HS 21+ Program Implementation Descriptions

HS 21+ Program Implementation Descriptions
Each college will implement this program in a manner that works with the adult education
program and the college. The program will have the same components, but may be implemented
differently at each college. These program descriptions highlight how some colleges have
implemented their HS 21+ program:
Bates Technical College
Josh Baker, Dean of Instruction, jbaker@bates.ctc.edu
HS 21+ credits are earned both in ABE classes and in our high school classes (different from
most of the other CTC’s, we have our own high school). In the fall we will move towards a
curriculum where our ABE classes are directed towards HS 21+ but also prepare students for the
GED® should they elect that route. We do not have a special assessment for HS 21+. HS 21+
curriculum will be modularized so students can focus on the classes they need.
Grays Harbor College
Erin Dilley-Linton, Director of Basic Skills Programs, edilley@ghc.edu
Because GHC is a smaller college, we had to launch HS 21+ utilizing only existing resources.
We began by making small changes over a longer period of time. When the discussion at the
state level regarding HS 21+ began, we immediately began brainstorming how we could
manipulate existing courses to accommodate HS 21+ needs. The first change we made was to
our Career and College Readiness ABE course, a partnership course between ABE and
WorkFirst. We redesigned that curriculum to be a layered curriculum (to accommodate
continuous enrollment), which results in students exiting the course with a portfolio or collection
of evidence of competency in multiple different areas. Additionally, as a side benefit of that
process, we worked with student services to develop an agreement that any student completing
this course with a grade of 'B' or better earns 2 college-level credits toward graduation.
Next, we identified early on that a likely area of deficiency for many potential HS 21+
candidates would be lab science, and that would be a difficult credit to make up using existing
resources. We decided at that time to restructure a class we already had ready for launch fall
2013, so that the launch date incorporated the lab science component...this course being our
Culinary Arts ABE class. This class simply a contextualized ABE course in the field of Culinary
Arts. Since GHC plans to launch a CA degree program in the near future, this was a perfect lead
in for our students that may be interested down the road in the full degree program. We aligned
our CA-ABE curriculum with the introductory topics identified by the CA faculty, then
contextualized reading, writing, math, social studies, and science into the CA content.
Additionally, we incorporated the lab science component. Students have weekly labs throughout
the quarter, where they use standard lab science practices to ensure a fundamental understanding
of the field upon exit with a passing grade.
Finally, upon our HS 21+ launch, we had capacity to recreate and award credit in every content
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area of the OSPI graduation requirements. We are in the process of outcomes review across ABE
to ensure that outcomes are aligned with HS 21+ requirements so that students in any/all ABE
classes can potentially earn credit toward HS 21+ should they choose that pathway. Additionally,
as we continued to enroll students in the HS 21+ program, we noticed that many students were
not current students, but new students hearing about the program and coming just for that...many
of them outside of our immediate area. Many, if not most, of these students are only deficient a
half to two credits for their diploma completion. To meet these two ends (accommodate students
that are too far for commute, and those students that simply need minimal number of credits in
one or two areas), we launched a specific HS 21+ online course. It's important to note that the
support at the upper level of leadership for this course came from establishing the program
success with existing resources first. Additionally, the online class is not a new or additional
resource, but a revamp of an existing online ABE course that was floundering and on the verge
of cut. This online course is designed in Canvas, of course, and the modules reflect the content
areas of graduation requirements. During this quarter-long course, students work through the
content areas that they need credentialing in. The desired outcome of the course is completion of
the high school diploma requirements.
For entrance into the HS 21+ program, we created some intake documents specific to HS 21+
intake. I trained all of our intake staff in these forms and the program, and made one of our
intake staff the point for the program. This has worked well, as we then have one specific person
collecting documents from students, creating their HS 21+ intake file, and forwarding onto me
when the file is complete. I will go through each form below:
HS 21+ Inquiry Form: This flow chart is used for every interested student. The student is
asked the series of questions on the form, and based on their answers; the end result is a
collection of what documents the student needs to provide for initial evaluation. Also, we
then have the student contact information, SID, enrollment and placement information, so
that we ensure the student is enrolled and in good standing in their current placement, etc.
From here, the form is placed in a "Pending" file, awaiting the student providing the
needed documents (transcripts, etc.).
