CCR Standards Implementation Institute Dates Announced

OVAE is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for adult education staff at both the state and local levels to receive hands-on training at the upcoming College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adult Education: Implementation Institute. The Implementation Institute will be repeated in three regional locations:

  • April 1-2 in New Orleans, LA
  • April 30-May 1 in Phoenix, AZ
  • June 4-5 in Washington, DC

The institute will bring together expert coaches in literacy and mathematics to provide training and individualized support to teams of educators on how implementation of CCR standards would impact instruction and curriculum. Throughout the 2-day institute, attendees will develop a practical and transferable understanding of:

  • The CCR Standards for Adult Education (2013)
  • The fundamental shifts in instruction and curriculum that the standards indicate
  • Alignment between current state standards and the demands of CCR standards
  • Different approaches for how to implement CCR standards successfully
  • Concrete steps to begin to transform instructional and curriculum approaches and materials

Susan Pimentel and StandardsWork, Inc. are conducting this institute, on behalf of OVAE, as a way to assist programs—no matter where they are on the continuum of standards implementation—with creating a sustainable model for advancing CCR standards-based reform. To provide a rich training experience, states and programs are encouraged to send a team of two or more staff members. The team should include instructional leaders or administrators who are responsible for literacy and mathematics, program management or professional development. States/programs will be responsible for supporting the travel and hotel costs for each team member.

Watch for more information about the CCR Standards for Adult Education: Implementation Institute, including how to register, in early 2014.

Tomorrow: Attend an OVAE Engagement Event via Live Stream

OVAE and The Joyce Foundation are co-hosting a regional engagement session in Chicago, IL tomorrow, Wednesday, December 18, as part of the series of events announced November 20 in response to the PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills results.

The morning presentations and panel discussion (10:00am – 12:00pm CT) will be live streamed. RSVP if you would like to join via the live stream. Moderated by Whitney Smith, Employment Program Director at the Joyce Foundation, panelists will discuss “New Models for Reaching Students in the Workplace and Through Technology” and include:

  • Erick Ajax, Co-owner, EJ Ajax Metal Forming Solutions
  • Marilyn Chapman, Director of Organizational Development, Mercy Hospital
  • Sameer Gadkaree, Former Director of Adult Education, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Jenifer Vanek, University of Minnesota

Host a Roundtable about How Skills Matter in Your Community

On November 20, OVAE launched an engagement process that will result in a National Action Plan for improving the skills of low-skilled adults, a part of the Department’s response to the U.S. performance on the PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills. See the archived footage of that event here.

We want to hear from your community! To assist you in your efforts to coordinate a regional or local roundtable on the topic of adult skills, OVAE has created a set of resources and an online submission form. See www.TimetoReskill.org for the following tools:

  • Consultation Paper, a 10-page paper that can be shared in advance of an event to provide background on the skills issue and the framework for the National Action Plan
  • Toolkit, a step-by-step guide to running a local roundtable from types of people to invite to the questions to pose
  • Online feedback form, after you’ve run a roundtable, we want to know how it went and what you learned! Please submit your comments by March 14 to be considered in the Plan.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates from OVAE’s regional sessions as well.

 

 

 

Addressing College Costs for Adult Ed Transition Students

Panel shot of Mina Reddy, Vania Estanek, Brenda Dann-Messier at NCTN Conference 2013

Panel at NCTN Conference 2013 with Mina Reddy, Vania Estanek, Brenda Dann-Messier
Courtesy of Priyanka Sharma

What financial aid is available to adult education students transitioning to college and training? Several recent Ed.gov blogs on student loans and federal initiatives, including OVAE’s Adult College Completion Toolkit, are providing guidance.

This was also the question posed to a panel at the recent National College Transition Network conference in Providence, RI.
Adult education students often face steep challenges when transitioning to college: cost of tuition, books, and materials; child care and transportation; loss of income; lack of “college knowledge” of the system and expectations; and weak skills that require developmental education courses. The panelists discussed innovative ideas advocacy groups and adult education programs can do to prepare and support their students’ success in the postsecondary setting.

Mina Reddy, of the Cambridge Community Learning Center, spoke first. Reddy shared how and why her program had established a local scholarship fund to support transitioning students. Last year, they had 15 $1,000 scholarships to award. Reddy spoke of the power of even small scholarships to “validate” students’ efforts and achievements.

Vania Estanek is a graduate of the Cambridge program’s ESOL courses, and a scholarship recipient, and now a postsecondary student in a biotech certificate program. She participated in the panel to share her perspective of the value of the scholarship to propel her to higher levels of achievement and provide flexible funds in advance of any school-based aid.

Loh-Sze Leung, of SkillWorks, spoke of the public-private advocacy ventures she has been engaged with in Massachusetts to address adult education and skill development issues, with some legislative successes that funded aid and projects. Some of her tips from advocacy work were to “mobilize students to tell their own stories to legislators”, and “to track success and use data”, preferably local data.

Nate Anderson, of Jobs for the Future, spoke about Accelerating Opportunities, an effort that is underway in seven states to accelerate students without a high school credential through to post-secondary success.  He highlighted several creative solutions states were employing to fill the gap between adult education and credit bearing college courses, such as “braiding” federal funding streams to support the program, waiving tuition for the first semester of college for adult education students, or working strategically with untraditional partners such as the foster care fund. These ideas and others are in JFF’s Innovative Ideas Database, part of their Braided Funding Toolkit.

Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary of OVAE, was a respondent to the panel. She acknowledged the challenges faced by students, programs, and advocacy groups and celebrated the creative and innovative ideas the panelists had outlined. She shared several Administration initiatives that are underway to address some of specific challenges including the proposed College Rating System to make college costs more transparent, proposed loan defaults initiative, and proposed experimental sites for financial aid flexibility.

Watch the Ed.gov blog to stay up to date on these initiatives.

Immigrant Integration Project: Call for Applications

UPDATE: Preliminary applications are due December 20! Here is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the process and eligibility criteria.

The preliminary application process for the Networks for Integrating New Americans project has begun! This is a national initiative to advance immigrant integration through technical assistance. Learn more in the project’s fact sheet.

The project will select up to five forward-thinking community networks (also coalitions or initiatives) to receive technical assistance to address the linguistic, civic, and economic needs of immigrant adults. Organizational networks are key to this project because when organizations in both immigrant and receiving communities collaborate on immigrant integration, both communities contribute unique strengths and better address common needs.

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Join Kick-Off Session of the National Engagement Process to Improve the Skills of Low-Skilled Adults

Join as OVAE launches an engagement process to develop a national action plan to improve the skills of low-skilled adults. This event, held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20, from 9:00am-11:30am ET, will be live streamed and virtual participation is encouraged. The event will focus on the recently-released data collected by the OECD as part of the PIAAC Survey of Adult Skills which indicates significant areas of weakness in the U.S. adult workforce.

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What’s New At LINCS?

LINCS will be hosting discussions and trainings in the coming weeks on health literacy, the potential of badges, and how to get the most out of the Community. Join in!

LINCS Discussion Series: Health Literacy in the ABE Classroom

Health Literacy is more important than ever to today’s adult learners, and OVAE’s Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) is hosting a series of discussions in the LINCS Community to help teachers enhance their students’ skills in this timely topic area.

The LINCS Community’s Health Literacy group invites all adult education teachers, health literacy professionals, and other interested individuals to participate in a series of connected weekly discussions beginning November 11 on the topic of health literacy in the adult education classroom. New discussions each week will focus on valuable resources and curricula, and successful examples of health literacy integrated into the classroom. Discussions will be facilitated by the group’s guest moderator, Julie McKinney. Please join the group to post your questions and thoughts on this hot topic! Visit the LINCS Community announcement for a comprehensive schedule of discussion topics.

LINCS Discussion Series: The Potential and Value of Using Digital Badges for Adult Learners

December 3– 9, 2013 LINCS will provide an online public discussion through the Technology and Learning Community of the newly released draft report for public comment - The Potential and Value of Using Digital Badges for Adult Learners.  This report examines the nature, value, and potential impact of digital badges, an emerging electronic form of recognition designed to certify an individual’s knowledge and skills. Badges can represent different levels of work and engagement, including more granular skills or achievements, marking in some cases small and/or very specific abilities. For this reason badges hold particular promise for adult learners in basic education programs, many of whom have few, if any, formal credentials (such as diplomas), but who are obtaining functional skills that would be valued in a hiring or work advancement situation if a mechanism for certifying those skills and knowledge was available. Please join us for an exciting discussion about digital badges facilitated by Steve Reder and David Wiley, two researchers who bring combined knowledge of adult education, technology, and digital badges to our forum.

Free Webinar: Maximize Your Professional Development in the LINCS Community

LINCS will host a live LINCS Community User Training on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM ET. This webinar will allow current and potential members of the LINCS Community to learn about the community’s purpose, benefits, and technical features.

Members of the leadership team will present the purpose of the LINCS Community, and highlight the benefits of engaging in the community through a live walk-through of the features as well as a discussion with guest presenter Jackie Taylor. The webinar will culminate in a Q&A session and an overview of next steps that attendees can take in the community’s discussion groups. If you are not already a member of the LINCS Community, you should create a free account in order to follow along with the presentation.

Register for this free webinar at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e8gf5snra61058e0&oseq=&c=&ch=. Upon registering, you will receive instructions on how to access the webinar.

Join the Release of OECD’s Report, “Time for the U.S. to Reskill?”

Join the Center for American Progress on November 12, 2013 when the OECD will release the new report, “Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says”.

At the event, Andreas Schleicher of the OECD’s Directorate on Education and Skills will present the findings followed by a response by the U.S. Department of Education and a panel discussion among thought leaders to examine the report’s themes and policy implications and recommendations.

The Survey of Adult Skills, collected by the OECD as part of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), shows that our highest-skilled adults are and remain on par with those in other leading nations, but that, on average, we trail our competitors by every other measure.  The international rankings show that in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in a technology-rich environment, the U.S. average performance is significantly lower than the international average.

The event is open to the public (RSVP here), and will be live-streamed over the Internet without reservations. Bookmark this page to tune in on November 12th.

Learning Around the World

OVAE is excited to be part of the first alumni conference for international graduates of the Community College Initiative (CCI) program on August 28.

CCI is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID). This program sponsors international students to complete a year of non-degree study in a U.S. Community College. The most heavily represented career clusters engaged in by students are business management, information technology, tourism, media, and allied health care.

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DOL Resource: Skimming for Skills

If you want to find information on skills and educational attainment, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s guide to the relevant sources will allow you to shed light on labor or skill shortages, skill mismatches, and skill deficiencies.  Skimming for Skills provides links to surveys, reports and customized data tools, and includes more than three dozen sources.

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