Plans & Goals
- Executive Summary
The Los Angeles Regional Consortium continues its work in support of CAEP’s seven program areas, LARAEC member districts, and the LARAEC Three Year Plan (3YP) with its 23-24 annual plan. The plan maintains focus on the priority areas selected by the LARAEC Board: marketing and intentional outreach, engagement and persistence, and consortium collaboration. These priority areas address essential overarching themes for the consortium, including connecting with specific populations of underserved communities through outreach and engagement activities; providing support and resources for member-districts to develop curriculum, enrollment protocols and engagement activities that incorporate remote pedagogies and technologies; and being grounded in the needs and challenges of an emerging post-COVID landscape.
In implementing the 22-23 Annual Plan, LARAEC leveraged the power of its established Action Planning Teams which foster collaboration between districts and carry out focused activities that support the priorities laid out in the 22-25 Three Year Plan. LARAEC also utilized the power of a communication infrastructure that has been built up over the last several years: its website, which has become a clearinghouse and curated media hub for student and staff resources; the Lunch with LARAEC Zoomcast; the annual faculty and staff conference and its student-facing counterpart; and the LARAEC Insider, LARAEC’s weekly newsletter. These overlapping conduits of interconnectedness allow the consortium’s messaging, resources, and priority area work to be shared in an amplified way throughout LARAEC’s member districts.
This past year, LARAEC saw significant progress in support of its priorities, including the rollout of noteworthy new projects by the action planning teams. LAREAC APTs a) worked with a marketing expert to create targeted one-pagers with unique messaging for Spanish speakers, unemployed job seekers, and individuals without a high school diploma b) hosted two web-based PDs designed to strengthen engagement and persistence around remote learning in all program areas c) presented onboarding best practices for counselors and the classroom d) created a consortium definitions guide that includes key terms around data and how they are defined and used by each member district e) designed a student community event around mental health resources. LARAEC also experienced successes in a number of other areas, including the full implementation of a program search tool on the LARAEC website; gathering baseline usage data on the LARAEC website via web analytics to support and inform decision making; building out the website with robust student and staff toolkits, resources, spotlight videos, and recorded PD; returning in-person for the faculty, staff and administrator conference; hosting a consortium-wide online student career training and resource fair; rolling out a weekly newsletter to increase connectivity to member districts; offering topic-focused, virtual consortium-wide PD; and offering sessions on equity topics and IET.
LARAEC will continue activities consistent with its three-year plan priorities and support of CAEPs seven program areas. It will focus efforts on outreach, supporting students and faculty using research and best practices to enhance existing programs, and build new models for meeting the needs of students. It will leverage the action planning teams to power collaborative work around creating shared resources and hosting relevant PD. LARAEC will utilize current structures such as Lunch with LARAEC, conferences, professional development, web resources, and its newsletter to broadly engage district staff and expand student-facing activities.
LARAEC allocations will be used to support district and school site operations and provide education and workforce programs in the seven California Adult Education Program (CAEP) approved areas. The majority of program funds are allocated to districts for instructional and non-instructional salaries. LARAEC consortium funds along with member-district allocations will be used for providing adult education programs and the other activities outlined in this plan and aligned to the consortium three-year plan, including quality collaboration between-member districts, strengthening transitions and pathways, strengthening student support services, aligning data and accountability efforts, and creating a coordinated PD approach. Member-district funds will also address specific priorities and supports which may include, expanded CTE, professional development, equipment and materials, upgraded technology, transitions to workforce and institutions of higher learning, increased enrollment, and further developing online and hybrid opportunities for students. These activities are aligned with the consortium's three-year and annual plans and are designed to meet the educational and workforce needs of adults in the Los Angeles region.
- Regional Planning Overview
LARAEC’s consortium bylaws provide the vessel through which organizational structure is maintained. They ensure compliance and continuity related to fulfilling the priorities of the Consortium Three Year and annual plans. In accordance with its bylaws, LARAEC has established Action Planning Teams (APT) to carry out and complete the targeted strategies outlined in the three-year plan. These action planning teams may include: Data Collaboration and Best Practices, Counseling and Transitions, Marketing, Remote Learning, and Support for Special Populations. Each team is given a unique scope of work, a meeting schedule, and a timeline for completion of work. The initial meeting is conducted under the guidance of a professional facilitator. This allows group members to settle in and utilize the time as effectively and efficiently as possible. Team members continue to meet during scheduled consortium-wide workdays and may host individual group meetings throughout the year. Typically, groups meet remotely to ensure participation and access. LARAEC staff coordinate the work of the APTs through regular communication and periodic meetings with each group’s co-chairs and other communicative activities. In addition, each member district has an appointed point person who meets with LARAEC staff twice a month to provide input, ensure local district perspective, and assist with coordination for the implementation of consortium three-year plan activities. The Point Persons and LARAEC Staff Annual Retreat provides the opportunity for collaboration and input around action planning team activities and yearly activities aligned with the consortium’s three-year and annual plans. The LARAEC Executive Board also receives informational reports and updates related to the three year and annual plans.
