January 2009 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education A Review of Literature with Implications for California Community College Practitioners Special Thanks... This document was compiled by a project team of the Center for Student Success (CSS) of the Research and Planning (RP) Group of the California Community Colleges, under contract from the Chancellor 9s Of 6ce of the California Community Colleges (CCC) through the English as a Second Language (ESL)/Basic Skills (BS) Professional Development Grant. The authors surveyed published literature and other sources to compose this document, which was then reviewed by members of the faculty review panel.
Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education A Review of Literature with Implications for California Community College Practitioners CSS The Center for Student Success The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges In Association with the Center for Student Success/RP Group and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Basic Skills Initiative Funded by the Chancellor 9s Office of the California Community Colleges January 2009 Contents Acknowledgements f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f ... more. less.
f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f1 Executive Summary f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f5 Definitions f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f7 Introduction f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f10 Literature Review f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f14 Area A: Organizational and Administrative Practices f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f14 Area B: Program Component Practices f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f23 Area C: Staff Development Practices f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f30 Area D: Instructional Practices f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f31 Suggestions for Further Research f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f44 References f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f47 Acknowledgements This project is part of the California Basic Skills Initiative aiming to build a toolkit for community college practitioners in the Veld of basic skills education. The series of literature reviews began in 2007 with the publication of Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community College (Center for Student Success, 2007). The current report is one of a number of follow-up projects to the initial literature review.<br><br> The author surveyed published literature and other sources to prepare this report, which was then read by members of the faculty review panel identiVed below. About the Author Ms. Sharon Seymour has 30 years of experience teaching credit and noncredit English as a Second Language (ESL) and served as chair of the ESL Department for 10 years at City College of San Francisco.<br><br> She has provided extensive service to California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL) and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She served as coordinator of the California Adult Education Staff Development Project and has presented at numerous conferences. In addition, she has served on California Community Colleges Chancellor 9s OfVce and California State Department of Education ESL committees.<br><br> Ms. Seymour is also the co-author of several ESL texts, including Stepping Out and The Essentials of Teaching Academic Reading. She was a series consultant for the ESL textbook series Center Stage.<br><br> She was also the co-author of Pathways and Outcomes: Tracking ESL Student Performance, published by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) and was a co-researcher for CAAL Project on Exemplary Noncredit Community College ESL Programs. She holds a Master of Arts degree in TESOL from San Francisco State University. Report Editors Mr.<br><br> Rene Ciria-Cruz is a freelance editor and writer whose articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Japan Today, Alternet, Berkeley Daily Planet, Asian Week, and the National Catholic Reporter. He was an editor/reporter at New America Media/PaciVc News Service and the longtime editor of the Filipino American monthly, Filipinas Magazine. Ms.<br><br> Elisa Rassen is a consultant grant and research report writer. Previously, she was a grant writer at City College of San Francisco where she garnered support for the college 9s academic, vocational, and support services programs from public and private sources. Her particular areas of expertise include support for at-risk students; workforce development; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and health education.<br><br> Ms. Rassen has a B.A. from Harvard University.<br><br> | 1 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Dr. Nancy S. Wolfe is currently an independent contractor developing grant proposals and editing manuscripts.<br><br> She has worked for San Jose City College, City College of San Francisco, and others developing and successfully procuring grants in a wide range of Velds from biotechnology and laser technician training to student support services and international education programs. Faculty Review Panel Ms. Christine Berdiansky is currently a Program Supervisor at the Santa Clara Adult Education Center.<br><br> She has written grants for elementary and adult schools in the Bay Area. She is a cProgram 9s of Excellence d Trainers for CalPro, the California Department of Education 9s Adult Education Professional Development Contractor. Her specialty is Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and Career and Technical Education.<br><br> Ms. Berdiansky has an M.A. in Education.<br><br> Dr. Jan Connal is a counselor and educational psychologist at Cerritos College. She chairs the campus Developmental Education Committee.<br><br> She also coordinates the campus 9 Student Learning Outcomes activities, Title V Program Evaluation, and various Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects. She served as a project coordinator for the California Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) and on the BSI Steering Committee since initiative 9s inception. Mr.<br><br> Wade Ellis, Jr . has taught mathematics at West Valley College for over 30 years. He earned degrees in mathematics from Oberlin College and Ohio State University.<br><br> He is the co-author of more than 30 books on the teaching and learning of mathematics using technology and speaks regularly at regional, national, and international conferences. He is the recipient of the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges Mathematics Excellence Award recognizing his lifetime achievement. He served as a project coordinator for the California Basic Skills Initiative Ms.<br><br> Sylvia Ramirez is a professor at MiraCosta College and coordinates the largest noncredit ESL program. She has worked as a consultant for the California Department of Education. She was selected by the California Academic Senate to participate in the development of ESL content standards, and is currently a member of the Academic Senate noncredit subcommittee.<br><br> Dr. Anniqua Rana is a professor of ESL/English and the Reading/Writing Lab Coordinator at Cañada College. She has also served as a project coordinator for the Basic Skills Initiative.<br><br> Currently she is doing research on the impact of supplemental instruction on ESL students at community college. She has also worked as a consultant with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Ms.