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PROGRAM GUIDE for THE NOVA SCOTIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION DIPLOMA FOR ADULTS

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PROGRAM GUIDE for THE NOVA SCOTIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION DIPLOMA FOR ADULTS Table of Contents Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL)... 1 Background What is NSSAL?... 1
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PROGRAM GUIDE for THE NOVA SCOTIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION DIPLOMA FOR ADULTS Table of Contents Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL)... 1 Background What is NSSAL?... 1 Goals... 1 Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)... 3 Roles and Responsibilities... 6 Adult Learning Program and Course Descriptions... 4 Adult Learning Program Level I... 5 Adult Learning Program Level II... 5 Adult Learning Program Level III... 5 Adult Learning Program Level IV... 6 Placement Process Policies and Procedures Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults (NSHSGDA) Requirements for the Diploma Transcript & Diploma Information APPENDIX A Glossary of Terms APPENDIX B Example of High School Transcript APPENDIX C High School Transcript NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults i ADULT EDUCATION NOVA SCOTIA SCHOOL FOR ADULT LEARNING Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Background What is NSSAL? The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) began in November 2000 in response to the recognized need for a continuum of programming to meet the needs of adult learners. Although quality adult literacy and upgrading programs for adults existed previously in Nova Scotia, the program delivery system was fragmented. There was a lack of collaboration between delivery agencies and coordination of the various programs. The partners were community learning organizations, regional school boards, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), and at that time Collège de l Acadie, now Université Sainte-Anne. The programs offered were Nova Scotia Academic Upgrading Program, Public School Program (PSP), or the option of writing the General Educational Development (GED) tests. There was no integration among these programs; therefore, the pathway through the system was not clear to learners, education and employment counsellors, employers, post-secondary receiving institutions, and the general public. Often the learning achieved by adults in programs outside the public school system was not recognized either by post-secondary institutions, employers, or by the public. In addition, the credits received in the adult system and in the public school system were not portable outside their respective systems. This confusion over the various credentials offered in the programs and their limitations in meeting the needs of adults adversely affected the learners personal, economic, social, and cultural lives. Goals 1. Develop and coordinate a system of literacy and adult basic education programs and services to meet the needs of the adult learner. The adult learning programs are delivered through a variety of partners from multiple delivery points across Nova Scotia. NSSAL coordinates the programs and services that these delivery partners offer. Each of the delivery partners receives and refers adult learners through appropriate assessment and counselling services to ensure that they meet their educational goals. Information on NSSAL programs and services is available from the regional offices of the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour and Workforce Development, Community Services and Service Canada, and delivery organizations and programs. The mandate of NSSAL is to ensure that adults throughout the province have opportunities to obtain the programming they require to meet their needs. Delivery partners are: Adult High Schools Regional school boards provide public school program (PSP) credits that are required to meet the entrance requirements for some community college and universities courses. These credits are coordinated through regional school boards and may be obtained through adult high schools and alternative schools. Department of Education Correspondence Studies Adults who qualify for NSSAL funding are eligible to take one correspondence studies course at a time, tuition-free; but textbooks, supplies, and out-of-province fees are not covered. NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults 1 Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Primary delivery agency for Levels III and IV of the Adult Learning Program (ALP). Levels III and IV are the equivalent to grades 11 and 12 of the public school system. Programs funded through NSSAL and NSCC provide flexible instruction for adults to obtain the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults. Community Learning Organizations NSSAL funds and coordinates approximately thirty community learning organizations throughout Nova Scotia. These organizations provide the foundational learning through Levels I, II and in some locations, Level III of the Adult Learning Program (ALP). Formation générale des adultes (French) Adult Learning Program partners: Équipe d alphabétisation - Nouvelle-Écosse This provincial community organization provides flexible classroom instruction at ALP Levels I and II throughout Nova Scotia. Université Sainte-Anne The program is offered at all Université Sainte-Anne campuses throughout Nova Scotia. It is funded by NSSAL and Université Sainte-Anne and provides flexible tutored instruction at ALP Levels II, III and IV. Adults can obtain the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults. 2. Provide learners with a recognized credential that will allow them access to further education, training, and employment. The Adult Education Division of the Department Labour and Workforce Development (formerly with Department of Education) created the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults (NSHSGDA) and its French equivalent, the Diplôme de fin d études secondaires pour adultes de la Nouvelle-Écosse (DFESANÉ). The diploma was implemented on September 1, NSSAL established the delivery of credits, criteria, policies, and principles for the diploma. The diploma requires the completion of 12 credits. All adults 19 years of age or over and who have been out of school for one full year or more who do not have a high school graduation diploma are eligible for the diploma. This includes adults who currently hold an NSCC Academic Upgrading Level IV or a GED certificate. The Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults is unique because it accepts credits obtained through a number of different educational programs and venues. In recognition of the learning that adults have previously obtained, a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process is in place. Therefore, adult learners are assessed prior to the beginning of their studies to analyse what course outcomes they may have met of the curricula. 