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Below is an interesting article recently published in the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) ABE Newsletter.  The article by Maria Burnham describes an innovation in the Grand Rapids ABE program that has produced higher outcomes and an increase in student hours.  Hats off to ABE teachers and programs that are looking for ways to increase learning for our clients!

Please read the article and send in  comments and feedback.   You can use the Form link below to enter your comments and submit to the office.

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Managed Enrollment

Maria Burnham, AEOA ABE Instructor

In our Grand Rapids classroom, we have seen some significant changes since the beginning of the year, and these changes have been good. With GED prep as one of our main teaching areas, we began discussing last fall how we could more effectively prepare these students. We had a lot of students coming in and working independently. Some of these students would complete all five areas of testing but not get in the 12 hours required to make them a participant. Other students were struggling to fully understand the material when they were working on their own. Still others would not continue to come in; therefore, they never completed twelve hours or their pretests.

As a group, we had decided that we wanted to try running a managed classroom. We looked at the five sections of the GED that we would be teaching and we each chose what we felt were our strongest areas. We designed our own lessons and went over them with each other. The lessons are all kept together and we are all familiar with all five so if someone is out, we are able to teach their section. We begin classes every other Monday and we run them for two weeks, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00am to noon.

Managed enrollment began January 26, 2004. We have run 5 groups since that time. Comparing numbers from the same time period last year, we have seen an increase in average points for the GED series from 2420 to 2461. We have also seen an increase in student hours, with averages up from 14.6 hours per student to 20 hours per student. We get to know each student on a more personal basis, and the students get to know each other. I am finding that there is a bond between the members, and that these students help to push each other to achieve their goals.

Managed enrollment in Grand Rapids is still in its very early stages and we are continuing to adjust and make changes that we feel will help it run more smoothly. I have a very positive feeling about it all. As we continue with it, I think we will benefit from a much more productive classroom where students are learning more and passing their GED with higher scores.

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