And my name is Veronica Parker, and I'm with CAEP Technical Assistance Project. And our presenter today is Virginia Hamilton, and she will be presenting on Cultivating a Planning Mindset.

And the thought behind this webinar, Virginia had engaged all consortia leads last fall, last September, in a day of training to get them started with their planning for preparing for the three-year plan. And we thought that now that the three-year plans are complete or are almost completed and submitted to the CAEP office, we want to continue on with the planning mindset and teach you tools and tips on how to effectively integrate your three-year plan so the planning doesn't just stop when you submit the three-year plan, but that you continue to cultivate and continue to discover, plan, and adapt your services that will implement your three-year plan moving forward through the next three-year planning cycle.

So Virginia Hamilton will be on hand to go through all of the steps and tools and resources that you can use during the planning mindset. Now I will turn it over to Vicky Swindell She'll go ahead and go over some housekeeping items, and then Virginia Hamilton will be on to start the presentation of the webinar. Vicky?

Thank you very much, Veronica. So we'd like to, as Veronica mentioned, go through some housekeeping for those of you who may be unfamiliar with navigating Adobe Connect. If you cannot hear, please be sure to click on the Speaker icon at the top of your screen. There's a dropdown menu. And make sure that your speaker is on.

OK. We do have a resource available for you today. At the bottom of your screen, there is a box or a pod called Handouts. To download the items that are in there, just click on the title and click on Download.

Again, at the top of your screen, you do have menu functions, on the right of which is an icon called the Communications Menu. It's a little person with their hand in the air. If you click on the dropdown box there, you have the option of using icons. For example, if you want to raise your hand, you can agree, disagree with your facilitator, and so on. Just a note, they do act as toggles. So once your facilitator does address you, if you can lower your hand again, that would be very much appreciated.

We will be communicating via the chat pod today. You will see the chat under General Chat. And in the top right corner of the chat pod, there's also a dropdown menu. Any chats that are submitted go to a general chat as default, but you do have the option of communicating with an individual, be it your facilitator or presenter, host.

To do so at the bottom of the general chat, you will see a text box. Just type in your message and either click Enter or the bubble to the right, which will send your message.

If you are attending this webinar with another colleague, please be sure to enter his or her full first and last name in the chat box. That way, we can take accurate attendance.

And lastly, just a reminder that this webinar will be recorded for future viewing. It will be posted on the AEP website. And if you do need any technical support during the session, please be sure to send your message in the chat pod. And with that, I will turn it over to Virginia Hamilton. Again, we are very happy to have her facilitate today as a subject matter expert for this webinar. Virginia?

Good afternoon, everyone. It's a pleasure to be with you. I am here to talk to you, as Veronica said. Some of you may have participated in the session that we did probably a year ago about putting together a plan for the three-year plan for the state.

And today, I want to talk about what it means to have a planning mindset. And I've thought a lot about this. I've submitted many plans. I've asked for many plans over the years.

And it seems as if the planning mindset really embodies kind of three different characteristics. One is that you continue to be curious. I'll talk more about that in a minute.

But we don't want to just submit a plan and then have it be done and then go back to doing our day-to-day work. We want to stay curious about what we planned, what's working, what isn't working, and what else we could do.

We want to be human-centered. For those who've heard me speak before, you know that I'm obsessed with human-centered design. I believe that human-centered design is-- if there is such a thing as a silver bullet, it is a silver bullet in terms of improving all sorts of government programs and education. And last, that we're intentional, that we're paying attention not only to the sort of regular duties, but we're also paying attention to what we wrote in the plan so that we can keep track of whether we're doing things well or not, what's working, what isn't.

So I think I'm going to start first with a question for all of you, which is, how involved were you with the planning process in your consortium? There's a poll at the top of the screen. Were you totally involved, somewhat, no involvement, or you have no idea what your plan is? So just fill in the poll there, and we're just going to let it go for a minute to see what your participation was so that I can tailor my remarks to be more useful.

It looks like we've got totally involved and somewhat involved. No one is asking what the three-year plan was, which is a really good thing. Great. So that's helpful. If you want to throw in a couple more answers, that's fine. But I just wanted to make sure I wasn't talking to an audience that didn't know anything about what the three-year plan was. Terrific.