2 NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) 3. Increase accessibility to and mobility between programs NSSAL provides tuition-free programs for adults. The adult learner is responsible for paying any institutional fees or supplies. The Adult Learning Programs under NSSAL provides a smooth transition from program to program by requiring that all programs deliver outcome-based, standardized curriculum that are approved by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and the Department of Education and are connected to the public school curriculum. There is a standardized placement assessment process for adults entering the programs that NSSAL supports. It provides a matrix of compulsory credits that are accepted toward the diploma and guidelines for the delivery institutions to follow when making decisions about elective credits. There are referral protocols for the transfer of adult learners from one type of program to another. Programs that deliver the credits for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults and the Diplôme de fin d études secondaires pour adultes de la Nouvelle-Écosse use a common transcript (see Appendix B). 4. Principles of Adult Learning Listed below is a selection of adult learning principles that the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labour and Workforce Development considers in its policies and practices. Adults need to know why they are learning something and how it affects them directly. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance. When they consider it important to acquire a new skill, knowledge, or attitude, they are more ready and willing to engage in the learning process. Adults have a lifetime of experiences that should be tapped as a resource for ongoing learning. Adult learners bring various levels of prior exposure to a variety of topics, and this should be acknowledged. Connecting learning to past experience also makes learning more meaningful for adult learners. Adults learn more easily using hands-on and task-oriented methods of instruction rather than content-oriented methods. Learning activities should often be in the context of common tasks to be performed. Adults want to apply knowledge and skills immediately. Retention decreases if the learning is applied only at some time in the future. Adults have a need to be self-directed and decide for themselves what they want to learn. When possible, instruction should allow learners to discover things for themselves, providing guidance and help when needed. Also, when possible, adult learners should be involved in the process of deciding what and how they learn and also what learning should be assessed and how. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Recognition of Prior Learning values all learning that people have gained in their lives. Another term used is Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), which is noted on the transcript for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults (NSHSGDA). RPL processes allow individuals to gain recognition for skills, knowledge, and abilities that they have acquired through formal, informal, or experiential learning. This learning may come from any area of life, including work experience, training, independent study, volunteer activities, travel, hobbies, and/or military service. The Adult Education Division is continually researching and communicating with key people in advancing RPL for Nova Scotia. A guiding principle of NSSAL is that adults should not have to repeat previous learning. NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults 3 Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning has two mechanisms in place: 1. Transfer Credit This means granting credits at one educational institution for courses or programs that were completed at another recognized institution. Credits that have been granted or approved can be applied towards the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults. Those transfer credits must meet the criteria established by the Department of Education and the Department of Labour and Workforce Development. Types of Transfer Credits: Credits within the province If a learner obtained Public School Program (PSP) credits in the past, these credits may be applied to the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults transcript but they are not considered transfer credits (TC). These credits are designated as Public School Program (PSP). Credits outside the province Transcript should be sent to the Department of Labour and Workforce Development for review. In 2007, the department created an online transfer credit database. Access to credit information is available; however, please contact the department for final confirmation as information can change on a regular basis. International credits An international learner must have their credentials reviewed by an international credential association. The two services used are: 1. World Education Services (WES) ph: fax: website: Instructions: Applicants need to fill out documentation as instructed on Country profiles: 2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) ph: fax: website: 4 NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Criteria for Determining Transfer Credit Adults may request transfer credit for formal learning that is not a Nova Scotia grade 11 or 12 PSP credit or an ALP Level IV credit but meets equivalent content and level of learning. Transfer credit may be granted for courses if: Adult has completed the full duration of the course or program and has provided verification of completion. Course or program was completed at an accredited educational institution or a professional organization. For example, universities, community colleges, or registered private career colleges and technical institutes. Course has met at least 80 percent of the prescribed learning outcomes and is at least at the same level of difficulty as the Department of Labour and Workforce Development PSP or ALP courses. Course has met a minimum of 60 instructional hours for ½ credit and between 90 to 110 hours for 1 credit. Course is at the same level of difficulty as the credit for which equivalency is being evaluated. Course satisfies different learning outcomes than those for which credit was previously granted toward the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults (although courses may share similar outcomes, identical outcomes can be applied only once). Course has met the Department of Labour and Workforce Development standards for assessment and evaluation. Submission of Documentation for Review The following is the documentation needed to review a course or program: Copy of original transcript (containing course marks). Copy of diploma or certification. Note: If an adult obtained a Red Seal certification through a trade program, then a copy of the original document is also required. Course name. Name of education institution. Start and end date of course. Length of course total weeks or hours. Number of course hours per week. Course outline/outcomes. Method of testing and evaluation. Course or instructor contact name, phone number and address. Learners are responsible to submit the proper documentation. Failure to submit proper documentation will delay the assessment. NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults 5 Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) 2. Challenge for Credit Learners who have obtained significant informal learning from life and work may request to challenge the learning outcomes in specific PSP or ALP courses and receive credits toward the diploma. This process differs significantly in the institutions delivering public school programs and Adult Learning Program credits. Therefore, the challenge for credit process already established by these institutions and programs will be followed. The challenge for credit process will be administered by the delivery organization in which the adult is enrolled. The curriculum consultants from the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour and Workforce Development and NSCC will work collaboratively to develop a process to challenge an ALP credit on a course by course basis. Learners would be expected to complete a sanctioned test or assignment in the challenge for credit process. If credit has been granted then NSCC will communicate the outcome to the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour and Workforce Development. Adult high schools, through regional school boards, have a process for challenging Public School Program credits. A description of this process may be obtained through regional school board offices or adult high schools. A credit awarded through the challenge for credit process will be recorded on a transcript (see page 33 for more information on transcripts). Roles and Responsibilities Adult Learner Learner must provide the institution with an original transcript containing the name of the course and the mark received. If necessary, course name, name of education institution, course outlines, method of evaluation and testing, length of course, and other relevant documents may be required. If a learner requests a transfer credit for a course that is not under the mandate of the institution, the learner is requested to submit specific documentation that will be reviewed by the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour of Workforce Development (see page 5). Learner may also have any previous educational qualifications assessed directly by the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour of Workforce Development. Learner must obtain a minimum of one Nova Scotia credit. Delivery Organizations or Institutions Institutions may grant transfer credits only for courses delivered by their institution. Therefore, adult high schools may grant transfer credits only for PSP credits. NSCC may consider only previously earned ALP credits or NSCC courses previously taken. If a learner requests a transfer credit for a course that is not under the mandate of the institution, the learner is requested to submit specific documentation that will be reviewed by the Adult Education Division, Department of Labour of Workforce Development. The results of the review will be communicated to the learner. Faculty or teachers who are content experts will assess the learning outcomes of the course under consideration. 6 NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) Following the review of the course, the faculty will inform the appropriate personnel of the outcome. This might include adult learning counsellor, registrar, student services personnel, or the principal. If the course has successfully met the requirements, it will be recorded on the transcript. The transcript is the official document that indicates the learner s academic achievements. The institution is responsible for producing the learner s academic achievements on the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults transcript. The transcript template is provided by the Adult Education Division. When an adult has completed the requirements for the diploma without obtaining a maximum of one credit in Nova Scotia, they are required to complete a credit through the adult learning program. The diploma will then be issued from the delivery organization. A Request for Diploma form must be filled out by the institution and sent to the Adult Education Division. The Adult Education Division will then issue the diploma. Adult Education Division If a learner requests a transfer credit for a course that is not under the mandate of the institution, the Adult Education Division will evaluate the course material submitted by the institution or learner to determine the transfer credit. The Adult Education Division reviews and approves the transfer credit recommended by the delivery institutions that are not listed on the transfer credit database. The Adult Education Division completes a Transfer Credit Assessment form (if necessary). This form will enable learners or delivery partners to see what credits have been transferred and what credits are required for the learner to graduate. When a course has been assessed and is determined to be equivalent to a PSP or an ALP course, the Adult Education Division will inform all NSSAL partners through updates on a transfer credit database. When an adult has completed the requirements for the diploma and has completed more than one Nova Scotia credit, forward the transcript to the Adult Education Division and the diploma will be issued from the department. The department will provide the official transcript and diploma paper to all delivery partners. The Adult Education Division will then issue the diploma when a Request for Diploma form is submitted from the institution. NSSAL: Program Guide for the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults 7 ADULT LEARNING PROGRAM AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Adult Learning Program and Course Descriptions Adult Learning Program and Course
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