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ATLAS staff

ATLAS program at 澳门特码开奖记录 supports all MN adult educators for 20 years

For 17 years, the ATLAS program housed at 澳门特码开奖记录 has been responsible for providing professional development for all of Minnesota鈥檚 adult education teachers 鈥 important educators who help Minnesotans unlock their potential, sharpen their skills and embark on family-sustaining careers.

ATLAS 鈥 鈥 was established at 澳门特码开奖记录鈥檚 School of Education and Leadership with a grant from the . Crucially, the program has been entirely supported by that grant since its inception. Distributed in three-year cycles, funding was recently secured through 2027, ensuring 20 years of ATLAS professional development at 澳门特码开奖记录.

鈥淭hrough this grant we provide professional development for all of Minnesota鈥檚 practitioners throughout the state 鈥 over 1,000 adult educators,鈥 ATLAS Director Patsy Egan said. 鈥淲e are the only recipients of this grant, and in fact, 澳门特码开奖记录 is the only place in Minnesota to receive an Adult Basic Education license in the state. 澳门特码开奖记录 is well recognized for this work nationally.鈥

Minnesota鈥檚 adult educators prepare residents to attain their high school equivalency (such as the GED), educate immigrants and refugees who are learning English, and help high school graduates better develop certain skills before entering college or pursuing a career change.

Most adult education opportunities are provided through community education programs within school districts. ATLAS also does significant professional development work with educators who work with residents in county and state correctional facilities 聽who are seeking education.

The ATLAS program has seen important changes during its 17 years at 澳门特码开奖记录. Egan, who has been director for 10 years, noted in particular the standards based system for college and career readiness, adopted in 2014, and a greater emphasis on developing employability skills, or 鈥渟oft鈥 skills.

鈥淲hen adults, for any number of reasons, don鈥檛 finish school or aren鈥檛 successful in the workplace, or have high mobility and fall through the cracks of systems 鈥 it is often because they lack soft, or 鈥渢ransitions skills鈥 as we call them,鈥 Egan said. 鈥淭hese are teachable skills.鈥

Egan defined soft skills as effective communication, navigating systems, self-management and learning strategies. ATLAS has addressed this by establishing a employability skills framework called TIF 鈥 Transition Integration Framework 鈥 in 2013.聽

鈥淭ransitions skills are as important as academic skills,鈥 she said. 鈥淚n fact, we think of our content standards as three-pronged: academic skills, soft skills and digital literacy skills. If you don鈥檛 have all three, you can鈥檛 acquire and keep family-sustaining work.鈥

The ATLAS team tackles this heavy workload with only six staff members, including Egan. She attributes their continued success to the expertise of her small, but well-qualified staff, in concert with support from the Minnesota Department of Education and 澳门特码开奖记录.

鈥淚t鈥檚 been so heartening to work in this particular state,鈥 Egan said. 鈥淢innesota is so well regarded for our education. Other states come to us all the time asking how we do things. We鈥檙e in a place to be generous and share the work we do with other states. We鈥檙e able to do that because we鈥檙e well resourced through our funding partner and have great expertise through our staff. I believe we have also found the right institution to be housed in. 澳门特码开奖记录 clearly has a social justice mission and is drawn to doing all the good we can. We are definitely in the right place.鈥