So let's go on to the next slide, which is to talk just for a second about the value of a plan. There are plenty of programs in education, in government that have been going for years and years based on what's in the legislation, what's in regulations, what's in an appropriations bill. But actually putting together a plan that describes what you're going to do isn't just only to satisfy the requirements on an appropriation or in a law, but also to do what I think are these four important things.

First, be clear about where you're headed. I think you know in adult education, there are lots of moving parts. There's lots of people. There's lots of institutions. There's lots of agencies who are involved in making sure that students are successful. And if you are clear about where you're headed, you're more likely to get there. As Yogi Berra said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." So really being clear on purpose.

And I know that many consortia around the state took this planning process seriously and got lots of input from students, from staff, from community members. And having that shared purpose I think is really important.

Second, knowing what evidence there is that you want to collect to see whether you got there. You can have a plan, but if you don't actually track what you're doing, it's very difficult to understand whether your plan was successful or whether you've been successful in reaching those goals.

Third, as I just mentioned before, when you have multiple partners working on a program or delivering services in a college or in an adult school, partnerships are really important. And when you have a clear purpose, the partnerships are easier, because you all know where you're going together. There are lots of different programs that have different goals. I think we all have tried to get at creating a single set of goals for multiple partners. But this planned partnership also makes the partnership easier.

And last, a plan is really useful to communicate what you're doing, why you're doing it, what you're going towards both for funders, in this case, the state of California, but also with all the people in your community. Stakeholders, practitioners, and frankly, sometimes the customers, the students themselves. If you can articulate why you're doing something, it's just better than saying, well, this is just what the program is. It's like oh, well, we actually thought about this. We got a lot of input. We have a plan, and this is where we're going.

So I love this little slide. I got it off the internet. It's like, you set a goal, you make a plan, you get to work, you stick to it, and you reach your goal. [laughs] Makes it sound super easy.

I think we all know that this is a very idealistic version of what happens in a planning process and what happens when you implement a plan. Developing a plan and sticking to it is very hard. How many of you decided you were going to get up this morning and exercise, get on that treadmill, or plan to lose weight this summer? You know, we get distracted. We have multiple priorities. We're human. We procrastinate. And we know through behavioral science that we behave in all sorts of irrational ways.

And as soon as your plan was submitted to the state, maybe some of you breathed a sigh of relief and said, well, I don't have to do that again for another three years. But I believe that cultivating a planning mindset will do a number of different things to really produce better results. You'll actually accomplish more of what you've planned. It won't be like, well, I hope we do this, and then maybe you will, maybe you won't.

But when you really focus on your plan, you'll be able to accomplish more. You'll be able to enjoy work more in some sense, if you feel a sense of accomplishment that you're actually implementing your plan. And you'll be more connected to your students' experience. You'll see your goals as opportunities for improvement and innovation.

And if you're a manager or a leader and you're being held accountable for achieving the goals of your plan, I also think it's important-- and we'll talk about that on the next slide-- to understand what motivates the people that work for you or the people that you work with to stick with the plan. I think it's super useful to understand what motivates your students, your staff, which will help you better get to connections with your outcomes.

So I have a question on the next slide before we get started, because I just, again, want a little more information about you that you can put in the chat box, which Vicky told you about, which is, how are you involving students in the way that you're implementing your plan? I know that most of you who are on this call who are interested in this topic probably included your students in developing the plan.

What are some of the ways that you're involving students in your plan implementation? Or what have you been thinking about doing? Since I know the plans aren't completely cooked yet. So Vicky, if you would bring up a chat box there, we can just ask that question. How are you involving students in the way you're implementing? I'm going to pause for a moment.

Yep. The chat box is at the top. Can everybody see it? There we go.

Can you put that chat box up there? So those of you on the phone-- if you're not, just write not. And I don't see the chat box, so maybe I'm-- if people are typing, I'm not able to see it.

Hi, Virginia.

[interposing voices]

She has typed student surveys, informational sessions, group discussions in class and outside of class. That is it as of right now.

Great. Anybody else? OK. All right. So I'm actually going to talk about some ways that you can. And I'm going to start with this notion that having a planning mindset is about staying curious.

So Virginia, this is Veronica again. It looks like your computer has disconnected from Adobe Connect, and we're just hearing you through your phone. I was typing you notes in the presenter chat pod. But I had-- I can navi-- I can navi-- yeah, I can navigate the slides. You're on Curious, slide seven.