HS 21+ Evaluation Form: This form is used for the initial credit evaluation. While it is
not an exhaustive list of possible credit-bearing competencies, it is a strong start. From
this document, it is a smoother path into what other possible credit-earning
activities/assessments/etc. that the student may have.
HS 21+ Needs Form: This form is used to give the "quick and dirty" on what the students
need to complete their diploma, and the potential competency-demonstrating
activities/tasks the student can complete to earn the credit needed.
HS 21+ Final Evaluation Form: This form is used as a final check by me to ensure that
indeed the student has satisfied all OSPI requirements before we process their diploma.
If the forms are helpful to others, I'm happy to share editable copies so they can change as
needed and make them more meaningful. Once these forms, along with appropriate
documentation from students, have been collected, the file is forwarded onto me (I'm our credit
evaluator for now). I then do the evaluation, fill out the forms, and meet with the student. (The
f2f meetings have taken a HUGE amount of my time since the response has been so
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overwhelming, but it's worth it for the outcomes these students are reaching!). During the
meeting, I go over the forms with the student, talk to them about what the completion timeline
looks like from their vantage point, and give them a realistic glimpse into their pathway to
completion and TRANSITION! We then get them enrolled appropriately for the following
quarter, and viola - we have a student on a direct pathway to transition into I-BEST and/or
college! This really is an amazing program. We are LOVING it here at GHC!
Tacoma Community College
Kim Ward, Associate Dean, Transitional Studies, kward@tacomacc.edu
After being inspired by the work Edmonds College showcased at the HS21+ All Providers
Training in May 2013, the Dean of Transitional Studies and Chair of Adult Basic Education
shared the possibility of developing a HS21+ program with Tacoma Community College’s
administration and the Adult Basic Education faculty and staff. Based on this information,
changes in the GED, and an effort to better prepare students for the growing expectations of
professional and academic environments, the ABE faculty and staff decided to completely
redesign our program.
ABE faculty and staff met on several occasions to discuss the direction of our new program. All
ABE faculty from both the main campus and offsite locations were invited to participate. Our
philosophy is that we believe our students are highly capable and deserve engaging, meaningful
and motivating educational experiences, so we decided to create contextualized courses around
social studies and science content that: 1) prepare students for high school equivalency exam; 2)
provide students an opportunity to earn HS21+ credits; and 3) prepare students for transition to
post-secondary education and/or the professional world. In her budget request for the 2013-2014
school year, the Dean requested additional funding for the redesign, including release time for
full time faculty for curriculum development as well as stipends for participating adjunct faculty.
In Fall 2013, we got to work. During our Transitional Studies Retreat, ABE faculty looked at
WA State graduation requirements, the Career and College Readiness Standards and the HS21+
guidance documents. We also looked at the contextualized themes taught in TCC Dev. Ed. Eng.
and Eng. 101 courses. Based on that information, we decided on themes for our new classes.
Instructors decided which courses they wanted to help develop, and we divvied up the work to
form curriculum teams.
The ABE chair also reached out to college level program chairs to recruit content area specialists
for each team. Content area consultants were paid for 10 hours of participation. Content area
consultants helped align objectives, write course proposals and review curriculum. A librarian
and the OER coordinator also served on several teams to help develop curriculum and gather
resources. The Dean of Transitional Studies, ABE chair, Career Pathways Coordinator, and
Director of K-12 Partnerships and Student Conduct met to discuss transcript evaluation and
record keeping. We also met with the Director of Enrollment Services and Registrar to discuss
coding. Adult Basic Education students were also invited to participate in a student discussion
and curriculum development.
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In March 2014, 13 course proposals were approved by curriculum committee, including a HS21+
portfolio class. At the end of Winter quarter, the career Pathways Coordinator and ABE Chair
visited ABE classes to tell students about the new program, and the Career Pathways
Coordinator began reviewing transcripts and meeting with interested students. She also
introduced the program to new students at orientation.
Currently, 8 new courses are being piloted, and 64 students are enrolled in the HS21+ program, 7
who plan to graduate in June 2014. Our program is a work in progress, and though we are
sailing in uncharted waters, we are proud to be creating a high quality program that is a viable
option for adult high school completion. We are more than happy to share any of our materials or
discuss our process including challenges, successes, and next steps.
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