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California

Adult Education Innovations

State Contacts


State Agency

Carolyn Zachry
Administrator, Adult Education Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street Suite 4202 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 322-1849 Fax: (916) 327-3878
Email: zachry@cde.ca.gov
Website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ae/

State Association

Steve Curiel
President
California Council for Adult Education (CCAE)
California
Phone: 714-842-4227
Email: scuriel@hbas.edu
Website: https://www.ccaestate.org/

 

State Reports on Adult Education


 

California

State Data on Adult Education


 

California

Employer Success Stories


 

California

Building Skills Partnership (BSP)
UCLA Labor Center
Los Angeles, California

The Challenge

Los Angeles janitors clean the city’s largest metropolitan buildings, yet their children attend some of the city’s most under-resourced public schools. Ninety percent of janitorial workers are immigrant workers and often work difficult hours and hold multiple jobs. As a result, many struggle to access educational resources for their children.

The Solution

In collaboration with the UCLA Labor Center, the Parent Worker Project aims to improve educational opportunities for janitors’ families and communities. Through this project, parents and young children participate in workshops, field trips, and cultural activities at worksites, schools, and the union. For example, recently families attended a college tour at UC Santa Barbara, as well as a field trip to the California Science Center. For many janitor parents and their children, it was the first time setting foot on a college campus. In addition, BSP facilitates college workshops for the high school aged kids of janitors and science activities for children ages 5-12.

The Outcome

The Parent Worker Project trains a cohort of janitor parents and union members of SEIU-United Service Workers West, who will become advocates for their children’s education. It has been successful in reaching the entire household to improve student outcomes and keep dynamic, productive workers in the workforce. The project overcomes barriers common to the immigrant experience by providing a pathway to higher education to lift families out of poverty.

Ventura Adult and Continuing Education Center
Ventura, California

The Challenge

In April 2017, the Workforce Education Coalition started a regional IT guild designed to offer local employers an opportunity to identify industry needs in the field. The challenge was to find qualified, entry-level employees who possessed the IT industry certifications and basic skills necessary to retain employment. Guild and Ventura Adult Continuing Education (VACE) advisory committee members helped by offering unpaid internships, on-the-job-training opportunities, and jobs. Another challenge emerged when VACE placed a deaf career technical education (CTE) graduate at an internship. Initially, the employer was concerned about his ability to communicate with the student, who was skilled and focused, with both A+ and N+ certifications.

The Solution

A number of organizations partnered to find a solution that led to the student intern eventually becoming a valued, full-time employee. The student immigrated from India to the United States during high school. He learned American Sign Language when English was not his first language. While attending CTE training, interpreters were provided by VACE and the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), as needed. However, he used technology to communicate through text, thereby making it possible to successfully interact with others during the internship. A concerted effort was made to develop an on-the-job-training site at STS Technology. A job coach was provided to facilitate the interview and to ensure that the student transitioned into the work environment. Networking and support from the members of the IT Guild, Workforce Education Coalition, and VACE’s Program Advisory Committee were key elements to success.

The Outcome

The employer was able to hire a highly skilled computer technician capable of utilizing the analytical and troubleshooting skills he learned as part of a CTE program offered through VACE. The internship provided the employer with an opportunity to test the student’s skills before committing to hiring. The DOR assisted with the job coaching. Initially, the student served as a “bench tech,” until his greater capabilities became clear. The school was able to successfully provide the IT Program Advisory Committee members with a valued employee. Lastly, the IT guild was able to fulfill its goal by offering a local employer an opportunity to identify its needs and be provided with a well-trained candidate to hire.

