Maine College Access Challenge Grant from FAME to prepare adults for college and career success through the Career Passports program
Wiscasset, ME, October 24, 2010: Wiscasset Adult & Community Education was awarded a Maine College Access Challenge Grant (MCACG) from the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). MCACG is part of a federal program designed to significantly increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. The $36,400 grant will provide additional college and career preparatory services in the Wiscasset area, including surrounding Lincoln County and Bath, through a new program called Career Passports.
“This announcement is exciting news for our community,” says Anne Fensie, Director of Wiscasset Adult & Community Education. “We have had great success with providing both career preparation and college transitions programming, but often adults come to us seeking only one or the other. This will allow us to provide more comprehensive services that really marry the two. With a projected shortage of credentialed workers for high-paying jobs, it is essential that we enroll more adults in the educational pipeline as soon as possible.”
The Career Passports program targets under-served learners in the Wiscasset region, primarily working adults and those facing other significant challenges to higher education. Such barriers include low income or a criminal record, as well as insufficient childcare, transportation, or academic skills. Existing services for youth and adults will be bridged to provide a continuum of support for all members of the community on their journey to career and academic success.
Career Passports will be stamped for completing activities in the ongoing journey to career success—filing the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA), submitting a college application, completing the Career Decision Making Tool, taking the Accuplacer, visiting college campuses, job shadowing, developing an educational plan, completing test preparation, attending a college success workshop, meeting with an advisor, etc. Assistance will be provided to complete these activities at times that are most convenient to adults, including during the school day, after school, evenings, and weekends.
The Lincoln County College Connection (TLC3) will be expanded to provide services for inmates at Two Bridges Regional Jail, additional outreach throughout the County, and to provide additional support locally for students during their first semester in college. Adult education and high school instructors will work with faculty at community colleges and universities to align their curriculum with higher education, ensuring that students are indeed prepared to enter postsecondary education and succeed. With the support of the Maine College Access Challenge Grant from FAME, all of these services will be provided at no charge to area residents.
Wiscasset Adult & Community Education offers courses in 5 major categories: Business & Skills Training, College Transitions, GED & High School Completion, Literacy, and Personal enrichment courses. For more information visit their website at www.Wiscasset.MaineAdultEd.org or call (207) 882-9710.
by Anne Fensie
on October 24, 2010
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SPRINGVALE — People are often at a loss after being laid off from a job. Sanford Community Adult Education's ESCP (Employment Skills Certificate Program) program is helping local people retrain and get employed.
The ESCP program includes Certified Nursing, General Career Skills, Clerical, Administrative Assistant, Accounting Clerk, Medical Secretary, and Medical Billing & Coding Certificates. In June of 2010, SCAE awarded 49 certificates to 30 students at graduation.
Fall 2010 enrollment continues to be strong, with 39 students taking 62 classes, SCAE Director Kathi Medcalf stated in a press release. Medcalf shared two success stories that have come out of June's graduating class.
Deborah Woodward Bangs went to SCAE in Spring of 2009 after the manufacturing plant where she worked as an office employee closed. Knowing she wanted a change of work, she entered into the Medical Secretary Certificate program. She found her niche, excelled and finished the certificate in June.
Recently, Bangs called to thank SCAE and the Employment Skills Certificate Program for being instrumental in helping her get a job at a home health and hospice agency affiliated with a hospital in Portland with excellent benefits.
After losing her job in December of 2009, Betty Ryder found her way to SCAE. She indicated that she loved working with numbers and entered SCAE's Accounting Clerk Certificate program. She was highly motivated, and finished her certificate in record time. She recently accepted a full-time job with a reputable New Hampshire business in their accounting department.
"The future of the Sanford's ESCP program is bright as we continue to search for new certificates to offer that will lead to employability by collaborating with local agencies such as the Local Career Center, Goodwill Workforce Solutions and DHHS's ASPIRE program as well as keeping in contact with local employers," Medcalf said.
SCAE's ESCP coordinator, Lisa Blanchette, has been invited to share information about SCAE's certificate programs with other adult education programs at the state directors' meeting later this month, as Maine is working on an initiative to implement stackable certificates into adult education programs across the state.
For more information about SCAE's ESCP program and other services, visit online at www.sanfordlearns.org or call 490-5145.