<br><br> Nancy Ybarra is a professor of English at Los Medanos College (LMC) and co-chairs the Developmental Education Committee and Teaching and Learning Assessment Project. She chaired the Academic Senate Developmental Education Task Force at LMC, where a long-term plan for institutional change was developed based on researched effective practices in basic skills. She earned a certiVcate in developmental education from the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University and a postsecondary reading certiVcate at San Francisco State University.<br><br> She has also served on the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Basic Skills Committee. 2 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Additional Contribution Other people who read drafts of this report include Kate Frankel and Cyndie Snyder, project assistants from University of California Berkeley 9s research center, Policy Analysis for California Education, who are working on a study of transition issues from high school to post-secondary education. Project Coordination Dr.<br><br> Robert Gabriner coordinated the project. He is Director of the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges and its Center for Student Success. The Research and Planning Group/Center for Student Success The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (RP Group) strengthens the ability of California community colleges to undertake high quality research, planning, and assessments that improve evidence-based decision making, institutional effectiveness, and success for all students.<br><br> It does so through three primary strategies. First, RP 9s Center for Student Success (CSS) conducts research and evaluation projects that utilize the skills and unique perspectives of California community college institutional researchers, faculty, and administrators. Second, the RP Group builds the skills of administrators, faculty, and staff through a broad range of professional development offerings and by disseminating effective practices.<br><br> Finally, the RP Group develops strategic partnerships and provides leadership on statewide initiatives to help keep evidenced- based decision making, accountability, and student success at the forefront of California community college efforts. Since 2000, CSS has led 15 system-level research and evaluation projects that have resulted in signiVcant changes to the California community college system, including the laying of the groundwork for the statewide accountability system (ARCC), the modiVcation of admission requirements for the registered nursing programs, and the publication Basic Skills as the Foundation for Success in the California Community Colleges, which was instrumental in the development of the Basic Skills Initiative and provided the framework for evaluating college-level basic skills programs throughout the state. The success of CSS projects is rooted in their design.<br><br> Each project is led by a unique team of community college staff, faculty, and administrators who have proven research skills and a direct understanding of the subject at hand. Projects culminate in audience-speciVc products that stimulate discussion, improve outcomes, and strengthen student success. You can Vnd out more about CSS research and the RP Group at www.rpgroup.org | 3 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Executive Summary T his reporT examines The liTeraTure on practices and programs seeking to improve students 9 transition from adult education to postsecondary education.<br><br> Ultimately, the report seeks to provide practitioners with models for effective strategies in transitioning students to postsecondary education that can be implemented at community colleges throughout California. From a review of more than 40 references, a total of 17 effective practices emerged. Because this report has been created as a follow-up to Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community College, it uses the same four major categories to organize the effective practices uncovered in the literature.<br><br> The practices are summarized below. Area A: Organizational and Administrative Practices A.1 Improving transition of students from adult education to postsecondary education is an 4 institutional priority for community college and adult education programs. A.2 Faculty and staff of transition programs are resourceful, experienced, and committed 4 to serving adult students.<br><br> A.3 Strong collaborative partnerships exist among college programs, adult education 4 programs, business/industry, and community-based organizations. A.4 Institutions have innovative and Wexible admissions and enrollment policies that 4 facilitate transitions. A.5 To evaluate the effectiveness of courses and programs, student data systems track 4 transitions and outcomes across programs.<br><br> Area B: Program Component Practices B.1 Programs inform adult education students about the opportunities in and beneVts of 4 higher education. B.2 Programs provide adult education students with assistance in meeting the Vnancial 4 demands of college. B.3 Personalized support, such as peer mentoring, tutoring, or case management, is 4 provided before, during, and after transitioning.<br><br> B.4 Programs provide effective matriculation services, including assessment that is aligned 4 between adult education and postsecondary programs. | 5 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Area C: Staff Development Practices C.1 Institutions provide staff development opportunities to adult education faculty. 4 Area D: Instructional Practices D.1 Adult education and postsecondary curriculum are aligned, sequential, and progressive 4 to provide a seamless pathway for transition students.<br><br> D.2 Instruction is contextualized so that transition students see the connection between 4 basic skills education and academic or vocational content. D.3 Programs include career planning as a part of the curriculum. 4 D.4 Curriculum and scheduling are designed to be Wexible, chunked, and modularized with 4 multiple entry and exit points.<br><br> D.5 SufVcient language instruction is provided for English-as-a-second-language learners. 4 D.6 Instruction and curriculum are designed and delivered in a way that integrates a variety 4 of instructional methodologies. D.7 Institutions provide accelerated courses/programs that give transition students the 4 opportunity to quickly meet their goals.<br><br> The report examines practices in each of these areas and provides examples from adult education programs nationwide. However, it is important to note that there is little evidence-based research completed to date on students transitioning from adult to postsecondary education. Hence, the practices in this report fall mostly into the cpromising d rather than the ceffective d category.<br><br> Nonetheless, the report identiVes these practices and makes recommendations for further research. 6 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Definitions Definitions of Programs and Students Adult Education. Adult education addressing foundational skills includes the following components: Adult Basic Education instruction for raising adults 9 basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to the 8 th grade level; Adult Secondary Education for preparing students to graduate or to pass the GED; and English as a Second Language instruction.<br><br> Traditionally, adult education courses or programs carry no academic credits and often are free of charge. The majority of adult education programs are typically provided by the K-12 education system; however, some community colleges administer noncredit adult education classes in their districts. Adult education programs can also be offered by community-based organizations, library literacy programs, and public or private nonproVt agencies.