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This five-hour, self-paced course will explore data-driven research on distance learner (DL) persistence and the support that student pathways can provide. Administrators and practitioners will learn how research-based screening tools, developed by the UMass Center of Social Policy, can help practitioners maximize learner persistence by directing students to appropriate services and supports along their path. 


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ABE and ESOL DL coaches, DL instructors, and CALC program directors who have been in their role for 6-12 months

In this course, we will examine the importance of persistence and grit in student retention and four critical aspects of program operation that most directly impact student retention. We will also review the NELRC Drivers of Persistence. Participants will complete a program self-assessment and then learn about screen tools developed by the UMass Center for Social Policy designed to support learners in an on-line learning environment. 

Throughout this course, you will be asked to complete reflective activities, view videos, read articles, and more. Each activity, video, and article has been carefully chosen to support and enhance your learning experience.

We estimate five PD hours to complete the online course. 

If you have questions about this course, please contact Eunice Snay

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Define persistence and grit as it relates to adult learners within your program
  • Identify and create a 3-month timeline for implementing 3 strategies identified in the NCSALL, NELRC, and/or Making It Work studies on persistence designed to improve persistence in your program
  • After reviewing the 9 strategies for increasing persistence in the Handbook of Support for Instructors and Administrators of Online GED/ESOL Programs, reflect on either the 4 strategies outlined for DL coaches/directors or the 5 strategies outlined for instructors-depending on your role
04/11/2018 - 8:00am
End Date: 
04/25/2018 - 11:00pm
Online course
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Distance Learning
Education and Career Planning
ESOL/English Language Learner
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