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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Sherri Watkins, State Center Adult Education Consortium

Building Bridges: Adult School and Community College Collaboration

  • Type of Practice: Partnerships & Collaboration
  • Targeted Population: English Language Learners
  • Program Area(s): English as a Second Language & Citizenship
  • Consortia Involved:
    Ventura County Adult Education Consortium: Caruthers Unified School District, Central Unified School District, Clovis Unified School District, Dinuba Unified School District, Fowler USD, Fresno Unified School District, Golden Valley USD, Kerman USD, Kings Canyon Unified School District, Kingsburg Joint UHSD, Madera Unified School District, Sanger Unified School District, Selma Unified School District, Sierra Joint UHSD, State Center Community College District, Washington Union High School District, Yosemite Unified School District

The Challenge

ESL students face many challenges both with improving their general English skills and completing their college education. Many ESL students begin at the Adult School level, but fail to move on either because they lack knowledge about the next steps and/or they are intimidated by the idea of attending college. This collaboration between Fresno Adult School(FAS) and Fresno City College (FCC) was developed to help students learn how to navigate the college system and to make them feel comfortable and confident about the idea of becoming a college student.

The Solution

Faculty, administrators and counselors from FAS and FCC met many times and developed a new collaboration to address this problem. Two FCC low level classes were offered for the first time on the FAS campus. This involved a tremendous amount of work on everyone’s part as promotion and recruitment had to be done to fill these classes. In addition, the class format had to be modified to accommodate the schedules of adult school students. The FCC instructors worked closely with FAS school teacher to develop topics and select materials. The FCC counselor held many orientations informing students about all aspects of college matriculation and financial aid. We are now into the third cohort of students and we have further streamlined the classes.


At the present time, we are tracking the success rate of these students through our research office. We are hoping for an excellent retention and persistence rate. We will also be interviewing students who have attended these classes for feedback. We already modified the class length based on feedback from first cohorts.

The Data

It’s difficult to have data on the college side, because students are not in their system yet . On the adult school side, student's CASAS scores have improved and a few of the students are now taking classes at the college.

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