"Classes will begin quarterly, so call now," Medcalf said.
by Margie Genereux
on October 21, 2010
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According to the US Census Bureau, more than 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 do not have a high school diploma
New York, July 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Advertising Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation joined today to launch a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to provide high school dropouts with access to information that will get them started on the road to a GED Diploma.
According to the US Census Bureau, more than 35.7 million adults ages 18-64 do not have a high school diploma. Data shows that students who drop out of high school tend to earn less, perform less well in society, and have a lower quality of life. Many of them must work multiple jobs just to support their family. Moreover, in 2005, 21% of families without a high school diploma were living below the poverty line, compared to 7.1% of those with high school diplomas.
"As a longtime supporter of literacy and education, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation strongly believes that furthering one's education can improve lives for generations to come," said Cal Turner, Chairman of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. "The Foundation is enthusiastic about the potential impact of this campaign. Our goal is to inspire potential GED candidates and make it easy for people from all walks of life to access local resources that will help them begin their journey to a brighter future through a GED."
To find out more about earning a GED through Windham Raymond Adult Education, call Lisa Robertson at 892-1819.
by Lisa Robertson
on October 18, 2010
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Last July, Families READ (Reach, Explore, Achieve, Dream) entered its third year as a Lighthouse Program through the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Benita Somerfield, Executive Director of the Foundation, and Becky Dyer, Director for Maine, visited First Step’s Child Care Center and SCAE in July. Benita was extremely impressed with our family literacy program and child care center and is interested in using it as a model for other programs. Mrs. Barbara Bush is now planning a visit to SCAE this spring to meet our families and see our program in action! All children that have been in the program since they were babies are on target with their developmental milestones. Children assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Assessment (PPVT) show an exceptional grasp of print material and vocabulary. For example, one child whose chronological age is 4.5 assessed at a level of a seven year old! Families READ has a lot of exciting goals for the year. We hope to expand our relationship with Head Start, fully implement the teen parent program at the high school, and we are exploring how to support an elementary school with family literacy programming.
During the FY10 school year, SCAE had two professional development priorities. First was to create an environment in classrooms that will increase student success with cooperative learning. We had two all day teacher workshops and six, 1.5 hour staff meetings. At each of these events the assistant director gave examples, used Harry Wong tapes, and teachers shared classroom experiences, both positive and negative, to enhance learning. Some of the feedback from teachers: “Setting goals for activities with defined expectations made students much more involved and comfortable during activities.” Another teacher wrote, “I did more ice breakers this year, not just on the first day, and the students worked together much more happily. They recognized each others strengths and weaknesses and helped each more in class.” The second priority was to increase skills in assessment-driven instruction. We had two all day teacher workshops and six, 1.5 hour staff meetings. At each of these events the director gave examples and teachers shared classroom experiences both positive and negative to enhance learning. Teachers created and used Capacity Matrices in their classes as a way to help students see their progress and to determine if a student has met standards and is ready to move to the next level. Some teacher comments: “Assessment has been more frequent, especially in lower level math; the students did more self-assessment through exit passes and were able to show mastery of skills when ready.” “Self-assessments were given as as a pre-assessment to a new topic. From these assessments I was able to tailor the instruction to the skill of the class. It made my planning and teaching easier.” This year SCAE’s goals are: to redesign our summative evaluations to reflect an adult learning standards-based system; and to learn techniques for redirecting inappropriate student behavior in order to increase classroom instructional time.
Sanford Community Adult Education’s (SCAE) ROAD to College Certificate Program does its best to meet the needs of the greater Sanford Community. Through this program, citizens from the community are able to fulfill their goal of going to college. One requirement of the program is to participate in monthly Cohort Meetings. The Cohort Meetings offer ROAD participants the opportunity to interact with others in the program and build a sense of community amongst the college transitions students. There are many resources that are used to support and augment students’ learning. The National College Transition Network (NCTN) has a wealth of resources which will continue to be used at these meetings. A noticeable difference from previous years is that there has been a significant increase in the interaction the students have outside of the meetings, in the classrooms and lounge areas. Students’ self-confidence has increased immensely, as well as their advocacy skills. These students are having such great success with the program that they are spreading the word to family and friends in the community. This year, plans are being made for students to visit YCCC, SMCC, USM and UNE. We are also planning to bring guest speakers to SCAE – including Husson College, Andover College, business owners from the community and former ROAD participants. The guest speakers will be invited to attend the ROAD Cohort Meetings. This fall 50+ adults are enrolled in the program.