Adult Learner Success Stories


 

California

Raymond Lopez
Adult Learner, Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center

The Challenge

In August of 2016, Raymond Lopez came to our Orientation at CAJ and met with one of our counselors to discuss what program he might be able to do. Raymond was a dislocated worker and on Disability, he was seeking a new career and was new to Adult Education. Raymond enrolled into the medical assistant program that started October 2016. All new students take a 3-week course in Customer Service before they enter their primary classes. I am updated as to how many students I will be having in my class and upon knowing this information, I make a point of visiting the Customer Service class, introduce myself so the students would know who I am and could recognize me on campus. I was told I had three young men starting and one was rather tall. As I was speaking to the class I noticed a taller young man and said to myself that has to be Raymond, as it turns out, it was Raymond. Entering into the medical assisting program is tough and takes a lot of memorization as well as taking tests, doing procedures, memorizing 200 drug words over and over along with medical math, daily homework and keeping attendance and grades up.

When new students come into the medical assisting program, I ask students to address the class, telling a little something about themselves, why they chose the medical assisting. Raymond’s story caught my attention. Raymond came to Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center because someone from Kaiser told him about the program on Lemon Hill Ave. and suggested he come to a Wednesday morning orientation, meet the instructors and take the reading and math test in order to enter a program of choice.

The Solution

Raymond passed the reading and math, he applied for financial aid because he was a dislocated worker and had been on disability which qualified him for Pell Grant and then applied for a scholarship that would help pay for the remaining balance. Raymond went through hoops to get into the medical assistant program. During the time Raymond attend the program, he received

‘Intent to Drop’ for his grades were dropping. Intent to Drop is a warning and gives the student an opportunity to improve so we try not to drop them. Raymond took this serious and began to improve his grades. His attendance was perfect and has been through this whole program. Raymond has overcome being beaten and having his skull crushed, suffered brain injury which impaired his thinking, memory, and speech as well as motor skills. Raymond was a victim of a break in at his apartment, he tried to stop the burglars and help his roommates but could not, and he was over powered by physical force. He was beaten severely and spent 27 days in ICU. His mother, father, and sister were told he might not live and if he did, no one would know what permanent damages he would suffer if any. Raymond before coming to CAJ’s medical assisting program went through a tremendous amount of therapy, physical therapy; speech lessons after about a two year period decided and tried to work. Raymond day by day held on to his beliefs he would be successful one day even working through his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This young man is a miracle and a wonderful student who has overcome his depression, his fears, his head injury, he has broken his back, tailbone, shattered the scaphoid in the wrist, had several surgeries including brain surgery, repairing of his skull and then faced not ever working again as a laborer or hard physical work.

The Outcome

Raymond took his strength, put all his effort into this program, and is one of my best students, studies harder than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. This young man is an inspiration to all of us who complain that we can’t be successful. Raymond helps all the students, takes his time, offers to work with them and explains to them how he studies. Raymond never tells you no. You would have to be in my classroom and watch this young man. Raymond is completing the medical assisting program on May l 5th and then doing his extern hip of 200 hours at Sutter Medical Foundation in Davis. Raymond’s math skills are 100%, attendance is 100% and his overall grade is 99% and his drug words are at a 100%. Raymond took what was given to him, made it work, fought hard to succeed and is on his way to becoming a great medical assistant who wants to give back all he has learned to patients because he was one that survived. His beliefs and strength gave him his life back.

Teresa P.
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Teresa, an immigrant from Mexico, had both a strong desire and a sincere need to learn English. However, as a mother of two growing children, she worked long hours at a laundromat where her ever-changing schedule made it impossible to attend classes regularly. She began working as a janitor for the Leander School District, but with such a hectic schedule and a long commute, she still could not attend classes regularly enough to enjoy any real progress with her English ability.

The Solution

Cell-Ed, an over-the-phone English program, was offered to Teresa (and working parents just like her) through the non-profit Community Action of Texas, in partnership with the Leander School District. Cell-Ed is a multi-level, automated English course focusing on real-life dialogues, situations, phrases, and grammar that is accessible 24 hours a day by any mobile phone. Teresa began studying immediately, citing that the self-paced, always-accessible course was exactly what she needed. She dove in head-first, completing lesson after lesson. She stated that the course felt as though it was designed just for her, covering topics that she could easily relate to. She even began encouraging people in her life to start learning English with Cell-Ed!

