Adult Education Innovations
Partnership Helps Consortium Address Classroom Shortage Challenge
GatewaySCV, the consortium consisting of Golden Oak Adult School and College of the Canyons in the Santa Clarita Valley, struggles with a shortage of classroom space during daytime hours. In addition, local employers struggle to find qualified entry-level employees. There is an unmet need for classroom space during the day to meet student and employer needs.
GatewaySCV members understand that to provide comprehensive adult education opportunities to residents of the Santa Clarita Valley, engaging regional business and community partners is key. To address the classroom space problem, consortium members began with existing relationships with community partners, as well as the college’s economic development division, to expand support through engagement of local legislators, city leaders, and new business partnerships. Efforts to nurture and expand community and employer engagement have been ongoing, with the college’s dean of continuing education, the adult school principal and the consortium director working together within the community. Efforts include GatewaySCV representatives presenting successes to local legislators during CCAE’s legislative day; soliciting support monthly at the Business and Community Collaborative, which consists of more than 100 business and community members; and a biannual community advisory meeting, consisting of city leaders, community members and students, to bring awareness of the need for classroom space needed to prepare students for employment.
The result of these partnerships has expanded services to students that meet the needs of employers in the Santa Clarita Valley. Partners have provided classroom space in community centers, libraries and on-site at local businesses. These classrooms serve students by the convenience of location, and in some cases, the instruction is aligned such that it is specific to employer needs. In addition, partnerships with local health care providers, including Walgreens and CVS, have created externship opportunities leading to employment. These partnerships allow GatewaySCV to solicit stakeholder input to drive instructional programming, overcome classroom space challenges, provide training to local employers on-site and open job-placement opportunities.
Partnerships formed within the community bring awareness to educational opportunities offered in Santa Clarita, and provide greater access by removing barriers to adult learners, helping to put them on a track to postsecondary education and/or a career.