Excel Together West Virginia is a new statewide initiative that provides every West Virginian with an opportunity to build their skills and earn a certification that gains college credit and is recognized in hiring.
Excel Together West Virginia introduces the CSM Certificate backed by the self-paced, online CSM Course. CSM uses the world’s most-advanced personalized educational technology to help people of ALL academic abilities succeed. The CSM Course is free for all adults in West Virginia, including a personal coach.
Excel Together West Virginia aims to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by providing skills and a credential that allow them to grasp for opportunities, and by building their belief in themselves and their communities.
For more information on the Excel Together West Virginia model, click here.
Individuals: Take CSM
CSM is for everyone, even if school isn't your thing. It's patient and supportive. And it's free to all adults in West Virginia, with a personal coach!
CSM is the most supportive, least expensive way to earn the math you need for a college degree (with no algebra required) -- it earns college math credit at all WV community and technical colleges and West Virginia University / WVU!
Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of CSM in their hiring, and you will soon be able to list your CSM Certificate in your job profile in the WorkForce West Virginia jobs database, and find employers that are looking for potential employees with these skills.
The CSM Certificate is an unusually concrete standard of college and career readiness: it gains both college math credit and hiring preferences. And through the next-generation technology of the CSM Course, the certificate is attainable by all students, even those who are struggling.
CSM allows all high schools to create dual/concurrent enrollment pathways for students -- CSM is a college-level course that's inexpensive, doesn't require college-qualified math faculty, or for students to place into college-level work.
The CSM Certificate certifies High Performance skills like college-level quantitative reasoning, professional literacy, problem solving mindsets and strategies, the ability to learn effectively on your own, attention to detail, and persistence.
By recognizing the CSM Certificate in hiring, you can hire the 21st Century workforce that you need now, and also encourage students and adults in your community to take CSM to build your future workforce.
You can also partner with the Office of Adult Education to access CSM for your employees with personal coaches, at your workplace, at no cost! Excel Together will help you in planning both existing employee and workforce development programs.
Whether you're running a high-school equivalency program, a college transition program, a workforce readiness or workforce development program, CSM can serve as a core part of the program. For many of these programs, participants have wildly different skills, and CSM's next-generation personalized learning technology meets them where they are and accelerates their progress, even if they start with remedial math and literacy skills, low digital literacy, and mild learning difficulties.
CSM addresses many of the most pressing college access and completion issues: students have poor math, and more generally poor learning skills; students are confused about their careers; and most importantly, students have low self-efficacy (their belief in their ability to succeed). CSM is not just another math course - it also builds the High Performance skills of independent learning, attention to detail, persistence, and self-efficacy along with college math.
You can articulate CSM for college math credit to build community partnerships with schools, adult education, workforce development, and community programs. These partners can incorporate CSM into their programming to create a streamlined path to your institution.
You can also use CSM as an alternative pathway to bring back stop-outs, for students in academic difficulty, and in development education.
Cities/Counties: start a community-wide initiative!
Communities face many different educational and workforce problems, all of which affect the economic prospects. CSM is a single program that addresses the High Performance skills that are common to all these issues, which can be implemented rapidly across programs with little cost.
Excel Together West Virginia is designed to bring the community together. Excel Together West Virginia is a program for "us" -- all the people in your community, working together in shared purpose, commitment, effort and accomplishment.
Student at BridgeValley Community and Technical College
CSM was key in changing her life trajectory...
"...so now I don't have to take any math for my associate’s. Now looking back, I felt like I wasn't deserving of a college degree, because I couldn't get through basic math. I had kinda given up, really. To me, CSM saved me!”
Click here to read all of Brittany's story...
“Hi, I'm Brittany! I took a lot of special needs math classes growing up. And so I didn't finish high school – I was like: I can't do math so I won't be able to do anything. I did the whole stay-at-home-with-kids things for awhile, and only worked at restaurants…
Then the CSM course came along… I've always hated math, but I really enjoyed CSM! I don't know if it was all the concepts for problem solving that it gives you, or the fact that whenever I got so frustrated that I was going to shut my computer, it would take me to somewhere else for awhile. I managed to finish, and I was so excited!
I got my three credits for math, and I started college to be a substance abuse counselor. I had always wanted to help people, and the only thing that was holding me back in my mind was well, I can't do math. As if the people I was going to be helping were going to say ‘well, can you do math?’.
