The term-by-term planer is used in the Adult Basic Skills Development (ABSD) program at Umpqua Community College (UCC) with both Pre-GED and GED level. The practice was implemented to prepare students for the type of advising experience they could expect to encounter in college by modeling some of the advising practices and expectation of college.
In addition to modeling, the program also wanted to provide students with tools and understanding of a process of setting goals and tracking their progress throughout the term. The term-by-term planner is an advising tool that the transition specialist uses to help students think about next steps following the GED. Lastly, this planning process aligns well with the emphasis on advising students about the Oregon Pathways for Adult Basic Skills and other programs of study offered at UCC.
The transition specialist introduces the term-by-term planner at the mandatory student orientation where students also receive an overview of the program, discuss career pathways and goals, and complete assessment tests. Following the initial assessment, the transition specialist meets with each student to discuss the assessment results and begin to develop the term-by-term planner.
The transition specialist then meets with each student each term to review the planner and make changes as warranted. Students can track their GED test scores, their pre- and post-test scores, and can update goals as appropriate. The planner also allows them to sketch out what a certificate or degree program might look like, as well as how long it might take to complete. Students have this document when they’ve completed and can use it as a starting place to work on the term-by-term planner with their advisor at the community college, if appropriate.
The development of the practice was informed by research on both career pathways planning and goal setting theory. Throughout the planning process, the student receives ongoing feedback on progress towards their goals, and track milestones which can cultivate renewed commitment towards the goal.
In addition, goal setting nurtures self efficacy because when students are satisfied with progress towards goals, they feel capable of improving their skills and may set new and more challenging goals over time.
Download: GED Term-by-Term Planner [Word]
Career Pathways as a Systemic Framework: Rethinking Education for Student Success in College and Careers The League for Innovation in the Community College, 2007.
New Directions in Goal Setting Theory, Locke and Latham, 2006, (bit.ly/AAbirx).
Schunk, Dale H. “Goal Setting and Self-efficacy During Self-regulated Learning.” Educational Psychologist, Vol. 25, Issue 1, January 1990 (pp. 71-86) (also available online for a cost at: bit.ly/OLJkGq).
Ali Mageehon, Director of Adult Basic Skills
Umpqua Community College, Adult Basic Education