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MCAE Conference November 4, 2010. Career Pathways Road Mapquest: Integrating Career Awareness and Next Steps into the ESOL Curriculum Presenters: Lisa Beatman Director Russell Fenton ESOL Morning Coordinator Jamaica Plain Community Centers Adult Learning Program. Career Pathways: Overview.

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mcae conference november 4 2010
MCAE ConferenceNovember 4, 2010

Career Pathways Road Mapquest:

Integrating Career Awareness and

Next Steps into the ESOL Curriculum


Lisa Beatman Director

Russell Fenton ESOL Morning Coordinator

Jamaica Plain Community Centers Adult Learning Program

career pathways overview
Career Pathways: Overview

There are several driving forces behind the pairing of Career Pathways with ABE:

  • Economic reality
    • The need for a highly skilled workforce.
  • Adult Learner needs
    • Adults want to learn the skills necessary to find and keep a good job.
  • Maximum impact
    • One of the most important, if not the most important, ways that ABE programs best serve our students is by providing services that result in the most sustained economic outcomes for them and their families.
Mapping it all out: Like many ABE programs,ALP had already been offering various job readiness services.
  • The Career Pathways project spurred us to “recalibrate”, i.e. take a fresh look at the standalone activities and focus more on organizing them and their outcomes. We are now planning to help students build a portfolio or body of work that demonstrates increasing marketable skills, as they advance academically through our levels.
  • We “zoomed out” to look at evolving street-level, city-level, and regional labor market realities.
  • We “zoomed in” to look at the evolving job outlook for our current students. For example, Jane S., during our GED new student orientation this year, described how, after 20 years working in a union factory, this past January the company was bought by a Chinese firm who immediately laid off all the American staff. In the past, someone like Jane with a good work record could have found comparable work without a high school diploma. Today, she needs much more horsepower: not only the GED, but a higher level of skill-building, credentials, and contemporary job hunting skills involving computer proficiency.
jpcc adult learning program integrating career pathways
JPCC Adult Learning Program: Integrating Career Pathways

The ALP used CP grant funding to do the following:

  • Design a student survey on short and long-term career goals to be administered 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Develop and deepen partnerships such as JobNet and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.
  • Create a career pathways curriculum.
  • Design career-building benchmarks.
  • Develop and implement lesson plan for each class level on academic, career building, and other self-efficacy skills.
  • Determine how Distance Learning and Computer Lab activities can increase intensity of skill-building.
  • Plan quarterly field trips to community colleges, etc.; plan a guest speaker series on career ladders.
  • Develop student evaluation tools.
student surveys vital feedback
Student Surveys: Vital Feedback
  • When asked how the ALP could better help students meet their goals, over 50% said we could help them find employment or improve their current employment situation.
  • While a small group of students had a clear idea of what career path they wanted —nursing — a majority of students were unsure about their career path.
  • This feedback illustrates the need and the potential for developing an individualized Career Pathways Roadmap for each student.
roadmap under construction
Roadmap under construction:
          • We are still developing this tool. We will be giving a binder to all new and continuing students. This binder will include a flexible checklist with “pit stops”. As students gain career readiness skills via contextualized curriculum, career counseling, targeted workshops, field trips, etc., their accomplishments will be checked off on the list.
  • Documentation, including copies of resumes they have written, college essays, etc. will be added to the binder, turning it into a useful portfolio and confidence-builder.
vip very important partnerships
VIP:Very Important Partnerships
  • Community partnerships extend our reach, enabling ALP to provide more career pathways services than our funding permits, and bringing additional talent, expertise, and resources to help our students with their next steps.
vip partner jpndc
VIP Partner: JPNDC
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Jobs for JP Program
  • The ALP refers students to JPNDC and receives referrals in return.
  • JPNDC provides job placement skills and development including job searching, resume writing, interview practice, and more.
  • We invited Karla Torrez, Director of Jobs for JP, to be a keynote speaker at our July 2010 graduation. She told students “if you don’t have a dream, you’ll never reach for it.”
vip partner jobnet
VIP Partner: JobNet
  • The ALP will host a Career Fair in the spring in partnership with JobNet and invite employers and training providers geared towards recruiting employees from the adult education population and other community residents.
  • JobNet and NDC will provide onsite “How to…” workshops to ALP students, including: How to work a job fair, How to complete online applications”, How to network, etc.
vip partner wainwright bank
VIP Partner:Wainwright Bank
  • The Jamaica Plain branch of Wainwright Bank is generously lending their community conference room free of charge for an ongoing ALP ESOL morning class.
  • A Wainwright representative presented a two-part workshop to a morning level 3 class:
    • Career paths in banking, finance
    • Financial literacy
banking on your community
Banking on your Community

