Tag Archives: bridge

Content + Confidence = Math Bridge

“My confidence in math greatly improved. No more math anxiety.”

The Adult Basic Education for College & Career division at PCC is working hard to help students transition into college or onto new career pathways. One way we do this is by offering accelerated Math Bridge classes to all PCC students at Northwest, Desert Vista and East campuses, every spring and fall semester. These intensive classes are 7 weeks long, and meet for 12 hours a week. If you do the math, that’s 84 hours of instruction -nearly double that of a regular class, yet taught in less than half a semester’s time!  This model allows students to immerse in the content of the class and move faster toward their goals.

Math Bridge classes are unique in a number of different ways. First, they are no-cost and non-credit, so students don’t have to use up their finances or time while they strengthen their foundational skills and knowledge of the college.  Both ABE and Dev Ed students attend classes together.

Another difference is how Math Bridge classes approach teaching math. Instead of trying to cram in as many lessons in operations-based math skills as possible in 7 weeks, the instructors focus on developing a deeper, conceptual understanding of the math. This not only has shown to help students perform better on assessments such as the Compass test or the GED, but students have also consistently reported a significant increase in their confidence with math.

 “I feel a lot more confident in math especially since I have not taken it for 16 years. Being in the classroom and working with my peers has been great too! This 3 hour class feels so short to me. I really enjoy coming.”

The Math Bridge Instructors developed this model and curriculum based on several years of study on how best to teach adults Mathematics through TIAN (Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy).   TIAN uses teacher inquiry and reflective learning to engage teachers in learning how to design and implement effective mathematics instructional approaches for algebra and data analysis. TIAN was piloted and field-tested with math teachers in six states whose adult students had math skills at the ABE, pre-GED, and GED levels.   Website: http://tian.terc.edu/

We also know that math isn’t the only thing that students need to be successful. Math Bridge classes integrate skills for student success into the classroom, and bring in resources to help them along the way. Essential study skills are developed and practiced; tours of the campus with Student Life engage students with campus activities; and weekly visits to the class from a dedicated Student Services Advisor help students learn how to navigate the college system and maximize its resources. Finally, students also explore career pathways and meet with faculty and college career counselors to map out their next steps onto those pathways. Students complete the Math Bridge class with relationships already established with college faculty and staff, and feel comfortable asking for help.

 “This class has pushed me back into school. It has gotten me used to being busy and using my time wisely. I’m truly grateful.”

The first Spring Math Bridge class wrapped up last week, and the results already look good.  The first Spring Math Bridge classes of 2016 wrapped up last week, with over 80% of the students moving up on their placement  levels!  Of course, it’s not just test scores going up that leads to success, it’s about being engaged:

“It has helped me to re-learn all that I didn’t care about through high school. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

The next Math Bridge classes will start on March 28th  at Desert Vista, Northwest and East campuses, and are open to all PCC students. This fall, classes will also be available at Downtown and West Campuses. For more information about Math Bridge classes, contact Wendy Scheder Black at wscheder@pima.edu.

“I’m anxious to get going with my college classes…This class has been a boost for me!”


Math Bridge Teachers – Mary Jo Chmielewski, Linda Kangas & Consuelo Carrillo


NOTE:  There is a professional development opportunity for Instructors who want to learn more about Bridge classes coming soon – stay tuned from your center for more information.


What will WIOA funds be used for this year?

July 30, 2015

What will we do with the extra $600,000 WIOA award this year?

In a Nutshell:

Program Wide TABE 9/10 online:   The purpose is to transition into using TABE  9/10 online for all ABE/ASE students.

Award – about a $100,000

  1. Hire a Testing Manager R Chelsea James
  2. Backfill HSE testing with current examiners and staff
  3. A few highlights:
  • Buy online tests
  • Ensure equipment in testing locations will work
  • Train staff (centers and campuses)
  • Develop a new pre and posttest processes
  • Coordinate with the OneStop
  • Start pretesting online by March 2016
  • Full implementation for pre and post testing by July 1, 2016

Development & Implementation of Career Pathways for ABE/ASE:  The purpose of this initiative is to build capacity for more IBEST programs at PCC; we are looking at Business & Trades.

Award – about $230,000

  1. Hire IBEST Coordinator (C41) and a Student Services Technician (A13)
  2. A few highlights:
  • Introduce and train college and ABECC staff on what IBEST is
  • Explore options for new IBEST programs
  • Document process for recruitment, assessment, implementation and evaluation

Development & Implementation of Bridge Programming for ABE/ASE/ELAA: The purpose of this initiative is to build ABECC to help all levels and all learners transition into career pathways.

