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The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) requires all new staff to complete the 15-hour Foundations for New Staff (FNS) course in the first 12 months of employment. The FNS has two components: Overview of the ABE Field and the Art of Teaching or the Art of Advising

Overview of the ABE Field is the first component and a 5-hour online course. Educators do not need to take this course if they already possess a certificate of completion from the FNS or its predecessor New Staff Orientation.

A new cohort for the online Overview of the Field course begins the first of every month.  This month’s course will run between January 1 and January 28, 2017. The registration period for each month’s course closes one week prior to the end of the previous month to allow for enrollment logistics.

Upon completing the Overview of the Field online course, teachers are required to take the 10-hour Art of Teaching course, and advisors are required to take the 10-hour Art of Advising course. 

Note: All staff must successfully complete the Overview of the ABE Field online course before attending the Art of Teaching or the Art of Advising. However, new practitioners are encouraged to register for these courses before completing the Overview of the ABE Field course.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Staff new to the MA ABE Field

This offering is an online, asynchronous (non-moderated) course, with an estimate completion time of 5 hours. The amount of time to take this course may vary. Also the course has some optional activities that are not included in the time estimate.

Throughout this course, you will be asked to:

- Do quick, 3-minute journaling sessions so you can process the information more deeply and relate it to your job. These journal entries are for you only–you do not submit them to anyone

- Read to learn basic information about the field

- Take tests and quizzes to review the knowledge covered and to document your completion of this course

Requirement for completion: To successfully complete the Overview of the ABE Field course, you must score at least an 80 percent on each quiz and an 80 percent on the post-test. You may retake quizzes as many times as you like prior to the course end date. However, you may only take the post-test twice.  If you do not pass the online course in two tries, you will need to retake the course.

After successful completion of both this course and the required 10-hour face-to-face course (either the Art of Teaching or the Art of Advising), you will receive a certificate of completion. You may request 15 Professional Development Points (PDPs) upon completion of a related project. Contact Michele Sedor at prior to the start of The Art of Teaching course if you are interested in receiving PDPs.

Technical requirements: You will need the following:

- Java for several activities (download it or, if it is already on your computer, enable it)

- Adobe Flash Player to play sound and videos

- Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and read documents

If you don't have these programs, you will need to click to download them (they will open in new browser windows).

Accessing the course:

Shortly before the online course begins, you will receive an email from Joanne Harrington at Quinsigamond Community College with instructions on how to access the course. You cannot access online courses from the SABES website.

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Describe the history and development of Adult Basic Education from a national and state perspective
  • Describe the statewide SABES system including it purpose and available resources to support your professional development
  • Describe the importance of ongoing professional learning, including the use of the professional standards, subject matter knowledge requirements, and other resources to enhance your professional practice
  • Explain the importance of a program wide curriculum to ensure students' college and career readiness
  • List the standardized tests used to determine learning gain in Massachusetts and the certification policies for administration and scoring
  • Describe the SMARTT data reporting system and its importance in relation to national and staff accountability
01/01/2017 - 8:00am
End Date: 
01/28/2017 - 11:00pm
Online course
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Educational Leadership
New Staff
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