Whether out of necessity or curiosity, at some point in your tenure as teacher or volunteer tutor you will consider the quality of your adult education program. Does it have a policy for determining a qualified teaching staff, a student recruitment strategy, or even a curriculum? You might be surprised.
Outlined in the comprehensive monograph An Evidence-Based Adult Education Program Model Appropriate for Research* are four components and a series of indicators, which guide programs in developing and assessing their quality. Based on the monograph, the New York Indicators of Program Quality (IPQs) foundational document lists summaries of definitions, research, theory, and professional wisdom for each of the components essential for determining the quality of adult literacy education programs in New York State.
The components are Program Quality Support, Entering a Program, Participating in a Program, and Reengagement. Also included is an IPQ Self-Assessment document that helps programs to self-assess and self-rate. In brief:
- Program Quality Support is the organizational structure that supports students and teachers in their efforts to learn and teach, and includes the goals a program is attempting to achieve.
- Entrance into a Program includes recruitment, intake, and orientation processes, and how a program assesses the needs and goals of students and prepares them to be successful learners.
- Participation in a Program includes instruction or how a program helps students learn, and support services or how a program helps students participate, persist, and engage in learning long enough to reach their goals.
- Reengagement in learning includes the ways in which a program helps students continue learning after they stop participating in program services, continue participation when they are able, and begin postsecondary education or training after completion of program services.
To find out more about IPQs, ask your program administrators. For more information about adult education programs, visit the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education in Lower Manhattan or online (http://www.nyc.gov/html/adulted/html/programs/teachers.shtml).
* Comings, J. P., L. Soricone & M. Santos (2006). An evidence-based adult education program model appropriate for research. NCSALL Occasional Paper. National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education.