Pathways to Careers in Allied Health Women, ELL, and ...

Pathways to Careers in Allied Health Women, ELL, and ...

Pathways to Careers in Allied Health Women, ELL, and Community Colleges Jayne MacPherson, CST,PhD Jayne MacPherson 1 Purpose and Setting Purpose: To examine the factors that help adult women English Language Learners (ELL), persist in pursuing allied health certificate and associate degree programs. The primary purpose was to identify patterns of persistence in adult women returning to a community college to pursue allied health associate degree and certificate programs, and who are ELL.

Setting: Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA. Jayne MacPherson 2 Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) The largest and most affordable community college in MA One of the most diverse community colleges in the country. Founded in 1973 and currently enrolls more than 12,500 students in their day, evening, and web- based and distance learning programs. Offers over 65 associates degrees and certificate programs that prepare

students for employment and transfer to a four-year college. In the health professions, 7 AD and 14 certificate programs are offered. Jayne MacPherson 3 Student Demographics 56% women 67% part-time 37% White

28% Black 20% Hispanic 14% Asian 1% Native American. Jayne MacPherson 4 Research Questions 1. What factors drive women with ELL to persist in completing allied health certificate and AD programs at community colleges?

2. How do these women persist while overcoming the challenges of learning a new language and struggling with the cultural issues of assimilating to a new country? 3. What supports can be put in place to help women succeed? Jayne MacPherson 5 Literature Review Women and Learning Carol Gilligans book (1993), In a Different Voice, charted the course of womens development.

While men view separation as a developmental step toward autonomy, women continue to need the connectedness with others as they move through the different stages of the life cycle. (Carol Gilligan 1993) Jayne MacPherson 6 Women and Learning (Cont.) Feminist pedagogy is about stories, both personal and public stories, and their use in education. (Hayes & Flannery, 2000 p.157). Women typically approach adulthood with the understanding that the care and empowerment of others is central to their life's work. Through listening and responding, they draw out the voices and minds of those they help to raise up. In the process, they often come to hear, the value, and strength in their own voices and minds as well

(Belenky, et.al, 1997, p.48). Women dont have to give up their identities and ambitions of becoming educated and working and still be the nurturer and foundation for many families (Miller, 1986). Jayne MacPherson 7 Adult Learning To children, experience is something that happens to them, to adults, experience is who they are. ( Knowles, 1990) In an adult classroom the students experience counts as much as the teachers knowledge. (Knowles, 1990)

In adulthood, informed decisions require not only awareness of the source and context of our knowledge, values, and feelings, but also critical reflection on the validity of their assumptions or promise. (Mezirow, 2000). Jayne MacPherson 8 Community Colleges Community colleges have been in existence since 1890 when Baylor College incorporated a two-year junior college into its curriculum. The community college provides a special link in the educational chain. It serves as the only avenue to higher education for many minority students, older students, first generation students, and many others who may have dropped out of the educational mainstream.

The community college provides a means for students to achieve their goals. (Cardenas & Warren, 1991, p.15) Jayne MacPherson 9 Student Retention and Engagement By evaluating student engagement in the learning process community colleges can address the needs of adult students to improve curricula, and support services, which could lead to better retention of adult learners in the community college setting (Chaves, 2006). Chaves studied how women coming back to school in the community college setting bring a unique set of needs that can limit their success. Jayne MacPherson 10

Immigration The Diversity Lottery is a government sponsored visa lottery in countries that are under represented in the US. Many countries in Africa and the Middle East. Diversity Visa (DV) program is congressionally-mandated and allows up to 55,000 persons from nations that are historically underrepresented in terms of migration to the US to qualify each year for immigrant visas; referred to as green cards. The program is also known as the green card lottery or "dv lottery", because the winners are determined through a random drawing from among the 1012 million people who enter each year. Jayne MacPherson 11 Immigration (Cont.)

