Introduce myself and CLASPThank the audience for participating and Academy of Hope for inviting me. I understand that there is a lot of interest in alignment with workforce and community colleges and can’t imagine a more important place to do this type of work.
- Growing Demand in the DistrictBy 2018, 70 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary education. Largest growth is in graduate-level positions, but strong growth in jobs that require certificates and 2-year degrees.Undereducated Workers are over 1.5 times more likely to be unemployed than those with some collegeEarnings also higher for each additional year of education beyond high school.Postsecondary payoff is not just economic.Social, intergenerational, health benefits.Dwindling Supply of Traditional Age StudentsFrom 2010 to 2020 there will be a steep drop in the number of high school graduates in D.C., with a projected decline of 24 percent. This is worse than the trend in any state. In 2010 just 8 percent of the all adult education students earned a GED.Few of the 2 million adults enrolled each year in adult education transition to college. Although 43 percent of GED completers in the 2003 cohort enrolled in postsecondary education, just 12 percent of those who enrolled graduated from a postsecondary program.Developmental education students also struggle to complete college.61 percent of first-time students in community colleges enrolled in at least one remedial course in the eight years after high school.Only 3-4 out of 10 developmental education students complete course sequence.Adult education reform efforts now stress the need to focus on postsecondary credentials and employment.Marcie Foster, Julie Strawn, and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education, Center for Law and Social Policy, March 2011.John H. Tyler, “The General Educational Development (GED) Credential: History, Current Research, and Directions for Policy and Practice,” Chapter 3 in Review of Adult Learning and Literacy 2005, National Center for Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, Cambridge, MAMargaret Patterson, Jizhi Zhang, Wei Song, and Anne Guison-Dowdy, Crossing the Bridge: GED Credentials and Postsecondary Educational Outcomes, Year One Report, GED Testing Service, American Council on Education, April 2010.Developmental Education Toolkit, Community College Central, June 2008.Thomas Bailey, Dong WookJeong & Sung-Woo Cho, Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental Education Sequences in Community Colleges, Working Paper No. 15Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. (Revised November 2009).
So, why aren’t we getting there from here?The system’s not broken, but it’s not meeting the needs of students or a 21st century, knowledge-based economy.
CCRC assessment of evidence series – synthesis of research on half a dozen key topics related to community college completion – many of the studies looked at integrated models and basic skills students. Here are highlights—-- There is lots of evidence community college students are overwhelmed by complexity of choices they must make. Ill informed consumers makes for poor choices. For-profit example of clearer pathways to credentials, more constrained options. Career pathways in community colleges are one solution, as are more structured college experiences (cohorts, paired courses) and better information/advising. --Students who entered a program of study in their first or second term were twice as successful in completing certificate, associate degree or transfer than students who didn’t enter a program of study until their second year. Older students entered programs more quickly than younger ones. --Financial aid is critical for access and success - - many bridges have built in this component but with the loss of Ability to Benefit, this is under attack. Lots of students who are eligible for financial aid don’t apply—especially indpt students without dependents. Same goes for other benefits that can help support success, such as food stamps, EITC, and others. (
Combining the need for a new paradigm of adult education with the research on what works for student postsecondary completion, a career pathways system, that offers students a guided program of study with articulated steps on a pathway that lead to progressively higher employment opportunities. The everyday interactions are never this clean, but the framework can be. Requires multiple systems to collaborate (adult education, community colleges, workforce system/one stops, health and human services, career and technical schools, and 2-year colleges)Main features:Seamless transition from one level to the next (similar entry/exit points)Progressively higher employment opportunities Students with very low skills may need one or two levels of Bridge programs (integrated or dual enrollment) – these are not standalone basic skills courses. They are contextualized to a particular occupation.
From beginning to 2:41 or thereabouts
Combine basic skills and career-technical content, including general workforce skills, pre-college academic and English language skills, and specific occupational knowledge and skills. Contextualize basic skills and English language content to the knowledge and skills needed in a specific occupation or group of occupations.Use new or modified curricula, with identified learning targets for both academic and occupational content, articulated to next level in college and career pathway.Change how classes are delivered, e.g. dual enrollment in linked basic skills & occupational courses; integrated, team-taught basic skills & occupational courses; enrolling students in cohorts .Support student success through enhanced student services. E.g. “career coach” helps students navigate campus processes, access college and external services, connects students to other public benefits, and arranges internships in field of study.Connect to local employer and community needs by engaging key partners in design and implementation of bridges, such as employers, unions, workforce development boards, community-based organizations and foundations.
