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A New Beginning: AO in Arkansas. Aligning the Arkansas Career Pathways with AO (Accelerating Opportunities) Sherry Organ- Career Pathways Coordinator Natasha Richards- Adult Ed Coordinator Co-coordinators for AO program. Accelerating Opportunity at ASU-Beebe.

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a new beginning ao in arkansas

A New Beginning: AO in Arkansas

Aligning the Arkansas Career Pathways with AO (Accelerating Opportunities)

Sherry Organ- Career Pathways Coordinator

Natasha Richards- Adult Ed Coordinator

Co-coordinators for AO program

how it all got started

Our school received a grant opportunity from the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC) in March 2012.

  • The Vice Chancellor for ASU Searcy called a team planning meeting that consisted of several members of the campus.
How it all got started
why implement the ao program

After several team meetings, the team decided this could be a win/win situation for students and our school because it:

* Could increase our enrollment in college courses and in the Adult Education department.

*Would allow those students that do not have a high school diploma or GED to enter college and get the GED at the same time.

*Would allow students to learn basic skills while learning a trade that they are interested in.

Why implement the AO program?
april 22 2013

Dr. Eugene McKay, Chancellor of ASU-Beebe, received notification that we were one of four colleges chosen to participate in the Accelerating Opportunity initiative in the state of Arkansas.

April 22, 2013

*ASU-Beebe *Cossatot Community College*College of the Ouachitas *Mid-South Community Collegehttp://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/arkansas_map.html

arkansas ao

The Arkansas programs include welding, HVAC, medical records, cosmetology, machining, and mechatronics.

Arkansas AO
asu beebe
Our Mission
  • Transforming lives through quality learning experiences
  • Takes the entire village for this to happen.
ASU Beebe
asub ao program

We started the program in the Fall of 2013 with 2 programs. Our school chose the welding and HVAC pathways because they were high demand fields that we offered compressed courses in to allow students to complete in a year.

Welding HVAC

ASUB AO program

We proposed two coordinators for our program:

Sherry Organ – Career Pathways Coordinator

Natasha Richards – Adult Education Coordinator

  • Duties would be divided among the coordinators, with the entire campus providing support for the program.
adult education

The Adult Education department’s responsibility was to provide two full-time teachers who had been trained according to Accelerating Opportunity/I-Best models.

  • These teachers would provide ABE instruction to students within the Accelerating Opportunity program.
Adult Education
adult education1

Brenda Jaynes

AO – HVAC/ABE Instructor

Jan Hill

AO-Welding/ABE Instructor

Adult Education
adult ed component

All students are given the TABE test to determine program eligibility.

  • Students without a high school diploma/GED are given time to come to the Adult Ed department for extra classes.
  • An Adult Ed instructor is assigned to the classroom at least 25% of the time.
  • Adult Ed instructor provides additional lessons in the content classroom on areas that students need additional assistance.
Adult Ed component
where do we start

For students interested in our program, we had to find one main starting point. On our campus, so many people are involved in this one program, but we knew we needed to find an entry route for our students to keep from losing them along the way.

  • So, where did we start?
Where do we start?
where do we start1

Logical place to start is with a program that is already in place that provides many services that can benefit the AO students.

  • Career Pathways
Where do we start?
what is career pathways

Career Pathways is a grant funded program that provides marketable educational credentials to low income individuals for immediate entry into a high demand occupation or higher education.

What is Career Pathways
how did career pathways begin

CPI began because there was TANF(Transitional Assistance for Needy Families) dollars not being spent in the state of Arkansas.

  • The planning committee came from ADHE, AATYC, DCE, DWS, DHS, and Southern Good Faith and came up with a plan to create the Career Pathways Initiative that would use the TANF dollars to address Arkansas’ education gap as a vehicle to close its economic gap.
How did Career Pathways begin

ADHE- AR Dept of Higher Education

AATYC- AR Association of 2 year colleges

DCE- Dept of Career Education

DWS- Dept of Workforce Services

DHS- Dept of Human Services


Must be an adult caretaker, parent, or relative of a child living in the home under the age of 21.

  • TANF eligible (Transitional Assistance for Needy Families)
  • Earnings at the 250% of federal poverty level or less.
what is career pathways1

Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) began in August 2005 at 6 Two year colleges and eventually was implemented in a total of 25 colleges.

What is Career Pathways
removing barriers

Tuition for college courses

  • Book loan program
  • Childcare assistance
  • Gas money
  • Tutoring
  • Soft skill training
  • Employability certificate
Removing Barriers
removing barriers1

One on one counseling with a case manager.

  • Job placement assistance
  • Job search
  • We are the cheerleader
  • We are the shoulder to cry on
  • We build relationships and partnerships
  • Provide students with resources within the school and in the community.
Removing barriers
cpi statistics

Over 28,000 adults enrolled in CPI since 2005.

  • Over 26,000 certificates and degrees attained.
  • Over 5700 students went to work in Arkansas after obtaining a certificate or degree from 2009-2012.
  • Many have gone on to earn 4 year degrees.
CPI Statistics
integrating career pathways adult ed and ao

Students wanting to enter one of our AO programs are sent to Career Pathways first.(Even if they do not qualify for CPI assistance.)

  • We fill out a CPI application for demographic information while having a face to face conference to learn more about prospective student.
  • Student is given an individualized “To Do list” of the things that need to be taken care of.
Integrating Career Pathways, Adult Ed, and AO

To Do List John Doe

  • *Gather all needed documents for FAFSA using the provided worksheet. Fill out Section 1, 2 and 4. (Tax year 2013)
  • *Call Lakita in Financial Aid at 501 207-6253 to set up a time to go to her office and complete the FAFSA online. Her office is in the main building on hall 1 on the Searcy campus.
  • *Afteryou complete the FAFSA in Lakita’s office, tell them you need to apply for admission at ASU Beebe.
  • *Someone there will help you apply for Admissions with ASU Beebe.**When filling out admissions application, you will be working toward a Certificate of Proficiency. Once you complete the GED this can be changed to a Technical Certificate.
  • *Call me and let me know once you have completed the FAFSA and applied for admissions.
  • *Will need to get you enrolled in class before this date.
  • Sherry Organ- 501- 207-6243
  • Natasha Richards- 501-207- 6291
next stop

Students are then taken to the Adult Ed department if they need a GED.

  • Student Services for:* financial aid application assistance*assistance completing the online ASUB application*assistance enrolling in classes
Next stop

This year, we worked for three 8 week terms in the Welding and HVAC programs.

  • We served 32 students, both with a high school diploma and without.
  • Two students enrolled in the Welding program who needed their GED - one earned their diploma in December 2013.

Welding had 19 students*16 earned a certificate of proficiency*6 of those went on to earn a technical certificate

  • HVAC had 13 students*13 earned a certificate of proficiency*11 went on to earn a technical certificate