Successfully Attaining High School Equivalency and Beyond in Merrillville, Indiana

Successfully Attaining High School Equivalency and Beyond in Merrillville, Indiana

Merrillville Adult Education - Merrillville, IN
Sherri Green,
Supervisor
100 students
Ages 16 and Up
Courseware
Exact Path
The Challenge: 

The Merrillville Adult Education (MAE) program at Merrillville Community School Corporation (MCSC) supports adult learners of all ages through continuing education services. For many, the primary goal is to earn high school equivalency by achieving success on the TASC test. Learners enter MAE with differing needs; while some prepare for the exam in only a few weeks, others spend six months or more building their academic skills. Given the disparate needs of learners, MAE leaders sought Edmentum’s support via assessment and curriculum tools in order to meet students where they are to move learning forward.

“The older clientele are coming in because they want to check this off their bucket list and earn their diploma—this is how they can do that,” stated Sherri Green, supervisor of adult education at MAE. “Youth that are coming in at ages 16–24 [are] usually going to need a diploma for employment or to go on to college or a secondary school or trade. We’re just trying to help people obtain a goal that will ensure they get employment down the road in something they really wish they could get into.”

By combining Edmentum programs with teacher-directed support, learners at the Merrillville Adult Education (MAE) program are completing flexible learning plans to close skill gaps, achieve growth, and ultimately, earn high school equivalency by achieving success on the TASC test.
How They Did it: 

Upon enrollment at MAE, learners begin by taking the TABE test to determine current skills and aptitudes. Results are then used by teachers to map out individual plans that will support student success on the TASC test. Students typically spend 6 to 12 weeks in the program, although emphasis is placed on individual progress regardless of completion time or grades.

Edmentum programs optimize this progress by creating a blended learning environment. MAE teachers provide direct instruction in one classroom on specific skills and topics, while another classroom enables students to move at their own pace with teacher support using Edmentum programs. Learners can work in both environments at different points in their learning journeys.

For over a decade, Edmentum’s customizable offering, Courseware, has helped MAE students meet TASC test objectives via robust courses. In 2019, MAE expanded its partnership with Edmentum to also incorporate Exact Path for a more personalized, skill-focused component that looks outside of any specific grade level or course to identify and address specific learning gaps. Precisely, Exact Path diagnoses learning needs in reading and math and then automatically creates individualized learning paths.

“With Exact Path, students don’t have to repeat things they already know,” reflected Ms. Green. “They get to learn what they need to learn. I think that made more of our students eager to jump in and work on it.”

In many cases, the program both exposes and targets long-standing gaps in late elementary or middle school skills. Coupled with the support of the school’s staff, students have the opportunity to close these gaps once and for all and quickly move toward more advanced content.

“It’s just one of the big, helpful tools of our classroom to understand what it is they really don’t know,” stated Ms. Green. “And, we can see how far out they need to go, so it kind of gives us another idea of how long it’s going to be before they’re ready to test [on TASC test].”

[Exact Path is] just one of the big, helpful tools of our classroom to understand what it is they really don’t know. And, we can see how far out they need to go, so it kind of gives us another idea of how long it’s going to be before they’re ready to test [on TASC test].
Sherri Green,
Supervisor
Success: 

Nothing speaks to MAE’s success more clearly than the testimonials of its learners. Ms. Green described one gentleman enrolled in the program in July 2019 who needed to earn a diploma in order to be eligible for a job promotion.

“He was driven,” noted Ms. Green. “In his TABE in math, he was at 4.9, and a month later after using nothing but Exact Path, he had gone up one and a half grade levels.”

The student shared with Ms. Green that being able to pause and even replay lessons as needed is what ultimately helped him succeed. Exact Path’s self-paced, individualized environment was just the recipe for success that this student required.

“I’m really pleased with what Exact Path has been able to do for us and for our students, and the leaps that it could create if you’re a dedicated soul and you really want to get it done,” remarked Ms. Green.

I’m really pleased with what Exact Path has been able to do for us and for our students, and the leaps that it could create if you’re a dedicated soul and you really want to get it done.
Sherri Green,
Supervisor
The Future: 

Moving forward, the Merrillville Adult Education program has expanded its partnership with Edmentum to include Study Island. The additional program supports standards mastery using a rich bank of practice items; flexible instructional modes, including independent practice; collaborative group sessions; and a customizable Test Builder. 

The MAE program is closing gaps in learning that will not only help learners earn their high school equivalency but will also help them become more confident in whatever the future brings, whether college or careers. The Merrillville Adult Education program plans to provide learners with help in deciding “what’s next.” Students will have access to courses in career exploration, computer skills, soft skills, certification pathways, child development and parenting, and more. 

Additionally, educators at MAE are reflecting on their need to expand educational offerings in the wake of the pandemic. By following ongoing CDC guidelines, educators hope to offer two days of instruction per week in the classroom setting and two days per week online, leveraging Google Classroom and Edmentum programs to ensure continuous learning.

For more infomation:

Contact 800.447.5286 or visit www.edmentum.com to learn more about Edmentum's online learning solutions.