Illinois Bridge Programs: Outcomes for 2,436 adults enrolled in 7 career pathway bridge sites (as of fall 2011 44 bridges total in IL).89% of students completed the bridge program.92% of those who completed went on to higher education or a new job.Minnesota FastTRAC: Outcomes for 1,139 students enrolled in FastTRAC bridge or integrated programs (as of fall 2011 34 FastTRAC programs total in MN)88% of students in integrated, credit-bearing FastTRAC programs completed their initial course. 67% of students enrolled in FastTRAC ABE bridge courses completed and moved into an integrated course – a success rate of 67%.Wisconsin RISE (Regional Industry Skills Education): Outcomes for 700 participants in early phase (as of spring 2011 44 career pathway bridges in WI).Colleges report 90% of students complete postsecondary certificates. RISE students’ math skill gains exceed those of students in standard math instruction (based on pre/post testing at several locations).Students express high degrees of appreciation and satisfaction with integrated instruction in the career pathway bridge approach.
One of the challenges in D.C. is the high number of ABE learners. According to NRS, D.C. has a greater percentage of ABE learners than the national average – 54 percent vs. 46 percent. Skeptics of bridge programs sometimes say that these programs are only for those who have a GED or are pre-GED. Minnesota’s approach helps students at all levels—regardless of beginning skill level—get on a path to postsecondary and career success.
- There is already some work at the DC level to lay the funding infrastructure for these types of models and specifically incent partnership/integrated approaches.
At their best, bridges can be transformational for adult education programs and colleges. Will yours be?
Academy of Hope Board Retreat
Beyond Basic Skills: BuildingPathways to Credentials for AdultEducation StudentsMarcie Foster, Policy Analyst, CLASP Academy of Hope Board Retreat Washington, D.C.April 21, 2012
CLASP: Policy Solutions that Work for Low-Income People• CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low-income people.• CLASP managed and provided technical assistance for the Shifting Gears initiative, a six state effort to increase the number of adults and youth who receive postsecondary and industry credentials that employers value. 2
Today’s Agenda• Understanding the career pathways approach and the national imperative for adults to achieve postsecondary and career success.• Discussing developing a new adult education paradigm.• Understanding core elements of pathways and bridges.• Discussing potential next steps/barriers to success for D.C./AoH. 3
Increase indemand for highereducated workers and continued payoff for a postsecondary credential(social, economic,health, intergenera tional) Need to provide more and better opportunities for adult students and workers to upgrade their skills and access postsecondaryDecrease in the education. number of HS graduates (traditional source ofhigher-educated workers) 4
Student Outcomes Remain Poor or Unreported D.C. Adult Education Student Outcomes4,000 38083,5003,0002,5002,0001,5001,000 500 124 50 0 Enter Postsecondary Meet Goal Have Goal Total Enrollment 5
A New Adult Education Paradigm Current New Focus on Postsecondary and Career SuccessFocused on the GED as the ultimate Focus on preparation for college andgoal. career success.Sequential approach lengthens the time Accelerated and integrated programto a degree. models shorten the time to a meaningful credential.Students left to their own devices Robust and wraparound supportiveoutside of class, may receive “light services.advising.”Open entry/exit course offerings. Managed enrollment or “cohorts.” 6
What Works in Basic Skills Transition and Eventual Postsecondary Completion Clear, tightly structured paths through basic skills, noncredit and credit postsecondary coursework. Contextualization may accelerate student learning. The sooner students enter a program of study, the more likely they are to complete a credential. Financial aid critical for access and success; other benefits for low income students can supplement it. Student services also critical and can be embedded into transitions efforts. The more remedial classes students must take, the less likely they are to complete a program of study. Similarly skilled students who opt-out even do better.Source: Community College Research Center, Assessment of Evidence Series, 2011. 7
Career Pathways: Seamless Transition and a Greater Likelihood of Success Progressively Higher Employment Opportunities Adult Basic Short-Term Education/English Long-Term 2-Year Associate’s 4-Year Bachelor’s Occupational Language Certificate Degree Degree Certificate Instruction Bridge Program
Student Voices VideoCalifornia Career Advancement Academies initiative:• Student perspectives on pathways programs,contextualized learning, integrated academic and careertechnical education, the cohort experience and studentsupports.http://www.careerladdersproject.org/videos/career-advancement-academies/ 9
A National Movement• At least 10 states have significant career pathway efforts aimed at adults or out of school youth. AR, CA, KY, IL, MA, OH, OR, VA, WA, WI• Half a dozen states have career pathway bridge initiatives IL, IN, MD, MN, OH, OR, WA, WI New Gates’ Accelerating Opportunity grants will expand this. Some states have focused state adult education plans/RFP’s on this. IL, IN CA new ABE strategic plan moving in this direction. WA, NE, IA have passed career pathways legislation. MD, MN in the works.• Hundreds of local, career-focused basic skills bridge programs, according to 2010 WSC bridge survey. Little uniformity.
