January 27, 2009
For immediate release
The CAHSEE Stepping into Your Future Project – a statewide initiative that developed and delivered two highly engaging hybrid courses that prepare students across the state for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) – has won the 2008 Technology Focus Award presented by the California Community Colleges System Office and the Foundation for the California Community Colleges. A crucial part of the Stepping into Your Future Project team works at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, including Executive Director Elizabeth Yeager and project team members Judith Green, Carol Dixon, Terry Inglese, Sarah Hough, Roseanne Macias, Clara Vaz, Christopher Bolaza, and Vivian Rhone. A Technology Focus Award recognizes excellence that evolved out of a comprehensive planning process closely linked to the institutions’ mission and vision for the future. The award commends strategic and integrated uses of technology that empower faculty and/or students through sources within reach of campus constituents, and often the wider community.
This award primarily recognizes the partnership, with emphasis on the Technology Center’s role in building new business software that modified and enhanced the capability of the Moodle platform supporting the CAHSEE Stepping program. It facilitates access for students and instructors and facilitates navigation through the enrollment process. This was a critical innovation for student access, particularly for students who do not have high degrees of computer literacy or experience with online courses.
This innovation reflected the project’s interactive/reflexive/responsive process in which project team members, including the UCSB evaluation team documenting on site and online experiences, identified problems and the Tech Center designed and built solutions that have benefited the students served by the project, as well as their instructors.
The Stepping into Your Future program provides free assistance to students retaking their exit exams so that they may earn their high school diplomas. This research-based preparatory program curriculum has been developed specifically for young adults with emphasis on high-interest, career, and workforce topics. Technological resources enable students to access high quality instruction and materials from sites conveniently located in their neighborhood, from their adult school site, or via computer and Internet from their own homes and at times convenient to them.
The program currently works with community college, adult school, and K-12 District partners across the state to recruit students from the high school classes of 2006 and 2007 for the initial offerings of the Stepping into Your Future course. Faculty and researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School are providing overall content development oversight for the statewide collaborative project, funded through Butte and Lake Tahoe Community Colleges by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The statewide partnership developing Stepping into Your Future also includes content and technology partners from other community colleges, California State Universities, UC, and K-12 Districts.
[Beth Yeager is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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