Meeting Regional Needs
Regional Need #1
- Gaps in Service / Regional Needs
The Los Angeles basin is an area of high need. A review of the CAEP region and state fact sheets during the 3YP process indicates that among adults in the Los Angeles regions: almost 24% have less than a high school diploma; over one million people have limited English skills; over one million live near the poverty line; and the region has a significant number of disconnected youth (171,000) and unemployed (over one million). In addition, 42% of regional adults report Spanish as their primary language and 77% of adult education students are Hispanic. High-need communities represent a significant number of potential students, but only a small percentage are being served. Of the nearly three million people who are 18 years or older in the Los Angeles basin (2019-2020), the consortium served about 2% of those with no high school diploma, 7% of those with limited English, and only 2.5% of those who are low income. In addition, COVID has created additional barriers to engagement for many of these communities. This reality is reflected in a decline in overall numbers of students served in the consortium (an overall 38% decline in students served from 2018-19 to 2020-21).
The opportunity in the workplace is here. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and the Center for Competitive Workforce (CCW) forecast over 200,000 middle-skill job openings (those jobs requiring more than a high school diploma and less than a BA) in the Los Angeles Basin over the next five years. However, engagement of students who can fill these openings has lagged. The 3YP initial planning group members, utilizing the data packet, identified multiple issues for students, including limited access to the appropriate technology, need for support services, the need for alignment of programs with high-priority middle-skill occupations, and a lack of awareness among potential students about resources and programs available through adult education. This lack of awareness was further validated by student surveys which indicated almost half of all students learned about adult education programs only from family and friends and 20% from a school website. A tiny minority, 2%, found adult education through traditional advertising such as billboards, TV, or radio.
The implications for the consortium and its focus groups were clear. Traditional marketing strategies used by many institutions may not be as effective in connecting our programs and services to potential students and in particular communities of need. Therefore, it is essential to explore and prioritize new marketing strategies that would focus on targeted outreach in non-traditional ways. There is also a need to develop curriculum and support services specific to many of these high-need populations (foster youth, returning citizens, older adults, low literacy, and low skill), including the need to better align community-based employment opportunities with corresponding career training and then market this information to these at-risk communities. Along with this, school website efficacy, organization, and ease of use must be included in the conversation. Students need to be able to find program information and connect with adult education staff. Layered onto this is the board’s expressed priority of making this a plan that will meet the needs of this moment. Re-examining marketing strategies to more precisely outreach to special populations and communities of need reflects this concern.
- How do you know? What resources did you use to identify these gaps?
LARAEC member-districts selected personnel to participate in the consortium’s 3YP Initial Planning Groups (IPG). These groups consisted of staff, teachers, and administrators, from all member districts. These groups examined data as they looked to identify needs and gaps, and pinpoint critical focus areas. LARAEC staff and member-district point persons collaborated to create a data packet for this group, which included, among other things, Tops Enterprise data, adult education LaunchBoard data, CAEP regional fact sheets, and information from member-districts’ WIOA Continuous Improvement Plans, WASC plans, and Perkins goals. The packet also included information and data from the City of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development Board Local Plan and the LAOCRC Strong Workforce Plan for the Los Angeles region. Each district also provided narrative data on student support services, marketing, and course offerings. Subsequent to this, the LARAEC Executive Board met in a special session, open for public comment, to review the work of this group, provide input, and gain consensus on regional needs and focus areas. LARAEC student and staff surveys were utilized to validate findings and extend understanding of student needs. An additional member-district staff survey was conducted in spring 2023, to confirm these gaps as continued priorities.
During the creation of the 3YP, LARAEC included opportunities for continued stakeholder engagement. In addition to IPGs, point persons, and staff, inter-district groups of subject-matter experts were formed for each consortium priority area. These groups participated in three days of facilitated discussions designed to identify strategies and activities that address regional and students’ needs. Student and staff survey data from all districts was provided to the planning groups and incorporated into the recommended activities. Individual districts solicited input from their regional partners and local community-based organizations to add to the plan. LARAEC provided opportunities for the public and stakeholders to provide comments on drafts of the plan through board meetings and remote formats. LARAEC is confident that the 3YP final document reflects a collaborative effort between all districts and stakeholders in identifying regional needs. Based on member-district staff surveys conducted again in spring 2023, the gaps identified are continued priorities.
- How will you measure effectiveness / progress towards meeting this need?
As part of the three-year planning process, LARAEC member-districts selected both consortium-level and district metrics. The consortium selected 5 % growth each year in overall enrollment and 5% growth each year in English language learners as measures of effectiveness. The primary need and focus area in the region is marketing and targeted outreach to communities of need. These measures will show progress toward this focus area. Member-districts also selected a 5% increase each year in adults who become participants (12+ hours). This measure addresses the second focus area of increased engagement and persistence. The last focus area, consortium collaboration, will be measured by participation statistics reported by LARAEC staff. As the first year of this 3YP cycle, LARAEC staff will collect baseline data for participation in professional development, conference attendees, and website analytics. These data collection elements are included in the consortium three-year plan. Annual plan progress is a standing item on the LARAEC board agenda and progress is discussed at twice monthly point person and staff meetings. Progress is also reported to member-districts quarterly through the LARAEC Effectiveness Report.