OK. Can you--


--go to the next slide?


OK. So could you go to the next slide, please?

So just give me the heads up when you'd like me to maneuver.

And this is-- it says use How Might We to implement your plan on the top? Great. So perfect. Wondering whether I should try to figure out how to reconnect or not. But let me just go through the slides.

So generally speaking, plans have goals that are pretty high level. And I've looked at a couple of the plans, the draft plans that had actual work plans and more specific strategies underneath them.

But one of the ways that I've found that's really useful to bring your plan to life is to take a look at your goal. And in this case I just made up an example, because I've seen enough in a number of the draft plans, that transition specialists, which are in most consortia, are valuable. That students, when they get services from the transition specialists, feel satisfied. So the goal is to provide equitable access to transition specialists and other students supports.

Some of the findings that we saw in looking at a couple of the plans are that the functions of the transition specialist aren't very well understood across the whole student body. I'm not sure if that's the case in your consortia or not. And that there's often a lack of coordination between transition specialists and teachers.

So if you're curious about trying to figure out what to do in order to provide more equitable access, just asking the how might we question is great. How might we increase awareness of the transition specialists to students? Might we create coordinated communication systems between teachers and transition specialists? How might we is a pretty powerful question to ask. It comes from design thinking.

And the word how implies we're going to do something. We're actually going to get something done. We just don't know what it is yet. It's not would, could we, should we? We are going to create better ways for transition specialists to access all students.

And then how might we create more coordinated communications between transition specialists and teachers? Again, how might we-- the first thing we want to do is just brainstorm all the ways that we might be able to do this. Whether they're reasonable or not, it's a wonderful question to ask at first, when you're first thinking about implementing your plan.

And my suggestion is if you're asking a how might we question to go wild. Might. There are lots and lots of different ways that you can engage transition specialists in better understanding how to connect with students, and vice versa. And maybe you have a drone that comes every day that drops leaflets in your quad. I mean, that's a ridiculous solution, but asking might sort of frees you up from getting too practical right at the beginning.

So if you'll go to the next slide, please, when you use the how might me question to implement your plan, I want to dive a little bit more deeply into the difference between a finding, like, the findings we showed on the previous page that the function of the transition specialist isn't very well understood, and an insight that you can gain after you start using how might we questions.

So this is an example from the medical profession. A finding is that patients are often non-compliant and don't pay attention. This can worsen their condition, and doctors and nurses get frustrated. That's a finding.

An insight might be that patients are so nervous during their appointments that they don't listen to their doctors. And if you click Enter again, you'll see a stack of books on the left-hand side. I mean, on the right-hand side.

If you just went with the finding, you might give a patient even more information, give them more checklists, give them more stuff to read, when in fact the insight that you have about students or patients in this case is that they get so nervous that they don't pay attention. They just can't. If you click the next, you might decide that a better strategy would be to create some little videos that people could watch at home with their family a day after they went to the doctor.

In other words, when we think about implementing our plan and the goals and ways that we might do that, we want to try to dig a little deeper than just sort of the superficial observations about the reason that we put that goal in place, in our plan in the first place, and really start looking at, what's underlying it? What is underneath this notion that the transition specialist and the teachers aren't communicating well enough?

How might you develop some strategies that might get more at the root cause than just sending out more emails, writing a newsletter? There may be some other ways to start having transition specialists and teachers communicate with each other than what you might think of on the surface.

Next slide, please. Just to say, this is super frustrating to be talking to you without being able to see my slides. [laughs] But I'll do my best. And Vicky, please let me know if I'm on the wrong slide, talking about the wrong thing.

So this next slide, again, using how might we to implement your plan, now you can go deeper. If you want to increase awareness of the transition specialist for all students, there are some different ways that you might go about doing this. You might do some empathy interviews with some of your students and your transition specialist to say, you know, what information do you need to know? When did you hear-- when did you first hear about a transition specialist? If you haven't heard about one, what are you curious about?

You want to understand more deeply where transition specialists show up in students' journeys and better understand how you might connect them. You could do empathy interviews with the transition specialist themselves and ask them, where do you connect with students? Why does it work sometimes and not other times? Shadowing new students to literally follow them around for half a day or a day to notice where opportunities to share information about transition specialists might be in which they actually are working or it's not working.

