Goals: The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy offers the myPLACE program to support large-scale adult literacy and work-readiness for adults in Philadelphia. The program includes a face-to-face component as well as an online component, aiming to make “adult learning accessible anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”
Approach: myPLACE, which stands for Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education, is an adult literacy program offered by The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy in Philadelphia. The program takes a blended approach, incorporating a campus component and an online component. All learners must start at a campus with an assessment and a face-to-face meeting with their learning coach. The introductory class also must be completed at the campus. After the introductory class is completed, each learner will work with their coach to identify which classes meet their needs. Some of these classes are offered online through myPLACE Online, and others are face-to-face classes provided by 20 partner organizations in Philadelphia.
Pricing: The program is free for adult learners in Philadelphia. Funding from the the City of Philadelphia, foundations and corporate partners make this possible.
Who is Using It: The myPLACE program launched in January 2014, with an official pilot from January through June. Currently the program is in full implementation. Users include individuals looking for jobs, trying to go back to school, or applying for their GED. In Fall 2014, myPLACE Online Campuses will be launched in the Philadelphia Prison System’s facilities.
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy provides education for adults in Philadelphia with the mission of building life and career skills necessary to be successful in their families, communities and in the workforce. The Commission aims to help adults in Philadelphia gain skills necessary to sustain jobs and to become qualified for post-secondary education.
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy offers myPLACE Online to support large-scale adult literacy and work-readiness for adults in Philadelphia. The program’s mission is to help adults build basic literacy and career skills so that they can be successful in school and in the workplace. A major goal of myPLACE Online is to remove location, timing and device barriers by offering a program that learners can access on their own schedule and from their own device.
MyPLACE, which stands for Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education, is an adult literacy program offered by The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy in Philadelphia. The program has two components: myPLACE Campus and myPLACE Online. All learners who wish to participate in the program must make an initial appointment and take an assessment at a physical myPLACE Campus first. This initial visit typically takes about three hours. The introductory class must also be taken at a campus. There are currently three campuses located in high need areas in Philadelphia. These locations provide assistance with classes and offer learning coaches who offer guidance and support along the way.
After an individual has completed the initial appointment, assessment and the introductory class at a campus, they may take their next class on myPLACE Online, or they can take face-to-face classes at local facilities through myPLACE partner organizations. The partners are a group of about 20 literacy organizations that applied through an RFP and were chosen to institute the myPLACE program at their facility. The partner organizations are funded by myPLACE, and they provide space, classes, and learning coaches.
As of summer 2014, myPLACE Online offers four classes (two literacy and two math) for learners at a 5th-8th grade level. Each of these classes is six weeks long. The myPLACE program has a database that shows all of the classes offered at partner organizations including GED classes, ELL classes, and adult basic education classes. There are about 100 face-to-face classes offered through myPLACE partners.
First, a learner is referred to one of the three campuses for their first appointment, which includes an assessment and a meeting with a learning coach. Then, each learner is enrolled in the introductory class on career and digital skills. The mandatory class is called “Introduction to Adult Learning and Careers.” This introductory course is 6-12 hours long and typically takes learners 1-2 weeks to complete.
During the class, learners will engage in interactive activities including developing a chart for study skills, building a career and learning plan, and creating or revising a resume. Learners will also have an opportunity to learn more about four specific industries of opportunity in Philadelphia: manufacturing, health care, transportation, and hospitality. At one point they choose three jobs they might be interested in and delve deeper into each to find out what steps are necessary to obtain each job. This portion of the class is correlated with My Next Move, a web-based tool for job-seekers.
Upon completion of the introductory class, all learners meet with a learning coach, who helps them identify which class meets their needs. Then each learner is placed in their next class. Their next class may be on myPLACE Online, or it misght be a face-to-face class located at a partner facility.
There is ongoing support after the introductory class. Learning coaches hold weekly office hours and provide ongoing support while learners are taking online and face-to-face classes.
Business Model and Pricing
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy is mainly funded through the City of Philadelphia, with all funds approved by the Philadelphia City Council. They also do some fundraising through regional and local foundations, and receive some funding from corporate partners. The myPLACE program is free for adults in Philadelphia (including both myPLACE Campus and myPLACE Online). Face-to-face classes may have a nominal fee for materials, but that would be charged by the partner institution, not by The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy.
The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy has an SIS for all learners. They are able to access a learner’s transcript as proof that the learner participated in the program.
Who is Using It
The myPLACE program launched in January 2014, with the grand opening for campuses in February 2014. There was an official pilot from January through June and currently the program is in full implementation.
During the official pilot, 1300 individuals made their initial appointment and 780 completed the appointment. About 400 learners were placed in an adult literacy class, 91 of whom took their class on myPLACE Online. Most of the individuals that participated in the pilot program were looking for jobs.
In fall 2014, myPLACE Online Campuses will be launched in the Philadelphia Prison System’s facilities.
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