ABE Partners with Dev Ed to Achieve Outstanding Student OutcomesRuss Fraenkel, NW Region Transitions Coordinator Lesley Blicker, Partnership Specialist
A best-kept secret shouldn’t be one, especially when it comes to ensuring that students enrolled in Minnesota State’s Developmental Education (Dev Ed) English, reading, and math programs persist in their classes, confidently and competently complete their learning requirements, and advance as quickly as possible to credit-bearing college courses.
During the 2020-21 academic year, the secret was exposed through the participation of over 80 Minnesota State faculty, ABE teachers, and program administrators who energetically engaged in four Affinity Group meetings, joining forces to achieve outstanding student outcomes. No longer is it a secret that Minnesota can boast about numerous highly remarkable partnerships that deliver value to students and the programs that serve them.
Dev Ed/ABE Affinity Group
The Dev Ed/ABE Affinity Group presented the opportunity for partnerships – from long-standing through yet-to-be developed – to share effective practices in and outside the classroom, discuss ways to surmount barriers, and strengthen their student-serving impact. It was refreshing to discover that many highly effective partnerships exist throughout Minnesota, and that adult educators from two major systems shared a passionate desire to collaborate on behalf of many adult students in desperate need of support.
Affinity Group discussions led to the desire to co-create a partnership toolkit to aid this essential work, be it the desire to launch a partnership, increase partnership instances, or improve the practices of existing relationships. Five MinnState and ABE teams involving subject matter experts were guided through a process for documenting their experiences in ways that Affinity Group members believed would be of value to their colleagues. Watch for the announcement through ATLAS and MDE-ABE regarding the availability of toolkit content in late September.
When asked if the Affinity Group should continue to meet during the 2021-22 academic year, the response from the group was a resounding YES! Topics of interest are determined by membership and the meetings are facilitated by this article’s authors, Russ Fraenkel and Lesley Blicker.
The five virtual meetings are 75 minutes in length, on Thursdays from 2:00-3:15 pm or Fridays from 10:00-11:15 am, and will be offered in September/October, November, January, March, and April. To aid educators to attend when it best suits their schedule, participants are offered two options to attend a meeting exploring the same topics. The first Affinity Group meeting options will take place on Thursday, September 30 and Friday, October 1; simply choose the date that works best for you.
It’s important to acknowledge the vision and generosity of the Northwest Transitions Region to lead and fund the Dev Ed/ABE partnership work in the past academic year and the year ahead. Their belief is that NW regional practices are strengthened and will improve through the broader advancement of the work.
If you have questions about the Affinity Group, would like to be involved, or have an interest to learn more about collaboration efforts, please email Russ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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