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Accelerated Learning

Through program design/redesign, colleges develop clear pathways from adult education programs (ABE, ESOL, GED, etc.) to postsecondary workforce education programs using contextualized learning. This approach integrates career subject matter with pre-college skill development, allowing adult learners to get started more quickly on their chosen career path.

Breaking Through programs have also addressed the challenge of reducing time it takes adults to complete education through two strategies:

  • Compressing the material of two of more courses into the time span of one course. The emphasis is on short-term, intensive learning that permits rapid progress toward program completion.
  • Customizing the content and delivery of remediation to meet individual students' needs. Assessment results are used to create individualized competency-based instruction focused on what each student needs to master.
  • Contextualizing remedial content for the occupation or industry in which the student seeks to advance.

The Contextualization Toolkit, developed by Jobs for the Future, can help community colleges and other educators accelerate learning for low-skilled adults by integrating career subject matter with pre-college skills development.

Community College of Denver
FastStart: 2-4 semesters of developmental education compressed into one semester. Includes focus on career development and required career-exploration course. Students prepare education and career plan.
  PDF Report

Central New Mexico Community College
Development courses contextualized to the construction trades including certificate programs, apprenticeship, and courses in college success and employability skills.
  PDF Report

Southeast Arkansas Community College
Developmental education is fast-tracked and contextualized for allied health and leads directly to a fast-track practical nursing program. SEARK partnered with Southern Good Faith Fund to provide comprehensive support services.
   PDF Report

Tacoma Community College
Basic skills curriculum is contextualized to the students' fields of study. At the same time, students are integrated in workforce development programs as are the ABE/ESL faculty. Faculty provide additional tutoring.

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