As featured in the MM/WW topic “An Introduction to the Case Management Service Delivery Model for Adult Education” facilitated by Kathryn Hardman on March 1 & 3, 2021.
The program staff felt strongly that they provided an outstanding education program, but there were undoubtedly students who fell through the cracks. The Program Director, instructional staff, College and Career Navigators and completion coaches were each assigned a caseload of students. The premise was to build a relationship with the students founded on encouragement and focus to the completion of the GED, as well as other educational goals. A shared spreadsheet documenting contacts helped staff, who shared students through instruction, from giving mixed messages, attempting too many contacts, and not being fully informed when making contacts. Google Voice (and texting) was a favorite contact method because it protected the staff’s private number while allowing texting and phone calls to and from students.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO CLONE THIS PRODUCT?
Description: All staff are assigned a caseload of students to regularly contact, encourage, and advise. A clear course of action is communicated to the student.
Contact Frequency: Students are contacted regularly. This could be in the classroom, through phone, text, email, Facebook or any other method. All contacts and response or lack of response are documented. Contacts cease once the student “pops” out.
Initially students were contacted at least once every two weeks. This has been adjusted to contacting students, who are not actively engaged in a four week session, between the sessions. This way there is something specific to offer them, “We have a new session starting.” They are encouraged to jump back in.
Documentation: All contacts are documented on the shared spreadsheet in the proper caseload page. All case managers can make notes on any student, not just their “cases.” It is not only the case manager that will have important information to share about the student.
Assignment of caseload: The driving premise behind assignments is the student education level and area of study, although this will vary at times. Usually students are assigned to an advisor because they are in that instructor’s class. OPT students and students in multiple classes were assigned based on those parameters. For FY2021, the decision was made to focus on assigning NRS Levels 3 and 4 for case management. This alleviated some of the staff stress of the ever-changing staffing and class structuring caused by adapting to the pandemic, and was felt to to be the most likely group to need the focused attention.
Tools for Use and Collaboration: Google Voice, Google Calendar
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
Recommendations for replication: A) The spreadsheet is critical-use it from the outset B)Take care not to disrupt the caseload distribution.
LIVE AND LEARN, MESSY MOMENTS
Results of Product
The preliminary outcomes are excellent as the program met the GED goal in the third quarter of FY2020, and other measures are trending well. See the 3rd quarter data comparisons for FY 2019 and FY2020. The 2021 data for the first two quarters is expressed in the table below which shows that even in the midst of a pandemic, OCTC is on a trajectory of success. As of this report, they are trending number one of the state KYSU programs for the percent of enrollment goal and percent of GED goal.
Both staff and students reveled in the strengthened relationships. This provided a further payoff when under COVID 19 restrictions, with no access to student folders, the relationships and the spreadsheet proved to be of priceless value in engaging the students in distance learning options. This is particularly noteworthy because OCTC did not have a strong distance program at the outset of the pandemic. This fully demonstrated the benefit of strengthened student/staff relationships.
As noted in the messy moments, until the shared spreadsheet, there was some confusion about contacts and messages. Getting everyone to use the spreadsheet to its best advantage, properly documenting in the proper place, not too much or too little, did take some practice.