Yes, You Can Develop an Adult Career Pathway!Penny Jahnke, Albert Lea Adult Learning Center Coordinator
Did you know that every ABE program in Minnesota should be developing Adult Career Pathways (ACPs) for their students? I am guessing you responded to that question in one of two ways: 1) Of course I know that, and our program is doing wonderful and marvelous things; or 2) There is no way our program can do ACP work because we are too small, we do not have enough funding, etc. If your answer was number two, I want to assure you that You Can Do It!
Four years ago, my answer was number two. We are a small rural program. We served 213 students last year with just over 18,000 contact hours. We all work part-time. There is no way we can develop an Adult Career Pathway.
You know what? We still do not have a fully aligned Adult Career Pathway. However, we do have 27 people from our community and 97 paras in our district that now have their ParaPro certificates. We have 22 students that had drivers training. We have our local library teaching digital literacy. Students explored different healthcare careers available in our area. We will be working with our local college to expand CNA classes in the fall.
We have so much more to do and learn but here is my advice to you:
- JUST START
- Be intentional – effective ACPs do not just happen
- Plan with partners (employers, CBOs, CareerForce, colleges, etc.)
- Refer to WIOA’s definition of Career Pathways
- Use existing resources (many are located in the ATLAS ACP resource library)
- Reach out to others in the field – there is help out there (the ACP Schoology Networking group can be a first step to reach out to others)
- OK to make mistakes – it happens to all
- OK to start small
I know You Can Do It!
- ABE Foundations/Staff Onboarding
- Adult Career Pathways
- CCR Standards
- Cultural Competency
- Digital Literacy/Northstar
- Distance Learning/Education
- HSE/Adult Diploma
- Mental Health
- Minnesota ABE
- One-Room Schoolhouse/Multilevel
- Professional Development
- Program Management
- Remote Instruction
- Social Studies
- Support Services
- Teaching Strategies