Success Story - Nakel Banks

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 10:30am
Written by Livonia WIOA Youth Team

Nakel Banks began participating with the WIOA Youth Program at the Livonia, Michigan Works! One-Stop location in March, 2014. She entered the program as a high school graduate in search of employment.

As Nakel engaged in program services, she took advantage of job fairs and attended career-focused informational sessions to explore opportunities for employment while considering her future profession. By summer 2014, Nakel had obtained employment as an assembly line worker. She also enrolled in college courses at Schoolcraft College to pursue a degree in forensic science. Nakel shared that “I was excited to study and to have a steady income while in school. I had and have a great balance between work and school. I think it makes a strong and well-rounded person to do both.”

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Online, Hybrid, Blended and Flipped Instruction: What’s the Difference?

Wednesday October 26th, 2016 at 7:32am
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

In today’s world we are fortunate to have a variety of instructional delivery methods at our fingertips. Technology, being the ever-changing beast that it is, has afforded us the wonderful opportunity to explore professional development and educational initiatives that can replace, enhance, or supplement in-person or classroom instruction. Having such wonderful technology available has helped those of us in education address the concern of “lack of time.”

I cannot tell you how many times I am asked to deliver what should be a 5-day training program in only 2 days! Just like educators across the nation, I am being asked to constantly meet the demands of higher expectations, larger class sizes, and reduced instructional time for a group of learners whose knowledge base and experiences vary dramatically. What is an educator supposed to do?

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Education and Workforce Development Partnerships

Monday October 3rd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

There’s been a national call-to-action for two-year community colleges and career and technical high schools. Ultimately, educators are responsible for meeting the demand for skills in the global economy.

  1. There is consensus that the foundational academic knowledge needed for postsecondary education and for careers is virtually the same, with growing recognition that academic skills, employability and technical knowledge and skills are essential as well.
  2. We’re seeing widespread agreement that lifelong learning and ‘learning how to learn’ are key drivers of success in college, careers and civic life.
  3. Research shows collaborative efforts in states, districts and communities to strengthen their collective capacity to deliver results that matter.

The plan is for greater student success. It needs to be bolder and broader – “cradle-to-career” strategies – comprehensive, data-driven plans that begin early on and focus on improving measurable progress to career readiness. This new formula shows the most promise for success. Follow-up on the student’s outcome is also important to obtain the metrics to grow this philosophy.

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Hiring Ex-Offenders Can Be a Smart Business Decision

Monday August 22nd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ray Eibel - Director of New Business Development

Over the years, I have had numerous opportunities to present workshops on employment of ex-offenders. As I stand in front of the audience, I am always amazed at the shock on people’s faces when we discuss the sheer number of the population in prisons and jails, and the costs associated with incarceration. For example, did you know:

  • Over 80 billion dollars is spent on Corrections each year - Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Seven million people are under correctional control, including individuals on probation and parole – U. S. Department of Justice
  • The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners – New York Times
  • 1 out of 100 adults in the United States is in prison.
  • Once released from prison, 2 out of 3 people are rearrested within a year. This is known as recidivism.
  • Over the course of the last 20 years, the amount of money spent on prisons increased by 570%, while the money spent on education increased by only 33%.
  • The cost per year to house an inmate varies from state to state. For example, in New York the cost is $47,421 per year, while in Pennsylvania, it is $42,339.

Needless to say, the above statistics clearly point out that we are facing enormous challenges. The costs associated with incarceration are staggering and the population of prisoners who will eventually be released and in need of jobs is becoming enormous.

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COABE 2016 - Reflections from an Adult Education Professional Developer

Wednesday June 29th, 2016 at 8:18am
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

This is my fourth year attending the yearly conference run by The Commission on Adult Basic Education and every year my involvement has grown. My first year I was just an attendee, but the next year I presented once, last year I presented twice, and this year I presented a total of four times! The conference reflected the changes and needs of the Adult Education community and it was amazing to see the growth in adult education during this time.

Major themes this year were transitions and career pathways. With the WIOA legislation this idea of preparing students for their next step has become extremely important. Workshop after workshop addressed various aspects of contextualized instruction, career counseling, transitions and career pathways. It was amazing to not only see how eager adult education professionals are about the change, but the vast differences that exist in how the implementation is occurring. There are many different approaches based on population, geography, integrated service options and program structure. I was inspired and motivated by the enthusiasm of the professionals who attended my session “Building Bigger and Better Career Counseling Programs in Adult Education,” and I am so happy that they left the workshop with concrete steps to assist them in implementing strategies for success.

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4 Reasons Most College Students Won’t Earn a Degree

Thursday June 9th, 2016 at 11:38am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

As parents, most of us expect our children to go to High School, get good grades, go directly to college and earn their degree in 4-5 years. Although this thinking is logical, it often leads young adults down the wrong path. Did you know, only 34% of High School graduates actually earn a bachelor’s degree? More concerning is this fact; 51% of all young adults who attend college NEVER earn a degree!

Reasons why 51% never earn a degree include:

1) The cost of higher education is extremely high. 

The total cost of getting a degree in 2010 was 4.5 times higher than the total educational cost in 1985. This is based upon inflation adjusted dollars. The financial burden on parents and students has more than quadrupled!

