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Online Course: Developing Effective Bridge Programs

Update! The Adult Career Pathways online courses are now available on LINCS!

LINCS is adding the opportunity for professional development for its members in the form of a series of optional online courses developed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s initiative Adult Career Pathways. These online courses are self-paced, freely available, and accessible 24 hours a day through the LINCS Learning Portal. The courses will enable users to work at their own pace, at a time that is most convenient to them.

 

Online Course: Developing Effective Bridge Programs

Are you a teacher beginning to develop a bridge program for your adult education learners? Developing Effective Bridge Programs can help you develop and implement effective Adult Career Pathways bridge programs designed to help your adult learners master the basic skills they need to advance to the next level of education, training, or entry-level employment in career fields that are in local or regional demand. The course is self-paced and features three modules: (1) Understanding Bridge Programs; (2) Laying the Foundation; and (3) Developing the Curriculum. The modules link to this discussion thread (Title: Online Course: Developing Effective Bridge Programs) within the LINCS Community Career Pathways group to provide opportunities for you to discuss how to apply the course information in your teaching with your colleagues from around the country.

 

Use this discussion thread to post your responses to questions below from the online course, Developing Effective Bridge Programs. Please share your comments to any of the following questions, or post a general comment or feedback on the course.

 

  1. Introduce Yourself.
  2. What are the benefits of Western Technical College’s CNC Skills Institute’s approach to addressing the needs of lower-skilled adults who could not access the more traditional certificate programs in CNC offered at Western Technical College? Is there a target population in your community that has been historically underserved and for whom this model might be well suited?
  3. In watching the Bio-Link video, Bridge to Biotech student Jeanette Wright, what characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that are similar to the adult learners you serve? What has motivated her to persist in the biotech program? What supports does she mention that you could incorporate in your local program?
  4. For a bridge program at your institution, what key elements, if any, would you need to add, omit, or adapt based on your local situation?
  5. After reading the article, “Group Work in the Classroom: Types of Groups”, what are your reflections on your experiences with those techniques as a learner and as an instructor. Why do you think that technique did or did not work? What would you change about the experience?

This online course was developed under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001, which developed and delivered trainings and online courses to adult education providers in order to increase the quality and quantity of adult career pathways programs.

 

The new LINCS Learning Portal offers adult educators free online professional development courses from a variety of OVAE initiatives. Join today at: https://courses.lincs.ed.gov.

Comments

David Kester's picture
First

My name is David Kester. I work in the Office of Transitional Programs at New River COmmunity College. I am working on developing an online readiness and success class for our Middle College.  I have not been able to access the class yet. Does it open the 26th - or am I missing something? I am looking forward to the class!  

David 

I-Fang Cheng's picture
One hundred

Hi David - We are happy that you are interested in the online course. We are currently working on making all the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways courses available on the LINCS Learning Portal and will let the entire LINCS Community know when the courses officially launch. Thank you!

rdeller's picture
Ten

Hi, All.  My name is Rebecca Eller.  I'm working as a Transition Specialist & Instructor at a small non-profit in Georgia.  We're an adult education organization offering class to help students improve reading, writing and math skills and to prepare for the GED exam.  We are currently working to develop a comprehensive transitions program that will support students along the pathways to emploment, career advancement and postsecondary education.  I look forward to participating in the Developing Effective Bridge Programs course.                                                                                      

Jeff Seth's picture
First

Hello everyone! My name is Jeff Seth and I am the Supervisor for ABLE and other programs for the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center in Jefferson, Ohio. We have a very long-running successful bridge program but I am always interested in learning about what is working for others that could improve or expand our programs.

Susy Oldham's picture
First

Hello to all. My name is Susy Oldham. I am the ABLE Coordinator for Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools in Groveport, Ohio. My staff and I are working toward bridging our GED and ESOL programs with our career center's full time programming. I'm looking forward to any direction I can receive through this course.

Michelle Carson's picture
One hundred

Hi Susy,

What programming does your Career Center offer?  I would be interested in learning more about it as I am working with programs on integrating support services and other employment related goals.