<br><br> Adult Basic Education (ABE). Students in Adult Basic Education can be native or nonnative English speakers. ABE programs provide education in basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills or assist students in achieving other goals related to employment or further education.<br><br> ABE programs can offer separate courses for native and nonnative English speakers or serve both types of students in the same classroom. However, ABE nonnative English speakers are a distinct population from those in ESL programs (see below). ABE students typically have strong speaking and listening skills; understand one or more varieties of spoken English, including non-standard, elliptical forms; and feel comfortable with books, Web sites, and class materials in English (Hadley, 1993).<br><br> Adult Secondary Education (ASE). An ASE program provides adults with the classes they need to complete all of the school district 9s high school curricula as well as pass the California High School Exit Exams. ASE programs often include GED preparation classes and onsite GED testing.<br><br> Basic Skills or Developmental Education. Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community College describes basic skills as cthose foundation skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and English as a Second Language as well as learning skills and study skills which are necessary for students to succeed in college-level work. Courses designed to develop these skills are generally classiVed as pre-collegiate, basic skills, or both, and may be either credit or non-credit d (Center for Student Success, 2007, p.13).<br><br> | 7 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education English as a Second Language (ESL). Students who do not speak English as their Vrst language attend ESL courses to improve their language skills and achieve goals similar to students in ABE. These students often need to concentrate on speaking and listening skills, especially in beginning level classes.<br><br> Students 9 level of education varies widely from no formal education to graduate or professional degrees (Hadley, 1993). Transition Students. In this report, transition students are deVned as students who move from adult education to postsecondary education programs.<br><br> Definitions of Practices Effective Practice . Organizational, administrative, instructional, or support activities engaged in by highly successful programs, as validated by research and literature sources. This deVnition of effective practice has been slightly adapted from the deVnition that was used in Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges (Center for Student Success, 2007, p.<br><br> 13). Promising Practice . Organizational, administrative, instructional, or support activities engaged in by programs that have not been validated by research and literature sources, but are judged by experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in the Veld as having the potential to be highly successful.<br><br> The guiding questions used to identify promising practices include the following: What information did you draw on in selecting this practice as promising? What formal or informal evidence do you have of impact and outcomes of this practice? What research needs to be done to establish it as an effective practice?<br><br> Evidence-Based Research. This research identiVes reliable and valid solutions to problems of educational practice. A quality research study is one that does one or more of the following: Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment.<br><br> 4 Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify 4 the general conclusions drawn. Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide valid data across 4 evaluators and observers, and across multiple measurements and observations. Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent 4 experts through a comparatively rigorous, objective, and scientiVc review.<br><br> Evidence-Based Program : Using a balance of sound theory and relevant empirical evidence combined with the judgment of knowledgeable and experienced practitioners to make informed decisions about how a program or practice is implemented or delivered. 8 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Effective or Promising? This report makes clear that there is little evidence-based research completed to date on transitioning students from adult to postsecondary education.<br><br> Hence, the practices in this report fall mostly into the cpromising d rather than the ceffective d category. However, a considerable number of reports have been written by national commissions, researchers, and experts in the Veld that draw on the experience and knowledge of practitioners and researchers and the Vndings of case studies. Many of these reports provide descriptions of individual transition programs deemed to be models or to be successful.<br><br> Due to the lack of quantitative evidence for the effectiveness of particular practices, and because much of the literature reports a combination of successful practices or strategies, it is difVcult to ascertain the effects of any individual practice/strategy. The author of this report includes documentation of success where available. | 9 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Introduction T he n aTional C enTer for h igher e duCaTion Management Systems reports that the United States seriously risks losing its edge in global economic competitiveness because new American workers do not have the same level of educational preparation as their counterparts in many other countries.<br><br> It concludes that the U.S. cannot remain internationally competitive without providing better education to older adults who have either dropped out of high school or completed high school but did not go to college (Jones & Kelley 2007). A report from the Council for Adult and Experimental Learning (CAEL) conVrms, cDemographic patterns demonstrate that relying on the traditional K-16 pipeline to meet the educational and workforce needs of our states and the nation will not be enough d (CAEL, 2008, p.<br><br> 7). Current Educational Levels in the U.S. and California In 2002, the U.S.<br><br> Department of Labor announced that most of the fastest growing jobs in the country will require workers to have postsecondary educational preparation (Alamprese, 2005). However, data from the 2005 U.S. Census notes that large numbers of working-age adults (ages 18- 64) continue to have attained only low levels of education.<br><br> The census describes: More than 25 million adults in the United States, or 14% of working-age adults, have not 4 completed high school or the equivalent. In California, that percentage grows to 19%, or over four million individuals. Among those with less than a high school diploma, approximately 35% have dropped out 4 before 9 th grade.<br><br> In California, 48% of those without a diploma have left school before the 9 th grade. Nationwide, 8.3 million individuals with a high school diploma or less speak English poorly 4 or not at all. California residents comprise over one-quarter of this pool of individuals.<br><br> Enrollment in Adult Education, GED, and Postsecondary Education Programs The 2008 CAEL report highlighted cthe importance of adult education in helping to close the growing gap between this nation 9s postsecondary attainment and that of other leading countries d (p. 10). Indeed, for many individuals who have either not completed high school or who delay enrollment in postsecondary education, adult education programs are an effective starting point.<br><br> These programs provide a path for making the transition to postsecondary education where students can earn college credits and work to achieve a certiVcate or degree. Yet, enrollments are low in adult education programs: only one in four adults with less than a high school diploma participates in any kind of further education or training (Strawn, 2007). 