Maryland Community Colleges Pledge Increase in Graduates
At a summit sponsored by the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), held Dec. 3, 2010, each of the state’s 16 community college presidents pledged to increase their graduation numbers substantially. The summit, a follow-up to the White House Summit on Community Colleges, held Oct. 5, was attended by faculty, students and administrators. The issues discussed focused on ways to improve community college efficiency in helping their students complete their degrees or certificates. The summit also discussed the barriers to completion, such as the need to work, the demands of families, and other life issues and responsibilities that are part of being an adult. These factors hit community college students particularly hard, since most are adults. Maryland’s goal was set by its governor, Martin O’Malley, at having 55 percent of the state’s adult residents complete a two- or four-year college degree by 2025. The governor also committed Maryland to be a part of Complete College America, a consortium of almost half of the states in the U.S. that is committed to establishing state and campus goals for completion, developing plans for reaching both types of goals, and collecting data to be reported annually that is consistent and focused on progress. The Maryland goal for 2025 is 18,600 degrees, up from just over 11,000 awarded in 2010. Clay Whitlow, executive director of MACC called the goal, “…a stretch goal… ambitious but not unrealistic.”
Bennett and Lopez Join OVAE Staff
Patricia Bennett and Noreen Lopez joined OVAE’s Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) in November. Bennett previously served as Maryland’s state director of adult education for 10 years, and Lopez held a comparable position in Illinois for almost eight years. During their tenures as state directors both served on the executive committee of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium and National Council of State Directors of Adult Education. Bennett also served on the Executive Committee for the National Coalition for Literacy and as associate director of National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) programs. Bennett is working on OVAE’s new national leadership activity on teacher effectiveness and on Learning to Achieve teacher training. Lopez also served as a senior program officer for technology for NIFL, served for five years as director of the PBS LiteracyLink project and served at the National Coalition for Literacy for four years. Lopez is assisting DAEL with oversight and re-engineering of the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS). Both Bennett and Lopez joined OVAE’s Applied Innovation and Improvement/Best Practices and Dissemination Team led by Chris Coro.
States Develop Career Pathway Systems for Low-skilled Adults and Dislocated Workers
OVAE and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) co-hosted the Career Pathways Technical Assistance Institute Nov. 30–Dec. 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the institute was to provide technical assistance to grantees in the development of career pathway systems for low-skilled adults and dislocated workers. Nine states and two Indian and Native American entities received grants to convene the necessary partners, including local employers as well as representatives from the workforce, education and human services arena, to build effective and comprehensive career pathway systems. The grantees are: Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Gila River Indian Community and Tucson Indian Center in Arizona.
OVAE and ETA have drafted an organizing framework, Six Key Elements of Career Pathways Systems and an assessment tool, Career Pathways Readiness Assessment Tool for the initiative, both of which will be disseminated across the workforce and education systems through the participating agencies in the near future.
Adult Education State Directors, OVAE Plan 2011National Meeting
OVAE held a day-long meeting on Nov. 30, to begin planning the National Meeting for State Directors of Adult Education slated for May 10–12, 2011. Participants worked with the evaluation results submitted by state personnel who attended the 2009 and 2010 national meetings. They also discussed emerging issues in the states around which to structure sessions. State directors and staff members who participated in the planning committee with OVAE personnel were Naomi Scales (Ala.), Amy Iutzi (Alaska), Reecie Stagnolia (Ky.), Anne Serino (Mass.), Dianne Duthie (Mich.), Kevin Smith (N.Y.), Jeff Gove (Ohio), Joanie Rethlake (Texas) and Randall Stamper (Va.). State directors who have ideas to propose about the meeting are encouraged to share them with one of the committee members or with their area coordinator. Details of the meeting will be posted on the OVAE home page as they become available.