The U.S. Census Bureaus data on ELL, from 2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, 13% of the people living in US were foreign born. Among people at least five years old living in United States in 2006-2008, 20% spoke a language other than English at home. 62% spoke Spanish, 38% spoke another language. 44% reported that they did not speak English "very well." Jayne MacPherson 12 Methodology

Design: The qualitative research design was phenomenology with the goal of understanding the womens lived experiences from their perspective. Sample: purposive, 20 adult immigrant ELL women returning to community college to pursue allied health certificate and AD programs. Data Collection: semi- structured interviews (about an hour) to answer questions about the womens experiences, the challenges they faced, and the help that was being offered both at BHCC and outside of the college. The interview guide was tested by giving it to a selected group of individuals including persons with ELL to test for the validity of the questions. The questions were modified based on their input.

Jayne MacPherson 13 Data Analysis The researcher listened to the interviews, read the transcripts, assigned a pseudonym for each interviewee and took notes to develop themes from the interviews. The data was independently reviewed by the researcher and a committee member. Each independently developed a code list and both compared for interpretive validity. The researcher and committee member went over the list to check for interrater reliability. Each

transcript was coded using the themes and codes developed, looking specifically at womens development, transformational learning, and adult learning Jayne MacPherson 14 Research Findings 80% (N=16) participants were in Allied Health certificate programs. 50% (N=10) were in the Patient Care certificate program. 20% (N=4) were in the Medical Assistant certificate program. 10% (N=2) were in the Central Processing certificate program.

15% (N=3) were in AD programs in Allied Health. 10% (N=2) were in the Respiratory Therapy program. 5% (N=1) were in the Medical Imaging program. 1% was hoping to become biology major. Jayne MacPherson 15 Findings (Contd) The participants came from a wide range of countries.

Two of the countries accounted for 40% of the participants and were Haiti (N=4) and Morocco (N=4). Participants from Cape Verde made up the next largest group with fifteen percent of the participants (N=3) coming from that country. 1 participant from each of: Brazil, Albania, USA, Ethiopia, Russia, Columbia, Venezuela, China, and the Dominican Republic. The average age of the participants was 29.8 years. Jayne MacPherson 16

Codes and Themes 5 major themes: issues prior to coming to the US; health careers; challenges; outside support & support at the college. 1. Issues Prior to Coming to the US: It was very difficult for many women to leave mothers, fathers, and children behind to come to the US. Tena was able to come here with her daughter, but left her son behind. I left my boy. He lives with my sister. And after one year, I can bring him here. Jayne MacPherson 17 Issues Prior to Coming to the US (Contd) Lack of educational opportunities in their countries.

Carla said: Cause I'm like -- on my country, the education is different. You go to school. And after you finish the -- like here, you finish high school. Over there, after you finish high school, sometime you be at home. You don't work. You don't have money to go -- to pay for school. Poverty, childhood life and lack of resources for families. Maria: And my life was very -- let's call it simple. Because I never have like a bicycle; something like that --you know. when we growing up, we got something; maybe yes, maybe no. Growing up, we had simple toys. Because life was not very easy for my mother. Jayne MacPherson 18 2. Health Careers

All the women wanted to help people, here & in their countries. Fatima: But if you do the job with a person, and help person for getting his goal or what he want to do -- okay -- you feel like you're doing something good in your life. Availability of jobs and studying for a career in health care. Elena: And for me, important to find job. And my dream to work in one place until I will finish to work, and get pension. Tena: One day, if I have the chance to do -- to become a nurse to help people -- because in my country, there are a lot of people suffering. Because I want to save my people in my country. I want to spend two months every year to save lives in that place. Jayne MacPherson 19 Health Careers (Contd)

Making a better life for families here and in their country. Julia:After, I see the way things going on. Then with my 4 kids, I see in the future, I need more help for them. So, that's why I decide to go back to school so I can provide more for them in the future. Isabella:I like to help people and to see people happy with their health. And also, I want to do that because in my country, we don't have enough doctor or nurse. Because it's a poor country. It's not good support. I want to do this when I graduate; have my degree as a pediatric nurse. I want to go back to my country to volunteer like a month a year, to help them with the kids. Anna: I want to be someone that my daughters look at me and see -- like they are glad. Like, You did it. Even though I have them, I did something with my life. Jayne MacPherson 20 3. Challenges

Language and communication skills were the biggest challenges. JinJing: I have to encourage myself. I have to learn English, because I live here and because I have to find a job. Tena: Not for school; in social life. When you are a newcomer, if you cannot communicate, you are not independent. Because communication is the key. Julia: You know, my accent. Sometime, people like -- I feel uncomfortable like when I say something, and then people don't understand it. And I know I say it right. Yeah. So, I have to repeat it over. So, I don't mind. So -- because I need a better life in the future. Jayne MacPherson 21