 

kspearman's picture
First

Hi,

My name is Kevin and I am currently an adult basic education teacher at a small, but rapidly growing, non-profit organization. As part of a state grant, we are required to develop an adult career pathways or transition program. This is a relatively new requirement for ABE/GED programs and I am interested in learning all I can to help our students move in that direction. I am not sure specifically what our bridge program will look like, but I figure it should have some of the following components:

  • An interest survey or ability profile
  • Counseling component
  • Assessment
  • DOL or business partnerships
  • Workforce education coupled with ABE/GED
  • Program support

Those of just a few things I am hoping to learn while researching this field and taking this online course.

 

kspearman's picture
First
  1. This was an example of a Higher-Level Bridge Program. It includes the target audience, the career and educational objectives, the duration for both, the features of what a bridge program looks like career-wise and educationally, and examples of where higher-level bridge programs are operating locally.
  2. Every element included on this form seems necessary; however, if this were an internal form, I might include (potential or actual) partners that will help the student implement the learning objectives. Sometimes there are so many “moving parts” that it is hard to remember all of them. If this form is a road map for the student, it is a helpful reminder who the points-of-contact are for each element. If this is a tracking form for a transitions specialist, it might help to know immediately who was involved with my student.
Monica McGauley's picture
First

Hello everyone.  My name is Monica McGauley, and I am a Basic Education Instructor at Moraine Park Technical College - Beaver Dam campus.  We have several bridge at our college, and we have most recently added welding.

Monica McGauley's picture
First

WTCs approach to addressing the needs of lower skilled adults is that that it allows those adults to work toward different levels of CNC skills and receive a certificate that reflects that level that helps make them employable at that level.  As an adult student's interest and opportunity increases, they can build on each of those certificates and / or transfer those courses to an actual diploma program.  The local employers benefit by having access to a group that normally would not have been employable.

Our community has a large population of Hispanic people.   Many of them do not speak English well, so it has been difficult for them to secure jobs.  We also have significant numbers of unemployed workers who were released from their jobs several years ago when the economy was not doing well.  Most of them did not have their GED which was used by many employers when lay off decisions were made.

Monica McGauley's picture
First

Jeannette states that she is diverse.  We also have diverse students who come from different countries, have different languages, have different customs, and have different ages and ethnic backgrounds.  I believe Jeannette enjoyed building math and science skills in an atmosphere that was less intimidating than applying for an associate degree program right away.  She was able to build both confidence and skills which sparked her interest in continuing beyond her certificate and internship.  The supports she used were most likely ABE for math and science as well as the internship offered by employers/partners.

Monica McGauley's picture
First

The current program we have in welding includes 

1.  Combination ABE and Tech program content - An ABE math instructor is paired with a Program instructor to make sure that students are successful at the math necessary for the welding program.

2.  Contextualized Basic Skills and English Language Content - This is an area that we are currently working to improve.  We have just created two full-time positions that will spend one semester creating curriculum so that this key element is covered.

3.  New and modified curriculum - As stated in number two, a new curriculum is being created with contextualized teaching in mind.

4.  Class Delivery - We currently have cohort groups in all areas of ABE, ELL, and GED programs.  There is a goal of continuing his trend with Bridge programs.

5.  Support Services - Currently, our students have many support services in place; however, each campus will be adding a Transition Specialist to follow each one of the students from start to finish.  This position is being funded in part by Workforce Development.

6.  Connections to local employers and community - Internships, job shadows, etc. are in place, but the Transition Specialist will be working to create more opportunities, also.

Monica McGauley's picture
First

I will typically use a jigsaw for teaching Civics which is part of our HSED program (High School Equivalency Diploma).  I will have students choose a number of different topics throughout the course.  For example, when discussing the Legislative branch, students choose topic on which they would like to become "experts" within the branch (ie.  House, Senate, Voting, etc.) and present it to the class.  When discussing the introduction and approval of a bill, I will ask students to draw diagrams and each student adds his/her piece of knowledge to that diagram.

This technique works well for this type of material.  I would like to use this type of group work in some of our bridge programs as well.  Different students will bring different strengths to the group which will allow each of them to help each other.  

Sharon Johnston's picture
Ten

Hello- I am a senior associate with Kentucky Adult Education. My primary focus is on transitions and helping our students to prepare to obtain, and maintain positions with family sustaining wages. I look forward to learning more about bridge programs.

