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The Resource Library is a compendium of tools and resources selected specifically for the Accelerating Opportunity initiative. You can navigate the Resource Library by topic, or by key word (or tag).

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integrated instruction

Minnesota FastTRAC (Training, Resources, and Credentialing) seeks to make Minnesota more competitive by meeting the common skills needs of businesses and individuals.

FastTRAC’s innovative approach helps educationally underprepared adults succeed in well-paying careers by integrating basic skills education and career-specific training in fields where new skills are in high demand. By focusing on high-demand fields, FastTRAC meets the needs of business while ensuring that students find well-paying jobs with room for advancement.

2012
Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative

This letter highlights the joint commitment of the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor to promote the use of career pathways approaches as a promising strategy to help adults acquire marketable skills and industry-recognized credentials through better alignment of education, training and employment, and human and social services among public agencies and with employers. The Departments encourage states to align state resources to support integrated service delivery across Federal and state funding streams and to ensure that interested partners and agencies – whether focused on education, workforce development or human and social services – are aware of this joint commitment for improved collaboration and coordination across programs and funding sources.

2012
U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor

Accelerating Opportunity online professional development opportunities include self-paced tutorials and courses facilitated by experienced specialists that are aimed at strengthening the skills needed to build an integrated basic skills career pathways model. The National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc. created these courses in collaboration with Jobs for the Future, Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and Minnesota FastTRAC. For additional tools and resources, please visit Accelerating Opportunity's Virtual Academy.

Visit the website for information, including course descriptions, schedules, fees, and how to register. Please read the Online Course Policies for facilitated courses and the Minimum Technical Requirements information.

Courses Available:

  • Team Teaching - Models and Practice
  • Team Teaching an Integrated Curriculum to Accelerate Learning
  • Finding True North - Role of the Navigator 
  • Navigating Pathways to Opportunity 
  • Promoting Engagement - Role of the Administrator
  • Building Accelerating Opportunities Pathways

 

2012
The National College Transition Network at World Education, Jobs for the Future, Washington State Board of Comunity and Technical Colleges, and Minnesota FastTRAC
The National College Transition Network at World Education

This Brief, based on a longer review that considers the hypothesis that low-skilled students can learn more effectively and advance to college-level programs more readily through contextualization of basic skills instruction, presents two forms of contextualization that have been studied: “contextualized” and “integrated” instruction. There is more descriptive work on the contextualization of basic skills than studies with student outcome data. In addition, many studies with quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of contextualization have methodological flaws that limit conclusions. Further, only a small number of studies are with college students. However, despite these problems, contextualization seems to be a promising direction for accelerating the progress of academically underprepared college students. The method of contextualization is grounded in a conceptual framework relating to the transfer of skill and student motivation; practitioners who use it observe positive results, and the available quantitative evidence indicates that it has the potential to increase achievement.

2011
Dolores Perin
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Integration of academic and vocational curricula is missing from most American classrooms because integration that is rigorous, authentic, and sustained is much more difficult than most advocates imagine. The difficulty arises because teachers must do the following: keep integration sharply focused on clear, well-defined educational objectives; find legitimate applications that really excite students; and be able to meet the demands of time, expertise, and resources that are beyond the reach of most teachers. Academic and vocational curriculum should be integrated to increase student achievement, especially for those students who have not fared well in the traditional curriculum, and to benefit all students. Whatever form integration takes, it should begin by clearly specifying the educational goals: clearly targeted, well-defined educational objectives; use of academic and industry skill standards to direct integrated learning; and teachers who remain focused on primary learning objectives, so that any decisions to temporarily diverge from these aims are made consciously, explicitly, and with a better understanding of the costs of the benefits. Requiring increasing degrees of planning, coordination, and commitment, the four different forms of integration for teachers to consider are as follows: course-level integration, cross-curriculum integration, programmatic integration through career clusters and industry majors, and schoolwide integration, such as academies and other models.

2001
Gary Hoachlander
National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, Berkeley

The application for I‑BEST program approval and other materials used by Washington’s colleges are available on the State Board for Community and Technical College web site.

Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges

This website, developed by Highline Community College for fellow I-BEST instructors and program designers, features a number of resources on program development, team teaching, curriculum design, and support services.

Highline Community College
Highline Community College