South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) has emerged as a state and national leader in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL). According to 2016-17 Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) performance data, SPSCC ranks number two of out 44 participating adult education programs in Washington State. Additionally, the college’s Transition Studies faculty have been invited to present at national conferences in 2017 and 2018.
SPSCC’s second place ranking from the BEdA Annual Performance Report is based on federal measurements such as skill gain, pass rates, attendance, and headcount. While state targets are to improve at least 2% each year, SPSCC has an average performance increase of 44% across all programs and has improved gains by as much as 122%.
Dawn Murphy, Associate Dean of Transition Studies, attributes much of the programs’ successes to dedicated and nationally recognized faculty members.
Heather Williams and Julie Williamson were selected to present their work in launching Guided Pathways through ESL instruction at the 2017 national conference of Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), the premier adult educator member organization in the United States.
Annamary Fitzgerald will be presenting at the 2018 national conference of COABE regarding High School 21+, SPSCC’s competency-based high school completion program.
Shanon Millman, Tribal Programs Director, presented on native high school completion (High School 21+) at the 2017 Native American Student Advocacy Institute.
Annamary Fitzgerald, Stephen Sadlier, and Joan Lasseter presented at the 2017 national ProLiteracy Conference to promote adult literacy through content development, programs, and advocacy.
“This level of involvement and presentation at national conferences is exceptional. This means that our entire team of full-time tenured faculty—and some of our adjuncts—are leaders nationally,” said Murphy.
In Dec. 2017, the college opened the Center for Transition Studies with four classrooms, two computer labs, conference and study rooms, and faculty offices. Located in the heart of the Olympia Campus, the center is dedicated to serving ABE and ESL students.
Since 2014, Transition Studies has helped nearly 750 adults complete their high school diploma and move toward college and career goals.