Graduation Alternative Program (GAP)
St. Cloud Area School District 742
Adult Education Programs
245 37th Ave N.
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303
Contact Person: Scott Wallner, (320) 529-6500 ext. 6212
Number of Learners Served: 50 adults (ages 16-20),
100-150 adults (age 21+)
Program Length: year long, July-June, FY
• Adult students establish realistic and attainable personal learning goals for high school
• Adult students' learning, enhanced and supported with a variety of program resources,
including an intake and assessment facilitator, social worker, integration assistants,
volunteer coordinator, classroom and one-to-one volunteers, gives credence to the adult's
current learning experience. Field trips, guest speakers and technology as resources,
highlight and encourage potential employment in the community.
• Adult students are successful in an open, flexible, safe, adult, learner-centered
• Adult students with unique, individual learning styles, and often unmet educational
needs, share diversity with their learning community.
• Adult students are curious and continue to seek life-long learning opportunities.
• Adult learners can develop literacy skills to remain competent and competitive in their
current and future world of continuing education, the workplace, parent, citizen and
• Adult learners influence and model successful learning for future generations.
• Adult learners give meaning to their life experiences through academic reflection.
• Adult students with the ability to learn and earn for a lifetime will attain high school
What is the length of the program year?
Programs are year long, July through June. Daytime and evening hours are offered.
What is the mission of the program?
The mission is to offer adults (some with families) in this community an opportunity to achieve
secondary high school completion earning credits through class attendance and Independent
Study. Individual learning styles, current academic skills, life experience, career development,
basic skills assessments and Minnesota Graduation Standards are all components of an adult
learner's successful Continual Learning Plan (CLP). An open, flexible, safe and accessible adult
learning environment motivates adult learners towards high school completion and future
What is the criteria for entering and attending this program?
Adult students are, at least, 16 years of age and have not completed all necessary requirements
for high school graduation. New students complete an initial intake and orientation session
before attending classes. Together, the adult learner and the instructor write a Continual Learning
Plan (CLP). Homework, if an Independent Study activity, is assigned and evaluated for credit.
Adult learners cooperatively follow all federal, state, and district program policies and
guidelines. Basic skills assessments and Minnesota graduation standards, as required by state and
local districts are implemented.
Adult learners requesting family literacy programs attend with at least one child between the
ages of birth and five. Family literacy students participate in and commit to all programs
components including; intake, home visits, adult education, early childhood experience, parent-
child time and parent education. Learner selection is based on combined factors, including
critical academic need and ability to benefit, family risk factors, graduation incentives and
current number of openings in the program. Family literacy students retain their positions/slots in
the program with 80-100% attendance. Waiting lists account for availability. Approximately 18
slots are available at any one time with consideration given to the age eligible, attending
How do potential adult students find out about this diploma program?
Potential adult learners are likely to discover this program independently, perhaps from a friend
or a high school guidance counselor. Some students are referred by local community, regional, or
state agencies. Frequent referrals include: Benton and Stearns County Social Services, Tri-Cap,
Legal Services, Benton and Stearns County Public Health Services, Stearns-Benton Employment
Training Council, ReachUp HeadStart, area post-secondary educational institutions, secondary
schools, as well as Area Learning Centers, Central Minnesota Adult Basic Education Consortium
of Public School Districts and Community Education programs, County, State and Community
Correctional programs, Early Childhood and Pre-School Screening programs, health care
organizations, homeless shelters and area businesses.
How does a new student enroll as an adult learner?
Individuals or agencies call the St. Cloud Area School District 742 Community Education Center
at 320-529-6500, ext. 6202 to inquire about this program. Potential adult students call the same
number for an intake appointment with the intake facilitator. Registering adult students should
allow about 1.5 hours for the intake and orientation process. Current pertinent personal data is
collected. Requests are made for transcripts. Entry level academic skills tests are administered.
Graduation Incentives Basic Skills assessments and need for Minnesota Graduation Standards
are confirmed. Parameters of the program and program attendance are explained. District and
program policies and guidelines are reviewed. Most importantly, a general personal educational
goal is written noting the necessary remaining credits. A start time and date for the first class
attendance is established. The Continual Learning Plan (CLP) is planned with instructors during
an initial class session.
What is the plan for successful academic achievement?
The Continual Learning Plan (CLP), developed by the student and the instructor, coordinates the
graduation standards, basic skills testing, and essential credits from required subject areas for
successful academic completion. Instruction is provided on site, offering a variety of formats.
Traditional text/workbooks along with technology instruction are available. Computer
Curriculum Corporation (CCC) as well as MCIS systems assist learners with computer based
learning and career exploration opportunities. Students learn individually; some choose to
participate in flexible small groups or in large class session. Some students benefit from one-to-
one volunteer tutors or from integration assistants. Learning in the community through volunteer
or work site opportunities substantiates elective credits. Essential life skills including time on
task management, personal organization, study skills, workplace customs and procedures are
emphasized. Students of various ethnic backgrounds, of all abilities provide cultural awareness.
Access to community resources encourages volunteering while learning. Based on the essential
Continual Learning Plan (CLP) individual homework is assigned, reviewed and evaluated for
How is School To Work represented?