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

Hi, Sharon -

Thanks for posting about your work in Kentucky with transitioning students to employment.  As the new moderator for Career Pathways, I'm hoping to learn more about our members, and their interests in the topic.  I'm working on planning several special events over the coming months, one of them focusing on Bridge programs.

If there are successful models being used in Kentucky that you think would make a good addition to our conversation, I'd appreciate hearing more about them.  Otherwise, if you have more specific questions on the topic, it would be great to hear that as well.

Thanks for your participation with LINCS, and I look forward to hearing more from you. You can always post to the group, or e-mail me directly at michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Best,

Mike

Ella Bogard's picture
First

Hi, I'm Ella Bogard, coordinator for Washington County Career Center's ABLE Program. We are in the process of setting up a Bridge program to assist students with transition to post secondary and help them find more success in our technical programs. We had a voluntary program this year and had few who took advantage of the program. Those who did use the program had great results.

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

Hi, Ella -

Thanks for posting about your work in Washington County with transitioning students to technical programs.  As the new moderator for Career Pathways, I'm hoping to learn more about our members, and their interests in the topic.  I'm working on planning several special events over the coming months, one of them focusing on Bridge programs.

If there are successful models being used in Washington County, or elsewhere in Ohio, that you think would make a good addition to our conversation, I'd appreciate hearing more about them.  Otherwise, if you have more specific questions on the topic, it would be great to hear that as well.

Thanks for your participation with LINCS.  I look forward to hearing more from you. You can always post to the group, or e-mail me directly at michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Best,

Mike

Ella Bogard's picture
First

• What characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that are similar to the adult learners you serve?Jeanette is a non-traditional student much like our students, she did not at first see what she was truly capable of and therefore set her goals low, but when she saw her potential, she rose to the occasion and went from no science or math background to proficiency in those areas.

• What has motivated her to persist in the biotech program?Jeanette was motivated to persist by her success in the Bridge to Biotech program, and her growing confidence in her ability to learn. Meeting goals along the way helped to keep her motivated.

• What supports does she mention that you could incorporate in your local program?The counseling and building of knowledge of where this education can take you can motivate students to move up and beyond initial goals set for their program of work.

Ella Bogard's picture
First
  1. The key elements included in this model are the target audience, the career and educational objectives, duration for both, the features of what a bridge program looks like career-wise and educationally, and examples of where higher-level bridge programs are operating locally.
  2. Each item in this model seems necessary for understanding the model, however, if this were for my program I would include potential or actual partners that are to help the student implement the learning and/or career objectives. That would allow this form to be a guide for the student, a reminder who the points-of-contact are for each step of their plan. This would also aide the instructor to know who was responsible for each element of the plan along the way.
Kathy's picture
First

Hi my name is Kathy and I am a Director at an Adult Education Learning Center based in Camp Verde and Cottonwood, AZ. We are working on Career and College Readiness and I have my staff taking this course. We are going to be working at our staff meeting this Friday about working with our local community and businesses. While we offer classes for students to get their GED or learn to speak English we haven't really reached out to the community. That will be approached this week.

 

 

 

 

 

rebker's picture
First

My name is Kerry Mowdy and I am a Business Software Instructor for the Virginia Department of Corrections, working at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. We will soon be certified to provide College credits for our classes. We currently are in a partnership with Piedmont Community College to provide classes for women seeking their Associates degrees. We offer a variety of Instruction/programs to assist women as part of our reentry plans. Like CNC, we recognize the need to provide education'/training to "bridge" the gap as it were for employment of former felons. Currently we have apprenticeship programs in the Building trades and Cosmetology. Many of our students have a spotty employment history at best or have never held a traditional job.

rebker's picture
First

Like Jeanette, we have a diverse population with one common factor, they are incarcerated. Like most of the women who attend my class, I feel Jeanette may have had some self-confidence issues which caused her to seek the lower level certification at first. It sounds like after she found some success and her confidence increased, not only did she dare to pursue a more advanced path, but actively sought it out. Many times, CTE programs and other alternative type of programs bring about the first truly successful academic endeavor for individuals. This can and usually is a major self esteem boost and the "A-Ha" moment occurs, and they realize that they have the ability to succeed.

