Next Steps Academy

The Next Steps Academy provides support to students who are near completion of their adult high school diploma or GED and want to consider their next educational and career steps.  Next Steps Academy is offered as a credit elective course for students working towards a high school diploma, but diploma and GED graduates may also enroll.

The course introduces students to practical information they need to know about continuing their education.  For example, students take field trips to at least two colleges in order to feel more comfortable in a campus environment.

They also learn about college expenses and financial aid and complete a FAFSA. During the class students begin to develop an educational plan and register for college classes. The College Success Board Game [Word] is a fun, engaging way to teach and reinforce college knowledge and awareness.

Finally, students receive individualized academic support and instruction on study skills, note-taking, and reading strategies in addition to preparation for taking the college placement test on the campus of a partnering college (Evergreen Valley College).

At the core, the program design and curriculum is geared towards giving students tools for proactively taking responsibility for their own learning and their progress towards achieving their goals. In order for students to develop metacognitive skills and to take control of their own learning, it is important to give them a chance to evaluate and track their own progress throughout the class. In fact, realistic self-appraisal, the ability to assess one’s abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, has been identified as a predictor of academic persistence and success (Sedlacek, 2004).

The Self-Assessment Tool [Word] is used by Next Steps Academy to engage students in the process of educational self-awareness and reflection.

Emily Wilson, Instructor
Next Steps Academy at Independence Adult Center
San Jose, CA