Practices with Promise Success Story
Submitted By: Graciela Vasquez, Partnership for Adult Academic and Career Ed
Collaborating to re-establish ESL classes for the Bellflower community
- Type of Practice: Partnerships & Collaboration
- Targeted Population: English Language Learners
- Program Area(s): English as a Second Language & Citizenship
- Consortia Involved:
Partnership for Adult Academic and Career Education: ABC Unified School District, Bellflower Unified School District, Cerritos Community College District, Downey Unified School District, Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District
When the Bellflower Adult School closed, the infrastructure and the personnel needed to offer adult education to the community went with it. Of particular importance to the community were English as a second language (ESL) classes. Even with available Assembly Bill 104 funding, putting in place the needed schedule, systems, space and support to offer any courses seemed unsurmountable to the Partnership for Adult Academic and Career Education (PAACE) Consortium, whose region includes Bellflower. The group would have to identify suitable locations within the community where the courses could be taught, as well as hire instructors and the staff needed to reach out to, orient, assess and register students.
The consortium members worked together to coordinate efforts and leverage resources to establish more than 12 new ESL courses, all within the Bellflower community, in the spring 2016 semester. Each PAACE member committed to prioritizing ESL offerings for Bellflower. The consortium approached the superintendent of the Bellflower Unified School District, who assisted in reaching out to each school in the district and in identifying school sites with available classroom space.
The entities established a Memorandum of Understanding and facility-use agreement for each school site, and the school district and other PAACE members collaborated to conduct outreach and student recruitment. Cerritos College, Norwalk La Mirada Adult School, Downey Adult School and ABC Adult School each provided staff to register and assess students, as well as instructors to teach the courses. Each of the ESL offerings was marketed as a course provided by the consortium.
As a result of the PAACE members’ unique collaboration to fill an adult education void within the Bellflower community, more learners are being served in ESL course offerings and will continue to have access to critical language classes that are the foundation for all future educational and professional endeavors.
As a result of the collaborative effort between consortium members, the region has been able to provide services to more adult learners, including 466 ESL students between fall 2015 and spring 2017.