Kerry Mowdy

rebker's picture
First

This is Kerry Mowdy again, finally able to continue with this online training. Due to the prison setting, and the various missions of our education section as well as funding, Cooperative teaching is generally not an option. Therefore, when students are found to lacking in related skills such as mathematics and communication (both oral and written), the CTE instructor must address those needs. I try to incorporate this into the ongoing curriculum, however there are times when the subject matter has to be taught separately. As I teach basic computer skills and Microsoft Office as well as employability skills, I have to ensure that my students have a good understanding of the Order of Operations in mathematics prior to commencing the Excel module. Therefore, I have a self directed learning module to accomplish this as well as tutors that are able to sit with the individual and work with them on the concepts. Because many of my students have little experience with computers (unless you count cell phones), I have created an artificial web environment and all activities are carried out on the computer.The student is immersed into the system and begins working with various programs from day one. They experience first hand what it is like to actually utilize a computer to produce something both artistic and business related.  My class schedule is year round open entry/open exit, so my students are at different levels. By this, I mean that I have those who are just beginning the program, those who are finishing the program and the rest anywhere in between. By using experiential (total immersion) approach, I have had great success. 

sadkins2009's picture
Ten

Hello! I am Sandra Adkins, teaching adult education and SPOKES (job readiness skills) in central WV. I am interested in the course because of the new WIOA regulations and changing our program structure.

Vanessa Fauntleroy's picture
First

Hello everyone my name is Vanessa Fauntleroy and I am currently the ABE Instructor for the Kennedy Institute of Catholic Charities. I have only been in this position for six months and I am learning every day.  I look forward to receiving as much information as I can to enhance my classroom. Thanks in advance for all of the support. Vanessa

Benjamin Miller - Progreso Latino's picture
First

Hi Everyone!  My name is Benjamin Miller.  I am an Adult Education Coordinator at Progreso Latino in Central Falls, RI.  We are currently developing a United Way grant program entitled Puente a Carreras/Bridge to Careers.  Our objective is to serve a low income immigrant community and make college, certificate, and career training programs more accessible to our often lower educated learners.  

Sandy Bostic's picture
Ten

I'm Sandy Bostic. I am an Adult Education instructor for Blue River Career Programs in Shelbyville, IN.  Helping students bridge that gap from HSE to postsecondary or training has become a major part of our business.  Any help that I can provide my students will be great.

Sandy Bostic's picture
Ten

I was not able to view the video.

Sandy Bostic's picture
Ten

Our program is so small. It would be difficult to teach through a particular career pathway. Not every student is going to want to go into health care.  We don't have enough students to split them up based on levels or career pathways.

Sandy Bostic's picture
Ten

I would use the Buzz Group when I use groups. On any given night, I never know how many students will show up for class. I have to be flexible. I don't use groups very often. I should, but it's just a matter of working it into my lessons.

Donna Kapp's picture
First

My name is Donna Kapp. I am the Academic Transitions Specialist at the Foundational Skills Institute/Community College of Denver. I am responsible to support adult students as they complete their high school equivalency and enroll in certificate courses in the Center for Career and Technical Education at CCD.

It seems to me that bridge programs address the needs of adult learners in several ways: high school completion, skills mastery, and sustainable employment in an accelerated and contextualized context.

While unemployment in Colorado is relatively low, many parents are unable to support themselves and their families because they lack credentials and skills, or are underemployed and therefore unable to take advantage of openings in in-demand industries in Colorado. Through a Department of Labor grant, we are targeting custodial parents of children 13 and under.

Donna Kapp's picture
First

Jeanette Wright is typical of the type of student who enrolls in our educational programs at FSI/CCD. They are diverse, with little or no background in math or science. They certainly lack confidence in their abilities to learn and use math and science in the classroom as well as on the job.
 

Carrie Penning Bush's picture
First

My name is Carrie Penning Bush and I am an ESL Instructor in Adult Education at Parkland Community College, Champaign, Illinois.  We have a strong ESL program but there have been some changes in the Illinois ESL Content Standards and in the general direction of ESL instruction to be more career oriented instead of just language learning.  Our department has offered Bridge classes for native English speaking adults but we want to offer them to our English Learners also. I hope to learn more about Bridge courses and how to make them success for our own communities.