And so now I don't have to take any math for my associate’s. Now looking back, I felt like I wasn't deserving of a college degree, because I couldn't get through basic math. I had kinda given up, really. To me, CSM saved me!”
Brittany was on the Dean's List at BridgeValley Community and Technical College!
Lynn White, SVP Education, National Oilwell Varco (Fortune 500 manufacturer)
Remarks about CSM made at the White House
"Our pilot group has indicated that CSM teaches in a manner that is non-threatening and less frustrating with a strong focus on persistence, attention to detail and improved knowledge retention. In short, it teaches our workers how to learn. ...CSM will result in a more confident, self-reliant workforce that ...has a changed mindset from 'Getting the job done' to 'Getting the job done more effectively and efficiently'..."
Click here for Lynn White's full remarks
"Since 2008 National Oilwell Varco or NOV has invested roughly $70 Million in internal training programs. We now recognize that we are pretty good at developing and delivering the technical side of things, however, we have found that upon completion of the training, some of our workforce continues to struggle with retaining their newly gained knowledge and how to best apply new concepts. The end result is technically competent employees that perform at an average level, or as [SeeMore Impact Labs] puts it, a C level.
Within our own internal courses or the training grants there has been very little focus on soft skills, in particular how to improve in areas of critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are essential elements to NOV as we aim to develop a workforce that is empowered, can solve problems effectively and efficiently, and possess the critical thinking skills that lead to innovation and higher performance levels.
To address these areas of need we turned to CSM. Feedback from our pilot tests has confirmed that CSM has the potential to help us achieve our workforce objectives by providing and excellent foundation for critical thinking and problem solving.
Our workforce ranges from middle school graduates with GED’s to advanced degree holders with various skill levels, so development of internal training programs has been challenging based on the individual ability to learn. CSM understands that individuals learn differently and provides the flexibility to use alternative training methods to achieve the goals.
Our pilot group has indicated that CSM teaches in a manner that is non-threatening and less frustrating with a strong focus on persistence, attention to detail and improved knowledge retention. In short, it teaches our workers how to learn.
Our hope is that the partnership with CSM will result in a more confident, self-reliant workforce that is more soft skill competent and has a changed mindset from “Getting the job done” to “Getting the job done more effectively and efficiently” and that NOV will ultimately benefit with improved quality and reduced cost in our products and services."
Math Coordinator for a turnaround high school
"The unanimous feelings of the math teachers involved in the program is that students are learning in ways they haven’t before. ...CSM is extremely exciting to me in its potential role in building not only the math skills of students, but also their general interest in academic work, and their ability to learn. I see broad use of CSM within this [struggling high school] population."
Please click to read more about Haidee's experience with CSM
"I am the math and science facilitator at Montbello High School. For the past 6 years, my experience has been with at risk youth. Montbello is an urban high school with an extremely challenging student population – 85% of students are free and reduced lunch, many students are minority, undocumented and/or otherwise at-risk, and about two-thirds of the students at an unsatisfactory level on the state proficiency test. Currently the Montbello area has a 49% drop out rate. For many of our students, we have had little success with any math intervention.
We introduced CSM for 11th and 12thgraders in a pilot this fall with an “average” selection of students, and remarkably, the majority of students made substantial progress on CSM – including many who started at very basic math and literacy levels. The consistent feedback from the teachers has been that CSM makes the students work hard – it doesn’t let them off, and it doesn’t let them guess. Yet instead of frustrating the students, they appear to enjoy working with it.
The unanimous feelings of the math teachers involved in the program is that students are learning in ways they haven’t before. With the results from the first semester, we have expanded the program during the second semester, and the student results seem to be holding. From what we see within the CSM teacher interface, about two-thirds of the students are making satisfactory to excellent progress, and the remaining third working hard to compete with their classmates on their progress. CSM is extremely exciting to me in its potential role in building not only the math skills of students, but also their general interest in academic work, and their ability to learn. I see broad use of CSM within this population.
CSM is very different from the other computer-based systems that I have seen – it is not narrowly competency-based, and it addresses the deficits that many struggling students have both in their feelings about learning as well as the learning strategies that they use. I strongly believe that this sensible direction – giving our teachers more information about these aspects of students, and guiding their interventions, is an important tool for teachers. This will also be of particular benefit for those teachers who need professional development with intervention or more generally in dealing with struggling students."