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DTI Program Changes Producing Positive Results

Mar 8, 2016

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By Janice DePeel

As the Skills Training and Adult Basic Education arm of Gabriel Dumont Institute, Dumont Technical Institute has always put the interests of our learners first. One of the ways we have attempted to do this in Prince Albert’s Adult Basic Education Level 4 Program is by identifying obstacles that keep the students from attaining academic success, and then incorporating strategies that will enable each student to overcome the barrier that is holding them back.

During the current 2015-2016 academic year, we decided to offer Adult Basic Education 30 classes in a trimester rather than a two semester system. Our goal, as instructors, is to provide learners with an opportunity to earn the Level 30 credits they require to graduate, while still giving them the quality of education they would expect to receive from any Dumont Technical Institute program.

Our first trimester ran from September to November. During this time, learners were able to build their Math skills under the new Math Bridging program. The learners also took English Language Arts A30, and Visual Arts 30. Traditionally, our program would have offered Math Foundations 30 instead of Math Bridging and the semester would have concluded at the end of January. With the trimester system in place, learners still receive the hours of teaching time they require, but at a much faster pace. This, and other changes we have recently implemented, is based on the Dumont Technical Institute continuous improvement policy that has been helpful in our quest to refine the way we deliver our programs to make it as effective and efficient as possible.

Feedback from learners has been mixed with some saying they love how quickly they are able to earn their credits and how busy they are all the time. Others feel they are rushed and feel burned out by the time the end of the semester comes along. Although both sides have valid points, the success of our first semester is hard to deny. For the first time all of our English Language Arts A30 learners were successful. The Visual Arts 30 program had similar success, and all the learners completed the Math Bridging program as well.

The attendance in the Level 4 program was strong and we saw more learners stay in the program to the end of the semester, rather than leave for personal or employment reasons. These are encouraging signs to the success of using a trimester system although we know the only way to fully measure what we have accomplished is to compare the rate of success from former years to this year, and at least one more academic year, using the trimester system. As we end the second semester of the triad, it will be interesting to see the successes our learners experience in Math Foundations 30, and Native Studies 30. Our learners know we only have their success at the heart of any strategy we implement within the Level 4 program and we appreciate the overwhelmingly warm response they have graciously shown to us.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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