What are the benefits of Western Technical College’s CNC Skills Institute’s approach to addressing the needs of lower-skilled adults who could not access the more traditional certificate programs in CNC offered at Western Technical College? Is there a target population in your community that has been historically underserved and for whom this model might be well suited?

Western Technical College seems to be a perfect example for study as they have truly connected (like a bridge!) a group of lower-skilled English Language Learners with real jobs that will let them earn a good salary and perhaps allow them to be further promoted in the future. Currently in Champaign we have two large groups of immigrants, one from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other from Guatemala.  The Congolese tend to get jobs at our local factories packing products for shipping.  The Guatemalans seems to be working in the restaurant business and perhaps cleaning.  I would need to do more research about these groups to find out more information.  The big question in my mind is what companies and businesses are in need of skilled workers?  I believe we have been offering Bridge to Health Science Careers, to Manufacturing, to Transportation, Distribution and Logistics and to Information Technology.  The question is are these the Bridges we should offer or just the ones that were easiest to organize?  There also does not seem to be the partnership and cooperation between the school and business that is exemplified in the Western Technical College case study.

Carrie Penning Bush's picture
First

What characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that are similar to the adult learners you serve? • What has motivated her to persist in the biotech program? • What supports does she mention that you could incorporate in your local program?

Jeanette says that she has no background in math and science but most of my students have advanced degrees from their home countries.  She says she is "diverse" and I think she means she is a woman of color and not white middle class.  My students would share this quality with her. I watched an additional video with Jeanette saying she not only got more interested and excited about the possibilities open to her because of the Bridge course but also she wanted to let her daughter and the future generations to know about this field so that they could study and get involved also.  She said she felt she was doing something important for the future. Somehow I missed what support she had.  In the second video I watched of her and her instructor, it was easy to see how much positive feedback and support she was receiving from her instructor.  Her instructor was very proud of her work and said Jeanette could get a job at any time with her excellent skills.

jerry hopkins's picture
Ten

Effective bridge programs can be of great value to a population that will already face hurdles to becoming productive citizens after their incarceration involvement in the Criminal justice system is completed. 

Rallou Rice's picture
First

Hi! My name is Rallou and I am glad to learn new ideas on how to help my students achieve their professional or academic goals.

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

I'm glad that you're here. Would you tell us a little more about your student population, and what your role is in working with them? 

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Garcia's picture
Ten

Hi, I'm Amy Garcia, coordinator for AEL SWTJC's Program. We assist students with transition to post secondary as the AEL program is on the same campus as a junior college and help them find more success in our technical programs besides that of employability for those who decide not to attend college. Results have been positive.

Amy Garcia's picture
Ten

For the students as per adding to the program we have for bridging I would like to integrate more support services to strengthen the knowledge of the students as to their options and help available to them.  

Majken Talbot's picture
First

My name is Majken Talbot and I am an adult ABE/ASE Instructor at Jefferson Adult School. 

1.What are the benefits of their approach to addressing the needs of lower-skilled adults who could not access the more traditional certificate programs in CNC offered at Western Technical College?   Many of our ABE students, both native speakers and ESL struggle with  abstract thinking and persistence. Adult Learners  have many different learning modalities and traditional classroom or independent study fails to address the  learning needs of the kinesthetic learner.  In my view,  the CNC bridge program addresses both challenges.  Integrating the teaching of concepts with the real world hands-on application offers kinesthetic ABE learners a chance to succeed. Furthermore, because they are learning real, marketable job skills, it makes the classes far more relevant to their everyday life and real life goals. This would certainly encourage persistence.

 

 

2. Is there a target population in your community that has been historically underserved and for whom this model might be well suited? 

Our ABE Instructor retired several years ago and our program underwent a significant transition. We essentially split our GED program into two levels. The first level moves slowly and focuses more indepth on academic  skillsets and curriculum whereas the second level  consists of Test preparation and strategies. Many of our students stop in and out of class because they need to work and often their work schedules conflict with school.  For most ABE students the prospect of obtaining a GED is daunting. Many students are eager to improve their skills, but do not have 2-4 years to dedicate exclusively to studying. They need shorter term goals with deliverable concrete results. For most students that means a better job. Shorter term classes team taught by an academic and technical instructor which culminates with an industry recognized certificate is  a winning model for our adult schools and adult learners.

