July 12, 2018 - Flash Edition

Octae Connection

July 12, 2018

Flash Edition

News on STAR’s Recent Successes, Upcoming Training, and Online Community of Practice

In its June newsletter, STAR (STudent Achievement in Reading) shares a lineup of recent successes, upcoming new training, and the new STAR webpage on LINCS that will include an online community of practice (COP). The newsletter showcases the successful pilot of the hybrid STAR training undertaken by educators of adults with intermediate reading levels in Vermont, New Hampshire, Arizona, Illinois, and Massachusetts. Results of the training found a 72 percent completion rate, with significant participant gains in knowledge of evidence-based reading instruction. The training uses a hybrid or “flipped classroom” approach, with both online and face-to-face components. STAR trainers and state leads will meet in Washington, D.C., on August 27 and 28, 2018, to discuss ways that they can best support their existing STAR users in the new training. States can begin using the hybrid materials to train additional teachers, and reach more programs following the August meeting. States who want to newly join STAR can begin training in early 2019.

Also noted in the newsletter, the STAR tech team has been working to migrate existing users from the old STAR tool kit to the new platform. Upon completion, members will be notified about how to access the new training website—which will provide full access to resources, modules and portfolio activities.  The updated site will retain the popular video clips of teachers using the instructional techniques from the original training, along with some brand-new videos.  Providers of adult reading instruction and adult education stakeholders also are encouraged to visit the old STAR tool kit site and its many resources.  The old tool kit will be unavailable once the new site is fully functional and all users have been migrated.

Note: STAR was developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education to provide states with the resources and training needed to improve the quality of reading instruction in adult education.

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Webinar on Minority-Serving Community College Communities of Practice: Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycles

Date: Thursday July 26, 2018

Time: 3–4 p.m. ET

Register Here!

From host RTI International’s website:

This webinar will address how community colleges can implement continuous improvement processes to further the programs undertaken using Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) grant support. Presenters will discuss how to implement simple PDSA cycles and share effective ways of testing improvements.

Dr. Jon Dolle integrates continuous improvement methods in the coaching, technical assistance, and research he conducts for the Regional Educational Laboratory West. Employed previously by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Dr. Dolle is experienced in implementing PDSA cycles, developing measures and analytic systems that support improvement efforts in schools, and providing training on these approaches.

Dr. Matthew Morin served as a faculty member before leading Chaffey College’s dual-enrollment and online education programs. Through this work, Dr. Morin has expanded dual enrollment offerings at high schools and adult school campuses in the Chaffey College service district. Together, Dr. Morin and Dr. Dolle will help webinar participants understand how to continue improving programming at their home institutions beyond the scope of the MSI grant support period.

This webinar is the sixth and final of the 2017–­18 series for minority-serving community colleges.

Featured Speakers:

Jon Dolle, Ph.D., senior research associate, Regional Educational Laboratory West, WestEd

Matthew Morin, Ph.D., director, Adult Education and High School Partnerships, Chaffey College; faculty fellow, Association of American Colleges and Universities 

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New Report on Postsecondary Certificates and Earnings

Across the country, people are turning to postsecondary certificates as a quick and relatively low-cost route to economic opportunity. A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Certificates in Oregon: A Model for Workers to Jump-Start or Reboot Careers, examines the earnings of workers before, during, and after they complete a community college certificate program.

Compared to traditional degree programs, certificate programs are more career-focused and serve an older and more experienced student population. Nationally, they are increasingly being used both as a direct pathway to employment and as a stepping stone toward an associate degree and beyond.

The report found that the economic benefits of Oregon’s community college certificate programs vary for workers at different stages of their lives. Certificate recipients ages 29 or younger reap sizable earnings gains, in some cases more than doubling their pay, as they build their skills and enter the workforce. Certificates appear to help more established workers rebound from job losses or other setbacks to regain their footing in the job market.

The new analysis is based on state-level data that shed light on the labor market value of certificate programs. Workers who earn a community college certificate, on average, boost their pre-certificate earnings by almost $5,000, or 19 percent. But the economic benefits vary widely based on field of study, gender, and age at which workers complete these programs.

Other key findings include:

  • Students who receive federal Pell Grants boost their pay on average by nearly $10,000 after earning a certificate.
  • Men out-earn women, but women experience stronger earnings growth after they finish a certificate program.
  • Certificate holders who switch industries often leave jobs in traditional blue-collar industries and become employed in fast-growing healthcare services.
  • While certificate production at community colleges has increased, the number of certificates awarded at private, two-year institutions, including for-profit colleges, has declined.

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