Helping Learners Transition to Next Steps
As we explained in the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) section of the service delivery module, the OALCF is transition-oriented. In other words, Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) services should enable learners to easily transition to the next steps in their goal, when they leave your program. The OALCF section also explained the three key elements of transition-oriented programming:
- goal-directed learning
- contextualized learning (task-based)
- coordinated supports and services for the learner
The information provided in the following detailed Goal Path Descriptions connects LBS Program service provision with the learner’s goal.
- Apprenticeship (October 2011)
- Employment (October 2011)
- Postsecondary Education (October 2011)
- Secondary School Credit (October 2011)
- Independence (October 2011)
Each Goal Path Description document provides a snapshot of the goal for which the LBS Program prepares learners, which helps us provide both goal-directed and contextualized services. The Goal Path Descriptions also provide information about other supports that might be necessary for learners’ successful transitions to their goal. LBS Service Providers are expected to coordinate their services with others. Coordinating services and making referrals happens during all five LBS services, including the Follow-Up service. Timely supports help ease learner transitions.
At exit, the practitioner and learner should plan activities to prepare for transition, such as
- making a list of documentation needed for transition to particular goals
- setting aside time to identify what the learner’s first steps will be on exit
It is important for the learner to have direction and a plan in place for exactly what will happen immediately after exit. This will help learners maintain momentum and get them to the right place. To assist in this regard, you should help identify issues and make referrals to the appropriate agencies. You might help the learner make an appointment with the person they should see next to discuss their options. Depending on their goal, this could be a guidance counsellor, an Employment Ontario services agent, a potential employer, a volunteer coordinator, or a current job supervisor. Any possible obstacles to attending that meeting – such as not having transportation or directions, difficulty remembering the appointment time or inability to arrange necessary child care – should be anticipated now so that solutions can be identified.
While it doesn’t have to be part of the transition strategy, programs may want to plan some sort of formal recognition of the learner’s success. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – a short social event at the end of class with a formal announcement of the learner’s achievement can be very meaningful.
A formal exit interview is a key element of the transition strategy. It provides an opportunity for a final confirmation of transition-readiness, as well as a review of the learner’s immediate plans after exit. The interview provides an opportunity to finish documentation on the Learner Plan, including all learner outcomes at exit. The learner is given the chance to evaluate the effectiveness of the training activities, and is asked to provide specific feedback on the LBS Program Exit and Follow-Up Form. This data will indicate if learners learned what they came to learn and if they are leaving the program ready to transition successfully to their goal – whether it is employment, secondary school credit, postsecondary, apprenticeship, or independence.
A vital final message to share at the exit interview is that the LBS provider will continue to be interested in the progress the learner is making and will, in fact, contact the learner after 3, 6 and 12 months to see how the learner is getting along. This message assures the learner that they are not being set adrift by letting them know there is access to further support, if needed. Ensure that the learner’s contact information is current and ask about the most convenient ways and times to collect the Follow-Up data.
Questions and Activities for Reflection
- What steps do you take or does your program take to make learner transitions smoother and more effective?
- Read the Goal Path Description that applies to one or more of the learners you work with. Discuss the contents and their future transition with the learner(s). Help the learner(s) make a plan to investigate the steps to their goal and prepare for their transition.