And then another really wonderful way to better understand a situation is to do journey maps. Bring some students into a room. Sit them down. Have them start telling you exactly what happened from the moment that you came into the process and what steps along the way help them get information from whom and where and where their pain points and where their opportunities for more improvement. I'm going to stop there and I-- sorry, I'm having-- very difficult. I'm going to--

Yes, we are. And there are no questions at this time.

--try to restart my computer or my access to Adobe Connect, but it's not working. OK. Are we on the slide-- the next slide, which is learn from disgruntled and difficult students? OK, great.

So this is a strategy that I really love, that again, you may plan to do something, you may have a system in place, and you get students who are frustrated, who are having trouble, who don't connect to the right people, who aren't getting the right supportive services. And sometimes they're going to complain.

And I have a friend who runs programs in American job centers and one-stop career centers, and he's implemented a strategy in which every time there's a disgruntled customer, he invites them to come into his office. So anytime anyone complains, instead of the complaint stopping with the teacher or with the staff person-- and we saw in-- I did some work with the consortium in the South Bay, in the Bay Area, and what they found when they were doing surveys of students is that often, students wouldn't actually complain to the teacher. They would complain to the staff in the front office if they were having trouble with the teacher.

So instead of just sort of logging that complaint or passing it along, using that as an opportunity to discover things that could get improved in your system. Sounds weird, but it is a wonderful way to actually start better improving your system.

For example, there was a person who came in to the one-stop career center. They waited for over an hour. They finally got in to see a staff person. And then the staff person said, well, you need to have this document with you, which they didn't. So when my friend interviewed that customer, instead of saying, oh, I'm really sorry, we should've told you ahead of time, and then let that go, he used that complaint as an opportunity to step back, look at their system, and understand where they should have told their customer upfront that they needed to bring in a document.

So there are ways to actually learn from disgruntled and difficult students that might help you improve the system. And if you go to the next slide, those of you who are familiar with Edward Deming and continuous process improvement know that there are many people, not just Edward Deming, but many others who came after him who believe that somewhere between 90% and 97% of the time, when you have a student or a customer or a staff person for which something goes wrong, it's probably not that person. It's probably the system in which the person exists.

So again, using opportunities from disgruntled students to improve your systems and try to align what your intentions are with your planned set of improvements is a great way to go. Next slide, please, which says human-centered. And then the next slide.

I think it's really important to learn what motivates your own staff. I think that we can have the nicest, most beautiful plan in the world, but if the staff goals and motivations are not aligned with the strategies in the plan, at some point along the way they're going to step away from the plan. They're going to work around the plan. They're going to ignore the plan.

And really spending some time doing interviews with your own staff to understand, what makes them tick, why are they interested in making this plan work is really important. And it could be an intrinsic motivator as it points out on the slide. Like, people who have passion for their students and for the work that they do, and will do anything to make the system better.

Or extrinsic. There may be ways in which you actually motivate your staff. You know, you can make it competitive. Whoever does x in order to implement the plan in a certain way by a certain period of time gets some kind of reward.

You can be very student-centered, but if you also don't pay attention to your own staff, to the teachers, to the people who work in the offices, plans can get derailed really quickly. And I think it's super important to pay attention to that.

If you go to the next slide, the next strategy that I've seen work really, really well is to build and use what we call personas. Personas or archetypes, ways in which you take information-- you can't tailor your plan or your strategies for every single student who comes in. They're all different.

But they do share some characteristics. There might be a whole set of students who have dropped out of school and you're working to get them back into the-- getting the skills that they need through a GED or some other skill building. Certainly, people who have English as a second language. There may be some particular characteristics based on where they live, how long they've been an immigrant, what their motivation is for why they're coming in to learn English.

If you start to build some student personas, there are ways to-- they're very useful tools. They can put a personal human face on a plan or a policy issue or an abstract data. Having some personas that you've built can keep the people you're working for front and center. They help you focus your ideas about how to improve your programs before you even run them by some of your students. Running them by the personas to say, OK. If we make this change, if we implement this part of our plan, how are our students going to react, what implications will it have for them will be super important.

Sometimes by just building some personas, some archetypes of some of your students, you're going to spark some innovative ideas. Wow, it seems like we've got a lot of students who are coming through who all share these kinds of interests or motivations.

I know that, again, in the South Bay, in the studies-- in the surveys that they did of students while they were building their plan, they saw that a lot of students wanted more opportunities to be with each other, not just in a learning or classroom environment, but also in social settings. Going on outings or having more time for informal conversations.

