A New Resource to Help Learners Develop Their Future Pathways

A New Resource to Help Learners Develop Their Future Pathways

When we work with our adult learners on transitions skills, the goal is to help them prepare for what comes next. To many of our learners, this might mean earning a GED or being able to use and understand English more proficiently. As adult education professionals, however, we want to help our learners understand that reaching these milestones is just the beginning, and that what these achievements unlock is even greater potential. We want to help our learners see that earning a GED is just the first step on the path to even greater success in the form of a better job, higher education, or career training.

In the Transitions Integration Framework (TIF), the Developing a Future Pathway category  is dedicated to helping students think about and plan for what their own next steps should be. Career exploration is an essential part of this process, and a new resource has recently been added to the ACES resource library to help learners explore one very in demand career field: health care. The resource is called Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers, and it was developed here in Minnesota by Southwest Adult Basic Education.

The Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers website was developed under the guidance of the same program that previously delivered Reading Skills for Today’s Adults. As such, both websites have a similar design and the reading selections are laid out following a similar format. The difference is that all of the selections on the Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers website were written to help students think about and prepare for a career in the health care field.

The selections that are currently available are intended for intermediate-level readers between 5.5 and 8.5 grade level. In the future, however, more selections will be added at the 4.5 and 5.0 grade levels. All 175 of the selections that are currently available come with pre-reading questions, target vocabulary, a text dependent question set, and two prompts for writing practice. The questions and writing can be done either online using Adobe Reader or printed out as PDF documents. Each story also has audio recorded at three speeds to help support fluency development. The selections on the website were all written by experienced teachers, and they would provide high-quality content for a pre-CNA or CNA class, an ESL class covering a unit on health, or a more general career exploration class with a unit on the health care field.

Looking specifically at the skills and subskills in the Developing a Future Pathway category of the TIF, Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers could be used in a number of ways to provide practice:

  • “Working Towards a Nursing Dream” and “Delivering More than a Meal” (Level 5.5) both deal with the experiences that people have that can influence their career decisions. They would be great selections to read as part of a discussion about personal values and beliefs (DFP Skill 1).
  • “The Job Duties of a Nurse Assistant” and “Where Do Nursing Assistants Work” (Level 6.0) are just two of many selections that focus on what it’s like to work in the health care field as a caregiver. Reading these selections would help students explore available options in order to identify a future pathway (DFP Skill 2).
  • “Planning for a Successful Job Search” (Level 6.5) and “Applying for a Nurse Assistant Position” (Level 7.0) both focus on the steps that a person would need to take in order to enter into a career field (DFP Skill 3).

To learn more about ACES/TIF and how to develop transitions skills with your learners, please join me on Tuesday, February 27 from 1:30-3:00 for an ACES webinar. We will explore how ACES/TIF can be used to support strategy instruction, and how to combine ACES/TIF with CCRS and Northstar to create standards-based lessons.

Stephanie Sommers, ACES Coordinator ATLAS