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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Frank Gerdeman, Lake Tahoe Community College

Small, rural region comes together for comprehensive planning

  • Type of Practice: Partnerships & Collaboration
  • Targeted Population: CTE Student
  • Program Area(s): Career Technical Education
  • Consortia Involved:
    Lake Tahoe Adult Education Consortium: Alpine County USD, Lake Tahoe Community College District, Lake Tahoe Unified School District

The Challenge

South Lake Tahoe sits in a high alpine location separated from urban centers to both the east (Nevada) and west (Placerville and the Sacramento Valley) of it. This area’s geographic isolation, relatively small population base (25,000) and severe reliance on a limited range of economic and workforce sectors – primarily hospitality, tourism and recreation – creates unique problems for designing an efficient and scalable system of adult education services. South Lake Tahoe is home to one community college, Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC), and one school district, Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD), with a single high school and adjunct continuation high school. Adult education historically has been based in the El Dorado County offices in Placerville, 50 miles to the west.

The Solution

To create an adult education system that was both efficient and scalable, the Lake Tahoe Adult Education Consortium (LTAEC) turned to increased and strategic collaboration. The consortium recognized that in order to improve adult education offerings within the region, it would need to engage an array of sector and community partners, well beyond the scope of the college, school district and county office of education. The members came together for a comprehensive, nine-month planning effort that involved developing and facilitating a robust engagement process that included 32 distinct organizations representing a full continuum of adult learning needs and services. Everyone came to the table to help develop a coordinated approach to expanding programs to serve greater numbers of adult learners and to ensure greater efficiency in adult education programming across the region, such as minimizing duplication of services.


The process of engaging a diverse cross-section of people and organizations serving adults at multiple stages of learning yielded insights and strategies more specific and integrated than might have been possible had the education providers developed them independently. The participating organizations were dedicated to the goal of a comprehensive and sustainable adult education service continuum and were disciplined and thoughtful in their contributions during the months spent developing the new engagement process.

Since the original submission of this practice, the LTAEC network (rebranded as Advance) has continued to expand membership, collaborations, and services. Workgroups targeting industry engagement and workforce development and transition services for adults meet on a monthly basis to ensure the initial vision of true partnership is kept alive. Integrated information sessions with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and other county/state agency partners mean streamlined processes in that potential participants don’t have to schedule multiple appointments to learn about possible supports and services. Industry partners are critical in the creation and delivery of sector-specific boot camps designed to upskill incumbent workers and connect the unemployed and underemployed to new opportunities.

The Data

As of July 2017, 47 distinct agencies, organizations and businesses are actively involved in the network and have logged 1,780 hours of partner participation in workgroups, network meetings, and integrated services.

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