Those might be personas. There may be other kinds of people who just want to come in and learn and get out of there. So spending some time really thinking about who your students are, what characteristics they have will help you start to think more systemically about who they are and what they do.

Yes. Correct.

And which-- I'm sorry, I've lost this page here. We're on the slide that says build and use student personas, yeah? So if we go to the next page, which is a picture of Thelma and Louise, I'm just going to give you an example of why I think personas are really useful.

So I'm going to read you-- so just listen for a minute. I'm going to read you the first paragraph in the screenplay of the movie Thelma and Louise. For those of you who've seen it, it's a pretty good movie.

So it starts with interior. You're in Thelma's kitchen and it's morning. Thelma is a housewife. It's morning and she's slamming coffee cups from the breakfast table onto the kitchen sink, which is full of dirty breakfast dishes and some stuff left over from last night's dinner, which had to soak. She's still in her nightgown. The TV is on in the background. And from the kitchen, we can see an incomplete wallpapering project going on in the dining room, an obvious do-it-yourself attempt by Thelma.

So I just read you a very quick scenario about someone named Thelma. And if we go to the chat screen, I'm going to ask you, if you would type into that chat screen, based on what I just read to you, what do you know about Thelma? Or what implication-- or what inferences can you make about who Thelma is and what motivates her? Can you just type some things in? And then I'll ask Vicky to read them to me while I try to figure out how to get online here again.

No responses yet. Kelly did say that um-- be frustrated.

Are people typing?

[interposing voices] would be frustrated. And we have a few people typing now.

Thelma would be frustrated. Well, she's got dishes in there from the night-- OK, great.

Ryan said she would be-- sounds timid.

Anything else?

Ryan mentioned that she appears timid. Ed said she is pleasing her family at her loss for her career or other goals she always wanted.

I'm sorry.

Yeah. I mean, you know, we just learned a little bit about Thelma in that description. But she's still in her nightgown in the morning, so she's probably-- maybe hasn't had experience getting up and putting on clothes and going to work right away. She has dirty breakfast dishes. She probably procrastinates. There's an incomplete wallpaper project going on in the back, so she maybe doesn't finish things. So we actually-- she's angry. She's throwing-- she's slamming coffee cups into the sink. So just that little bit of information, we actually know quite a bit about who Thelma is.

And so the next question would be if you know that somebody-- Thelma in this case, a prototype-- a persona is-- they're angry, they may not have much experience kind of getting up and going to work, maybe they're frustrated. She's probably not rich, because she is doing the dishes herself. She doesn't have a maid. She likes to start stuff, but maybe she doesn't finish it.

How would knowing about that stuff help you design, for example, recruiting Thelma into your program, or keeping her in the program if she was already in it? If she was a student? What kinds of things might you do to provide her support services that would help keep her in the program? If you could just write those--

We have a few people typing.

--have them read to me.

So Ryan responds to recruitment, that language focused on breaking out of her shell, support when you start to waver, financial resources or free, low-cost programs, career training in something you really want. Terrific.

Great. And I actually just got back into the system this very moment. Thank you. Yeah. So those are great, Ryan. She seems isolated. So breaking her out of her shell. Financial resources probably something she's going to need. Career training is something you really want. All really great examples of what you might do with this persona.

And you can use personas to help you think through, what is your recruitment strategy? What language is on your website? What are the goals in your plan that will affect various different kinds of students? And how can you use some of the information about them to help you tailor the services that you want to provide to your students?

So let's go now that I have this back to the third part of a planning mindset, which is being intentional. I've worked in government and nonprofits for-- since about 1843, and I've been in a situation in which I've submitted, I don't know, 20, 30 plans over the course of my career to various funders.

And much of the time it was a compliance exercise. I just have to be frank. And once I completed those plans, I hoped that I would do what was in them. There were some metrics I knew I had to hit, so I paid attention to those. But I didn't pay attention to the whole plan.

And I think the good plans that you all have written have coherence to them. If you're going to do x, you also have to do y. If you do y, z is going to be really important. And so being really intentional about looking at your plan, paying attention to it is something that is critical if you want to sort of stay in that planning mindset.

