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The Intergenerational Learning Center
has the following positive retention practices in place:
1. We offer day and evening
programs for ESL, ABE/ASE with schedules to accommodate adult
learners. We have three 12-week sessions for all classes; open
enrollment is allowed in our GED program.
2. All students attend
orientation and receive a student manual. The manuals are provided
in Spanish or English.
3. Free childcare is provided
for students attending the evening program. Students’ children of
the ages 2-12 are allowed while parents are attending classes.
4. At intake each student has a
personal interview. Students are asked about current work and
family obligations. They are asked to identify short and long term
5. Our ESL classes embrace an
atmosphere of community and support. The GED classes offer
one-on-one assistance through the instructors and Americorps
6. End of Year Celebration for
ESL students. Families are invited to attend an awards presentation
for ESL students. The program provides refreshments.
7. GED Graduation. A formal
graduation ceremony with cap & gown, guest speakers, and diploma
presentations for those students that have obtained their GED during
the school year. Again, families are invited and refreshments are
8. Our program pays for GED
testing of students having financial difficulties.
9. Students are contacted after
three absences from class.
10. Our program provides counsel,
assistance and referral to other community services.
11. End of session classroom or
12. Staff development is available
through staff meetings, and attendance at adult education trainings
and conferences offered through CDE.
13. Monthly news letters featuring
ILC students, activities, and news.
My student population:
I have ABE/ASE
learners 21 and over. Each student is given a class syllabus and
semester schedule. Within the first week of attendance new students
are tested and given a personal learning plan. I help the students
to set weekly and semester goals. Students have folders which
contain their assignments and goals. I try to make each student
feel valuable by checking with them daily to monitor progress and
give them an opportunity to share personal concerns. I also try to
have a comfortable environment for learning where students are both
physically comfortable as well as comfortable participating and
The five new
practices that I hope to implement to improve retention are:
contact. “To prevent first-class no-shows, call students the day
before and confirm attendance. Establish a system for contacting
students; call them after the first class missed.” Retention
Strategies found at
Give monthly awards/certificates for punctuality, attendance,
progress, etc. (Retention Strategies) Also, as discussed at a recent
staff meeting I will implement to use of a chart to track contact
hours for each student.
comprehensive orientation that includes assessment of ability,
self-esteem, learning style, motivations, and values” Strategies for
Retaining Adult Student: The Educationally Disadvantaged. ERIC
Digest No. 76. found at
http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-929/adult.htm. I would like to
develop lesson plans to address all of the above. First I will need
to develop a checklist of SCANS that can be used to assess students
in our GED program. The lesson would include discussions on
abilities and self-esteem, motivations and values. I would like to
implement the use of a learning styles survey and create a lesson
plan to teach students about the different styles.
work relevant. Teach students one new skill everyday that they can
use at home or work.” (Retention Strategies) Use adult oriented
coursework, geared toward real life situations. Vary classroom
activities. (Retention Strategies) Help students focus on the
positive they have to offer. Do group and individual work daily.
(Retention Strategies) “Small group work with time for socializing
enhanced feelings of group solidarity in the learning situation.”
(ERIC) I want to focus on finding activities that are relevant,
that everyone can participate in and something to which they can
bulletin board. Establish a board where students can place items of
interest to them: set up a carpool, study group, for sale signs,
etc. Display a calendar and celebrate birthdays of students.
(Retention Strategies) Periodic visits from “Graduates” to hear
success stories. (Retention Strategies)
newspapers available for reading and activities. This makes students
a more active part of a broader world. Spend a few minutes at the
beginning of each class to share opinions and ideas about current
events. Class accounts of local news.” (Retention Strategies) Have
the students keep a current events journal and write a paragraph
daily about a story they have read. Introduce and enforce “Ground
rules” for use in classroom discussions or small groups. Planning &
Implementing Instruction for Adults. John M. Dirkx, Suzanne M.
Prenger. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1997.
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