The next step in my course project is to set learning goals, determine how I will assess participants, and choose activities to address learning goals.
SMART Goal-Setting for Returning Citizens Recently Released from Incarceration
This program will take place at REAL Life, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to working with recently released citizens and help them with issues like housing, jobs, recovery, and setting up a life that will keep them free from recidivism.
- Students will examine the components of SMART goals and investigate how to set goals that are Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Students will perform two tasks: first, they will watch a short video about the SMART acronym and what it means to set SMART goals; second, they will demonstrate their knowledge by creating a “sample SMART goal” using an online activity.
- Students will generate one SMART goal in each of the following areas: Employment, Healthy Relationships, Healthy Living, Legal Responsibilities, Happiness, and Recovery from Addictive Behavior. Students will complete online activities that show examples of SMART goals for each of the categories. To assess this objective, students will successfully complete online worksheets for each of their 5 goals.
- Students will record their SMART goals and communicate them to make them more concrete. Students will meet with me for 30 minutes to verbally explain their goals and the dates by which they will complete each of their goals. They will set an assigned date to stop working on their goals (whether they are complete or not). To assess this objective, we will create an online document that sets up a timeline for each goal.
- Students will assess their progress as they work on their goals and communicate their successes and growth areas. Students will meet with me for 60 minutes to verbally share their progress on each goal and talk about what is working, what isn’t working, and what kind of help they need to meet their goals. To assess this objective, we will edit their online document together to take notes on their progress.
- Students will complete as many of their 5 SMART goals as possible by their chosen deadline. Students will meet with me for a final 60 minutes to share their results. To assess this objective, students will complete an online evaluation of their performance, their reflections about the project, and their suggestions for others who will try the SMART goal-setting project in the future.
I believe that Bandura’s social learning theory will be most useful for this project. In this theory, people learn within a social context that includes modeling and observational learning. Because the REAL Life organization involves peer recovery and learning from the modeled behaviors of successful returning citizens, this will be a useful framework for my project. Additionally, I can offer personal perspective that aligns with this framework, because I have overcome many of the barriers of reentering society after incarceration. This means that I have been able to follow modeled behavior and work within a social learning context by learning from my peers who have stayed out of jail, and am also able to model positive behavior to my program participants while encouraging and supporting them from a position of direct experience. Because positive role modeling is deeply important to learning, this will be a strength I can engage to encourage the adults I’ll be working with to meet the learning objectives.