In the Riverside Community College District’s service area, 79,911 adults have less than a 9th grade education, 82,075 adults do not have a high school diploma or GED and 98,021 adults have limited English proficiency. These adults have tremendous potential, but they require an educational system that responds to their unique path. Their journey as an adult learner often starts at an adult school, but in order to compete in today’s workforce and earn a living wage, they must complete a post-secondary degree or certificate.
Like districts all across California, the Riverside Community College District is a member of a regional adult education consortium with every K-12 school district within the community college district’s boundary. Members are emphasizing a highly coordinated approach, as adult learners’ needs cannot be addressed solely by one educational system. Based on the work of college and district office leadership, and in concert with all consortium members, RCCD’s Office of Adult Education and Community Initiatives focuses on building a pathway to college for adult learners.
RCCD has developed a coordinated, three pronged approach to providing students with a seamless transition to postsecondary education. Each approach was developed in response to state Adult Education Program objectives, focusing specifically Objective #3 outlined in the consortium Regional three year comprehensive plan addressing seamless transition.
- Increasing Outreach and Student Support Services
Educational Advisors - Each of the three colleges house an educational advisor who focuses exclusively on providing transitional assistance to adult learners. Each advisor works closely with their institution’s partners to simultaneously lower barriers to enrollment and promote student success through a strategic recruitment and preparation initiative. Activities include one-on-one advising at all adult schools, career guidance, campus experience programs, and college preparation workshops.
- Alignment of Transitions and Pathways.
Align Curricula - It is vital that faculty at the colleges and adult schools develop a deep understanding of the academic expectations of all partner institutions. Facilitating faculty discussions will result in clear action plan to align curricula by developing pathways through leveraging credit and noncredit curricula. This will also allow for the exploration of articulation and concurrent enrollment.
- Access and Capacity.
CDCP Noncredit Certificates - Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year the California Legislature, State Department of Education, and the CCC Chancellor’s Office identified noncredit Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) certificates as the primary mechanism for transitioning adult learners to for-credit college instruction or the workforce. The colleges will develop CDCP certificates in priority pathways that will expand access and accelerate learning to increase adult learner’s success in for-credit coursework. Additionally, faculty lead workshops at adult schools will provide supplementary college preparation opportunities.
Adult Education Population:
While the term “adult learners” has been used to define a wide variety of learners, funding is limited to support those over the age of 18 that are either enrolled in an adult school or in at CDCP certificate at a college.