MoHealthWINs Removed Barriers, Taught Skills for STLCC Students
The MoHealthWINs grant accelerated progress for low-skilled adults in the St. Louis area by redesigning developmental education to address skill gaps with material that was relevant to students’ college and career paths.
Intrusive advising and “wrap-around” services improved retention by removing barriers such as child care, transportation and lack of academic preparation.
St. Louis Community College served 820 students in nine programs of study, including Healthcare Portal, Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Medical Assistant, Medical Information Specialist, IT Help Desk / End-User Support, Healthcare IT Technician, Electronic Health Records I and Electronic Health Records II.
The Adult Learning Academy coached students in math and literacy. Students achieved academic and career readiness in their chosen areas.
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St. Louis Community College’s Adult Learning Academy A Paradigm Shift in Progress
St. Louis Community College understands what countless studies and employers affirm: that students need strong literacy and numeracy skills to be successful in college level coursework and to effectively compete in today’s workforce. That is why STLCC launched its new Adult Learning Academy as one of the educational services available to students enrolled in the MoHealthWINs grant-funded courses. Using the COMPASS® computerized test as a starting point, students in the ALA develop foundational reading, writing, and math skills and improve their ability to transfer skills from one context to another, think critically, and successfully transition to college coursework. Then, through a series of competency-based and portfolio-assessed learning experiences, students develop confidence in themselves as lifelong learners who can adapt to the changing demands of the workplace.
Successful completion of the ALA becomes the first step on a pathway to career opportunity and advancement, preparing students to better comprehend content and succeed in the subsequent courses. Unlike traditional developmental education, students move through the course at their own pace and are allowed to repeat lessons without penalty. Then, once a competency is mastered, students are not required to repeat lessons aligned to the same competency and skills.
Early results are encouraging, with ALA completers showing significant improvement in both COMPASS and WorkKeys post assessment scores. Progress has been rapid as well, with some students finishing in three weeks what traditionally takes students 16 weeks to accomplish in Math 020 coursework. Students also have access to enthusiastic, knowledgeable Educational Assistants who do a tremendous job providing individual support.
The individual stories are similarly inspiring. STLCC Project Manager Kevin Talbot, shown here, tells the story of a potential Medical Therapeutics pathway participant, who was interested in the Patient Care Technician (PCT) workforce training, but scored a just below entry level at intake. Kevin enrolled her into the ALA, and after just two weeks working on math fundamentals, scored high enough to qualify for the next PCT training cohort! She continues to attend the ALA and work on her math skills and both she and her ALA instructors are optimistic about greater results from her academic and career life.
STLCC is hoping to replicate this success on a wider scale. Although the ALA is offered as a non-credit course within the MoHealthWINs program, the College is recognizing the ALA and other Portal learning activities as valid instruments in determining a student’s readiness for college-level coursework.
Find more about St. Louis Community College’s new programs at http://www.stlcc.edu/Workforce-Solutions/MoHealthWINs/ or contact Kevin Talbot at (314) 644-9691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MoWINs Project Director