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Date: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2021

Connections 101 Program earns national innovation recognition

The first-ever Connections 101 Class started in 2019. The program has been named an innovative practice in adult education by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The Great Falls Career and College Readiness Center's Connections 101 Program was one of five practices recognized nationally as an innovative practice in adult education by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project.

The Connections 101 program, which represents a partnership between Great Falls Public Schools, the Department of Labor and Industry and Great Falls College MSU, was honored for enabling adult learners to obtain the academic and occupational skills needed to succeed in college or advance their careers.

"We are so honored to be one of five programs in the nation to receive this recognition," said Tammie Hickey, director of the Career and College Readiness Center. "It represents a lot of hard work by our staff and partners, but more than anything it is the result of the extraordinary efforts of our students."

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project is led by Manhattan Strategy Group and Abt Associates and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. It seeks to identify adult education programs that are advancing the field of adult education with their efforts to help learners develop knowledge and skills, gain secondary credentials, and transition to further education and employment.

"Today, we are recognizing five adult education programs that built partnerships between academic institutions and workforce partners to improve advancement of adult learners," said Cheryl Keenan, director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S. Department of Education. "These innovations underscore how partnerships can support adult learners as they build skills and earn the credentials they need to progress along a pathway to better jobs and better wages. The practices highlighted here can serve to inspire other programs to innovate."

Innovations in adult education remain critical to helping adult learners build skills and make connections that will help them achieve personal and economic well-being as the country recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

"Connections 101 gives people an opportunity to prepare to be successful in college or in a work-based job opportunity," said Dr. Leanne Frost, executive director of instruction at Great Falls College. "Part of the magic of the program is the intense career exploration piece and its holistic approach."

Connections 101 is a 14-week program that provides instruction to adult learners to develop their employability skills and increase their academic knowledge to transition successfully to higher education, an apprenticeship program, short-term training, and/or immediate job placement. This no-cost program offers a comprehensive support team with a shared vision to expand and scale pathway opportunities and help individuals identify a purpose, plan and path.

Successful completion of the Connections program can provide learners with networks to industry for job training and placement. If learners continue to higher education at Great Falls College MSU, they can receive up to six college credits under the college's prior learning assessment policy and reduction in tuition and fees upon college admission.

To learn more about Connections 101 visit www.ccrcgfps.weebly.com

National Announcement: http://bit.ly/announcebridgeIET

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About the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project is a five-year effort to identify and highlight innovative practices in adult education that lead to improved outcomes. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), and is executed by Manhattan Strategy Group and Abt Associates.

For more information about the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education project, visit https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/advancing-innovation


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Record Number: 730


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