Featured Adult Education Innovations for September 2018
Orleans Niagara BOCES/World Life Institute
The challenge is to provide ESL and U.S. civics to agricultural workers in rural Western NYS. Adult agricultural workers have little background in education and challenging work. To regularly attend, learn, and succeed is rarely achievable, after long days (primarily) in the apple orchards year-round, in all weather conditions. Farm workers who live in a rural, non-diverse community face tremendous social, cultural, linguistic, legal, and economic barriers with dreams for improvement.
We are a year-round program addressing linguistic, cultural, and skills-based learning, along with U.S. civics and citizenship education for adult men and women. We have collaborated annually since 2014 with a NYS Arts Council to provide pottery skills and literacy program for Hispanic women. We teach computer skills and ESL to all levels of students who work in agriculture. We work in camps and in a school. Agricultural women benefit year round, with agreements for daycare.
We have received the highest annual funding with a collaborative NYS Arts grant for pottery skills with English since 2004 for agricultural students. Six of our agricultural workers achieved Student of the Year from NYS for achievement above obstacles. No other NYS honorees have come from agricultural backgrounds. Hispanic women learn pottery skills with literacy. Academic, legal, economic, and cultural gains have been achieved via this program for the underserved agricultural adult population.
People’s Resource Center
PRC Tell Your Story
In the literacy department, we hear many stories of our students’ journeys to America. They are often stories of hardship and hard work, which are ongoing as they attempt to learn English, receive their GED® credential, or gain citizenship. Our challenge came in two parts. We wanted to connect our students to the digital universe while introducing our students to the community in the face of recent negativity toward immigrants and refugees.
Since starting the blog, TellYourStoryPRC.org, our students have been able to share their stories with a wider audience. With a new post every week, students describe their immigration experience and share it around the world. Since January, we’ve focused on stories of students in our literacy program. In their own words, students from all over the world tell what it’s like to immigrate to the U.S. The stories are sweet, funny, sad, horrifying, always genuine, and, above all, inspiring.
Our blog has been viewed over 5,000 times in 40 different countries. Accessing the blog and seeing their words published is a memorable way to learn about navigating the internet. Anecdotally, we’ve heard students share their knowledge with families and friends. The blog counters negative media messages about immigrants by presenting a humanized version of the journey to citizenship. Our stories connect people to the heart of People’s Resource Center with the words and images we’ve created.
Tarrant County College District
One challenge that the Tarrant County College District has experienced is our high school equivalency/GED® exam graduates and our English as a Second Language (ESL) completers were falling through the cracks as they attempted to move from the Community and Industry Education to the undergraduate side of the college. We discovered they were applying to be fully admitted in college but not enrolling. The students were getting overwhelmed with taking the next step.
As a solution, the Adult Basic Education College Transitions courses were developed by the Tarrant County College Workforce Services staff. Originally developed in 2012 and located at the TCC Opportunity Center, the courses are now offered on multiple TCC campuses on a rotating basis. The target population for these courses is a combination of recent HSE/GED exam completers and advanced ESL students. Topics include but are not limited to: motivation, information about degree and certificate programs, time management tips, campus tours, and guest speakers. College readiness academic advisors work closely with the students and ABE professors to co-teach the courses and assist students with the college admissions process.
As a result of this multi-campus team effort, our students are completing the college admissions process in greater numbers. Our students have obtained Forklift Certifications, completed the Call Center Training Program, and enrolled in the Office Careers Program as well as numerous degree-seeking programs.