Tag Archives: PCC

National Volunteer Recognition Week!

Pima Community College Adult Basic Education for College and Career will recognize the amazing community members who work alongside our teachers and support staff to serve over 5,000 students every year. We could not do the work we do without the help of our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers work as classroom aides, one-on-one tutors, English club facilitators, computer and math lab assistants, and Transition to Jobs and Citizenship teachers.

There are volunteers at all three learning centers and many of our other Pima College locations working to help students increase their math skills, learn how to write descriptive essays, practice their job interview skills, and gain fluency in English.

Currently, we have 36 tutors, classroom aides, and English Club facilitators, 15 citizenship teachers and substitutes, and 3 Transition to Jobs volunteers.

Since July of 2016 through March 2017, volunteers have logged 1,091 service hours!

Our longest serving volunteer, Pete Yonsetto, has been a citizenship teacher for 17 years, teaching US history, civics and government to students preparing to become US citizens.Pete and Students

Pete says:   I am quite humbled to witness and be in the presence of such hard working, modest immigrants. They will grace our country with pride and joy, committed to bring their rich culture to our great nation and be wonderful stewards of this country.”

What teachers and students say:

“If you teach a multilevel class as I do, your volunteers are indispensable. Besides being proficient in their subject area, they need to develop a good working relationship with the students, they need to work well independently and they need to monitor each student’s progress so that they can provide me with valuable feedback. I appreciate their efforts and I know that I could not conduct a successful class without them.”

“Susan has been wonderful in addressing Marian’s goals. She has been very consistent and flexible, and has managed to keep Marian motivated to continue and be excited about learning.”

“What Ed, Ginnie, and Caroll are doing for our students goes way beyond investing the time to prepare materials then stand in front of a classroom. Their wealth of knowledge and experience in the US workplace paired with their supportive approach is exactly what our students need to be able to make it to the next level. The Transition to Jobs class wouldn’t be as rich and engaging without their contribution.”

“The Transition to Jobs class has been a wonderful experience, has helped me to better understand the US labor culture as well as to present my skills and work experience in a more professional way.

“Do your little bit of good wherever you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  -Desmond Tutu

The work our volunteers do is transformative. On behalf of Pima Community College, our Adult Basic Education Division and all our students…. Thank you! We extend our gratitude and admiration to all of our volunteers. You represent the mission, vision and values of ABECC, and our philosophy of being student centered.

THE Grant is in!

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PCC Adult Basic Education’s WIOA grant application was successfully submitted to the Arizona Department of Education at the end of February.  The grant is now going through a review process that includes screening for demonstrated effectiveness, review and feedback from the local Workforce Investment Board, and evaluation by the Arizona Department of Education – Adult Education Services Division.  Notification to successful grantees will be made in May.

As we wait to hear from the ADE, it is essential that the entire Adult Basic Education team prepare for implementation of all aspects of the grant.  The instruction and services laid out in our grant application are based on the high quality instruction and services we offer, with some additions and changes that will allow us to strengthen our collaborations and programming to continue to improve our services to students, in alignment with WIOA.

As we look at the ways in which we are “reaching for the stars” in improving programming, we must identify now what we need to do to prepare for full implementation in the new fiscal year.  It is essential that every member of the Adult Basic Education team contribute to the conversation and planning for implementation.  We would like to encourage all teachers and staff to become familiar with all parts of the grant application, above and beyond those parts they may have helped to write.

The entire grant application is below:

FY18 AZ Grant Application Package for PCC Adult Basic Education for College and Career

Below find the Request for Grant Applications:

http://www.azed.gov/adultedservices/adult-education-services/fy2018rfgaforazadulted/

 

 

 

 

 

Pima County Re-entry Coalition Fair

Pima County Re-entry Coalition Fair

The first annual Pima County Re-entry Coalition fair was held Saturday April 30th, 2016 at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex.  This fair highlighted the progress made in re-entry efforts and the enormous network the Pima County Re-entry Coalition has developed over the past 7 years.  It is important work and we are proud to be part of the effort inside the Pima County Adult Detention Complex and outside on the Coalition.

Over 30 community programs were set up to showcase opportunities and resources for individuals looking to move forward in the community after incarceration.

According to John Hindman, PCC’s 17+ year veteran Instructor at the Jail, “It was great to talk to people taking an active role in their family member’s transition from incarcerated to returning to the community.”

KVOA news covered the event.

http://www.kvoa.com/story/31857469/pcsd-service-providers-helping-ex-convicts-move-forward

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Qian Prescott, Chris Parisoff, and John Hindman staffed a booth for Pima Community College and were able to talk to many families of current and future students.

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Qian Prescott, John Hindman and Sheriff Chris Nanos

 

 

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!”

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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.

 

Adult Basic Education featured on AZPM

Arizona Public Media aired a story about PCC’s Adult Basic Education Division this morning on NPR.

I want our Instructors to take note of the compliment from the college on the level of faculty engagement.

I want to echo that sentiment that our Instructors and staff are extraordinary!  Students, the community and the college see it.  It’s obvious that each of you cares for our students and their success.

Thank you for providing that excellent attention to students!

https://www.azpm.org/p/featured-news/2016/3/9/83522-pima-ged-program-second-chance-for-dropouts/

PCC Adult Education Celebrates National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career division invites you to celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, September 21-26, 2015 http://national-coalition-literacy.org/2015/08/national-adult-education-and-family-literacy-week-is-coming/.

