Community Colleges and Technical Colleges have found the Adkins Program to be effective with three different kinds of populations they serve:
- Traditional students (average age now about 32)
- Students waiting for admission because of literacy or other eligibility problems
- Learners in special target groups such as those in prisons or welfare centers, with which the college has contracts to provide services.
The Traditional Student frequently does not know what kind of work to prepare for or has made an uninformed educational choice without real thought or foundation. The Adkins Program is especially useful in helping the entering student explore new options and make decisions that can shape his/her college choices.
The small group format makes staff resources go further and serves a socializing function as well. Putting the college's occupation-related majors into Unit 2 of the Adkins Program is often very helpful in helping students pick a major tied to career choice.
Several Community Colleges have built a for-credit course around the Adkins Program since it is research-based and incorporates career development theory. In some cases additional theoretical articles on developmental psychology and career development are added.
Students Waiting For Admission
Students who do not pass the admissions literacy tests or who have some other eligibility or academic problem are often disillusioned and ready to drop out while taking remedial courses. Enrollment in the Adkins Program has been one way some colleges have bolstered their morale, given them a place to share their feelings, and provided interesting experiences to keep them involved in thinking about their future during this frustrating period. Use of the program with this group has had dramatic positive results.
Special Target Group Learners
Many community colleges who offer contract learning services to prisons, welfare centers, or centers dealing with such groups as abused women or underemployed persons find the Adkins Program is an important component in a comprehensive program. Our attendance rate of about 85% helps to improve the attendance in other program components. Students involved in thinking through their futures are more likely to have a reason to improve their reading and involve themselves in other rehabilitation and self-improvement activities.
Reactions to the Adkins Life Skills Program: Career Development Series
Students in community colleges report that they like the group format for sharing their experiences and feelings about their future. They also report that they particularly like the four-stage process, the structured learning activities and the practical behavioral outcomes.
Life Skills Educators (counselor/teachers) feel empowered by the Adkins Program and are some of our strongest supporters. They often report that the structured group setting permits a sharing of norms and deals with emotional components of career choice, which is a more powerful learning experience for students than one-to-one counseling.
Administrators like the ease of use, the quality of learning, the accountability of attendance and completion rates, and the positive way the group learning environment helps to personalize the overall educational climate of the institution.
Whether the student will go on to a four year college, or prepare for a specific occupation at the community college, students, especially the older ones, have no time to waste. Colleges have found that by helping an entering student make an effective vocational choice early in their studies, advisement and academic planning is much more effective and students make fuller use of the college's learning resources.
Two groups of students attending a community college, a remedial group who had failed admissions tests and were studying to improve their reading skills and a mainstream group of typical students both were enrolled in the Adkins Life Skills/Career Development Program. When the program was completed, both groups, in contrast to a separate control group, had significant pre-post gains on a number of career maturity measures: readiness for career choice, knowledge of preferred occupation, certainty of choice, attitude toward career choice, planning and exploration, self-assessment, and use of resources for career exploration. Both groups evaluated the experience as "highly favorable." There was also a decided positive change in the previous feelings of resentment expressed by the remedial group toward not having been admitted to the college. The chance to examine their feelings in the Life Skills group, to learn that they have many options, and the experience of making an informed choice had a major effect on their attitudes toward themselves, the college and their future.
Cullinane: The Effects of the Adkins Life Skills Program on the Vocational
Choice and Career Development of Community College Students
[ MORE RESEARCH ] [ TOP ]
Call us to find out how the Adkins Program can be helpful to your student population.