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GEDi. An innovative connection between education, moms on the margins and local economic stimulus. GED The economic connection. The Minnesota Department of Education estimates ABE (Adult Basic Education) returns 3 to 5 times the expenditure back to the state in cash.

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    1. GEDi An innovative connection between education, moms on the margins and local economic stimulus

    2. GED The economic connection • The Minnesota Department of Education estimates ABE (Adult Basic Education) returns 3 to 5 times the expenditure back to the state in cash. • The income for GED and adult diploma graduates was estimated at $120 million, generating nearly $10 million in taxes.

    3. Why online GED • Minnesota ABE is a national leader in distance learning, developing a broad array of web-based learning tools. • This allows more adults to access training in an efficient manner, helping them achieve their educational and occupational goals. • Minnesota is currently in a “ground floor” opportunity with their GED online initiative, recently adding infrastructure and other resources in response to the economic downturn.

    4. Please follow this link to an important report titled Adult Basic Education: A Tool for Economic Growth in Minnesota

    5. Why Now • During times of economic stress, Adult Basic Education is crucial in helping unemployed adults improve basic skills needed for future employment. • As recession deepens, the number of Minnesotans accessing ABE increases. • Our economy needs all citizens, including those on the “margins” to increase their economic contribution while, decreasing their need for human services support. • Fairmont is a city with a significant population on the margins.

    6. City of FairmontData from 2000 Population 10,889 Median income 33,709

    7. City of FairmontData From 2000 Families Below Poverty Line 8.60% Non-English Speakers at Home 5.20% Bachelor’s Degree or Higher 18.10% Married Couple Families 51%

    8. Fairmont Area SchoolsData from 2008-2009 K-12 Student Census 1739 Target Population(7-12) 867 Limited English Proficiency 13 Students with Disabilities 105 Free/Reduced Lunch 277

    9. Fairmont Area SchoolsData from 2007 MN Student SurveyTable 29 Alcohol Use Frequency & Quantity 9th Grade Female Binge Drinking Rate/last 30 Days 9th Grade Female Non-Binge Drinking Rate/last 30 Days 12th Grade Female Binge Drinking Rate/Last 30 Days 12th Grade Female Non-Binge Drinking Rate/Last 30 Days

    10. In addition to a significant population of “At Risk” residents, Fairmont is host to a promising addiction recovery program called Harbor Home. The moms who live here with their families are in need of a planned program of habilitation. Reengagement with an education lost to addiction is high on that list.

    11. Wilder Report on Harbor Home Percentage of High School Dropouts 50% Percentage making Significant Progress towards GED 50%

    12. Emerging Opportunity Unused Access to On-Line GED Available on-line slots for GED instruction in SW MN Consortium 11 Current Use 2

    13. Overcoming Barriers • In addition to barriers that all on-line learners face, one additional hurdle presents itself to those who are trying to achieve important life goals (such as a GED) while in recovery from drug addiction. • This barrier is psychological in nature and is “least often addressed by educators”. • “Goal setting, motivation and self-efficacy in relation to the social context”, can be effectively taught by a mentor experienced in this context. • Mentors are not a part of the current GED on-line initiative.

    14. Why the need for Mentoring Encouragement and Support for Self-Efficacy Orientation to use of Technology Off hours coaching Decrease in Attrition

    15. Target Population for Local Critical Issue Introduction Harbor Home is a supportive housing program for chemically dependant mothers and their children. The program was developed by Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties to meet the needs of women in the community by providing supportive housing during an extended treatment period and adjusting permanency timelines so that mothers did not lose custody of their children while seeking treatment and recovery services. Through their participation in the program, which provides skill development opportunities and safe housing for women as they complete outpatient treatment and aftercare services, women will leave treatment more prepared to deal with day-to-day problems, increase their level of self-sufficiency, provide their children with a healthy, stable family, and maintain their sobriety. Long-term, the program is intended to reduce the number of out-of-home placements related to substance abuse and respond to the multiple needs of mothers overcoming addictions to methamphetamine.

    16. Participant characteristics and outcomes “Since the program began in 2006, Harbor Home has served 29 women and their children, with 27 women discharged prior to October 23, 2009. Most Harbor Home participants are single mothers (73%) and range in age from 18 to 45 years.” Educational Background “ A number of participants made educational gains while enrolled in the program. More than half of all Harbor Home clients (N-15) had dropped out of high school. Among those women who did not have a high school diploma, half (N=7) have made significant progress in their education by working towards or obtaining a GED or attending college.