The Outcome

Leander School District made an offer to all the janitors that if they could attend one class per week and study regularly with Cell-Ed on their own time, their resume would be put at the top of the list for a lead staff position. Teresa nervously accepted the challenge and studied even more rigorously than before. In a short time, she was interviewed (in all English) and was offered the job! Thanks to her determination and the always-accessible Cell-Ed, Teresa enjoys stable hours and higher pay.  

Marc Pomerleau
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Marc Pomerleau resides in Gardena, California. At one time, he worked at Torrance Memorial Hospital as a patient transporter. While working at the hospital, he often passed by the pharmacy department and pictured himself working there. Marc started to research which school had a program that would be nearby and convenient for him after work. He found out that the Levy Educational Center of Torrance Adult School was located less than a half mile away and offered a Pharmacy Technician Program.

The Solution

Marc Pomerleau was able to enroll in Torrance Adult School’s Pharmacy Technician Program, taught by Leticia Wang. This program is a twelve week long, fast paced course. Upon completing the course, Marc would need to complete an additional 120 hours of externship at a local pharmacy. After finishing the course and the 120 hours of externship, Marc would receive a certificate from the school and be qualified to be licensed by the California State Board of Pharmacy. While enrolled in the course, Marc devoted his time and effort and received a perfect score on all his tests and classwork. After the course, Marc was sent to a local Walgreens pharmacy to complete his externship.

The Outcome

During his externship at Walgreens, Marc was so highly regarded that they recommended him to be hired. However, Marc wanted to work in a hospital instead of a retail pharmacy so that he could work in either the inpatient pharmacy or outpatient pharmacy. Marc applied at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center and also passed the Los Angeles County test with a perfect score! The supervisors were so impressed by his perfect score and his externship recommendation that he was hired in the inpatient pharmacy.  

Matt Saunders
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Matt tried a couple years ago with the HiSET exam but did not pass the math section. With such a short window between him needing to pass the test and the first of day of fall semester (2017) at Shasta College, Matt’s financial aid status depended on him passing the math section.

The Solution

Matt came into the adult education program at the Smart Center looking to get his high school equivalency certificate. The AEBG has had a tremendous effect on adult learners that are unable to qualify for WIOA-funded programs. There are many learners that seek AEBG programs because they are already working or do not currently have the time to work. This is almost always a disqualification for enrollment into WIOA-programs at the Smart Center, which understandably are programs that aim at both educational and employment needs.

The Outcome

Matt worked hard in the past month with a dedicated teacher who believes in what Better.Jobs is doing with AEBG funds to help individuals like Matt. Matt learned the topics needed and stay motivated. A week after retesting, Matt and his instructor were given confirmation that he had earned his high school equivalency certificate. Congratulations Matt and all the best to you at Shasta College!

Audelino Valladaraz Jr.
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Audelino has been trying to get back to school to be a better person to provide more for his family. He describes his experience as not easy and kind of hard.

The Solution

Audelino decided to come back and get enrolled at Corning Adult School. Audelino says that as time went by and with the help of two teachers who always believed in him and gave him the confidence he needed to succeed he has been able to do well.

The Outcome

Audelino is now a Paraeducator at Corning Centennial. “It’s special to be here because Corning Adult School really cares about their students and really does the effort to believe in each student and I believed in myself and in them and here I am right now. I’m a Paraeducator at Corning Centennial and I like what I do.”

Testimonials


 

California

“I am the customer, a life long learner attending Foothills Adult classes in El Cajon, CA. I am an artist, learning all I can each and every week from my wonderful instructor Drew Bandish. Now my daughter comes with me, and we have a wonderful art session every Tuesday. As Drew is a very good artist, he knows what we need to learn and how to explain it in easy lessons. He has improved my technique many, many times over, and as a senior lady, I enjoy the experience of meeting other artists. Great friendships have been made with the other students. I could not afford to do this at a college. It has been a wonderful opportunity.”

Ruth D'Spain-Ellrott

Adult Learner, Foothills Adult School