Majken Talbot's picture
First

1.What characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that are similar to the adult learners you serve?  Like most of our ABE and even many of our ASE students, Jeanette had almost no skills in Math and Science before entering the bridge program and couldn't imagine herself in a STEM career.

2. What has motivated her to persist in the biotech program? T he Math and Science classes in the bridge program increased her confidence. As a result, she changed her original career goal from  Lab Assistant to  getting her A.A. degree in Bio Technology.

 3. What supports does she mention that you could incorporate in your local program?   In addition to the Math and Science Classes in the Bridge to Biotech program, she mentioned participating in internship and  obtaining certificates  that stack to an A.A. degree.

Majken Talbot's picture
First
  1. Which key elements does the model contain? The Chicago Bridge Model integrates basic reading, writing and math with job skills and job specific vocabulary. In addition, the program includes job shadowing and internships.
  2. For a bridge program at your institution, what elements, if any, would you need to add, omit, or adapt based on your local situation? Explain why.  Our current Bridge programs are targeted primarily for ESL populations and do not include math, science, or writing elements. It would be great to include math instruction and redesign the program or offer alternative bridge classes for native speakers who are ABE. Our Academic English bridge program includes Advanced ESL with ABE native speakers, but lacks job shadowing or internships. 
Majken Talbot's picture
First

I found the articles on Group work in the classroom very helpful. Although I regularly attempt to have students work in pairs, I find this aspect of teaching the  most challenging. On the GED Language Arts test, many students find it difficult to fully grasp the GED essay prompt.  Their first impulse is to read the two contrasting arguments and then provide their own viewpoint on the topic rather than commenting and analyzing on what they have read.  I think the Fishbowl technique for group work is  a pretty solid analogy for what the GED Extended Response requires of students because it requires them to observe other people's reasoning  and to identify  the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. Good technique! I'll definitely try this in the classroom!

Majken Talbot's picture
First

This was a very helpful and relevant course. The face of education is changing. It has really convinced me that contextualized education is  the key to reaching undereducated and underemployed adults.  Some of this information was a review for me, but some it was new. The biggest takeaway for me was that there can be multiple bridges. While our adult school has two bridges currently, they involve the ESL and CTE departments , but do not currently include the ABE/ASE departments.   Our current ABE/ASE curriculum is not contextualized. I think the most effective solution would be to develop a second bridge program using the ABE/ASE program that could provide contextualized GED preparation.

Richard Baugh's picture
First

My name is Richard Baugh CTE and Workforce Development Instructor at Jefferson Adult Education. We have created a bridge class at Jefferson Adult Education called the Office Assistant which includes participation in 2 classes 2 times per week. A Communication class emphasizing workforce communication skills and soft skills is taught using the I -Best model utilizing skills of an ESL and a CTE instructor and an Office Technology class providing basic office skills to High Level ESL students. We chose this pathway because it was a natural fit for us in that Skyline Community College had higher level certification that was attainable if our students were prepared to enter the program.  Unfortunately, with many meetings and discussions to determine articulation and or alignment, we were not in accord as the community college continues to remediate at the lowest levels and causing conflict with a mandate that dictates that we should identify one another's best practices and build on one another's strengths.  The duplication of efforts at the lowest levels and the demands to provide a pool of candidates prepared to enter the community college were unrealistic considering the population we serve.  I was hoping I could learn more about the bridge model that would help solve this ongoing problem.  We will continue to provide the best of  instruction to our students in hopes we can resolve the current problem. 

I needed to revisit the strategies used in the various scenarios in this training to determine next steps for our organization.  We have struggled to find a niche in our school that works based on our population, needs of the business community, community college system and internal resources. I'm hopeful that the reality of a model that works best for our students to transition into the community college system will be identified. 

 

 

Richard Baugh's picture
First

What characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that are similar to the adult learners you serve? •

Jeanette didn’t have a background in biotech, no math and science background, she sought a pathway program and realized that she wanted to set goals higher.  Most of my students don’t really know the path they want to follow or if their skillset meets the requirements of the field they want to enter. Most need exposure to an industry and career exploration opportunities to determine their true path. We provide these opportunities as a wrap around service for our GED students.

What has motivated her to persist in the biotech program? •

Attaining lower level certification in pursuit of the higher level goals.