    17. Discussion of Rationale for Local Issue The report, Minnesota ABE: A High RETURN ON INVESTMENT specifically discusses the economic impact of Adult Basic Education programs (including GEDi online) on individuals and Minnesota as a whole. Specifically, ABE provides a “doorway to post-secondary education, initial employment, promotion once employed, and retraining when jobs are lost”. While this is true for all adults in need of Abe opportunities, it is especially important for the moms living in Harbor Home. The ability to complete a GED, with the opportunity to move on to college is a door that is open during the relatively brief stay at Harbor Home. In the past, the only option was for moms to participate in traditional classroom based GED preparation in the local community. This has been less than ideal as the classes are not offered at times that effectively encourage participation. In addition, the classes do not provide the type of additional support that recovering addicts need as they deal with the day to day stresses of early sobriety in their pursuit of graduation from Harbor Home. This proposal seeks to meet the unique GED accessibility of this specific population in a way that; increases GED program completion and the likelihood of continued education at the post secondary level, which will likely also include on-line curriculum supported by an on-site/on-line mentoring component provided by Harbor Home staff. Harbor Home has sufficient computer access/bandwidth to support proposal for three participants to concurrently complete the GEDi-online support process. A survey of participants and the staff indicates that of 29 women, 17 are already skilled in social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, indicating their ability to interact in an on-line environment.

    18. Does the Plan Make or Save Money The plan saves money as we will be able to provide access to an on-line GED curriculum without the additional costs of daycare and travel to the local GED classroom. The plan will make money in the long run as participants who complete the GED will earn on average an additional $7,000.00 yearly. Will the Academic Rigor be Guaranteed The rigor will be guaranteed as long as the learners remain engaged with the on-line instruction process. The Harbor Home based mentor will be responsible to this process.

    19. How Much Risk for Bad/Good Publicity There is significant risk for bad publicity with initial failures of follow through with the GED on-line process due to the bias that exists in our communities. Good publicity will be slow to come. Will the Curriculum Developers be Compensated The developer of the mentor/Harbor Home plan is the writer of this plan. Additional compensation is not built into this plan. Pre-Post Data GED on-line completion rates will be compared to GED completion via the traditional GED classroom as reported by Harbor Home and the Wilder Foundation.

    20. Work Plan/Implementation Goal • Participants of Harbor Home who are in need of attaining a GED can increase their chances for breaking cycles of poverty and addiction by more efficiently participating in an on-line GED preparation program. This innovative/cooperative process will be coordinated by Harbor Home mentors and the ABE offices that currently offer teacher supported curriculum in the GEDi-online curriculum. As a result, participants will also increase their chances for success with the college preparation program offered following GED completion, called Mindquest Academy.

    21. Objective A Harbor Home participants will be successfully screened for on-line GED completion eligibility/capability Strategies • Participants complete a placement test at Fairmont GED office • Participants participate in GEDi-online through initial survey and practice with curriculum • Participants receive on-site and digital support from mentor, voicethread and podcasts used for support with curriculum and training in technology use • Participants learn the C.A.L.M. method for anxiety de-escalation in relation to on-line interaction from staff mentor

    22. Please follow these links for innovative Mentor/Mentee tech tools. Harbor Home moms will experience decreased anxiety and become C.A.L.M. with supports such as these:|pe1|WdjZPXLrvP2rYVS-am1tDw

    23. Objective B: Harbor Home participants will successfully register and participate in the GEDi-online curriculum Strategies • Participants connect to a regional GEDi-online instructor via the Mankato office to design and implement programs based on individual planning needs, (minimum time on-line nine hours weekly until ready to test)

    24. Objective CHarbor Home participants will successfully complete on-site GED testing and receive their certificate Strategies • Participants will travel to Jackson Minnesota to test

    25. Objective DHarbor Home participants will be screened for eligibility and referred to Mindquest Academy, a free ABE digital college preparation curriculum. Strategies • Participants meet with ABE/Harbor Home representatives for referral to on-line college preparation process

    26. Mindquest: a Key to Future Growth • Not only will residents of Harbor Home increase their initial economic contributions to their families and communities, they will open doors to post-secondary education. • As a part of the development of this plan, Harbor Home administrators have developed an additional interest in the Mindquest Academy. • With the addition of this post-secondary strategy to the GED—online process described in this slide show, all Harbor Home residents could participate in on-line education.

    27. Source(s) • Wilder Report (Ferris and Leite, 2009), * Statistics updated with Harbor Home Program Director Jen Wedel on 10/23/2009. • • Personal Interview/Survey with Program Director Jennifer Wedel on 10/23/2009. • Fairmont ABE/GED Office and Staff/Resources • Jackson ABE/GED Office and Staff/Resources • Mankato Lincoln Community Center/Staff/Resources, • Glantz, R. (2000). Managing Cravings Workbook and Counselor Guide: Battle Ground, WA: Rhea Jacobson Management. • • • • Goto, S, Martin, C (2009), Psychology of Success: Overcoming Barriers to Pursuing Further Education, Journal of Continuing Higher Education, v. 57 (1), pp. 10-21.