Minnesota FastTRAC’s approach includes a number of innovations that have proven effective in improving educational outcomes for educationally underprepared adults.
Integrating basic skills education and career-specific training.
Many adults seeking career-specific training also need to build their basic academic skills. FastTRAC addresses both by teaming up Adult Basic Education and postsecondary career and technical instructors in the classroom. This allows students to learn basic skills like literacy and math in the context of their career interests, making learning more relevant. By starting with basic skills, FastTRAC is able to serve a broader array of students and ensure that they have the academic foundation to succeed in a postsecondary setting.
Focusing on credential attainment.
Minnesota FastTRAC’s mission is to ensure students receive a postsecondary credential valued by employers. Research shows that students who earn one year of postsecondary credits and a credential earn significantly higher wages.
Targeting high-demand occupations.
Minnesota FastTRAC tunes into the needs of local employers when implementing local programs. This means FastTRAC acts as an effective supply chain for local businesses who need skilled labor. It also ensures that students find a job at the end of their program.
Meeting the needs of working learners.
Minnesota FastTRAC is tailored to adults who are managing many other responsibilities, from working full-time to raising a family. Minnesota FastTRAC makes attaining a postsecondary education manageable by breaking up the educational journey into smaller steps that build off one another and each lead to a “stackable credential.” Working learners are able to move forward at their own pace, while building practical on-the-job skills at each step. Along the way, Minnesota FastTRAC programs offer intensive career and academic advising and support services like childcare and transportation.