10 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Even those who do enroll in and complete adult education programs are unlikely to pursue credit- bearing postsecondary education.<br><br> Only about 20% of Adult Basic Education learners in 2002-03 who indicated that postsecondary enrollment was their goal actually enrolled in postsecondary education or training (U.S. Department of Education as cited by Jones & Kelley, 2007). Similarly, over 65% of 1999 GED examinees expressed a desire to pursue further education; however, only 30-35% of GED recipients received any postsecondary education.<br><br> Moreover, only 5-10% of GED recipients attended a postsecondary educational institution for more than one year (Alamprese, 2005). The Benefits of Additional Educational Achievement Advanced education brings a number of beneVts, including increases in income levels. A report prepared for the National Commission on Adult Literacy states that cadults with more schooling generate substantially more favorable Vscal impacts for federal, state, and local governments. d The report further cites higher employment rates, additional earnings, and higher rates of home ownership as some of the outcomes of additional educational achievement (Khatiwadi, McLaughlin, Sum & Palma, 2007, p.vii).<br><br> The relationship between income and educational levels is further supported by U.S. Department of Labor (Alamprese, 2005). In California, working-age residents with college degrees are 27% more likely to participate in the workforce than those with less than a high school diploma.<br><br> Their earnings over a lifetime are more than twice as much as their counterparts without a high school diploma (CAEL, 2008). According to U.S. Census data, 28.8 million individuals (including 3.7 million in California) with a high school diploma or less are not earning living wages (Jones, 2007).<br><br> A study for the Community College Research Center Teacher 9s College, Columbia University, provides additional evidence that increased education is linked to increased income, even for those who start at the lower rungs of the educational ladder (Prince & Jenkins, 2005). Individuals who started their educational journey in ESL, had one year of college-level credits, and earned a credential had an average earnings advantage of $7,000 more a year in the job market than those who completed fewer than 10 credits. Higher educational levels bring personal beneVts to individuals as well Vnancial advantages.<br><br> These beneVts include opportunities to have better working conditions, enjoy a greater social status, and change jobs or move to a different location. Higher levels of education are also associated with increased participation in civic life and a better quality of life, including better health and an increased participation in leisure activities (CAEL, 2008). The Role of Community Colleges in Serving Adult Education Students U.S.<br><br> Department of Education data show that considerable numbers of U.S. residents do not enroll in college directly after high school (MPR Associates, 2007). When those who delay enrollment do decide to pursue postsecondary education, nearly half enroll in a two-year institution.<br><br> | 11 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education However, adults who begin their education in adult education programs do not show great success in community college. A longitudinal study of students in 34 community and technical colleges in Washington showed the following: Only 13% of ESL students went on to earn at least some college credits. 4 Fewer than 1% of ESL students who started with less than a high school diploma earned a 4 GED or high school diploma in Vve years.<br><br> Fewer than one third of ABE/GED students enrolled in college credit courses. 4 Only 4-6% of ABE/GED students earned 45 or more college credits or earned a certiVcate 4 or degree in Vve years. Only 35% of those who started with a high school diploma earned at least 45 credits or a 4 credential in Vve years (Prince & Jenkins, 2005).<br><br> Taken together, these data show that those adult education students who come to community colleges often do not make signiVcant progress. Given these statistics, community colleges have an opportunity to be more responsive to this population both in attracting students and in assisting them to further their education. Community colleges, with their affordable education, developmental education programs, and open door policies are the most attractive postsecondary institutions for adult transition students.<br><br> The Need for Collaboration Among Community Colleges and Adult Education Institutions Community colleges cannot respond to this opportunity to better serve adult education students in isolation. The literature reviewed for this report demonstrates a clear need for greater collaboration between colleges and adult education institutions if the transition rate and success of adult education students to postsecondary education is to be increased. Duke and Strawn note, cThe college is part of a constellation of institutions and agencies that have responsibility for helping low skilled workers advance d (Duke & Strawn, 2008, p.<br><br> ii). Collaboration between institutions has been initiated in various ways across the nation. The National College Transition Network (NCTN), a project of World Education 9s New England Literacy Resource Center, supports ABE staff, programs, and state agencies in establishing and strengthening ABE-to-college transition services.<br><br> This organization provides technical assistance, professional development, collegial sharing, advocacy, and increased visibility for transition efforts. In the NCTN New England ABE-to-College Transition Project, 25 adult education programs partner with 30 colleges in six states. Furthermore, some states, such as Kentucky, have developed policies to create a seamless transition between adult education and postsecondary education.<br><br> In many cases, colleges, local governmental agencies, community-based organizations, and others have initiated collaborations in their area. In California, some community colleges offer adult education programs, including ABE, GED, and/ or ESL in their district. However, most California community colleges do not offer these noncredit adult education services and may have little or no relationship with adult education programs in 12 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education their area.<br><br> California community college administrators and program coordinators/chairs in these districts may need to take the lead in creating relationships with adult education programs to develop transition strategies. This report can be of use to both community college and adult education leaders as they strive to increase transitions of adult students. The Need for More Research There is a critical need for data on an institutional level and across institutions on adult student success and the practices that contribute to it.<br><br> One of the three critical recommendations in a report for the National Commission on Adult Literacy, Policies to Promote Adult Education and Postsecondary Alignment, is to cincrease state capacity to track individual outcomes across adult and postsecondary education and training services, over time, and into the labor market; and use this data to set goals for improvement d (Strawn, 2007, p. ii). Instructors, counselors, tutors, administrators, service providers, and students can contribute to the knowledge base by conducting systematic, intentional, and Veld-based inquiry in their daily practices.