Local community resources provide initial awareness to community workplaces through expert
presentations. Further career exploration occurs through technology and use of the classroom
MCIS programs. Learners are exposed to work and school possibilities through guest speakers
and field trips. Students explore community volunteer experiences by contacting area business,
social service agencies, and community organizations. Adult learners dialogue about possible
real community work experiences with instructional staff for acknowledgement, reflective
learning with intent to seek on-site workplace placement. Placement could include volunteering,
job shadowing, interviewing, and actual work experience. Staff continually seek community
opportunities for learners to experience new or potential work sites. Adult Education and
Diploma Programs manager serves on the local St. Cloud Area School District 742 School to
Work committee under Bob Landrigan's leadership. In community corrections, adult students
have the opportunity to apply for a trusty program, on-site, for work placement.
Currently, what professional licensures are represented and employed in the program?
Employed staff hold current Minnesota licensures and are eligible to teach in the following
secondary academic areas: Secondary English, Language Arts, Developmental Reading, Math,
Science, Social Studies, Art, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Current Minnesota
administrative licensures held include School Superintendent, Secondary School Principal,
School Business Manager, and Director of Community Education. Several staff members are
also licensed in Adult Basic Education. Additionally, licensed staff adhere to the 'Requirements
for Current Licensure in Adult Basic Education' as found in Minnesota Statute 125.032.
What St. Cloud Area School District 742 personal support services are available?
St. Cloud Area School District 742 provides numerous resources for adult diploma staff,
volunteers, students, and families. District 742 transportation services, free and reduced lunches,
computer technicians, student assistance programs, data processors and accountants, police
liaison, school health services, nurses, guidance counselors, are psychologists are available. The
adult education program employs an intake facilitator, basic skills examiner, volunteer
coordinator, computer specialist, social worker, programs' manager, work-study and clerical
support. The Adult Education Program Manager serves in District 742 as a Site Implementation
coach for Minnesota Graduation Standards. Adult learners in the family literacy program
participate in four component programs: adult education, parent education, early childhood
education, and parent-child time together. Child care assistants, early childhood and parent
educators are also employed in Family Literacy. Adult students in community corrections work
directly with the education director, probation officers, Huber programs' supervisor, nursing
services, community volunteers and the Artist in Residence. Other community support services
frequently used by al programs for referrals and assistance include Central Minnesota Mental
Health Clinic, Minnesota Care, Public Health agencies, Legal Services, St. Cloud Hospital and
Journey Home as well as ReachUp HeadStart programs.
How can cooperation with other agencies be described?
The GAP (Graduation Alternative Program) is a community based adult education program
cooperating and collaborating with several agencies. GAP collaborates with St. Cloud Area
School District 742 Adult Basic Education, Early Childhood Programs, Early Childhood Special
Services, District regular education and Special Education programs, Area Learning Center
programs and staff, ReachUp HeadStart, Title One, Adults with Disabilities and Community
Education Programs. Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) programs are available to all
eligible students with frequent collaborative programming at the St. Cloud Area Technical
College. Community agencies such as Stearns-Benton Employment Training Center and the
Workforce Center, Legal Services and Journey Home are additional and frequent collaborators.
How are adult diploma programs scheduled?
Adult diploma programs and classes are scheduled based on adult learner needs, survey results,
recent past attendance patterns along with consideration for current socioeconomic trends (such
as low unemployment rates) in the community. A schedule, established in the early fall may be
adjusted to suit the adult learners' current needs based on surveys and staff input. The
socioeconomic environment, especially work and Welfare to Work patterns often drive program
schedule changes. As more adult students request GAP services, the class schedule could be
adjusted to add more hours or to close particular unattended sessions.
How is parent involvement incorporated into the program?
Parent involvement activities are focused primarily in the family literacy component of the adult
diploma program. Since parents are learners themselves, parents are actively involved in their
personal education, Continual Learning Plans, while learning about, participating in, advocating
and modeling for the best education of their children, age birth through five. Classroom lessons
and activities focus on adult and child development, social skills, physical and mental health,
proper nutrition, general health and safety. parents learn about school organization, systems, and
expectations. Parents learn about kindergarten readiness, school attendance and how to
participate in parent-teacher conferences and staffings. Special events are often a part of the
social development and learning curriculum for both parents and their children. Parents are
exposed to school-to-work activities that model learning to earn for each other and for their
children. Home visits are available during crises and intervention stages.
What is the exit criteria for adult students?
Adult learners, upon entry, are given basic academic skills tests to determine entry level status
and to assist with correct placement. During the learning and attending process, students are
made aware of the requirements to fulfill graduation incentives and state and local district
graduation standards. Appropriately timed, the students take the standard basic skills tests after
using the standard basic skills practice tests. Beginning, fall 2000, students will be given a
CASAS Life Experience test, a tracking and progress reporting assessment. Routinely, adult
learners are asked to complete program surveys for program evaluation and improvement.
Essentially, adult learners exit the program by successful completion of their Continual Learning
Plan with passing the basic skills test scores and completed Minnesota Graduation Standards.