Houston Community College: HCC’s Career4U Academy Recognized as Innovative Practice in Student Support Services for Adult Education

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Sep 21, 2021

Manhattan Strategy Group today announced the third set of innovative practices in adult education, selected by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project. The project is funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE).

Nine practices were called innovative for their approaches modeling effective integrated education and training (IE) programs, moving adult learners from adult basic education to post-secondary education or training, and increasing access to adult education services. The nine practices are presented in a report, innovative practices gallery and recorded webinar published on the occasion of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

“It is important to highlight the innovative practices that adult education programs use to meet the changing needs of adult learners. The nine practices that we will present illustrate the types of activities that adult education programs have implemented, using a holistic approach to carry out adult education, ”said Cheryl Keenan, Director of the Division. of Adult Education and Literacy from the US Department of Education. “The work of the staff who lead these practices reinforces the fact that adult education programs must take into account the intellectual, social, physical and emotional needs of adult learners. So many people who have already encountered barriers to employment have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Innovation can be more important than ever to get people back to work and on a path that offers real opportunity. “

These nine programs have made progress in supporting adult learners by focusing on underserved populations, distance learning alternatives, connecting learners to community and social services, offering employment assistance and access to career navigators and mentors. The list of innovators includes:

Integrated education and training (IET)

Career4U Academy Adult Education and Literacy Programs at Houston Community College in Houston, TX – This IET program helps adult learners access high-demand occupations in five sectors: healthcare, construction management, information technology, business technology and logistics transport. Learners participate in an online teaching of basic skills or English and a support course for adult education and literacy in which the teaching of basic skills is contextualized to the content of the course. workforce training. When learners complete all three components of Career4U (workforce training, contextualized adult education and literacy, and workforce preparation), they receive a Level 1 certificate recognized by the university and the ‘State.

Vocational Training at Wayne Township Adult Education in Indianapolis, IN – This EIT program provides training in a range of professions, including healthcare and construction management, which lead to industry-recognized degrees. Learners can work to develop their academic and employability skills through self-paced online education tailored to their academic needs. Adult learners are paired with a life coach who provides advice and support to overcome barriers such as transportation and childcare. This adult IET program is part of an established career path that includes guidance counselors and workforce partners.

STEPS for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship at Calhoun Community College in Tanner, AL – STEPS is an IET program that provides pre-apprenticeship training in the manufacturing sector through a six-step in-person or online program. Learners benefit from weekly mentoring with partner employers and can get a job and leave the program after completing any of the six stages. Those who complete the six steps can enroll in an apprenticeship program at Calhoun Community College.

Transition to the next steps

Specialized High School Equivalency Boot Camp, College and Career Preparation Program at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, NC – The Boot Camp, an intensive 100-hour course delivered over a 5-week period, is designed to motivate adult learners to earn a high school equivalency diploma faster. A transition coordinator works with participants early in the course to help them apply to non-credit and credit programs at Nash Community College and complete the Free Federal Student Assistance Application (FAFSA).

Transition to College / Post-Secondary Education in Catholic Charities – El Centro in Boston, MA – This program is unique in that it emphasizes preparing learners of English for Speakers of Other Languages ​​(ESOL) for the transition to university through teaching reading, writing and math, college preparation activities, learner counseling, and complementary supports provided by Catholic charities. El Centro has a dual enrollment model that allows learners to continue to receive support from program staff and math classes to ease their transition to university.

Increase access to EA services

Alternative Sentencing Program at Crawford County Adult Education Center in Van Buren, AR – Through this program, those involved in justice and accused of non-violent offenses can receive education and training instead of jail time, community service and / or fines. In addition to individualized education, participants benefit from employment support, assessment and application for benefits and advice.

Breaking down barriers at Jefferson Community and Technical College — Kentucky Skills U in Carrollton, KY – Through Breaking Barriers, adults in rural communities can access a fully online program with college and professional navigators who provide advice and support for the transition to post-secondary education and employment supports. The provision of online education has reduced barriers to enrollment and increased teaching options for learners.

Integrated Education and Training (IET) Culinary Arts Program at the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department in Ludlow, MA – This IET program focuses on pre-release residents for professional training in culinary arts, basic skills and high school equivalency preparation. A job coach supports learners in their job searches, including how to respond positively to questions about their incarceration. Graduates of the program receive four industry certifications and a certificate of completion that represents six college credits.

Ohio Deaf Literacy Partnership at the Delaware Area Career Center Aspire Program in Delaware, OH – The Partnership provides a model for providing distance learning opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing learners. English Literacy is taught entirely in American Sign Language with the goal of developing fluency in both languages.

For more information on innovative practices, visit https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federalinitiatives/advancing-innovation/explore.


This press release was produced by Houston Community College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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