<br><br> While many adult education faculty are part-time and may not have the time or resources to conduct Veld-based inquiry, through analytical and reWective practice, practitioners can: ReWect critically on their own practices; 4 Review related research in their area of interest; 4 Pose questions for inquiry arising from their own settings, prior experience, and goals for 4 teaching and learning; and Develop analytical approaches for resolving issues (Sherman & Taylor, 1997, p. 1). 4 A beginning list of research topics related to transitioning adult education students to postsecondary education is included in this report.<br><br> | 13 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Literature Review T he main body of This reporT focuses on a review of the current literature. The review is divided into four areas of practice; within each area of practice, relevant data and models are described to illuminate the key areas of each practice and key elements of effective practices are described. As described previously, the four areas of practice examined in this report are: Area A: Organizational and Administrative Practices Area B: Program Component Practices Area C: Staff Development Practices Area D: Instructional Practices Area A: Organizational and Administrative Practices A.1 Improving transition of students from adult education to postsecondary education is an institutional priority for community college and adult education programs.<br><br> Most adult education programs are administered by the K-12 education system. In order to facilitate advancement from these noncredit adult education programs to credit-bearing community college coursework, both adult education providers and community colleges must make supporting this transition an institutional priority. A study of numerous adult education programs by Zafft, Kallenback, and Spohn (2006) highlights this need, recommending that a system-wide goal of postsecondary readiness be established.<br><br> Even when adult education programs are provided as noncredit in community college districts, supporting the transition of students needs to be an institutional priority. Support of the College Leadership Institutional commitment to transition from adult education to postsecondary education can be implemented in a number of ways. Often, the strong support of the administrative leaders at community colleges is an important factor.<br><br> The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition notes that administrators play a key role in promoting transitions from adult education programs to community colleges (Matthews-Aydinli, 2006).This commitment can be seen in both the Nashua Adult Learning Center in New Hampshire as well as Cape Cod Community College 9s Success program. 14 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education An evaluation report looking at these two programs cites the commitment of the community college president as a key contributor to the programs 9 success in transitioning adult education students to community colleges (Gittleman, 2005). The commitment of college leadership can also be seen in the Dorcas Place Adult and Community College in Rhode Island, where staff report that the college president 9s support for collaboration between ABE and postsecondary programs strengthens their ability to transition students to college (National College Transition Network, 2004).<br><br> Strong support by top leadership is also identiVed as a success factor for the Pasadena City College Math Jam Project. This adult education program is in fact a part of Pasadena City College, offering a two-week noncredit pre-algebra course to underprepared Vrst-time students enrolled at the college. With 72 students in the Vrst cohort, 89% were retained and 56% increased their mathematics placement by one level at the conclusion of the program (The Campaign for College Opportunity, 2007).<br><br> Finally, further evidence of the importance of the support of college leadership in effectively transitioning adult education students to community college can be found in Kentucky (Chisman, 2004). Two adult education/community college programs in Kentucky were studied: a collaboration between Jefferson Community College and Jefferson County Schools, and Owensboro Community Technical College. The success of both of these programs was attributed in large part to strong leadership support.<br><br> Coordination of Adult and Basic Skills Education at Community Colleges When community colleges themselves offer adult education programs, an additional indication of institutional commitment is putting a single administrator in charge of adult education (noncredit) and basic skills (credit) programs (Boylan, 2004). This effective practice can be found at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, Davidson County Community College in North Carolina, Santa Fe Community College in Florida, and Western Wyoming Community College. Additional types of organizational integration are further cited as a promising practice in the ABE to Community College Transitions Project study (U.S.<br><br> Department of Education, OfVce of Vocational and Adult Education, 2007). Support for Adult Education Faculty at Community Colleges A Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) report notes that adult and basic skills education linkages are strengthened when adult education faculty are given the same pay, beneVts, professional development opportunities, and roles in college governance as developmental education faculty. The report also stated that adult education managers should have the same place in the college management system as other managers (CAAL, 2005).<br><br> The ABE to Community College Transitions Project further notes that hiring and supporting a number of full-time instructors is a key promising practice (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). | 15 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Funding Transitions from Adult Education to Community College Lastly, providing sufVcient funding for programs that support the transition from adult education to community colleges is a further indication of institutional support.<br><br> One promising practice in this arena is combining public and private funding (Liebowitz & Taylor, 2004; Boylan, 2004). The National College Transition Network recommends that the cost and beneVts of funding transition programs be assessed and funding be made available (Zafft et al, 2006). The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy further concludes that transition initiatives need special funding (2005), and ABE to Community College Transitions Project highlights the procurement of additional funding as well as in-kind support as a promising practice (MPR Associates, 2007).<br><br> A.2 Faculty and staff of transition programs are resourceful, experienced, and committed to serving adult students. Faculty Quali+cations The literature does not provide quantitative evidence of how faculty and staff inWuence the success of transition students. However, a study of Vve exemplary community college adult ESL program describes, One of the most important things that colleges and other ESL providers can do to improve program quality and increase student learning is to hire highly qualiVed faculty.<br><br> & [T]he best way to accomplish this is to hire faculty with extensive professional training in teaching ESL 4ideally MA degrees in TESOL or related Velds. (Chisman & Crandall, 2007, p.85) Supporting this claim, an evaluation study of the 21 programs in the New England ABE-to-College Transition Project found that model programs had knowledgeable, experienced, resourceful, and committed staff and leadership (Gittleman, 2005). Not only do highly qualiVed faculty enhance program quality, but transitions to community college programs can also be improved by hiring well-qualiVed adult education faculty.