And the first thing is just to make sure everyone has exposure to the plan. Honestly, I've talked to many, many, many people in consortia around the state. I know you people on the phone are the exception maybe because you're on this-- I mean, it sort of shows, because you're on this phone call in the first place, or this webinar.

But not everyone in your consortium has seen your plan. And I think that there are various ways to get people involved. One of them is to obviously send out information in writing, on websites and newsletters and blogs. But the other is to actually host sessions with people.

So if you work in the front office helping to register people, what part of the plan is important to your job? Bring people together. Give them little paragraphs about particular goals or aspects of the work plan that relate to them.

And instead of telling them what's in the plan and what to do, ask them. Like, these are our goals. This is in our plan. How might we bring this to life? What are your ideas about other ways besides what's already in our plan that we could actually implement this well? Keep that alive. Keep that going. It's amazing what you can do just by asking people to have a conversation about something.

The second is to be clear on your value and your students' experience. And I would love to ask you in this chat, just really off the top of your head, what kind of value are you bringing to your students? Whether you're-- whoever you are in your school or in your college, what value are you bringing to your students? Give you a second to type in that. We have a couple people typing.

When I ask about what value you bring to your students, I think it's more than just-- I guess what I'm asking is more than just the obvious. Yeah, you teach. You give people skills. You teach people language. You teach people math. But what's the sort of larger value you bring to your students? I had people typing, and now it's gone.

Love that. We're an encourager of their dreams. We offer our students and their families a better life. Yeah, exactly. You give people confidence in going out into the world. You help people achieve their goals. You help bring people more comfort and have people feel like they're a part of a community. Solutions, resources.

You play such an important part. I've often said this, but just think about the courage that it takes for your students to actually make up their minds to go pursue education with you. There's a tremendous amount of bravery. Imagine Thelma getting out of her nightgown and deciding that it's time to go into a school and get her GED. You bring so much more, so much more value to your students than just the actual subjects that they're learning.

And I think that sometimes our plans do reflect that sort of aspirational goal, the goals of bringing hope to students. As I said, giving them confidence.

And I think it's super interesting and important as we look at these aspirational goals that we have in our plan. And not only look at what we want to give people, what value we think we can provide, but we want to compare that to the actual experience of our students.

And I'll just use the workforce system as an example. Again, I have a colleague who asked this question in her one-stop. And she said, what value do we bring our customers? And the answer of the staff was, well, we bring them hope. We bring them-- we give them confidence so they can go out and get a job. We give them a way to dream about the future.

And then she asked, so what's the experience of our customers? How do our customers experience that hope or that confidence or the realization of their dreams?

And most of the staff people in this meeting that she convened put their heads down and kind of shook their heads and said, wow. The first experience that our customers have is not about hopes and dreams and confidence. We sit them down in front of a computer for an hour and a half and make them fill out forms.

And I think that it's really important to think about the value that we bring and what our students' actual experience is. Is the experience that our students have those wonderful values, those goals that we have in our plans, is that what students are actually experiencing when they come into our campus, when they come into our school? What could we do to align our customers' experience more to the values and to the goals that we have in our plan?

And if not, if they're not perfectly aligned, what could we do differently? In the case of my friend who asked the question in the career center, she said, what do our customers really value? Like, forget our own performance measures. Forget what the state asks us to do. Forget what our federal funding sources ask us to do. What do the customers really need?

And what they realized was that what was the most important to their customers was how long it took them from the time they first walk into the office until they got their first paycheck. Not even when they got their first job, but when they got their first paycheck.

So if that's what the customers really value, how could they adjust their plans and their strategies and their service design to actually focus on what the customers really need? So if, for example, your students, if you think their value-- the value that you bring is to encourage their dreams, what else could you do to intentionally build that into the curriculum or the service design or how they are coming into their offices-- or your offices? What could you do differently? I think that's a great question to ask yourself over and over.

And I think last, we need to think about how to integrate the goals and values in your plan into your day-to-day activities. It's super, super easy for us to get-- to send in our plan, as I said at the beginning. Our plan's done. We can get back to work now. How do you build the plan into the-- what you've written in the plan into your day-to-day work?

Could you spend an hour a week, for example, going back and looking at your plan, the progress of your plan, your work plan and say, what could we be doing differently now to really focus on the goals in our plan? How could we or how might we spend more time really focusing on the big strategy as well as the day-to-day service delivery?