What supports does she mention that you could incorporate in your local program?

Providing essential training, classes relevant to the pathway desired to help give confidence and motivation.

Dominique Dunbar's picture
First

Hello!

My name id Dominique Dunbar and I am an Education Associate with the SC Department of Education- Office of Adult Education. I hope that this course is able to provide me with valuable resources to support the needs of our adult education providers. 

Dominique Dunbar's picture
First

There are at least two benefits to the approach of Western Technical College CNC Skills Institute--(1) employers have access to a skilled talent pool and, (2) those most in need of economic self-sufficiency (ELL, and non-traditional college students) have access to training programs that lead to employment. From, an employer's perspective, the bridge process is well designed and does not lower the standard for entering employment but the emphasis is placed on building and enhancing the skills of current and potential employees. The approach empowers students/jobseekers and shows that employers support and responsiveness to the skills of the people in their community. The partnership between employer and training provider demonstrates a commitment to equity and access because both parties are intent on creating opportunities for the underskilled and underemployed to build the skills that are needed for employment and success in the CNC Skills Institute. In addition, learners are supported with appropriate instruction in a non-threatening manner that properly addresses their specific employment and education barriers. The program design can also impact the level of persistence learners have and their retention in the training program to its completion. 

Underemployed adult education students could be a target population for a CNC bridge program in our state. 

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

Hi, Dominique - 

Thanks for your comments, and sharing the work you're doing in the CNC program at Western Technical College (WTC).  CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, Operators are in high demand in many place across the U.S.  I did a Google search to learn more about WTC's program.  It appears to be part of an effort by WTC to build a series of career pathways options for learners, which the website does a nice job of laying out for prospective learners.

I noticed that the CNC program is not financial aide eligible, and wonder whether the bridge program provides any financial support for those learners who may be unable to afford the tuition for training?

Best,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Dominique Dunbar's picture
First

Student Jeanette Wright, a successful participant in the Biotechnology bridge program, has characteristics to many of the adult learners that are served in ABE programs. She did not have strong math and science skills which were needed to successfully complete the A.A. Biotechnology degree. Many of our students struggle with attaining the math skills gains needed to pass the GED. Multiple educational setbacks or lack of learning can be a negative event that hinders an adult learner's desire to pursue post-secondary programs that have higher-level math requirements. The preparation course in the bridge to the biotech program helped Jeanette Wright to attain the skills needed to enroll in the academic program. The extended support during the 1-year program appears to have made the difference in her persistence. I believe that the internship was also instrumental in helping her to bridge the gap and transition to the the degree program. 

Synnamon Taylor's picture
First

Hello,

I am working with an organization in Memphis, TN that caters to ABE. I found the information in the WIOA informative and close related to the techniques I used when teaching college level courses. 

kellyclose's picture
Ten

What characteristics about herself does Jeanette mention that
are similar to the adult learners you serve?
They are in a hurry to be more employable, but have no background in math and science.  They need help in math, science, but also vocabulary building.  This is similar to other students that I have had because they need lots of support in multiple areas.  

kellyclose's picture
Ten

My name is Kelly Close and I am teacher in the Delaware Prison System.  I am working on developing a bridge program with another teacher to help our students.  

  1. Which key elements does the model contain?

A clear group of audience which is targeted and identified including a previous work history.  In addition, it outlines the types of jobs these students will qualify for once they finish training. The program also has a limited time scale for students so they can finish a session.  The last part of it that is extremely important is an internship piece. 

  1. For a bridge program at your institution, what elements, if any, would you need to add, omit, or adapt based on your local situation? Explain why. Post your response in the Developing Effective Bridge Programs discussion thread.

I think an internship in the Baylor Kitchen with a current CARE program is important, plus academic support as needed.  Students will also need life skills training.

kellyclose's picture
Ten

Has any one worked on this type of program in a correctional setting? 

Jere Norville's picture
First

Hello, I am the Literacy Specialist at Arkansas State University Mid-South, and we have a partnership with the Eastern Arkansas Correction Center to offered adult education classes so residents can gain their GED, increase literacy, or for those that are close to releasing they come to campus to receive instruction through lecture, Work Skills, and Essential Education computer courses which prepares them to test so they can receive their Career Readiness Certificate. They also receive training in OASH 10, CPR, and forklift licensure. What kind of Bridge programs does the Delaware system offer? I have the task of increasing the program once the pandemic is over.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

Hello, 

My name is Yvette. I work within a job search employment lab and through this lab, I observe a great need in building an effective bridge program within the community college and within the WIOA skills framework scope. As manufacturing businesses fade out, there is a great need for  those who suffer job cuts and layoffs. There is a need for job and skills transitioning. 

