Leadership magazine Nov/Dec 2015 V45 No 2 - Page 14

The mantra for the Adult Education Block Grant is collaboration – community colleges, CBOs, libraries and school districts all providing their services for supporting learning of the students they serve. • Programs in CTE should be connected with districts’ college and career centers and departments. Many short-term Career Technical Education courses are entirely appropriate for young people 18 and over still enrolled in high school but who want to begin their training for the future. For example, many adult schools offer Certified Nursing Assistant training. CNA is the first step of a long pathway for many young adults leading to the numerous employment opportunities in the medical career field. Young people can take advantage of those courses again under AEBG if they are 18 years of age. • Finally, school districts should consider pre-apprenticeship training programs. Some of these programs can be coordinated with related district programs such as Career Pathways Trust, Perkins or CTE funded programs. These programs lead to apprenticeship programs. For example in Hacienda La Puente, they offer pre-apprenticeships with a number of local programs they partner with, including laborers (through a helmets to hardhats initiative), heat and frost insulators, cement masons, landscape irriga14 Leadership tion fitters, brick tenders, pavement stripers, glaziers and cosmetology. For the most part, these programs provide middle class incomes for program graduates and skills that are needed in tomorrow’s workforce. Parents of school-age children can take advantage of these programs, thereby lifting entire families out of poverty and into the middle class. High school students also could enroll as long as it is approved by their district and they are 18 or over. Keep in mind that school districts can use LCAP funds on any of these areas in addition to AEBG funds. The age factor doesn’t matter if districts choose to apply LCAP funds to any of the AEBG program areas. Also keep in mind that most of these programs have very low cost or no fees, which is essential for the many low-income parents and community members districts serve. These ideas are just a few for districts to consider, and more will emerge as AEBG continues to launch this year and into the future. AEBG plans are revisited on an annual basis. In order to enact the suggestions mentioned, districts need to join their local regional consortium and make sure their needs are being stated. Now is the time to rethink how your district might benefit from AEBG. n Resources •  For more information about the Adult Education Block Grant, please go to http://aebg.cccco.edu. •  “Improving mothers’ literacy skills may be best way to boost children’s achievement,” National Institutes of Health (2010), http:// w w w.nih.gov/news/ hea lth /oct 2010/ nichd-25.htm. •  Project SEARCH, business-based high school transition program developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, www.projectsearch.us. Christian Nelson is a visiting educator from Oakland Unified School District, now serving as the state director for Adult Education with the California Department of Education. He can be reached at cnelson@cde.ca.gov.