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Highlighting Promising Practices

In June 2013, four adult education agencies received 2012-13 Promising Practices awards from the CDE at the CASAS Summer Institute California Consortium. They were Corona Norco Adult School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Mt. San Antonio Community College District and Rancho Santiago Community College District. In this issue, Mt. San Antonio Community College District’s program, ESL Student Profile Data,  is highlighted.


Promising Practice Awards - Each year the California Department of Education (CDE) gives Promising Practices Awards to recognize California ABE, ASE and ESL adult education providers that have implemented strategies and practices to help students attain their goals. These practices improve program accountability, develop skills that students need in the workplace, promote collaboration and cooperation with other programs or agencies, promote effective student transitions, or have potential application in other adult programs. CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System) manages the Promising Practice Awards for the CDE by identifying worthy agency programs through the WIA, Title II program evaluation process, which includes feedback from WIA II Program Evaluation Survey responses, site visits, student learning outcome data, and reports from other adult educators. Award-winning agencies have performed at or above California State averages for the last two program years, or have shown marked improvement in all instructional levels. (For a description of the selection process, follow this link to a previous article.)


ESL Student Profile Data - The ESL department at Mt. San Antonio CollegeMt. Sac ESL has created the ESL Student Profile Data program, an online data entry system in which all students provide up-to-date information as they progress through the seven levels of the ESL program. This data includes current and past job history, length of stay in the United States, educational goals, intended major, possible barriers in transferring to credit classes, and what type of information they need for transition success. This system has benefited students, instructors, counselors, and program managers, alike. Students are able to track their progress, revisit their academic goals, and modify their educational plans over time. Instructors are able to customize classroom assignments based on their class profile. Counselors can adjust the format and content of their presentations based on student input.


Mt. San Antonio College sets up times for each class to go to a computer lab for students to enter their information into the database. Instructors help students to understand the questions and fill out all information. Once the information is in the system, it is easy to generate a variety of reports at the student, class, and agency level.


The data collected in the system helps instructors to customize classroom assignments based on the student’s profile. Counselors adjust their presentations to students based on the data collected. Counselors and instructors are able to learn what each student is interested in, what they want to gain from their time in adult education, and what they would like to do after adult education courses. The agency reports that because of the new profile data, instruction is more targeted, which they believe has helped improve ESL performance overall.Since collecting ESL profile data, the rate at which students are passing EL Civics objectives has increased. In the fall of 2011, 82 percent of students passed an EL Civics objective, followed by 86 percent in the spring of 2011, and finally 93 percent in the fall of 2012. ESL persistence rates have increased from 83 percent in 2010-11 to 85 percent in 2011-12. Also, 84.7 percent of ESL students persisted in the program in 2011-12 compared to 83 percent in 2010-11. The agency reports that increases in persistence and performance are due to the connection they now have with each individual student. Through the database, they are able to learn so much more about each student’s needs and strengths.


In the next edition of the Insider, ABC Adult school will be highlighted for its Making a Difference awarded program, International Day.