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Hi, everyone. Welcome to Creating a Pathway through the Pandemic Forest co-presented by practitioners from the School of Continuing Education at Santa Ana College and guided pathways regional coordinators from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Next slide, please. Our path for today will include an introduction of today's trail guides, and then we'll move on to wilderness adventure followed by Q&A.

So we are also practitioners as well. So we want to be modeling what we actually have our students and faculty members do at all of our college campuses, our non-credit and adult ed institutions as well by having some workshop learning outcomes.

So today we are excited to really emphasize and bring together understanding and collective understanding around understanding adult education and non-credit's historic roots aligned with guided pathways practices, understanding how these innovations can support students during the pandemic and beyond, and also to reflect about ways to collaborate across silos during this time even when working in remote environments. Lastly, we also are looking forward to helping to discuss the power and potential of non-credit and adult ed voice at the guided pathways table. So with that, we'll kick it off to the next person in our group.

So my name is Merari Weber and I'm the guided pathways coordinator for school of continuing education. I'm also the ESL department chair and associate professor at the School of Continuing Ed. And with us we have Janet Cruz-Teposte who's the student equity coordinator, Nicole Gallegos who is the director of continuing education support services, Adrianna Gonzalez who's our ABE GED HiSET associate professor and department chair, Jennifer Hoeger who is our director of special projects, Patty Sanchez who's our ESL instructor for non-credit adult education. And we're grateful to be here.

And for our team, for the Foundation for California Community Colleges, we have guided pathways regional coordinators Maeve Katherine Bergman, Libby Curiel, Wendy Smith, Stacy Teeters, and Leslie Valmonte. Next slide, please. So as guided pathways regional coordinators, we are honored to have had the chance to work with and learn with the adult ed and non-credit faculty and staff from across the state, especially the deeply welcoming Santa Ana Continuing Education Team and their educational and community partners.

They are not only a blast to work with but truly are partners in equity. Santa Ana's teamwork and the hard work of adult ed and non-credit practitioners, like many of you on today's webinar, are some of the best long-term examples of the critical equity-minded work of guided pathways' design, collaborative, student-centered, problem solving, and action.

As Santa Ana will share today, their team has been intentionally and adeptly working to ensure they clarify for students all their learning options, that they support each student to enter a path of their choice, and they have holistically integrated student and instructional supports to ensure students can be supported to stay on their path. And their team has a dedication to ensure their students are within classroom cultures and experiences where they are each learning what they need to thrive.

In order to dismantle systemic racism and bias, which our educational systems recapitulate, we are deeply lucky for the continued opportunity to learn with and from the Santa Ana team and all the adult education and non-credit practitioners we meet as we engage in the shared equity work of guided pathways. To ensure each of our students succeed so they, their families, and their communities can thrive. We continue to encourage every guided pathways redesign team to ensure adult ed and non-credit leaders are co-leading guided pathways redesign just as the Santa Ana team is. Thanks. Next slide, please.

Hi. And how all of this work and collaboration came about is-- this-- actually, the impetus for this was last year. Leslie Valmonte and I were at an IPI connecting the dots event where Neil Kelly from the chancellor's office was presenting data on non-credit student journey and we needed to know more.

So after the event Leslie and I approached Neil, and we asked a lot about data. And we were both chatting about how we hadn't heard the non-credit student journey being mentioned in GP spaces. And so we wanted to know how those students were being included in the GP transformations at colleges. And so we decided we needed to hear more from folks on the ground about how we could provide support to elevate the needs of our adult ed and non-credit students in GP reforms.

So a group of regional coordinators started to meet monthly with Neil. And we invited other regional non-credit and adult ed partners to the table. Out of that, we realized that highlighting the work where non-credit was at the GP table was going to be essential and important in the field to provide a model and to give others an idea of how it was being done.

And so then the pandemic came. And because Santa Ana had been at the guided pathways table and had built some guided pathway structures, they had a beautiful story to share, which we featured in a rapid webinar, which you can find at the Vision Resource Center. And the link to that is being shared in the chat. Since then, Wendy Smith has taken over and taken charge in the lead of this group. And so I'm going to pass it off to her to discuss how you can join the conversation.

Hi. I've posted my email in the chat. So if you would like to join the community of practice for non-credit practitioners to talk about guided pathways, reach out and just send me an email. And I'll add you to the conversation. Next slide, please.

OK so this is where I'd come in. And I really want to express gratitude to the regional coordinators who have welcomed us into this conversation. Like what was shared, we had our rapid webinar where we were able to share our story up until that point. And I think we ended the discussion talking about how we had planned all of these guided pathways fairs for our students.

