BCTC Innovation Plan: A Team Approach to GED® and MSG Attainment

Link to BCTC PLC innovation page
BCTC Skills U Program PLC 2019-2021
The BCTC Innovation Plan begun in 2019 took a broad, sweeping approach to addressing the needs and outcomes of their students. To do this, BCTC’s PLC developed four teams. Each team identified specific products, strategies, or processes that would address their selected area. The teams included MSG Attainment, GED® Attainment, Community Outreach/Partnerships, and Distance Learning. During FY2021, the teams expanded on and refined elements begun before the pandemic closed the program.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

 

Prior to March 2020, the PLC was implementing products, strategies, and processes outlined in their action plan. With the shuttering of physical locations as of March 13, 2020, BCTC experienced two dramatic changes which impacted the program:

      • The full implementation of new instructional sites and connection points had to be halted.
      • Enrollment, TABE pre and post testing, and GED testing ceased due to government mandates

Instruction had to move from a combination, in many cases, of classroom and distance learning to a purely distance learning format.

 

Despite these issues, BCTC PLC managed to address the goals of their Innovation Plan. The BCTC PLC formed four teams to address specific issues related to items outlined with their Innovation Plan. In FY21, the PLC kept the same teams but sometimes with differing make-up.

GED® Attainment Team

ACTION PLAN

The GED® Attainment Team’s PLC product/strategy was to implement a variety of processes in order to increase our GED® attainment goal.  BCTC focus was on:

  • Marketing O. P. and site-based testing
  • Set up laptop lending program
  • Provide more prep resources to students
  • Set up GED® Talks Focus Group
  • Explore options for retest funding
  • Encourage capable Spanish speakers, not currently on GED® path, to take the GED® test in Spanish
  • Encourage capable ESL students to take the GED® test by modifying the opportunity for ESL bridge students to learn about and transition to GED® instruction (with additional support provided to bridge students during class)
Snip from Google Classroom showing curated GED video resources

OUTCOMES

The GED® Attainment Team marketed both the O.P. (Online Proctored) and onsite GED® testing via their webpage, facebook, student mailings, and direct teacher contact.

BCTC Skills U developed a contract for lending laptops for O.P. GED® testing. 

To assist students in preparing for GED® testing, local instructors provide links to materials that provide instruction and practice on using the whiteboard, an overview of the test, and a calculator tutorial, in addition to regular instruction.

 

The GED® Attainment Team set up a GED® Talks Focus Group. The purpose of the focus group is to do more immediate follow-up with students who have taken parts of the GED® test, but have not completed, as well as those who have passing scores on GED Ready®, but have not yet tested. Each month the focus group comes together to identify these students and make direct contact with them via phone calls, emails, text, etc.

 

Students did not respond as well to the idea of taking the GED® in Spanish as had been expected. Students responded well to participating in the ESL bridge program.

 

BCTC was able to access funds to assist students in paying for GED® retesting.

Future Focus of the Team

 

The future focus of the group will be to develop a survey for  students to help us understand how the provided materials helped to prepare them for the OP GED®. Surveys will contain questions focused on our materials including:

 

-Were the online videos helpful?

-Did you feel prepared to take the OP GED®?

-Did you feel supported while taking the OP GED®?

 

The laptop distribution to students will continue as well. The process will continue as soon as IT issues are dealt with. 

 

Develop a timeline focused on when to distribute OP GED® material to students and when to survey students after testing.

MSG Attainment Team

ACTION PLAN

The MSG Attainment Team’s PLC product/strategy was to implement a variety of processes in order to increase our MSG attainment goal.  This year’s focus was on:

 

  • Burlington English Core Curricula
  • Regular reporting of testing eligibility
  • Remote TABE
  • How-to videos to promote virtual learning

OUTCOMES

BCTC Skills U implemented BurlingtonEnglish Core Curricula to increase CASAS scores. Since the core curricula is correlated directly to CASAS, this allowed the program to use diagnostics to better target instruction.

 

The team developed progress testing reports/spreadsheets that were provided to instructional staff to 

  • raise awareness of student testing eligibility, and
  • promote timelier progress testing.

 

Remote TABE® training was conducted to provide an alternative to in-person testing. The remote TABE® testing was implemented in September 2020.

 

The team surveyed BCTC instructors and staff to identify what how-to-videos had been developed. The videos were then compiled and included in the newly developed BCTC Resources Hub in Google Classroom.

Evaluating the MSG Strategies

 

In evaluating the effectiveness, our product and strategies appear to be assisting the program with MSG attainment.  

 

Currently, the program’s MSG performance is higher than the same time last year, or the year before.  Therefore, even though our performance is considered low at the current time, statistically the program should meet its end of year MSG performance goal assuming that we are permitted to continue to offer hybrid services for the remainder of the year.

Future Focus of the Team

 

Even though we are currently able to serve students in a remote and hybrid setting, our counties are currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 exposures.  Therefore, it is likely to have a direct impact on current services.  The work that we are doing may have to continue until next year to see the full scope of our endeavors.  The steps that we have taken due to COVID will be utilized in the future to better serve our students.

LIVE AND LEARN, MESSY MOMENTS

 

MSG Attainment Team

The shortened time frame allowed for PLC work this fall prevented us from developing all the videos that we wanted to have available.  However, many instructors already had videos that they were utilizing. Therefore, members of the Distance Learning team created a repository (Google Classroom) to store all videos in a centralized location. Ideally, additional time would have allowed for new videos. New videos can be developed and added as necessary. Developing resources and processes is an ongoing process, so adaptation will be needed as circumstances change. 

 

The remote TABE test requires an orientation in addition to the testing session, which adds additional time to the testing process. 

 

GED Attainment Team

Explaining the requirements of the OP GED to students has been a challenge because the instructor knowledge of the OP GED was limited at the beginning of the process. This is an ongoing process; the more we know and understand about the OP GED, the better we are able to get students to take the test.

MASTERY MOMENTS

 

MSG Attainment Team

There were several mastery moments that we encountered in the MSG group:

  • Burlington English is now available and being utilized by all instructors in the program. Students are being assigned to the BE program upon enrollment.  There has been an increase in support and training for instructors
  • Weekly progress testing report is being utilized by the program instructional staff to monitor student test eligibility. The program is testing based on testing hours instead of attendance hours  
  • The implementation of the Remote TABE has been instrumental in reaching students who otherwise would not have been able to progress test due to the pandemic. Because of the extended process of the remote TABE test, students and instructors are informed throughout to make the process clear and keep students on track. 
  • The development of the “how-to” videos is still an ongoing process

 

GED Attainment Team

Finding tutorials and videos that were already created was a time saver for us. These were easy for the group to share out on social media so that a broad range of students had access to the information. This allowed us to focus our efforts into sharing the best information possible with students.