Metro North ABE Links Newsletter Spring 2022 | Page 2

Getting focused and getting over the finish line

At Metro North ABE , our mission is to teach the skills needed to succeed as responsible citizens in our changing world . This means our classes cover a wide range of important topics that learners need to know to be responsible citizens . But sometimes , our learners are better served by focusing on one thing at a time . Many adults are looking to pass the General Educational Development test ( GED ) to receive a high school equivalency , and they may be just one test away from graduating .
In order to complete the GED , learners must complete four separate tests : English Language Arts , Social Studies , Science , and Math . A learner can choose which test to take first , and we recommend ‌they work on one at a time until they complete all four . Each test can take up to an hour and a half and cover a wide range of skills to demonstrate adults have a high school equivalency of knowledge .
With the experience Metro North ABE gained while moving online , we have created a special cohort of classes to help learners cross the finish line . In the fall of 2021 , we created a consortium-wide GED class for each subject . Learners work with one literacy assistant for all four subjects , helping them decide which class to register for , marking their progress , helping register for the GED test , and helping them move from one class to the next . Teachers who are skilled in a specific subject lead online classes for any learner in our consortium , regardless of which school is closest to them . Our teachers , Donna Escobedo ( math ), Susan Clark ( science ), Jessie Smelter ( reading / language arts ), and David Tackett ( social studies ), teach at the same times in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays , so learners don ’ t have to change their schedules when transitioning from one subject to the next .
For this pilot , we enrolled learners that had already taken classes with us . As we continue to expand the program , we look forward to having learners that are new to Metro North ABE enroll . These consortium level classes could be a way to draw learners who only need to brush up on one subject to complete their GED .
In the first year , 38 learners participated . “ It ’ s not for every learner ,” said Donna Escobedo . “ It is definitely a fast-track . But being online and focused on one subject appeals to a lot of learners , especially to those who are close to being done !”
Ines needed online classes that fit her schedule . She started at Metro North ABE in 2016 , but due to scheduling conflicts , she couldn ’ t continue . Once Metro North ABE moved all classes online during the pandemic , Becky Hopper , a literary assistant at Blaine , reached out to Ines and told her about the new online classes . Ines jumped at the chance to return to classes and made getting her GED a priority . The online option fit her schedule and allowed her to make progress quicker .
“ I was searching around . No place offered online only ,” said Ines . “ I like to learn , but going to a class isn ’ t possible for me right now . I didn ’ t have the opportunity when I was young . I only went to the 6th grade . I always wanted to get my GED .”
Ines took her last class to prepare for her GED in Donna ’ s math class . She continues to attend even after completing her GED . “ I really like math , especially with my children and helping with their homework . I would like to take some college classes , so I ’ m working on my college entrance test now .”
Learners in the consortium-wide classes , and others , have shared that the focused online classes are very popular . “ I think it has been good for our family ,” Ines said . “ My husband registered for online classes , and we graduated at the same time . My mother likes to learn English so she is taking classes online too . I started four people with online classes . Even my youngest son sat next to me when the police officer joined our class to talk about public safety in the New Americans Academy . My whole family loves to learn !”

“ Being online and focused on one subject appeals to a lot of learners .”

What is a consortium ?

Adult Basic Education ( ABE ) consortia are a state-wide system to group organizations serving adults who are working towards a high school credential , learning English , improving basic skills such as literacy and math , and / or preparing for post-secondary education or employment . There are 39 consortia that use Minnesota school districts boundaries to receive funds for ABE . The consortia are made up of school districts , as well as , other partners , including the correctional system , libraries , and community-based organizations .