Posted by Christy Williams on June 29th, 2016
Adult learners often have long difficult journeys ahead of them when choosing to pursue high school equivalency (HSE) certification. A number of factors impact their decision and ability to pursue HSE certification. Some of the most common obstacles include:
- Time for class attendance and studying while maintaining a job, raising a family or caring for an elderly or ill loved one;
- Significant time lapse and adjustment between the last time they were in a formal learning environment;
- Lack of technology skills or access to technology;
- Accessibility of learning programs; and
- Cost of educational programs and materials.
As an adult educator, you will be one of the greatest advocates for your students. Part of this cheerleading includes sharing encouragement and success stories of others. Sharing videos of countless others that have overcome their obstacles could help your students relate to those who have faced similar hardships. Ideally, you can incorporate these success stories in a way that makes sense to your students. Considerations on how or when to share these videos include:
- Starting the journey: Share videos at the start of the program to show students how others have been right where they are and achieved success.
- Before a big or difficult exam: Showing a video before a test serves as a last minute encouragement towards great performance.
- Ongoing: Dedicating time throughout the learning journey to show success stories serves as a subtle reminder throughout to keep up the pace and progress towards achieving learning goals.
Motivational videos that your students should see include:
Adult Diploma Success Stories
Offers a series of success stories of adults earning diplomas that provide HSE and career certifications through the Ohio Department of Education. A few highlighted students:
- Cathy – No longer feels stuck with limited options after receiving diploma
- Sharon – Increased confidence from achievement of receiving diploma
- Tycelia – Better job opportunities as a result of having diploma or GED
Highlights the accomplishments of an adult learner who overcame the obstacle of being labeled and unproductive earlier in life.
Profiles a student’s life changes after participating in an adult literacy program.
Brief video that addresses making the choice to cross the line to the side of success and achieving a better chance at accomplishing something great for yourself.
Summarizes a single mom’s decision to go back to school after raising her son.
Shares some of the personal hardships endured by adult learners and their success through enrollment in various programs. Stories are told from the perspective of both instructors and students.
Just as the reasons of resistance are high for your students, the access to success stories is plentiful. Sharing stories of others’ success is an effective way to show students others who mirror their lives and have overcome similar difficulties. Knowing that they are not alone is motivational. Exposure to the achievements of other adult learners can help combat the discouragement that your students face while encouraging them to continue towards their goals.