<br><br> A survey of college presidents indicates that when faculty in adult and developmental education programs have comparable qualiVcations, they can teach in both programs and discover content overlaps (Boylan, 2004). In addition, leaders who have a deep knowledge of resources can facilitate program development (Bragg et al., 2007). Commitment to and Understanding of Adult Students The commitment of faculty to serving adult students, in addition to their understanding of the particular needs of this student population, also plays a key role in program quality and success.<br><br> The Emerging Pathways project emphasizes that faculty members must understand the students they serve and recognize adult learners as a diverse and complex population (Pusser, 2007). Faculty who are committed to adult education students often provide personal attention to their students. At Rio Salado College in Arizona, a personal approach fostering high levels of 16 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education communication between students and faculty was cited as a key success factor.<br><br> By implementing this personal approach, Rio Salado College created a decline in drops/withdrawals from 30% in 1999-2000 to 5% in 2002-2003. Furthermore, transitions to college-level coursework increased from 73% to 95-100% (Lombardo, 2004). Commitment to adult students is also demonstrated by modeling learner-centered values; Boylan has concluded that these kinds of values are necessary conditions for effective collaboration between adult education and postsecondary programs.<br><br> Boylan notes that a student-oriented philosophy, whether explicit or implicit, guides instruction and student/faculty relationships in successful adult education programs (2004). A.3 Strong collaborative partnerships exist among college programs, adult education programs, business/industry, and community-based organizations. Collaborations Between Adult Education and Community College Programs As noted earlier, most adult education programs are not housed within community colleges.<br><br> Nationwide only a third of adult education students are served by community colleges (CAAL, 2005).When adult education programs are separate from the community college, transitions are greatly enhanced by close partnerships between the education providers. An evaluation of the 21 model programs in the New England ABE-to-College Transition project found that a strong partnership between the adult and college programs was crucial . Characteristics of strong partnerships include deep relationships with appropriate people in the college who can advocate for and deliver services to students; partnerships formed over time and characterized by a high degree of coordination; and a knowledgeable and resourceful program staff.<br><br> The report recommended strengthened college partnerships focusing on maximizing the shared responsibility (Gittleman, 2005). The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy concurs, stating in a 2005 report that colleges that do not offer adult education must form collaborative arrangements with external adult education providers. These collaborations can include sharing faculty, staff, and support services; creating jointly administered programs; and establishing mutual expectations about the requirements for college entry (CAAL, 2005).<br><br> Collaborations are most effective when there is a systematic and structured transition program . Some programs, for example, establish a schedule for college admissions staff to meet with adult education classes and provide follow-up information on the admissions process. Some states, such as Idaho, are developing routine transition activities where adult education staff work with admissions and counseling staff at community colleges (Alamprese, 2005).<br><br> Surveyed community college presidents believed that collaboration was more likely to happen if speciVc policies promoting collaboration existed (Boylan, 2004). | 17 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Model programs in Kentucky provide speciVc examples of the value of collaboration between adult and postsecondary educational institutions. Kentucky 9s statewide policy is to create a seamless system of education between Kentucky Adult Education (which addresses education at the lower end of the development spectrum) and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.<br><br> The state 9s emphasis on transitioning adult education students to college has created a substantial increase in transition rates: in 1998-1999, 12% of ABE students transitioned to college, and by 2005- 2006, 21% of students transitioned (Duke & Strawn, 2008). A Kentucky study by the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy proVles several of these types of collaborative programs. The Mayo Campus of the Big Sandy Community and Technical College District collaborates with the adult education program in Johnson County, emphasizing the precise determination of the skills students must master to get a GED or undertake college-level work.<br><br> In 2002-2003, 98% of students who had a goal of entering postsecondary education did so; furthermore, data from 2000-2001 showed that 90% of adult education students who had undertaken credit coursework graduated from college. Partnerships between adult education and community college programs can also allow programs to share facilities, further enhancing opportunities for transition. The Sumner Adult Education Program in Maine cited the co-location of its program with the college program as a success factor (Gittleman, 2005).<br><br> Another report noted that model adult education programs found community colleges helpful in providing staff and space for transition classes as well as college orientation services (Alamprese, 2005). Bragg 9s interviews with administrators at 27 career pathways programs further found that all of the programs drew on the resources of the local community college for some aspect of administration and delivery (2007). Boylan (2004) also concluded that the sharing of appropriate program facilities made for effective links and collaboration between adult and developmental education.<br><br> To increase collaboration between adult and postsecondary education programs, shifts in state policy are required; in particular, state adult education ofVces can play an important role in facilitating relationships between adult education and community college programs (Alamprese, 2005). The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy also calls on states to encourage better integration of adult education and colleges, remove state regulatory barriers, and reimburse noncredit adult education service at the same rates as it does for credit (CAAL, 2005). Interdepartmental Partnerships at Community Colleges Establishing formal collaborations between departments at colleges that offers both adult and developmental education is cited as an emerging model approach.<br><br> This type of inter-college partnership can be seen at the Tacoma Community College between the Division of Continuing Education and the Division of Workforce/Basic Skills. Through this partnership, students with very low-level basic skills were prepared to get an industry-recognized Child Development Associate Credential. Students were also prepared to enter a one-year para-education certiVcate program or a two-year Associate 9s degree program (Women Employed, 2005).<br><br> The Rio Salado College in Arizona also found that developing relationships between noncredit and credit staff was key to success. At Rio Salado, the adult education program 9s Transitions Coordinator 18 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education established relationships with Financial Aid, Admissions, Advisement, and credit ESL faculty and staff at the other community colleges in the district. As a result, the program 9s drop/withdrawal rate decreased, and the student transition from noncredit to credit increased (Lombardo, 2004).