I think-- and this is my last slide, and we can have a conversation. You guys can chat some more. Students don't want a service. They don't want a class. They don't want a program or a referral. They want to make their lives better. And I think if we keep that top of mind as we look at ways that we can implement our plan--

I don't have questions coming in at the moment. There were actually a couple of last comments regarding what value we bring to our students. Ed shared that he likes to share with students stories of success, classroom setting in a clear class, and how students overcame their own obstacles. Some include my own experience. As mentioned by others, the goal is to offer hope that they can achieve their goals. We do have a participant that's typing.

Nice. Yeah. Other comments or questions about kind of bringing your plan to life and keeping that curiosity alive, keeping the student in the center? Trying to think about the value of the work that you do and the customers' experience, your students' experience.

If you develop a mindset-- great. I mean, I think if you experience a mindset-- if you develop a mindset that's anchored in what your students really want and not what you have on your list of offerings--

Diana has typed, we have to show them that we have a plan for them, even if they're unsure how to proceed.

Your plans are a starting point. It sets some constraints, some boundaries, some permissions to do things differently.

Diana typed-- yeah, we have to show them we have a plan for them, even if they are unsure how to proceed.

Exactly as some of you said here in the chat box. I'm sorry. Read that again. Them being students Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that's part of this notion of giving people hope and confidence.

Even if they're unsure-- if someone's very unsure about where they want to go, my best advice is to do a-- to sit down and really do an empathy interview with them. Don't talk. Ask questions. What makes you unsure? What options are you exploring? And I think the assurance that you're going to be able to figure out some way to provide them--

And Diana has also mentioned that it's more that they lack confidence in being successful based on their own past. And Ed mentioned, would you recommend an electronic survey to assess their needs?

The students-- I mean, the teachers and the staff in their programs, they appreciated just a caring adult listening to them and asking them questions about what they wanted to do, what their goals were, and where they wanted to go.

It is, would you recommend an electronic survey to assess their needs?

Confidence I think based on their past experience, if you can give them little tasks that will help them see that they-- that are pretty achievable so that sort of there's a little early win, even if it's a very easy assignment that they can do that shows them that they actually got something done, that's a totally great strategy. Many of you do that.

And I think the second question-- ah, the survey. Yeah, I think I would do both. I would do a combination of a survey, which might give you some general sense of-- some overall sense of what your students need. But I would also augment any kind of survey with some individual interviews.

Because just like I said in that one slide about the doctor, you might get a slide that says, I don't really understand what the doctor says. I mean, that might be an answer to a survey. But only when you start interviewing people and start asking them, well, how come you don't understand what the doctor says, you might find that it's because the patient is nervous.

I mean, same with students. For many refugees in particular coming into a foreign country, teachers are seen as people who have some authority. And they may be nervous. They may be scared. They may--

Hey, that looks like all the comments at the moment.

So I think-- or even a plan. Just a conversation with someone who demonstrates--

I'm sorry?

[laughs] Ed did mention he agrees. One-on-one follow-up is essential. This makes it more personal, and can connect with a student to develop a better plan.

Doing a little-- going a little deeper than just a survey I think is a really good strategy. Great. Well, I want to thank you for-- oh, got another one. Yeah. Great. Thanks, Ed, for agreeing with me. [laughs]

All right.

Well, thank you for your attention. I apologize--

Yes, we are. Thank you very much, Virginia, for today's webinar. It was a lot of great information. And thank you, Vicky, for all of your assistance. And thank you to all of the participants for hanging in there with us, especially through our technical issues. Like Virginia said, we do apologize for those technical issues, and we hope that that didn't disrupt your experience too much.

I have posted where the URL will be located on the California Adult Education website. So if you'd like to come back to revisit this webinar as well as download the PowerPoint presentation, or if you would like to pass on the information to some of your colleagues and other members within your consortium or at your agency, please be sure to do so. This is a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of information that will be accessible to you as you begin to implement your new three-year plan coming up this fall.

I'm about to close the webinar. And when I do, the evaluation will appear. Please be sure to take a couple minutes to complete that evaluation to let us know what you thought about today's webinar.

And if there are any additional professional development or technical assistance needs that you have around the three-year plan or if there are other topics that you would like us to address this upcoming fall, please be sure to let us know and we would definitely address those through the evaluation process. Again, thank you all so much for hanging in there with us, and thank you all for your participation. Have a great afternoon.