The CAHSEE Stepping into Your Future Project – a statewide initiative that developed and delivered two highly engaging hybrid courses that have improved student retention and pass rates for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) – has received the 2009 Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET) Outstanding Work (WOW) Award, a competition that recognizes innovative uses of educational technologies in higher education. A crucial part of that team works at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, including LINC Center Executive Director Elizabeth Yeager and project team members Judith Green, Carol Dixon, Sarah Hough, Terry Inglese, Roseanne Macias, Clara Bauler, Adam Truxler, Christopher Bolaza, and Vivian Rhone. Local GGSE alumnae, Anita Cruse and Margaret Prothero, faculty at Santa Barbara City College, also consulted on the program and were members of the project team.
“The WOW Award represents a way to recognize and celebrate the best and most promising practices within the WCET community,” says Janet Kendall, WCET Awards Committee chair and Director of Distance Degree Programs for Washington State University. “For the 2009 WOW Award, there was a wonderful group of nominations that made the committee’s job especially difficult. This year’s recipients reinforced the value of innovative solutions that improve access both to higher education and the teaching and learning process itself.”
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 Stepping into Your Future program is particularly designed to enhance students’ capacity in English Language Arts and mathematics – beyond test preparation.
The program currently works with community college, adult school, and K-12 District partners across the state and has served more than 2,600 students and teachers in 40 of California’s 58 counties. Faculty and researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School have provided 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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