This month, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce, for the seventh year in a row, a House resolution designating the week of September 21st, 2015 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy (NAEFL) Week!

In addition, for the fifth year in a row, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will introduce a Senate resolution that also recognizes this important honorary week which celebrates the achievements of adult education in the United States.

This year’s NAEFL week will not only celebrate the critical role that adult education, English language services, and family literacy play in our country, but the opportunities that lie ahead in the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The law calls for a strengthening of our adult education programs so that learners can both improve their literacy and prepare for post-secondary education and employment.

PCC Adult Education serves approximately 5,000 students each year who, according to Laurie Kierstead-Joseph, Advanced Program Manager of Adult Education Services, “need to strengthen their basic literacy and math skills, improve their English, study for a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, and prepare for community college or vocational training.”

To recognize this national celebration and the achievements of adult literacy students, Pima will be sponsoring and participating in the following activities:

  • Congressman Raul Grijalva signed in support of the resolution tovoter reg 2015 designate the National Adult Education and Family Literacy week for the seventh year. Congressman Grijalva is a steadfast supporter of Adult Education.
  • On Sept 22nd, student leaders from PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career division will do a voter registration drive at three adult learning centers as part of a college-wide celebration of National Voter Registration Day. At the 29th St. Coalition center, Selena Llamas from Expect More Arizona will open up the drive with inspiring facts that link education to voter turnout.
  • Adult education students and graduates will post brief reflections about their “keys to success” on The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE)’s Facebook page. Student reflections will highlight the teachers, mentors or family members who encouraged or inspired them along their adult education journey.
  • Adult education staff will welcome over 125 high school equivalency students at the New Student Orientations on September 22 at 9:00 a.m. and September 24 at 4:00 p.m., at Community Campus. The importance of civic involvement and student leadership in adult education will be highlighted as student leaders give personal testimony and share their digital stories of success.
  • Instructors will implement reading-focused activities such as library tours, maximizing library resources, book reports and presentations.

Find more literacy facts at http://www.proliteracy.org/the-crisis/adult-literacy-facts.
For more information about PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career (ABECC) classes, call (520) 206-3987. Learn more about the services provided here. here.

Learning about IBEST at the Source

This past week, I had the opportunity to tour and learn from IBEST programs in the birth place of the model, Washington State.  Laurie Kierstead-Joseph and Wendy Scheder-Black attended as well; they are the team charged with implementing IBEST at PCC.1078

IBEST stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training.  This nationally recognized model integrates basic skills training (in math, reading, English) into an occupational credit bearing track to accelerate student progress toward a credential and family-sustaining employment.  IBEST programs launch adult learners onto career pathways that lead to stackable certificates in fields with in-demand jobs.

According to a Columbia University research study, IBEST students are three times more likely to earn college credit than traditional basic skills students and nine times more likely to complete a credential. Washington colleges have developed and implemented this model for about ten years, so their experience and wisdom is invaluable.

This past year, the Adult Basic Education Division launched two IBEST pilot programs.  The first is in collaboration with the Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) Certificate program at PCC’s Northwest Campus.  In the HRM IBEST program, students who are learning English as a Second Language have the opportunity to accelerate their progress toward a career in hotel or restaurant management by learning English while studying in HRM.  The cohort of HRM IBEST students who began their program last August will finish up their coursework this fall with an internship and hopefully a secure job opportunity in the field.

Our second IBEST program is in Behavioral Health Services (BHS) and is funded through a grant from the Arizona Department of Education.  Students in the BHS IBEST benefit from a collaboration between PCC Adult Education, PCC Center for Training and Development, and Pima County One Stop.  The BHS IBEST program integrates GED preparation with BHS content instruction, accelerating the students’ progress toward both the High School Equivalency Diploma and BHS Certificate that they will need to begin a career in Behavioral Health.

Our tour guide Will Durden from State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, gave us a well rounded schedule of programs and people to visit. We can’t thank him enough for his time and planning for our visit. For more information about IBEST from Will check out this PowerPoint: http://www.cga.ct.gov/coc/PDFs/poverty/2014-09-24/durden.pdf

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Our trip to Washington included visits to three community colleges in Seattle:  Seattle North, Shoreline, and Renton Technical.  At each school, we observed classes and met with leadership and teachers in their IBEST programs.  Washington has successfully integrated basic skills training into a variety of occupational programs including accounting, construction trades, medical assistant, automotive and early childhood education. Occupational and basic skills faculty alike shared their observations of the positive impact on student success.

At Renton Technical College, we had the pleasure of meeting with a student who is a graduate of their CNA IBEST program.  She shared how important the IBEST program was in launching her career in the field of nursing.  The short-term, integrated nature of the IBEST program appealed to her need to get a livable-wage job and allowed her to jump from her ESL classes to the workplace in just over a month.

We return to our work at PCC, emboldened by the lessons learned in Washington:

  • We have seen how pairing adult education and career and technical educators in the IBEST classroom can enhance the learning for all students.
  • We have learned how IBEST can increase certificate completion for students with basic skills needs.
  • We have learned strategies for developing and launching new IBEST programs that will ensure strong, impactful programming for students.
  • We have seen the importance of developing the strength of IBEST teachers to co-plan and team-teach to ensure that students reach both their basic skills and occupational goals.

I am excited to continue our planning and implementation of more IBEST programs at Pima which will include bringing in the Washington state IBEST experts to train all Pima administrators and both the ABE and Occupational teachers.