Continuing the conversation on JFF's Accelerating Opportunity (AO) Model

Don’t forget to  REGISTER for  A conversation on JFF's Accelerating Opportunity (AO) Model happening on 2/23/21 at 12 PM EST, and then return to this discussion thread on 2/24/21 to continue the discussion with Tara Smith, Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, and the career pathways community. 




Thank you, Tara and Rachel for the great live discussion yesterday. We hope community members will post some questions today for Tara and Rachel to answer. Here are a few to get us started:

  1. On page 7 of the report “fit” between the two teachers is noted a challenge. Were there any programs that provided professional development activities or technical assistance around how to grow the relationship and combine each other’s communication and work styles?
  2. Page 8 of the report talks about teaching styles, can you elaborate more on some common teaching styles that seem to go well with this type of work?
  3. What would you say to programs that are hesitant to start this type of programming?

Good morning! Yesterday's conversation was great and I'm looking forward to talking more about what we learned through Accelerating CTE. On the question of PD, one thing I can share is that as part of Accelerating Opportunity (the precursor to this work) we worked with SBCTC & NCTN to provide PD for team teachers. Many of the AO CTE colleges had taken part in these trainings, and many AO states developed their own statewide PD models. Some college approaches also included scheduling monthly workshops with all team teachers to share best practices and challenges and having new team teachers work with a mentor. We dig into some of this in an earlier report on team teaching:

Thanks, Rachel, for sharing this report on team teaching.  I noticed a concern you mention that some program managers and instructors may have about a co-teaching model. "The initial fear is that, if team teaching requires a minimum 25 percent overlap, the ABE teacher has to teach some of the CTE content." (12)

I really like how you mention that when CTE lectures include math concepts, ABE instructors can jump in and show learners multiple different ways to understand the them.  You also talk about modeling student behavior by taking notes, asking questions, and clarifying vocabulary. (12). 

I'm hoping members who've adopted PD that finds ways of helping the ABE teachers support CTE content will share those practices with us here!

Mike Cruse

For colleges who may be hesitant to start an integrated approach, I would suggest a few things: 

1) Connect with peers who have already been engaging with a similar model.  AO colleges, the colleges in the Accelerating CTE program, and colleges around the country using the I-BEST model are often eager to share what they have learned.  

2) Look at your data. Identify which programs and courses have high dropout rates and which could benefit from components like team teaching and supplemental instruction to better support students inside and outside the classroom.

3) Start small. Start with one pathway and work out the kinks before expanding into other programs.  

 4) Identify a champion. Integrated approaches require support, faculty-buy in, and flexibility; finding a champion among the college's leadership team is an essential component for success.



Tara, thank you for sharing these suggestions.  I have a question about #2, looking at your data.  You suggest identifying programs/courses with high dropout rates to help select those that could benefit from team teaching and supplemental instruction. 

I wonder what other data points, besides dropout rates, you suggest?  If a program has several courses which present roadblocks for students' continued success in a program, where should they begin?  Based on suggestion #3, "Start small," are there other metrics a program might use to select the first course to implement team teaching and supplemental instruction?

Mike Cruse

Great follow-up question, Michael!  Another factor the Accelerating CTE colleges looked at was around which classes were really foundational for future success.  For example, in healthcare pathways medical terminology and anatomy and physiology are often foundational for courses later in the pathway, so making sure that students really master that content is critical.  Those are classes were supplemental instruction and team teaching can provide the additional support students need to be successful.  

In terms of metrics, it can also be helpful for colleges to look at the flow of students along the pathway.  Where does persistence start to drop? Are there classes that appear to be a "tipping point" for students, where if they are successful in that class the odds of completion are greater?

In pathways where there may be several roadblock courses, colleges may want to consider sequencing and support services.  Are all the roadblock classes typically taken in the same semester? If so, can they be sequenced differently to help students build success and persist in their program? What about the class seems to be creating the roadblock? Do students have the basic skills needed to succeed, or are there instructional topics or learning objectives that appear to cause the greatest problem?  This analysis may surface areas where student supports like supplemental instruction or team teaching may help students overcome the roadblock and remain on the path.

Yesterday, we talked a little bit about how programs might adjust this model given the current COVID situation. This question is for the whole community- What additional data may need to be considered for creating accelerated programming during COVID and post-COVID?