This year at HAECC, the Adult General Education department decided to try a different approach in an effort to allow their students to get as many possible ‘option credits’ at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, a lot of students that end up coming to adult education arrive without many option credit courses under their belt. In the past, this lack of credits made it difficult for students to obtain their high school diplomas even though they passed their core subjects such as English, French, Math, and History. Through the SMART schedule that was designed through the collaboration of the academic teachers at HAECC, students were given the option to complete a special one-month intensive SMART schedule. During this time students did not take any core subject classes, so all of their time was devoted to completing courses which would give them additional credits towards their high school diploma. The courses offered included;
· All About Me: A course where students were asked to self-reflect about what they wish to do with their future.
· Orientation: Students were taught basic computer skills, study skills, reading strategies, effective time management, as well as how to get organized.
· Communication: A whole course devoted to communicating effectively with others, in a respectful, appropriate manner.
· You Are What You Eat: Students were given the opportunity to learn about the nutritional value of food, the importance of knowing and understanding what they are putting into their bodies, and of course how to put together simple, delicious, and healthy meals.
· Keeping Fit: Promoted a healthy lifestyle for students. They were asked to participate in a number of different physical activities and even asked to keep a fitness journal.
The intended goal behind this pilot project was to get students to be more invested in their education. Often times students feel that they are “forced” to take classes such as English, French, and Math, even though they “don’t really want to”. The SMART schedule allowed students to learn a number of different useful life skills, get a chance to know the centre, their peers, as well as their teachers, and best of all, it allowed them to obtain credit courses before digging into their core classes. This way, students can devote all of their time and energy to the core classes during the rest of the year. This was the first year that the SMART schedule was piloted at HAECC, and through the continued efforts of the academic teachers, staff, and students, hopefully, the centre will be able to offer a similar schedule next year for the benefit of our adult education students.
Sabrina (HAECC teacher)