<br><br> Strong collaboration across programs within the college was also found to be an element of success at Pasadena City College 9s Math Jam program, which focuses on noncredit pre-algebra instruction (The Campaign for College Opportunity, 2007). An additional characteristic of collaborative adult and developmental education programs is the use of the same assessment instrument for both programs and some way of correlating scores of different instruments. Boylan also cites efforts to ensure consistency between exit standards for adult education and entry for developmental education as a characteristic of collaborative adult and developmental education programs (Boylan, 2004).<br><br> Partnerships with External Agencies Developing partnerships with organizations outside of the college, including employers, the workforce investment system, community-based organizations, and others, can provide important supports to adult education programs in helping students transition to college and employment. For example, partnerships with industry and the workforce investment community can be critical in certiVcate or vocational programs that prepare adult students for employment. Employers can provide skills assessment, curriculum review, work-based learning, project-based assessment, job placement, and other supports to programs and students.<br><br> Bridges to Careers for Low-Skilled Adults: A Program Development Guide describes several examples of partnerships between education and industry. The Essential Skills Program in Denver prepares students for jobs in high-demand occupations and articulates with the next educational level. This program cites the importance of employer involvement in identifying labor market needs, supporting ongoing curriculum design, and providing internship and job opportunities to students.<br><br> Within this Denver program, 35% of their 1,000 students have continued their education beyond the certiVcate level (Women Employed, 2005). At Shoreline Community College in Seattle, a well-established partnership with the regional automotive industry helped the college create a certiVcate program for ABE and ESL students. The role of the automotive industry in developing and supporting the program included participating in an advisory board, offering paid internships to students, and employing certiVcate completers.<br><br> In turn, the college recruited students and offered the education/training services along with counseling. In this pilot program, six out of 10 completers have entered factory-sponsored Associate 9s degree programs (Bragg, 2007). Partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) can also aid transition students.<br><br> These partner organizations can provide services that the educational institution cannot offer alone. For example, CBOs may provide case management and curriculum for teaching ESL, while the college provides vocational curriculum, computer labs, and articulates the basic skills courses with the technical certiVcate and occupational degree programs. In addition, collaboration with human service agencies or workforce training programs can assist ABE students in overcoming academic, | 19 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Vnancial, and personal barriers and boost the educational institution 9s ability to help students move up to the postsecondary level (U.S.<br><br> Department of Education as cited by Jones & Kelley, 2007). The College Gateway Program in San Mateo County, California, offers a prime example of partnering with CBOs and the workforce investment system to support the success of their students. This public/private partnership among colleges, the workforce system, CBOs, and private foundations is a key component in the success of this program that prepares low-skilled individuals for college- level work in biosciences and allied health.<br><br> In August 2005, 45 students enrolled in the Gateway Program and 82% successfully completed it. Out of these students, seven continued on to a bio- manufacturing program, 13 enrolled in an Associate 9s degree program at Skyline college, and 13 continued in general education at Cañada College (Women Employed, 2005). In Chicago, Daley College has beneVted from a partnership with the National Council of La Raza, the Metropolitan Chicago Health Care Council, and other CBOs in developing a health care program for adult Latino students, many of whom are limited English speakers.<br><br> As of June 2007, 423 students had participated in this program. The completion, licensure, and employment rate of the pilot and Vrst cohort group was 73% (Bragg, 2007). Lastly, several of the model programs described in Bridges to Careers for Low-Skilled Adults: A Program Guide (Women Employed, 2005) beneVted from critical partnerships between educational, workforce, and other organizations.<br><br> One example is Portland Community College 9s Access College Education in Oregon, which partnered with the college 9s Steps to Success Welfare-to-Work Program, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Dislocated Worker program, and One-Stop Career Centers. Nearly half of the Vrst cohort completed the program in one or two terms and entered college courses either during their second term or later. A.4 Institutions have innovative and ,exible admissions and enrollment policies that facilitate transitions.<br><br> Dual or Concurrent Enrollment Several studies of model programs cited dual/concurrent enrollment as a factor that increases transitions from adult education to college programs. In some programs, students enroll simultaneously in adult education and developmental education courses; in others, adult and developmental education students are taught in the same classroom. In the Big Sandy Community College and Technical College District in Kentucky, most classes are mixed ability, serving both adult education and developmental students.<br><br> Instruction is individualized and competency-based (Chisman, 2004). Washington 9s Integrated Basic Education and Training (I-BEST) uses the dual enrollment approach by providing students with both ABE/ESL instruction and vocational training in the same class. ABE/ESL and vocational instructors teach together in the classroom, and students earn credits towards certiVcates or degrees.<br><br> This program has had some signiVcant successes in comparison to their other approaches to adult education; 53% of I-BEST went on to earn 15 units of college credit, while only 11% of other adult education students did the same (Duke & Strawn, 2008). 20 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education The ability to enroll simultaneously in noncredit and credit coursework can have a particularly positive effect on ESL students. Enabling ESL students to follow a non-linear path of enrolling in credit and noncredit classes at the same time gives them the opportunity to achieve near-term goals, which evidence indicates may motivate them to persist and transition.<br><br> At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, 25% of students in the academic noncredit Basic ESL program take both credit and noncredit classes at the same time. This has proved to be a successful strategy for program participants who go on to college-level coursework at higher rates than those in the college 9s other ESL program (Chisman & Crandall, 2007). In addition, a Bridge to Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program at William Rainey Harper College in Illinois developed positive outcomes by having ESL students enroll simultaneously in a credit vocational course and a noncredit vocational ESL support class.