Challenges (Contd) Another challenge was family responsibilities and time. Maya: The times when I'm supposed to be with my kids; do the homework with my kids; pay attention to my kids; go to the store, and help my husband, and do the books. The time I have to do for myself. challenges at home from their husbands or significant others. Anna: But it's not like threat that he doesn't want me to get education. But I think it's more he's just scared of me to find someone else. Julia: My husband is not really support me to come back to school. I told him there's nothing he can say to stop me. I'm coming anyway. Time Yalda: Because if I'm in the class for like two hours, I can't focus two hours just like

writing notes. Plus, the PowerPoint doesn't give me all the information I need to. Meanwhile, she explain it and give more information. So, I record her. And when I hook it into my car, then I listen more. When I'm studying for the exam, it help me to refresh, you know. Jayne MacPherson 22 4. Outside Support Support from Community, family, and friends. Elena: With my husband and with my son, we come to America, 1997. First, I try to find a place where I can learn English and help myself to find job. It was very difficult, but I met right person. Her name was Peggy. She was president of American club in Boston. And she give me information and -- about what institute I need to visit in Brookline. And she ask some person to drive me and show me this place.

Julia: Thanks God, my Mom -- you know, she help me a lot. Isabella: When I used to go to middle school, after the school hour is done, I go to after school program. That is Catholic Charity. I was there like for my 8th grade until 12th grade in high school. I do sports training. I got a job as a CAT. I volunteer at the school program with kids; kindergarten, preschool. Jayne MacPherson 23 5. Support at the College The women found the college very supportive. Fatima:The first time when I come, I asked because I didn't speak English at the first time. So, I have to find place where I'm going to study English. I find BHCC at the first time.

Tena: I don't know grammar. So, I am always fighting with myself, Why I'm not good in English? I need a grammar class. By two months, I have a big change in grammar & writing. Amina: The community. I mean the students, the teachers, really helps. Being a student is not easy, so we need help. Jayne MacPherson 24 Support at the College (Contd) Salima: For ESL, they have very -- very kind teacher. They helps me a lot of -- they helps all students; immigrant students particularly. And it was very good. I like that. Julia: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm so happy I get in this program. Because they're very understand. Like, when you are adults,

you know, you have so many things They help you out. Isabella: That I have a lot of professor that help me. I have peers, friends. Anytime I need things, I know they're going to be here to help me. And also, if I have a question with my homework or a research paper essay, I go to the computer lab. I ask a member of the staff. Jayne MacPherson 25 Support at the College (Contd) The college was a place where the women fit in and could study for the career of their choice. Louisa : here they offer us a lot of opportunity.

Jayne MacPherson 26 Discussion First Research Question: What are the factors that drive women with English as their second language to persist in completing allied health certificate and associate degree programs at community colleges? Education will lead to a better life. Economic advancement Helping others

Job opportunity Jayne MacPherson 27 Discussion (Contd) Second Research Question: How do adult women ELL persist while overcoming the challenges of learning a new language and struggling with the cultural issues of assimilating to a new country? Transformational learning Using the experiences of the past to make meaning of what

youre learning. Making the connections from the past to educational opportunity for a better future. Jayne MacPherson 28 Discussion (Contd) Third Research Question: What are the supports that can be put in place to help women succeed? Supportive learning environment

Faculty support Staff support Peer support Jayne MacPherson 29 Implications Community colleges play a vital role as a gateway to

education for women, minorities and underrepresented people. People coming from other countries see community colleges as a way to acquire an education and pursue a career that will help them to support themselves and their families. Community colleges need to have the support systems in place to help students achieve their goals. With these supports in place many students can start out with limited English and continue through, receiving a certificate or associate degree. Jayne MacPherson 30 Limitations One community college Gender Certificate

programs Jayne MacPherson 31 Recommendations for Future Research Larger sample size More than one community college Include both men and women Focus on allied health associate degree programs

Jayne MacPherson 32 Thank you Questions??? Comments?? Jayne MacPherson 33

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