Award – about $230,000

  1. Hire Curriculum Coordinator (C42), PL Coordinator (C41), a teacher (C41) and Coaching expertise
  2. A few highlights:
  • Developing CCR curriculum for ALL classes
  • Develop ABECC pathways
  • Lots of training to support teachers

Navigators helped Students Bridge to College & Career success!

Navigators helped Students Bridge to College & Career success!

“This Bridge class has taught me math I did not know and also taught me about the options I have at Pima College. I know now that there are a lot of opportunities I didn’t know about before.”

“This class has been great. I’ve been able to learn a lot of new things that I might have learned at one point of my life but didn’t remember. I can actually see myself passing my GED test and maybe placing better on the COMPASS test. “

“I am now encouraging my wife to re-enter school.”

“This class is important to me because it helps me prepare for future classes at Pima.”

We were honored to receive a City of Tucson grant this fiscal year for $65,273 to develop and implement a Bridge to College and Career (BCC) program. It was designed to promote College and Career success skills among students preparing for their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma at PCC. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remedial or developmental coursework. The BCC Program served just over 100 students testing at 9th grade level or above (in at least two subject areas out of Math, Reading, and Writing). Program participants participated in career and college-focused lessons, supplemental classes, one-on-one advising, and referral to career and college resources. As a result, participants’ basic educational and job-readiness skills increased.

The Bridge to College and Career (BCC) program targeted high-level Adult Education students in need of developing their college and career readiness along with their basic academic skills. To that end, the BCC Career Navigators worked individually with students; in addition, Career Navigators worked with Instructors in high-level Adult Education classes to offer college and career readiness workshops.  Finally, the BCC program offered intensive, targeted Bridge classes for students beginning to transition to credit classes at PCC.

Highlights include:

  • Exploration of potential career pathways; workshops on resume-writing; support in goal-setting; exploration of library job help
  • Career Fairs at two large learning centers, in collaboration with Pima County OneStop, PCC occupational programs, and other community partners
  • Field Trips to PCC Campuses to tour occupational training programs (Pharmacy Tech, Aviation, Truck Driving, Center for Training and Development)
  • Workshops on GED test-taking tips, utilizing the Arizona Career Information System, and on note-taking skills
  • Support in navigating MyPima student portal

The BCC program achieved the following outcomes:

  • 78% of program participants achieved an educational gain before exiting the program. An educational gain is approximately an increase of 2.4 grade levels or more.
  • 100% of program completers showed an increase in college readiness skills as measured by a pre- and post-perception survey.
  • 29% of program participants took the Compass test (required PCC placement test)
  • 45% of program participants completed one AzCIS career inventory. 100% of participants did some career exploration activity.
  • 30% of participants began the GED testing process by taking the GED Ready practice test and/or taking at least one subject of the official GED test. 17 students have passed at least one subject of the official GED test. 6 students successfully passed the GED exam.
  • 18% of participants enrolled in credit-bearing classes at Pima Community College

The addition of Career Navigators to the Bridge to College and Career program has increased the impact of the BCC program significantly. Career Navigators are ensuring that all high-level Adult Education students have the skills and support needed to be ready to transition to college and career as soon as they pass the GED exam. Career Navigators were able to target and reach out to high-level students individually, which we had never had the capacity to do before. As a result of the in-class lessons co-taught by Navigators, more students than ever are seeking out the Navigators for career exploration and college readiness support. This has led to an articulated, supported career readiness pathway that begins with orientation for Adult Education students and ends when they transition to college or career training.


Adult Education receives grant

I am pleased to announce that Adult Education recieved a City of Tucson grant for $65,000.   During difficult budget prioritization times, its proof that the City of Tucson- Mayor and Council, values adult education and the contributions we make to the community.

The grant will help expand transition services to students who need just a little extra help via workshops, one-to-one advising, special classes, or referrals.  We are excited to add this service to the already succesful work we do with Transition Advisors and college student services.  Three Instructor/Navigators will focus on the career side of the transition house, while our Transition Advisors will continue to focus on the college side — but all working together to make sure all students bridge to college and career success!  This program will be developed and managed out of Adult Education Services.

For more information, call Laurie Kierstead-Joseph at 206-6339.