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How Webb's Depth of Knowledge Took Our Training to the Next Level

Wednesday April 20th, 2016 at 8:02am
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

For those of us formally trained in education or instructional design, “Bloom’s Taxonomy” is pretty familiar. This framework was introduced back in 1956 and was integral in guiding educators and instructional designers in the creation of learning objectives. Revised many times over the years, this framework consists of three domains and 5 levels within each domain.

Citation: http://educationaltaxonomy.weebly.com/home/may-02nd-20141

For years, this framework has guided instructors and educators as they design lessons and create learning objectives intended to pull learners through, to higher levels of learning. In my role as a Director and Instructional Designer, this framework had been a staple for me for many years. However, about 7 or so years ago, I was introduced to a new model, one created by Norman Webb. This model can be correlated to Bloom's Taxonomy, but focuses more on what is called the "cognitive demand" of a task.

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Designing Career Pathways within WIOA Guidelines

Tuesday December 15th, 2015 at 9:45am
Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist

WIOA requires states and local Workforce Development Boards to work with adult education, post-secondary education and other community-based organizations to develop career pathways that will make it easier for all Americans to attain the skills and credentials needed for jobs.

What are career pathways? The US Department of Labor defines career pathways as a new way of doing business which operates at both a systems and an individual level. At the systems level, a career pathway is a broad approach for serving populations that may experience significant barriers to employment. The career pathway can substantively alter the way the workforce system delivers its services and the system’s relationship with partner organizations and stakeholders to better prepare the worker.

Career pathway programs should offer a sequence of education courses and training credentials which are aligned with work-ready standards and competencies which are validated by employers. Career pathways can also provide greater customer service at all levels by engaging employers, adult basic education, training providers, community organizations and service providers to design services that meet the needs of employers and job seekers.

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Science, Writing and Cross-Curricular Instruction in Adult Education

Sunday November 15th, 2015 at 1:30pm
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

This fall, I had the opportunity to deliver a series of Fall Institutes on Science and GED Writing Rubrics to Georgia adult education professionals. The two-day training was delivered on four separate occasions across the state. Over 100 professionals attended!  

Day one focused on five key science topics that are high emphasis areas on high school equivalency assessments. Ecosystems, Heredity, Cells, Solutions and Newton’s Laws of Motion were explored. I had the wonderful opportunity to model each lesson and facilitate activities the teachers could use in their classrooms. Each lesson began with the building of academic vocabulary using a modified Frayer Model. This academic vocabulary graphic organizer allowed the teachers to play the role of the student and investigate the definition of the word, how it is used in a sentence, pictures or examples of the word and applicable synonyms and antonyms. This produced an entire classroom of word walls for each lesson and was such a joy to see.   



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Reflections from a Professional Developer in Adult Education

Wednesday September 16th, 2015 at 7:19am

Written by Kim Harris - Director with EDSI

kharris@edsisolutions.com

 

Perhaps my favorite part of my job is traveling the nation, visiting other states, attending conferences and delivering presentations. This past year I was fortunate enough to present at a number of conferences for Adult Education, from state conferences in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Georgia to the national Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) conference in Denver, CO. I had such an amazing time! Of course there is something incredibly powerful about sharing knowledge and motivating fellow educators to try new things and grow as professionals, but I truly think I learn more from them than they learn from me!

These conferences allow me to hear the needs of adult education professionals from across the country and reflect on how they impact my choices as a professional developer. To really impact the students, we as professional developers must listen to what our educators need and provide engaging and relevant professional development that sets them up for successful transfer of knowledge into the classroom. Now, more than ever, adult education professionals need to prepare our students for not only obtaining a high school equivalency, but also for their next steps —whatever they might be! Encouraging and preparing our students for college, careers, technical school, etc., is now a critical component in the field of adult education. I am excited to integrate all of the information I learned from the hundreds of teachers I met over the past year to design and deliver professional development opportunities that help both teachers and students. Thank you so much to all of the teachers I have interacted with for the wonderful opportunities to learn and grow with you!

Click here to learn more about our Adult Education Program Optimization Services.


News in Adult Education - High School Equivalency Assessment Changes

Monday February 3rd, 2014 at 9:18am

Written by Kim Harris - Senior Consultant with EDSI Consulting

kharris@edsisolutions.com

Did you know that as of January 2nd, 2014 the GED® is no longer the only high school equivalency assessment available?  For as long as anyone can remember “the GED” was the only option—but not anymore!  This year, two more players entered the game, offering their versions of a high school equivalency assessment (Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC™) and HiSET®). 

The good news is that all of the 2014 tests are aligned with the same set of the standards, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12, which have been adopted by the majority of states in the country.  These standards are supposed to help better prepare our students for college and career success.  The alignment of the high school equivalency assessments with these standards will help ensure that all students receiving a diploma or equivalency are well prepared for the world of work and higher education. 

And this is important: by 2018, 63% of jobs will require some post-secondary education (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce), and we are not on track to enable the workforce to fill those employment needs.  State adult education directors across the country have responded to this by adopting a subset of the CCSS released by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), the College and Career Readiness Standards, and selecting the high school equivalency assessment that best meets their state’s needs. 

To find out which assessment(s) your state has selected, check with your local adult education program.  For more information on the high school equivalency assessment options, check out the sites below!

GED Testing Service

TASC by McGraw-Hill

HiSET by ETS

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