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May 2016 Newsletter

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Thursday, May 19, 2016


My Learning Plan

My Learning Plan is a powerful system used by more than 1,200 school districts, regional providers, departments of education, and other educational organizations throughout the country and around the world ranging in size from less than 25 FTE to more than 50,000 users. My Learning Plan is a robust, yet user-friendly, professional development management system.

The purpose of My Learning Plan is to assist local AEL programs with the management and support of the professional development needs of their staff while ensuring they are in compliance with the state's administrative professional development rules. Education Program Consultants Jayne Smith and Marcela Hermosillo have been configuring the system to meet the demands of AEL programs in our state. Thus far, both consultants have provided on-site training to nearly 90 staff members on My Learning Plan. The programs trained on this potent system include Indian Hills, Southeastern Community College, Western Iowa Community College, Iowa Western Community College, North Iowa Community College and Southwestern Community College. The remaining colleges will be trained this spring and summer.

The statewide implementation of My Learning Plan consisted of hands-on trainings, which resulted in positive survey results. My Learning Plan will allow educators to take ownership of their professional development growth. Using My Learning Plan, educators can track their own professional development hours, register for professional development opportunities electronically, submit their annual individual professional development plan, complete a self-assessment, connect with other AEL instructors across the state, maintain a professional development portfolio, and request professional development opportunities to both their local AEL programs and Departments. AEL Administrators will be able to track professional development hours by running reports as well as identify professional development needs by reviewing classroom observations results and personal professional development plans.

Education Program Consultants Marcela and Jayne are currently developing video tutorials and training guides for both AEL administrators and educators who continue to use My Learning Plan.

Educator from Southwestern
“I am most excited to have the ability to track my professional development hours and complete self-assessments.”

Educator from NIACC
“I look forward to having records kept on a database and seeing what I have done and what options I have for professional development.”

AEL Administrator
“This will be helpful in organizing and tracking professional development for our staff.”

Conference Session Highlights

Standards-Based Instruction for Adult English Learners
Presented by DeAnna Coon, Center of Applied of Linguistics (CAL) 

It is no longer enough for instructors working with adult English language learners to just "teach English." Instructors need to prepare their learners to be successful in their careers and in further study and to meet the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards. What does it take to be standards ready? This presentation looks at the speaking and listening strands, language standards, and reading and writing strands. It provides evidence-based strategies and classroom activities to use with adults — at all levels of proficiency — who are learning English.

Adult Education Programs' Impact on the Lives of Immigrants
Presented by Charles Pratt, United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS)

Immigrants come to the U.S. seeking a better life but face obstacles of many types. Adult basic education can be a first step to help immigrants overcome obstacles to success and happiness. ABE can be a cornerstone for them to prepare for and then demonstrate eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Citizenship offers benefits that will help immigrants realize the success they seek. Some of these benefits extend to family members, who might obtain even more benefits than the original person seeking citizenship. Learn more about how ABE can have farther-reaching results than you might imagine.

Iowa Culture and Language Conference

November 14-16, 2016

The Iowa Culture and Language Conference is currently accepting session proposals! Conference strands: administrative; adult education; assessment; commercial; culture; dual language; early learning, K-12, elementary, or secondary; refugees and immigrants; research; and paraprofessionals.

The deadline to submit proposals is June 10, 2016.

 You can submit your proposals here!

Inspire Success with Graduation Success Stories

The Your Future Starts Here campaign will share the graduation success stories of Iowans who passed the HiSET and earned their high school equivalency diplomas (HSED).

The process of earning an HSED can seem like a daunting task to those considering it. By sharing your story, you can encourage others to start the process so they can further their education or advance their careers.

Share your story with us this May and help others to forge their path!

A $50 gift card will be given away to one entry of the Graduation Success Stories. The drawing will be random and chosen from among all entries.

Share your story and encourage someone to forge their path today. Complete the entry form, include an image or video of the student, and return to Kelsi Lindemann at between May 2 and May 31, 2016.

Rosa's Story

Rosa Azucena Elivar is a prime example of persistence. She came to Iowa 20 years ago from Mexico but only had a sixth grade education. Rosa initially began the program to prove to herself that she could do it and to be a good example to her children. As her children grew older, Rosa realized how little she could help them with their homework and saw the need to further her education: “I wanted to show them — if I can do it, you can do it, too!” She began in North Iowa Area Community College’s AEL program as a pre-HSED student, finally earning her HiSET™ diploma in January 2016. She also experienced the transition from GED® to HiSET like a number of other students. Rosa attended the HiSET™ preparation class in Hampton, Iowa. Her instructor, Deb Noelting, said, “Rosa was always upbeat and ready to learn all she could. She would ask for what she could study at home. Even when nervous about taking tests she would have a positive attitude and do her best. I am very proud of Rosa and her hard work.” Rosa also spoke highly of both instructors who helped her reach her goal. Regarding Deb Noelting, who has worked with Rosa from the beginning, Rosa had this to say: “If I don’t understand something, she always tries to explain in other ways. I am so grateful for her help.”

Coordinator Spotlight:
Meet Elizabeth J. Campbell

Elizabeth J. Campbell
Southeastern Community College
Director of Adult Education

How long have you been a coordinator for adult education?
I have been a part of adult education for the last six years. I started in 2010 as a part-time ESL instructor. During my years with AEL I worked as an AEL pathway navigator, lead ESL instructor, and for the last two years as the director of the program.

Tell us one thing you enjoy about your position.
I enjoyed the challenges of working with a program that is evolving. These challenges provided personal and professional growth.

Tell us about yourself — family, pets, spare time/hobbies.
I was born in Boise, Idaho, and have lived in Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, and Iowa. I received my bachelor's in communication with an emphasis in English from William Penn University. I have been married to my husband, Jayson, for 15 years. I am mom to three energetic boys, Hayden, 13, Nile, 10, and Carson, 8. We also have a loyal dog, Brady, and lovable cat, Groot. I love spending time with my family. We enjoy hiking in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho; watching movies; riding bikes; and swimming. When I can steal a moment to myself, you'll find me snuggling with my cat while reading a good book.

What five words best describe you?
Energetic, dedicated, loyal, inclusive, and leader.

One of my favorite quotes:
"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change." — Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

What is your best piece of advice?
Life throws us a lot of curve balls. It's a roller coaster ride. Sometimes the ups and downs cause us to question who we are and our self-worth. We may wish to be someone else, look like someone else, feel like someone else. Years ago when I found myself in one of these down moments, I thought to myself, "I can only be me, but I will be the best me I can be." I share this advice with my friends and family. Be the best you; don't wish to be anyone else but your best self.

What will you miss most about working at SCC and the AEL program?
June 15th is my last day working at SCC. My family and I will be relocating to Altoona, Iowa, for my husband's new position as activity director at SE Polk. Thinking about the moment when I will close my door for the last time and say goodbye to those I have worked with for many years brings tears to my eyes. I accepted the position as ESL instructor during a pivotal time in my life. The staff at the center were my supports and cheerleaders as I navigated a challenging time. Learning how to teach ESL students was humbling; it helped me build confidence in myself and strengthened my dedication to helping others. SCC saw potential and provided multiple opportunities for me to assist students in navigating their educational goals and career pathways, participate in trainings to develop teaching and leadership skills, coordinate AEL in the correctional and community sites, and lead the SCC AEL program. Each opportunity brought new people into work circle as I collaborated with community, regional, and state agencies. I guess this is a long-winded way to say that what I will miss most about this position and adult education are the students, instructors, data specialists, SCC staff, coordinators, consultants, and community members that have impacted me along this path.


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