Focused Sessions & Digital Applications: Madisonville Community College

Madisonville explored two research questions: What impact will focused sessions (GED® bootcamps and Power Surge programs) have on successful completion of the GED® for students who have already passed 2 of the components? How will the use of digital applications keep students engaged and moving forward between lessons?

Product Overview

Our PLC product was to develop a GED® Bootcamp.  The reasoning behind this was to see if we could engage our students who needed 1 or 2 GED® sections and get them complete.  We advertised it on social media and had students put flyers in key physical locations.

Mastery Moments

Hopkins: Offering the class on the weekend was new and I do consider it a success.  The students who came were able to attend because of the time that I offered it.  I only had one GED® from the class but he missed a family trip to be there and I am so happy that he was successful. 


One mastery moment in Muhlenberg included designing a Power Surge curriculum that could be offered in both a group setting and one-on-one.  This also led to designing the same curriculum on Canvas (still a work in progress).  

Another success for us was being able to offer the Power Surge in a hybrid setting so that students that would not be able to attend in-person would benefit from the curriculum as well. I look forward to implementing the Canvas online power surge as it seems to be another great way to reach students outside the classroom and keep them active.

Messy Moments

Our PLC group went from 5 to 3 just as the PLC kicked off.  In Hopkins, Kristiehad to pretty much handle the Boot Camp on her own, and in Muhlenberg they only had two staff.


Hopkins held its  Boot camp on a weekend and found that it really worked, schedule wise, for the students, but it was too much content for the short amount of time that we had.


One “messy” moment we encountered in Muhlenberg was that not all of our students were ready for a high-intensity Power Surge class.  We determined that it would be beneficial to offer  “Pre-Power Surge” level classes.  Another challenge was the fact that potential Power Surge students were not able to collectively meet at scheduled times.  This led to us offering the high-intensity curriculum both in groups and one-on-one.


Another issue we encountered was that of how to get students to commit even to a short-term scheduled class.  This led to offering the Power Surge curriculum to students in a hybrid setting, so that when they were not able to attend class, they could join another way or complete work at home. Also,  we realize that our students may take more than one “Power Surge” to complete enough to be successful. So we must expect some repeat customers.


The students that attended the Hopkins boot camp really enjoyed the class.  They said it really helped them to understand the material.  Out of the 4 that completed the class, only 1 went on to complete his GED®, but I still feel it was a success with the knowledge the others gained. 


Throughout the October – December Power Surge classes, Muhlenberg had 20 Official GED® sections passed with 3 GED®s obtained.  We anticipate 5 additional GED® completers in Jan/Feb that attended the Power Surge classes.


We feel that we can see our efforts paying off in the number of GED®s and MSGs that are reached so far.  We also get positive student feedback on the class.


Final Impact on Performance  (as measured by score gain, enrollment increase, MSG attained, GED® Ready passed, GED® tests passed, GED® earned, or other quantitative measure directly attributed to PLC work.):

  • Enrollment: 34-63; ↑29
  • MSGs:   1-18; ↑17
  • GEDs:   6-13; ↑7
  • Percentage growth:
    • Enrollment grew 185 percent
    • MSGs grew 1800 percent!
    • GED attainment grew by 217 percent

Moving Forward

Hopkins would like to offer some type of “boot camp” again for students.  It may be altered in some way to fit into the instructor’s schedule, as well as the students, but I(Kristie Buskoff) think that boot camps work and it is a great way to get the students through the content. 


Muhlenberg  would like to take student comments/feedback and revise their Power Surge curriculum and how it is being offered. They now feel that it is critical to offer a schedule that best meets the needs of the current student base (classes, one-on-one, Canvas).  

We definitely want to take student needs under advisement as we work through the curriculum as well.  We will need to be as flexible as possible to meet the learning needs of our students on their available times.  Offering student choice as to when and how they can complete the curriculum are the next logical steps.