Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
The HIPPY model provides parents in the program with the opportunity to serve as home visitors. This is often the first work experience, or the first professional experience for our alumni parents. With training, support and supervision they provide high quality educational home visits to their peers and neighbors. Through our AmeriCorps grant they earn a scholarship which gives them the opportunity to go to college. Again, this is a first for most of our parents and home visitors. As described by Kathy White, our coordinator in Snyder, TX "Our HIPPY Home Instructors have gone from being a parent in the program, to obtaining a GED, enrolling in college and finishing two years with future plans of becoming teachers!” Their experience as home visitors provides them with marketable skills. One of my dreams is to be able to package these experiences into college credit. Their weekly training, 2-3 hours of examining the skills taught in the HIPPY curriculum that week in the context of child development, along with periodic trainings add up to over 100 hours of "classroom" time a year. CLASP, a national research and policy organization that focuses on education, employment and poverty issues, recently published their recommendations to create a national "competency based qualifications framework for post-secondary education and training". The report is Giving Credit Where Credit is Due and if realized it would create exactly the right system which would recognize on the job work experience such as HIPPY!