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BUILDING BASIC SKILLS

Many low-wage, low-skilled workers need to develop their basic skills before they can take advantage of occupational skills education and community college courses. It is relatively efficient to develop the needed skills at the workplace and, in many cases, to use work as part of the educational process.

Basic skills are critical in two ways. First, they are fundamental to succeeding in both entry-level and higher-level jobs. Indeed, employers often cite a lack of basic skills as a barrier to career advancement for low-wage workers. Second, basic skills are required for entering training and education programs that provide career-advancing credentials.

 

RESOURCES

Remediation

Remedial Education at Two Jobs to Careers Sites (article only) (full newsletter)
Jobs to Careers helped frontline health care workers who required additional remediation in order to become eligible to enter an occupational training program. This article describes the remediation components adopted in Owensboro, Kentucky, and Medford, Oregon.

Working for Health: Overcoming the Remediation Hurdle (Fall 2008)
This issue of Working for Heath, the newsletter of Jobs to Careers, addresses remediation, a topic that is crucial to the frontline health care workers. Many health care employees who want to advance their careers are stymied because those workers lack the English and math skills needed to take college courses.

Job Readiness

Employee Development Schedule
Jobs to Careers in Mississippi developed and implemented an extensive job-readiness and employee-development program at a hospital whose frontline workers required additional preparation to be effective in their jobs and participate in further training. Items included in the curriculum ranged from communication and conflict management to time management and dealing with change. 

Remediation in Math

Math Refresher Materials
[email protected] Math Progression
In Owensboro, KentuckyJobs to Careers developed a specialized math refresher course, Math Rx, that helps students develop the math competencies they need to succeed in the nursing program at Owensboro Community & Technical College. Students attend five group-learning sessions, held at their workplace (Owensboro Medical Health System), and can complete the balance of assignments online. Math Rx, in turn, is one of several courses in OCTC’s “Mathematics Progression” that students can enter at any point depending on their ability to fulfill math requirements for the nursing degree. Each of the courses is contextualized with material relevant to nursing.

Contextualized Adult Basic Education

Capital Workforce Partners Adult Education PowerPoint
Curriculum Hybrid Course Model Toolkit
Adult Basic Education usually takes place in a classroom using traditional academic materials. In work-based learning programs, ABE can be delivered using a hybrid approach: some lessons delivered during traditional classroom instruction, others contextualized to a workplace setting. The contextualized ABE curriculum developed by Jobs to Careers in Hartford, Connecticut, has improved retention rates and results on standardized tests (e.g., the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems or “CASAS” test). In a further innovation, the Capital Region Education Council, an education partner in the project, integrated basic education and clinical instruction by placing instructors from both disciplines in the classroom. This also enabled the instructors to coordinate lessons and better embed reading and math instruction within job skills—in this case, understanding hospice care for dying patients.

Bridge Programs

Pre-Allied Health Bridge Program Curriculum Introduction
Pre-Allied Health Bridge Program Reading and Writing Curriculum
Pre-Allied Health Bridge Program Math Curriculum

Pre-Allied Health Bridge Program Gifted Hands Curriculum
Baltimore City Community College in Baltimore, Maryland created a bridge program to develop the math, reading, and writing skills of entry-level employees. The purpose of this Jobs to Careers program was to prepare workers for more advanced job placements and to take on additional training. The program was designed to be “learner centered,” with individual learning and career plans, student assessments, and short- and long-term goal-setting. The learning plan identifies competencies to be mastered, along with resources and instructional activities to support student achievement.