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Step by Step Guide to Utilizing the Shared Cohort Network for CASA Trainees

In late 2018, Athens CASA formed a partnership with the Ohio CASA Association to offer a user-friendly and cost effective hybrid training platform for CASA programs across Ohio. Utilizing the revised National CASA Association curriculum, Athens CASA developed an online learning platform to complement the in-person sessions. The platform is based on Google products and tools, eliminating most compatibility issues.

To improve staff and volunteer efficiency, a shared cohort for online studies is currently being offered to all CASA programs across Ohio, up to six times per year. The goal of this project is to pool resources, share facilitation responsibilities and offer opportunities for programs of all sizes to provide robust, responsive and timely training for prospective volunteers.

The resources and information below are for local program staff interested in joining a cohort.

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Online training will be available 6 times per year, in odd months. Training cohorts are 5 weeks long and contain 5 modules corresponding to each week of the month. In person sessions should be held locally on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays to correspond with the weekly modules.

Athens CASA staff will manage postings of new assignments every Wednesday for the Module due during the following week. All local program staff will be added as facilitators to the online portal.

CHOOSE TRAINING DATES

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Enroll your program​ in a shared cohort. Be sure that you enroll at least three weeks before the start of the month. To enroll, follow the link below and submit the information of your program's LEAD facilitator. This person will serve as the primary contact and will receive essential communications regarding the upcoming cohort. The lead facilitator for your program will receive instructions on how to add additional facilitators from your county and your trainees during the web meeting that corresponds with the appropriate cohort.

Enroll your program in a cohort here.

ENROLL YOUR PROGRAM IN A COHORT

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Local program staff will be added as facilitators to each training cohort in which they have trainees. Facilitators may post announcements or materials pertinent to their local program. If you post content that is highly specific to your county, please indicate in the post heading or description that it is county specific. All facilitators should participate and engage in the discussion with trainees.

It is completely web based using Zoom and takes place from noon to 1pm.

STAFF FACILITATORS

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Local programs should host a brief orientation with trainees prior to the first module. This can be held in person or virtually. Most critically, this is an opportunity to provide the trainee with a manual (if the program uses printed manuals) and to demonstrate to them how to access the Google Classroom.

Use this video to teach trainees how to use the online system.

ORIENTATION

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The online modules are meant to serve as "pre-work" for each in person classroom session to be held locally. The curriculum is being used in its entirety, however the pre-work and readings are divided between online modules to line up with the corresponding case studies that occur in-person. Plan to host in-person sessions (3 hours) once per week for 5 weeks beginning in the first week of each month. In-person sessions should be held on either Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. New modules will post every Wednesday afternoon.

Click here for the master calendar to look ahead to each cohort, planned web meetings and more. Each month is viewable by click on the various tabs.

LOCAL IN-PERSON SESSIONS

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Training evaluations of the online modules will be offered electronically to trainees. The forms have the capacity to also include the questions required by Ohio CASA for in-person sessions as well. If local programs would like for in-person evaluation to be included, please let Athens CASA staff know by the conclusion of the training cohort.

Evaluation data will be provided to the local program staff within 1 week of the final module's completion.

EVALUATION

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We have a number of tools and resources to guide your experience with the Shared Cohort system. It is suggested that local program trainers utilize the custom training outline to guide in-person sessions that accurately reflect the online course work and identify areas for suggested customization per locality. View the outline here.

Local programs are advised to provide the National CASA trainee manual as a hard copy or an electronic version. You can access this manual here.

Learn more about how to access and use the online classroom here. 

Access handouts, guides, outlines and more here.

RESOURCES

Contact Us
Athens CASA/GAL Program
(740) 592-3255
info@athenscasa.org