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

I believe the bridge program developed is pretty sound, and covers all of the key elements. However, I find some students who enroll in bridge programs, have no "follow through." Some obtain the financial funds to obtain certificates, yet, when complete or IF the program is completed at all, students do not enter the workplace because of past habits and behaviors, whether personal or academic.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

Often times, when bridge programs are created, they are meant for the best intentions. Many bridge.programs are not a "one size fit all" model and should form fit a variety of students. This kind of differentiate instruction is Time consuming and usually doesn't allow for enough training. Fastraxking students would depend on the skills that need to be assesses and improved upon

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

I think group work works well in the classroom. Often times, group work helps lower any learning anxieties within students as well as students can learn from each other and pose questions that require critical thinking as to where students can help each other think it through. However, there are many students that do not groups because they feel they don't have the skills to act independently.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

I think it is a great idea to create bridge programs for lower skilled workers, however, students must be chosen wisely and strategically. As per my experience with lower skilled students, it is a challenge to improve students soft skills set. Many of the under served targeted students lack:positive work ethic; good attitude; desire to learn and be trained; clear communication skills; critical thinking; teamwork; and time management skills. If bridge programs do not work to greatly improve 21st century soft skills, money, time and energy can be wasted due to student lack of soft skills training

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

I think the key elements were met and can be met through contextualize instruction.However, the program seem to cover all basis. I really like that the program encourages a face to face, no class instruction, meeting on projects and assignments completed.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

The college met the needs of the lower skilled students by providing the students with hands on skills and academic support. In the Biotech video a few of the students could never imagine themselves as students let alone a biology student. Many of the students wanted to go further because of the support the college provided them. My institution already has a few bridge programs. The students are carefully sought out as well the support services given. However, sometimes many students who go through these programs are not hire on. 

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

My college bridge programs has definitely help in improving the local area employer hiring pool. Many of the local citizens are factory workers. During the 2008 recession, many employers laid off hundreds of employees as to where the employees had to be retrained and needed to develop transitional skills. My local college created apprenticeship programs and career pathway courses to help transition the laid off workers. Many of the employees were receiving unemployment and other services during this period and decided to take courses while they claimed unemployment services.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

The benefits of the bridge program are extensive. Students can gain job skills to fill in the skills gap earn certificates, and employment.

In my community, the target population are single mothers, displaced workers as well as the ESL and ESOL 

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

One of the key elements mentioned is the targeted audience. The targeted audience is key in developing bridge programs. It is difficult to force a person into a bridge program simply because they need a "job." The targeted audience should want this industry as a career goal. It is unfair to force students through fastrack programs, complex math classes strenuous critical thinking assignments. Many of the people chosen for these programs may not have the soft skills training needed to complete the program. If they do not posses the skills needed to obtain the entry level employment and suggesting so, could lead the student through many stressful daunting tasks. Often times, these tasks can make the student want to drop out of the program.

Yvette Clemons's picture
Ten

For my college, I would add a total online program for students who need to continue working full time and may have childcare issues. Some students wan to complete bridge programs but have a difficulty time keeping up with class assignments. If colleges can make assignments easier for students to complete their program, retention may become improved.

Tommy Maness's picture
First

 

Hello everyone. I am Tommy Maness and I am a part time instructor in the ABE program at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, North Carolina. I am taking the online of the mentioned course as we are working at home through Covid-19 virus. I am finding this course very interesting as many of our students are working so hard to achieve their GED at our college. Here at RCC, we have several in school bridge programs associated with different industries and businesses close by, that are ready and willing to partner up with RCC and the student once they have obtained their GED and are enrolled at RCC. Once they can get there, If the student has the desire, which many do in the desired fields that have Bridge programs, many find a successful and rewarding field for the rest of their lives. This course "Developing Effective Bridge Programs", is showing me many aspects about the program that I didn't already know.  

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