March 2016 Newsletter
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Thursday, March 17, 2016
AEL March Newsletter: Professional Development
Professional Development in Adult Education and Literacy
Professional development increases student achievement, enhances classroom instructional strategies, and increases the proficiency levels of instructors and administrators. Professional development initiatives support educators and encourage improved teaching and learning for adults to acquire the basic skills necessary to function in today’s society — skills that allow them to complete secondary school, engage fully in family life, attain citizenship, and participate in job training and retraining programs. Below are some of the professional development activities of interest to adult education and literacy instructors in our state.
The MyLearningPlan (MLP) pilot with Des Moines Area Community College and Indian Hills Community College is now complete, and plans are underway to begin site trainings across the state at each of the other adult education and literacy programs. DMACC and Indian Hills users had an opportunity to provide the state with feedback on this professional development management system. We are now busy making their recommended changes in order to ensure the system’s features work the way we need them to work and the platform is intuitive and user friendly for the end user.
MLP is an integrated online system that enables educators to easily plan, manage, evaluate, and report on all forms of professional learning and all components of the processes for educator evaluation and appraisal. The state has developed and implemented two integrated systems: 1) a professional development management system and 2) an online observation and appraisal data management system.
All of the state’s professional development activities will be listed on MLP beginning July 1, 2016, and you will register for your desired training(s) on MLP as well. Contact your Adult Education administrator for information on when the training will be occurring at your respective campuses. For any other questions regarding MLP, please contact Marcela Hermosillo or Jayne Smith.
Professional Development Leadership Committee
The state is asking for involvement on a Professional Development Leadership Committee from each of the Adult Education and Literacy programs. The coordinators’ role, or a program nominee on this committee, will provide a voice for your program’s professional development needs. Meetings will be held monthly via “Zoom” unless it is absolutely necessary to meet face to face. Prior to the first meeting, the Adult Education and Literacy team will conduct a survey of all programs and instructors for currently identified professional development needs. This data will be shared, reviewed, and prioritized for future state-offered professional development. We look forward to working with each nominee.
The committee will be tasked with the following:
- Prioritizing state-level needs for professional development in several key areas: reading, writing, math, listening, speaking, civics, employability skills, and integrated education and training.
- Promoting the professional growth of literacy programs and instructors.
- Maintaining awareness, advocating and developing standards related to professional development, instruction, and delivery.
- Preparing recommendations and/or resolutions promoting the adoption of meaningful policies for professional development as it relates to coordinating literacy programs, serving as a clearinghouse for information to literacy programs and instructors, and providing technical support to literacy instructors, volunteers, and programs.
- Seeking means to elevate the status of literacy instructors in every practical way.
- Conducting research on issues relating to evidence-based literacy instruction as directed by recommendation or need.
Please refer questions about the Professional Development Leadership Committee to Jayne Smith, education program consultant, Iowa Department of Education.
Upcoming Professional Development Opportunity — WIOA Conference
Please join us at the WIOA Partners’ Conference at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa on June 27-28, 2016. The program committee has put together a meeting filled with informative sessions covering three focus areas: Partnership, Innovative Design, and Customer Service.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) brings together several state core partner agencies at one conference, including Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Iowa Department for the Blind. In addition, several other partners have joined together to host Iowa’s first WIOA Partners’ Conference.
Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS)
As a resource-gathering and professional development dissemination system, LINCS provides adult education practitioners with numerous ways to engage in personal and collaborative professional development activities. All LINCS materials and activities are created using evidence-based research and aim to help practitioners design and deliver high-quality educational opportunities to adult learners.
Adult education practitioners can participate in the following LINCS professional development activities:
- Reading, listening to, viewing, and implementing the strategies and materials found within the multimedia resources of the LINCS Resource Collection. This collection provides free online access to high-quality, evidence-based, vetted materials to help adult education practitioners and state and local staff improve programs, services, instruction and teacher quality. Spanning 15 topic areas, the collection provides relevant instructional resources and professional development materials as well as research articles, policy briefs, reports, multimedia resources, and more.
- Working with their state staff to take advantage of the face-to-face and online professional development opportunities provided by the Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs).
- Participating in one of LINCS’ online courses or trainings in a topic area of interest.
- Joining and contributing to the LINCS Community, an interactive online social learning space (a community of practice) for conversation, networking, and professional development. The LINCS Community works in tandem with the LINCS Resource Collection and Regional Professional Development Centers to improve evidence-based practice in adult education. The community, supported by leaders in the field, facilitates increased knowledge-sharing and collaboration among adult education leadership, professional developers, administrative staff, and practitioners across the country.
One Door Many Paths — a WIOA partners’ conference
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) brings together several state core partner agencies at one conference, including Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Iowa Department for the Blind. In addition, several other partners have joined together to host Iowa’s first WIOA partners’ conference.
The conference theme is One Door Many Paths. The program committee has put together a meeting filled with informative sessions covering three focus areas: Partnership, Innovative Design, and Customer Service.
This exciting event will be held June 27-28 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa. The conference will be a unique opportunity for you to connect with employers, Workforce and Veterans’ advisors, Vocational Rehabilitation services, Adult Education and Literacy specialists, and other state and private providers who are together working to educate Iowans and prepare them for employment.
We look forward to having you join us for this important event.
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Prairie Meadows Hotel for $55 a night. To reserve your rooms for the conference, call 515-957-3000 and mention the WIOA Conference. The conference registration link: https://www.educateiowa.gov/event/wioa-conference.
Coordinator Highlight: Meet Gisella Aitken-Shadle
Gisella M. Aitken-Shadle
District adult education and literacy development director
Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC)
How long have you been a coordinator/instructor for adult education?
I have been a coordinator since June 2015, and previously I was working as an instructor since 2009.
Tell us one thing you enjoy about your job/position.
I enjoy providing students with the opportunity to get a new start in life and be successful. I enjoy seeing them use the skills they learn in Adult Education as a stepping stone to higher education or a new career pathway.
Tell us about yourself – family, pets, spare time/hobbies.
I am the oldest of three siblings, born in Lima, Peru, but raised in South Florida since I was nine. I have been married to my husband Matt for almost eight years now. I have two Pomeranian dogs: Rocky and Minnie. In my spare time I love to travel, read a good book, go to the movies, or enjoy a good classical music concert.
Do you speak any languages other than English?
Yes, I speak Spanish and French fluently. I also have a proficiency level in Italian.
What is your favorite quote?
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. — Mother Theresa
What are five words that best describe you?
The five words that describe me are hardworking, dedicated, motivated, compassionate, and fearless.
Every adult has a right to literacy. Join the fight for a more literate society. Watch video here.
Your Future Starts Here Iowa wants to help people share their stories. As an adult, it can be a daunting task to earn your HSED, start an ESL program, further your education or begin your career, but now, more than ever, is the time to start. Share your story and encourage someone to forge their path today! To submit a success story, please click here and fill out the form. If you have any questions, send an email to email@example.com.
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