PluggedInVA is a rigorous and intensive program that demands motivation and dedication. Successful students will possess a certain skill level and a willingness to work hard during the six-month program. For this reason, a thorough intake process is essential in ensuring that the students who are chosen to participate are ready to do so. Using a test of basic skills, like GAIN or TABE, students should test at the ninth grade level in reading and math. Additionally, a career interest or aptitude test is recommended to help students get an idea of where their strengths lie. An interview should also be held to determine a student's interest and to determine their capacity to complete the program. If they have personal barriers, like childcare or transportation or an ailing family member, and the program is unable to assist him or her, suggesting a less demanding program is recommended. Some programs also use letters of recommendation from the community or from students' places of work, and the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) has been used to determine a student's readiness to complete post-secondary work.
Yes. As long as students test at a level that we can serve in adult education programs (below a 12.9), we can serve them in PluggedInVA.
Non-credit coursework may be used if employers have expressed that they will recognize and honor the class hours and credentials achieved through the non-credit program. The most important thing to remember in choosing post-secondary coursework is to make sure that everything the students do is documented and transferable to other institutions and locations.
The quick answer to this question is never. One of the primary academic goals of PluggedInVA programs is to prepare students for success in higher education, should they chose to pursue it. We need to ensure that our students will not be required to take remedial development education courses at community colleges. These courses cost money and do not count toward any degrees. One of the adult education program's responsibilities in PluggedInVA is to strengthen students' basic skills, and PluggedInVA models should never include development education courses at the post-secondary institution.
An essential element of the PluggedInVA model is the integration of academic basic skills (GED test preparation), workplace readiness, soft skills instruction, digital literacy, 21st century skills development (critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration), and industry-specific knowledge and skills. There are severeal strategies in the PIVA model to ensure that students learn all of these elements together and not in isolation. First, consistent communication between the adult education instructors and the post-secondary instructors is key to making sure that what students are learning in all of their classes connects in meaningful and evident ways. Regular meetings, online collaboration tools, and co-teaching can all help this effort. Having the adult education teachers present in the post-secondary classes is another way to ensure that instruction is tied together. Also, the Capstone project, which may take up the final three months of the program, by design integrates all of the knowledge and skills that learners acquire in PIVA.