Stakeholders' perspectives on the importance of S.C.A.N.S. for adult literacy curriculum
Kilgos, Ellen McGuire
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Welfare reform has profoundly affected the practice of adult literacy, restricting the length of time welfare recipients may receive educational services before entering the workforce. With increased pressure to prepare students for work quickly, program planners are challenged to determine which workplace topics should be included in shortterm educational programs for students receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The purpose of this study was to measure and compare the extent to which three groups of stakeholders in the welfare-to-work process judge a selected list of topics as important for inclusion in the curriculum. Topics were derived from the 1991 report of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). The present study rested on the democratic planning model of Cervero and Wilson (1994) who posit that key stakeholders should be represented in the planning process. A 45-item survey was developed and mailed to three groups: literacy instructors, prospective employers, and literacy students receiving public assistance. Responses from 115 instructors, 65 employers, and 112 students were included in the statistical analysis. There were two principal findings. (a) All three of the stakeholder groups in the welfareto- work process strongly support the SCANS workplace topics. (b) There are differences in the way instructors, employers, and students view the eight workplace topics, but these differences are relatively minor. Implications for practice, theory, and policy are discussed.