The 2022-23 School Year (SY) showed an overall enrollment increase. The consortium exceeded its three year target (5%) for enrollment. The 2020-21 enrollment was 62,712 and the preliminary 2022-23 YTD enrollment is 90,166 (44% increase). The consortium also exceeded the target (5%) for enrolling students with the barrier of English Language Learner with a 61% increase over 2020-21. CAEP data also shows that all member-districts have increased participants (students with 12 hrs +) over 2020-21 data and the majority of districts have exceeded the 3YP target (5% increase) for 2022-23. For 2023-24 SY, LARAEC renews its commitment to increasing enrollment by 5% over the prior year in all of the target areas identified in the 3YP.
Address Educational Needs
Improve Integration of Services & Transitions
Improve Effectiveness of Services
- A narrative justifying how the planned allocations are consistent with the annual adult education plan which is based on your CAEP 3-year plan.
LARAEC allocations are made to the five member districts and the LARAEC office. LARAEC allocations are used to support district and school site operations and provide education and workforce programs in the seven California Adult Education Program (CAEP) approved areas. The majority of CAEP program funds are allocated to instructional and non-instructional salaries to support adult education programs and services provided to consortium students and implement strategies outlined in LARAEC’s 2022-2025 Consortium Three Year Plan and the 2022-23 Annual Plan. The LARAEC office receives an allocation to fund consortium activities and LARAEC staff who conduct conferences and events, facilitate the action planning teams, coordinate the LARAEC board and point persons meetings, maintain the consortium website, manage consortium deliverables and reports, and monitor the progress of three-year and annual plan activities. In order to enhance oversight of member districts, in March of 2021, the LARAEC Board approved a written policies and procedures manual for the administration of CAEP funds as well as use of an effectiveness report to be issued quarterly. These policies and procedures began implementation on July 1, 2021. Allocations and expenditures are aligned with the consortium's three-year and annual plans and are designed to meet the educational and workforce needs of adults in the Los Angeles region.
- An approach to incorporating remaining carry-over funds from prior year(s) into strategies planned for 2023-24.
Burbank Adult School (BAS) For 2023-2024, BAS will expand its ESL program, hire staff to meet demand, and purchase learning software and new laptops to accelerate language acquisition. Teachers will be trained to align lessons with LARAEC course outlines and CASAS results to increase benchmarks. BAS plans to continue investing in the academic department to ensure that high school students have the learning software and new devices they need to accelerate their learning transition to higher education. BAS will increase class offerings online in the academic department to expand learning opportunities. BAS will hire staff and purchase equipment to launch the Licensed Vocational Nurse program in Spring 2024. CTE department improvements will be made by replacing computers in the labs and creating a new lab to expand training for students with different needs. Finally, BAS plans to upgrade the camera security system on campus to ensure that all computers and new devices are under constant surveillance.
Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) will use carry-over and leveraged funds for certificated salaries and benefits. Funds will also be spent on professional development, supplies and materials, and support services. Expenditures will be aligned to the LARAEC annual and 3YP. In addition to sustaining existing programs, CCUSD will also use funds to build an FSI program, and develop CTE pathways in collaboration with LARAEC partners.
Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD): For 2023-24, LACCD will use carry-over and leveraged funds to address several initiatives. LACCD will leverage CAEP funds along with local, state and federal funds to support adult student equity, completion and transfer. LACCD commits to address onboarding students, transitions from adult schools to community colleges, or from community college to workforce or transfer to a four-year institution.
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will use carry-over and leveraged funds for certificated salaries (including a recently negotiated raise), employee benefits, professional development, supplies/materials, and student support services. Funds will be allocated to support the achievement of DACE’s strategic goals: increased enrollment, improved student persistence, and expanded learning options for students, including in-person, online, and hybrid courses. LAUSD will invest in expanding high-demand CTE courses, will implement a comprehensive marketing campaign, and will implement a student reengagement initiative. All activities are aligned with the LARAEC three-year plan.
Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) will utilize carry-over and leveraged funds to upgrade the aging buildings and upgrade infrastructure in our different sites. Funds will also be utilized to make the Montebello Adult Career Technical Institute (MACTI) fully functional for use by students and staff. The investment of funds in support and training services will enhance PD opportunities related to LARAEC priorities, district, WASC, and Montebello Adult School goals to increase student engagement, recruitment, and retention. MUSD will continue to create on-line, in person learning opportunities in all programs, when possible, to maximize learning and access to accommodate the forever changing student needs of our communities.
- (310) 842-4300
- Director, Adult Education & Student Support Services
- (323) 972-1853