NCTN National College Transition Network
spacer contactHome
spacerAbout Usmembership Usservices Uspromisingpractices Uspublications Usconferences Usresources Us

Promising Practices

These Promising Practices have been developed by teachers, counselors, program coordinators, and others serving ABE students making the transition to postsecondary education.


New Roots to Employment: Hybrid Career Readiness Program for English Language Learners with College Degrees
Diana Satin, Distance Learning Coordinator, Asian-American Civic Association, Boston MA.

New Roots to Employment is an innovative ESOL program that blends distance learning, classroom work, and job search activities designed to meet the educational and employment needs of immigrants' with college degrees and professional backgrounds from their native countries and help them reclaim their careers. New Roots takes full advantage of currently available free or low-cost technology tools to supplement in-class instruction.

LineCreating Videos to Tell the Story

Nancy Crawford, Executive Director, Literacy Council of Tyler, Tyler TX.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, you may find that creating a video is just what you need to get the word out about your program, highlight your successful students, and capture the impact your program has on your students and your community. There are several adult education programs and regional and national initiatives that use videos for storytelling in a teaching, learning, and promotional context. This Promising Practice profiles a Texas adult basic literacy program and is a collaboration between Nancy Crawford, Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Tyler, and Cynthia Zafft, and Ben Bruno, at the National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc.

LineIntegrating Core College and Career Readiness Skills

Carol Grady, Vice President of Partnerships for Careers and Learning, JVS, Boston, MA.

In order to provide more consistency in the educational services that are delivered across all the departments, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) planned a series of staff workshops lead by department managers and identified a set of Core Skills that all education and training departments must address, instructors and coaches alike, appropriate to the skill level of their particular students or clients. These were defined as the common skills sets that all adult learners need regardless of which JVS program they’re enrolled in and at what level they enter. The Core Skills are the foundational skills that support the students immediate and long-term goals.

LineGED Bridge to College Careers Program

Wynne Ferdinand, Bridge Coordinator, Pre-College Academic Programming (PCAP), LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City, NY.

At LaGuardia Community College, the Bridge to College Careers Program is an intensive 14-week program that serves adults, ages 19 and older, and integrates GED preparation with rigorous college-level material using a career-focused curriculum.  Contextualized coursework investigates themes in health care or business, and the world of work, and is designed as a springboard to either college or vocational training.

LineBackpacks to Briefcases College Transition Program

Patricia Phillips, Associate Dean for Basic Skills, Davidson County Community College, Lexington, NC.

At Davidson County Community College, through a highly structured contextualized curriculum, young adult students' motivation and self-efficacy are increased.  Designed for students who are within 6 - 8 months of graduating with a GED or adult high school diploma, this program accelerates their college and career readiness.

LineUsing Syllabi in Transition Classes to Build College Knowledge

Mina Reddy, Director, and Kate Hallen, Instructor, Community Learning Center, Cambridge, MA.

Many Bridge Program students at the Community Learning Center in Cambridge, MA. are empowered by knowing they can look ahead, check current assignments and refresh their memories regarding class discussions, just by looking at the syllabus. In addition to serving as an organizing tool, the syllabus functions as an important way to introduce students to the college culture.

LineMath Curriculum Alignment

Linda Guzzo, Dean of Continuing Education, Capital Community College, Hartford, CT.

Based in Hartford and New Haven, CT, the Urban Corridor Project sponsored the development of a new curriculum designed to help adult students bridge the gap between the math skills they learn in adult education and those needed to succeed in college-level math courses.

LineCollege for a Day

Janet Fischer, former Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, SABES, Northern Essex Community College, Lawrence, MA, & Mary Harris, Executive Director, Adult Education Program, Austin Community College, Austin, TX.

A simulated day at college, featuring sample classes and panel discussions on campus, is one way to help ABE/ESOL students to make the transition to postsecondary education.


Don Sands, Executive Director, X-Cel Inc. Adult Education, Jamaica Plain, MA.

While participating in a transition program makes a lot of sense for adults going to college, it is not always an easy sell. X-Cel Inc. was able to leverage an existing relationship with a community job-training partner in order to increase the number of students recruited into its college transition program.

LineWrap-Around Services

Janie Mendoza, Career Guidance Specialist, Capital Idea, Austin, TX.

Capital Idea’s College Prep Academy provides comprehensive support services to its students, including a weekly meeting with an assigned career counselor.

LineCreating an Alumni Newsletter for Transition-to-College Programs

Pat Fina, Instructor, Community Learning Center, Cambridge, MA.

Staying connected with the alumni of a transition-to-college program has benefits for both the students and the program. Fina outlines steps for creating an alumni newsletter.

LineBuilding Relationships with Elected Officials through Program Visits

Dr. Brenda Dann Messier, former President, Dorcas Place Adult and Family Literacy Center, Providence, RI.

Inviting elected officials for a visit can be part of a strategy to advocate for a particular program and for adult education in general.

LineCareer Planning for SUCCESS

Joan Keiran, Coordinator, Cape Cod Community College/SUCCESS College Transition Program, Hyannis, MA.

At SUCCESS, the career-planning component is integrated into the college transition program. For their final project, students produce PowerPoint presentations describing their career-planning processes.

LineTTC Monthly Mentor Evenings

Gylean Trabucchi, Mentor Coordinator at Project RIRAL in Rhode Island.

Project RIRAL connects students with potential mentors at a series of four monthly “Mentor Evenings.” The meetings also cover academic skills and introduce students to resources available at the local community college.

LinePreparing Students for College-level Math

Pam Meader, President of the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN) and Math Teacher at Portland Adult Education in Portland, ME.

Meader shares several of the activities she uses in her algebra courses, including peer interviews, goal-setting, journaling, labs, and even a murder mystery.

LineMemorandum of Understanding

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, former President, Dorcas Place Adult & Family Learning Center, Providence, RI.

Dr. Dann-Messier explains how she used a Memorandum of Understanding to institutionalize the collaborative relationship with her program’s college partner.

LineTransition Student Portfolio Model

Patricia Fina, Instructor, Community Learning Center (CLC), Cambridge, MA.

Recently, the CLC moved to an all-portfolio format for their Bridge Program. The new format includes checklists for portfolio contents on college preparedness, computer activities, and math and writing assignments.


Joan Keiran, Coordinator, Cape Cod Community College/SUCCESS College Transition Program, Hyannis, MA.

An orientation program can help promote a sense of community and trust in the classroom while addressing the emotional and psychological barriers that many adult students face.

bottom of text