defining On-Ramps to Adult Career Pathways

As part of CALPRO’s monthly updates on research-based practices, featured below is a report that highlights a menu of career pathways ‘on-ramp’ services and partnerships that can be used to develop program models. Although the focus of the report is on Minnesota, it illustrates how a state can move its low-income, less-educated adults into education, training and the workforce and provides a blueprint that could be used by agencies in California to evaluate and fortify service gaps in their career pathways programs. The report was written by Judy Mortrude for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) with the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota New Futures Institute.

Defining On-Ramps to Adult Career Pathways

Until recently, career pathways have focused on postsecondary level students. Recognizing the current workforce challenges, the Minneapolis St. Paul Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) commissioned the Center for Law and Social Policy’s (CLASP) Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success to define career pathways on-ramp services to develop program models that work. For the purpose of the report, “on-ramps” were defined as those services address the individuals whose goal is postsecondary credentials, but have immediate needs that should be addressed first: stabilization, upskilling, and income. The study used interviews, surveys, and a research review to describe these three areas that are key to on-ramps:

  1. Stabilization and Supportive Services – diminish crisis and connect individuals to resources
  2. Integrated Education and Training – build foundation, employment and occupational skills in context and simultaneously
  3. Employment, Retention and Re-Engagement – gain work experience, remain connected and gain further education and training

The study found that successful “on-ramp” models require intentional and meaningful collaboration among all community stakeholders (employers, government agencies, CBOs, school districts, and postsecondary institutions) and identifies best practices.

Sources: CALPRO and CLASP

CASAS Summer Institute 2017 California Consortium Meeting Notes Now Posted

The California Consortium Meeting at the CASAS National Summer Institute addressed opportunities and challenges the state is facing as it implements the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG). Pat Rickard, CASAS President, began the Consortium by welcoming the meeting participants. Christian Nelson, Adult Education Office Administrator, and Javier Romero, Dean, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, addressed the meeting participants.

They reviewed each discussion table topic, and discussed the importance of collaboration between Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) partners. They asked meeting participants to share the opportunities and challenges of implementing WIOA and AEBG.

Approximately 200 participants sat at tables, each labeled with one of the topics below. Every table had a discussion facilitator and recorder.

  1. AEBG Consortia
  2. AEBG/WIOA Accountability
  3. AEBG/WIOA Transition and Supportive Services
  4. WIOA Performance and Accountability 5. Integrated Education and Training (IET)
  5. Integrated EL Civics (IELCE)
  6. Career Pathways
  7. WIOA I, II, IV Collaborations
  8. Career Technical Education (CTE)
  9. College and Career Readiness Standards

Facilitators posed questions and elicited discussion within the groups and recorders took notes. After the discussion period, one representative from each topic shared highlights from their group’s conversation.

The compiled document with all of the discussion group notes is now posted on the CASAS website.

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN180031 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.