<br><br> In the Vrst cohort, nine of 15 students completed the vocational course with a 3.9 GPA, and six continued coursework in the certiVcate program (Bell, Kimura & Knuth, 2008). One longitudinal study also found that allowing students to simultaneously take noncredit courses in ESL and other subjects resulted in higher transition rates. Noncredit ESL students at City College of San Francisco who enroll in noncredit classes in other subjects are six times more likely to transition to credit than those who take ESL classes only (Spurling, 2008).<br><br> Opportunities to Earn College Credit in Noncredit Courses Some colleges have developed creative approaches to helping noncredit students move into the college credit system. San Jacinto North Community College in Texas provides linked courses in which noncredit adult education and credit students take the same course with the same curriculum. Noncredit students then have the opportunity to petition the college for credit for their work in these linked courses.<br><br> Northern Virginia Community College has also developed a process to offer credit for noncredit work at its Medical Education (Van Noy, Jacobs, Korey, Bailey, & Hughes, 2008). This Wexibility within the college facilitates transitions from adult education to college-level programs. Offering Admissions or Enrollment Incentives Another Wexible and innovative approach to supporting transition to college is offering students admissions/enrollment incentives.<br><br> Pasadena City College 9s adult education program, Math Jam, allows students to retake the placement test, guarantees enrollment in a mathematics class, and provides a free textbook as long as students continued to pass mathematics classes. Of the 72 students who enrolled in the Vrst Math Jam cohort, 92% qualiVed for additional incentives, which included counseling, tutoring, and a free textbook (The Campaign for College Opportunity, 2007). A.5 To evaluate the effectiveness of courses and programs, student data systems track transitions and outcomes across programs.<br><br> Using Data to Understand Successes and Challenges The literature provides evidence of the value of data systems to document rates of transition and discover practices that promote that transition. Unfortunately, data on transition student progress and success, particularly longitudinal data, do not appear to be commonly collected in any uniform | 21 Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education manner. Boylan found little consistency in the evaluation of outcomes, although community college presidents he interviewed attributed some of their programs 9 successes to having extensive information about students (2004).<br><br> Those colleges who do use data collection extensively and effectively have found that it reveals important information about successful strategies for transitioning from adult education to credit college-level programs. City College of San Francisco 9s Research OfVce conducted a longitudinal study of its noncredit ESL program. The study found that over a seven-year period, only 8% of noncredit ESL students (approximately 3,000 students) transitioned to credit.<br><br> However, students who received matriculation services, such as placement testing, orientation, and counseling, were approximately 50% more likely to transition to credit than those who received no services. Furthermore, the study found that ESL students who took advantage of program cenhancements d were more likely to transition to credit coursework. These cenhancements d included: 1) enrolling simultaneously in other noncredit courses at the college; 2) enrolling in ESL cfocus d classes, which concentrate on one skill, in addition to taking general ESL classes focused on all language skills; and 3) taking accelerated ESL courses designed to move the student through two levels of ESL in one semester.<br><br> While only 3% of students who did not participate in enhancements transitioned to credit courses, 14% of those who chose at least one enhancement completed this transition. In addition, 45% of those who participated in all three enhancements successfully transitioned (Spurling et. al, 2008).<br><br> Data collection and analysis has also been used at the Rio Salado Transition program in Arizona to better understand successes and challenges in transitioning students from adult education to college-level work. The program has documented a dramatic and consistent decline in drops and withdrawals over four years in the noncredit transition program. Furthermore, pass rates in college- level ESL classes have risen from 73% to 100% (Lombardo, 2004).<br><br> The Need for Additional Data Collection The call for increased data collection is a common theme in the literature. One of three recommendations in a report prepared for the National Commission on Adult Literacy is to cincrease state capacity to track individual outcomes across adult and postsecondary education and training services, over time, and into the labor market d and to cuse this data to set goals for improvement d (Strawn, 2007, p. ii).<br><br> The U.S. Department of Education further notes that data can be used to demonstrate to policymakers the relationship between human capital development and economic development is a promising approach to increasing transitions (MPR Associates, 2007). The Council for Adult and Exception Learning (CAEL) also recommends that adult education programs track basic participation and demographic data (CAEL, 2006).<br><br> The ABE-to-College Transition report further supports this recommendation, suggesting the implementation of a Vve- year longitudinal study to gather data on assessment testing, college-level course enrollment, and college persistence (Gittleman, 2005).The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy also advocates for the development of student data systems to conduct both formative and summative research on linkages between adult education and college programs. 22 | Promising Practices for Transitioning Students from Adult Education to Postsecondary Education Moreover, the Breaking Through Initiative recognized that data collection and retrieval are major challenges in helping low-skilled adults succeed. The Initiative published a document with data tools that can be used by community colleges and adult education programs.<br><br> The document includes a campus data tool kit that describes a variety of data collection methods and recommends a common data core that colleges should collect (Ewell, 2008). Finally, transition programs could be easier to implement if state-level discussion and action led to the replacement of labor-intensive student tracking systems with cross-systems or integrated automated student record systems (Zafft et al., 2006). Area B: Program Component Practices B.1 Programs inform adult education students about the opportunities in and bene+ts of higher education.<br><br> Professionals agree that many adult education students are not well informed about postsecondary education 9s opportunities and payoffs and the necessary steps for transitioning. Several studies conclude that more aggressive efforts must be made to inform adult education students about college opportunities and the beneVts of obtaining a college education (Prince & Jenkins, 2005). Van Noy et al.<br><br> (2008) found that students needed guidance to become aware of how noncredit courses lead to degree-applicable courses. Furthermore, adult education students must be given detailed information on the impact of credit and noncredit courses on postsecondary attainment and lifetime earnings (Pusser et al., 2007). Alth<br><br>