Wainwright Bank Manager Tom opens the financial literacy workshop

vip partner bunker hill community college
VIP Partner:Bunker Hill Community College
  • ALP refers many higher-level students to BHCC for placement into their certificate and degree training programs, including culinary arts, HVAC technician, graphic arts design, LPN, and more.
  • Both lower level and higher level classes visit Bunker Hill for awareness raising and information gathering – it’s never too early to start.
milan s journey
Milan’s Journey
  • Milan Kumar-Karki was a level 3 ESOL ALP student with some graphic design experience from his native country of Nepal.
  • When the CP grant was awarded, we asked Milan to do an internship with the ALP in order to gain experience in graphic design in the United States while at the same time helping us launch our program.
  • With coaching from his teacher, Milan designed the Career Pathways Road MapQuest graphic that is used for all students in our program.
  • After graduating from his English class, Milan enrolled in a graphic design school to get more specialized training.



lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Lessons learned
    • Given some guidance, a motivated student took on an opportunity to utilize and further develop his marketable skills; an opportunity catalyzed by the focus on Career Pathways development.
career pathways the potholes
Career Pathways: The Potholes
  • Not all students are as motivated as Milan nor as clear in their vision.
  • Barriers:
    • Personal barriers prevent growth: the need for childcare, public transportation, decent wardrobe for interviews, and inflexible job schedules.
    • Academic barriers prevent growth: lack of test-taking and note-taking skills; unfamiliarity with academic vocabulary.
    • Financial barriers prevent growth: insufficient funds to go to college or enter job training programs.
possible solutions
Possible Solutions
  • Build Career awareness from the earliest levels of the program.
  • Integrate career pathways curriculum across the levels.
  • Emphasize learning English for academic or career development purposes.
  • Focus program-wide on next steps:
    • For ESOL programs, the next step may be GED, community college or job training programs
    • Classes should be designed with these specific goals in mind
    • Provide complementary support services, including financial aid, budgeting, college advising, etc.
career pathways resources
Career Pathways Resources
  • With the CP grant money, the ALP has invested in the following resources to address some of the challenges mentioned:
    • Overcoming Barriers to Success—a video and workbook series addressing many of the personal and financial barriers that prevent adults from moving forward. This series has been introduced to higher level students.
    • Industry-Specific Role-Play English—These role-play guides address scenarios and vocabulary specific to the Banking, Health, and Restaurant industry.
    • A Language-free Career Assessment Tool—this video is completely language free and is well-suited to get lower-level students thinking about career options.
test driving resources for road worthiness
Test-driving resources forroad-worthiness:
  • Foundations: Let’s start at the very beginning.
  • ALP ESOL Level One Teacher Nathan Eckstrom scaffolds career awareness and readiness into a class for beginners.
paving the way for advanced students an entrepreneurial path
Paving the way for advanced students: an entrepreneurial path

ESOL Level 5 Teacher Charissa Ahlstrom taught a unit on

Starting your own Business:

  • Many students in their goal surveys in the beginning of the year identified “Starting your own business” as an area of interest, and when asked, the class voted on that topic as one of the themes to cover. Some had owned businesses in their country, or their families had, and they wished to establish a business here as well.
  • In small groups, students brainstormed what you need to do and find out to start one’s own business.
  • All students read “A checklist for starting a small business” from the Boston Globe business section , and a brochure from the Center for Women and Enterprise.
  • Alison Moronta, the Business Development Director at JPNDC, came and did an onsite presentation to the class.
next steps for students
Next Steps for Students
  • Gain awareness of the career options available to them.
  • Gain more responsibility for their own success.
  • Gain more resilience when faced with setbacks.
  • Develop into role models for peers and children.
next steps for the alp
Next Steps for the ALP
  • Seek more resources in order provide more career development of students, link, modify, and redeploy existing programs such as computer classes and distance learning towards this purpose.
  • Provide students with credible next steps to shoot for depending on their situation:
    • Community college
    • Job training programs
    • GED completion
  • Hold students accountable to their path, with the understanding that there will be multiple revisions or “pit stops” along the way.
brought to you by career pathways is a work in progress thanks to
Brought to you by: Career Pathways is a work-in-progress, thanks to:
  • Funding by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Adult and Community Learning Services.
  • The ALP Road Crew:

Director: Lisa Beatman Academic Coordinators: Nathan Eckstrom

Russell Fenton

Distance Learning Coordinators: Diana Satin Michael Feher

Linda Hamilton-Korey

ESOL Teachers: ASE Teachers:

Literacy: Russell Fenton Pre-GED 1: Roger Oser

Level 1: Nathan Eckstrom Pre-GED 2: David Stearns

Level 2: Amy Murrett GED: Michael Feher

Level 3: Linda Hamilton-Korey

Russell Fenton Computer Teachers: David Stearns

Level 4: Marianna Geraskina Linda Hamilton-Korey

Level 5: Charissa Ahlstrom

Support Services:

Educational Counselor/Support Svcs. Coordinator: Franklin Peralta

Volunteer Coordinator: Susan Chernilo-Cohen

ESOL Assessment/Data Coordinator: Linda Hamilton-Korey

Office Assistants: Ingrid & Sandra Pedraza

Technology Coordinator: Alex Sviridenko