Career Pathways Bridges: Key Elements Combine basic skills and career-technical content. Connect to local Contextualize basic employer and skills and English community needs by language content with engaging key partners occupational skills in design and training. implementation of bridges. Support student success through Use new or modified enhanced student curricula, with identified services. learning targets for both academic and occupational content. Change how classes are delivered. 11
Early Results of Career Pathways and Bridges are Promising• Illinois Bridge Programs (2,436 students): 89% of students completed the bridge program. 92% of those who completed went on to higher education or a new job.• Minnesota FastTRAC (1,139 students): 67% of students enrolled in FastTRAC ABE bridge courses completed and moved into an integrated course. 88% of students in integrated, credit-bearing FastTRAC programs completed their initial course.• Wisconsin RISE (Regional Industry Skills Education (14 of 16 colleges have a RISE bridge): Colleges report 90% of students complete postsecondary certificates. RISE students’ math skill gains exceed those of students in standard math instruction (based on pre/post testing at several locations). Students express high degrees of appreciation and satisfaction with integrated instruction in the career pathway bridge approach. In traditional programs, by comparison, only an average of 25 percent of working learners lacking basic skills complete all of their remedial coursework and only four percent complete a degree or certificate within five years of enrollment. 12
Lessons from State and Local Experience• Think about the whole pathway from the beginning. o Can focus on building out different parts at different times but need to have complete vision from the beginning in order to avoid gaps.• Create capacity to collect the right outcome data from the beginning. o Hard to measure outcomes retrospectively and hard to sustain and scale up innovation if lack any evidence about whether it works.• Figure out the end game for sustainability from the beginning. o Private and public special grants might jumpstart innovation but it will end when the grants end unless thought is given up-front to which ongoing funding streams can support new models.• No one partner at the local level can pull this off alone. o All the community college silos (career-tech ed., developmental ed., student services, academic depts.), workforce development, and adult basic education need to be involved, as should employers and CBO’s.
Potential Challenges in D.C./AoH• Connectivity between systems (adult education, CTE, postsecondary, workforce)? Ability to bridge silos.• Volunteer-based culture.• Dichotomous labor market. Are “middle-skill” jobs readily available?• Very high number of adult learners with below 9th grade level skills.
Developing a Bridge Strategy: Key Questions• What partners are missing from AoH’s bridge model? Who can you bring to the table?• What is your funding model? What new resources can you bring in/modify to meet the unique needs of bridge programs (e.g. staff development, supportive services, braided funding management)?• Do you know what industries/jobs are in demand in D.C. and what credentials students need to obtain them?• What level of student are you serving? Can you serve others/lower-level learners?• GED 2014: What are your plans? What challenges does this represent? 16
Basic Skills Bridges: Four Guiding Questions/CriteriaDoes it change students’ perceptions of their own possibilities and abilities? Does it change faculty and staff (ABE, CTE, dev. ed., academic, studentservices, financial aid) perceptions of basic skills students, of each other, and of their respective roles? Does it build relationships (among students, between students and staff/faculty, and among staff/faculty from different parts of college)? Do you have a benchmark and goals? How will you know if it worked?
Federal Focus on Pathways• Cross-Agency Competitive Grants DOL’s TAACCCT grants Workforce Innovation Fund Career Pathways TA Institute (resources at learnwork.workforce3one.org)• Technical Assistance Four recent DOL and DOE guidance letters, plus a joint letter between Ed/HHS/Labor on supporting career pathways. Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center (OVAE) ISIS (ACS - HHS)• Federal Legislation. American Jobs Act Both Republican and Democratic House WIA Reauthorization Proposals, Senate Democratic Proposal. New Career-Technical Education Blueprint from DOE 19