The last fair we had was on March 10. I believe it was that Tuesday before we had to close all of our schools and everything. And we had about two days to figure out what to do with our programs. And this is an opportunity to just share what has happened as a result of that and how-- I believe the last thing that I shared was how we have turned our guided pathways fairs into virtual meet and greets.

So we want to just take you through the journey of what happened and how we were able to fold and onboard our students as we moved through that process and where we are now. So we're going to take this opportunity to just welcome everybody here. And Jennifer, I don't know if you want to show the first slide that we want to convey how we felt when we heard about the pandemic and closing our School of Continuing Education, at least the building, right? Because we closed the building, but we did not close the programs that we have.

And so as a coordinator, I just remember our dean-- our dean just said, OK, you guys, I think we're going to close tomorrow, so we need to figure out what we're going to do and how we're going to let the teachers know and what are we going to do with the students. So we just had this facial expression, I believe, frozen on our faces for a few hours. And we just had to regroup and have a real quick meeting with all the coordinators to figure out how we're going to put our program together. So we have a few stakeholders here who are going to share their journey and from that beginning moment of panic that we had.

I'll go next. So my name is Jennifer Hoeger. And so at the time, I managed the website and a little bit of professional development. And so when this happened, from my perspective, I was like, oh! What are students-- like, students are no longer going to be able to communicate with teachers in the classroom, that means our website is going to totally need to change because that's going to be the primary source of communication.

So I was super nervous and freaking out about redesigning it and what do we need to put on there. And then also the teacher training, because probably like a lot of schools not all of our teachers were that digitally literate, so brainstorming ways, OK, like how are we going to get our teachers ready for this? What application should we use to get them started? So it was just, oh! So that was a little bit of how I was feeling at the beginning.

Adrianna, you want to share next?

Yes. And absolutely, as the lead of the GED HiSET ABE program, we then started meeting. I remember that first meeting with Merari and it was a regrouping of just the faculty leads within our department. And our next step was, let's pass on this information to our teachers.

So that following Monday what we did is that we developed a three-hour workshop where we literally walked our teachers on what the new teaching methods of our department were going to look like and how we were going to onboard students. And it entailed everything from training teachers on Zoom. And I echo what Jennifer was saying, many of our teachers were just very green in technology. And we had to work and meet them at their level. And I think that the essential part of our training was meeting each teacher at their respective level.

Of course, you had those teachers that were far more advanced in their tech skills. And it was easy for them to grasp Zoom and remind and how we are just now going to communicate via email with students. But again, it was understanding where each one of our instructors was coming from and where they were at.

The next step was onboarding students. And now that we have the Zoom training for the teachers, how are we going to communicate this to students, especially a student that perhaps was not there that last day when all of this was happening? So again, it did require of a massive department email from myself, you know, being the department chair. I informed all students on my rosters. That was the only way that I can access them, that now we were going to be communicating and meeting via Zoom.

And on that, we informed them. We shared videos. Thanks to the amazing work that Jennifer did on her website, there were already links. There were videos. There were tutorials that we can easily cut and paste into our respective emails and send them out to teachers, to students and teachers.

However, you know, there were still those students who did not have a computer. And to that effect, Equity-- and I'll pass on the baton to Janet. Janet can speak a little bit about our technology and how technology was and was a key factor and facet to our communication and continued education with students.

So given everything that was happening, and Equity had funded, through an initiative, 50 computers for community sites. I asked the VP if I could pull this from the community site so that we can begin a pilot program, a loaner pilot program. And we focused on students who were attending or had high attendance and who were also soon finishing maybe their certificate program.

So this was coordinated with the coordinators from the three major departments, and it was planned. Soon after that, I sent out a call to all the deans to see if there were other laptops in the labs. So we pulled those also. And we created this little program that's still going.

Equity right now has funded an additional $51,000 to buy more computers. And the CARES funding that came through matched that amount. And we have another $51,000. And those computers will be ready probably by the beginning of the spring.

In addition to that, we also had to-- we were listening to students' voices because many of them were lacking food at home. And so we created the food distribution but through a food drive. And we sent out the emails to over 9,000 students who are our current students and previous students. Because we know that many students were not able to continue attending. But that doesn't mean we're not going to help them simply because they didn't have a technology.

And so out of all of those that were contacted, we had over 500. And every two weeks we had to minimize the number of offerings, because we're also doing COVID testing. And it was just that type of work. I'm sorry, Merari. You're on mute.

Thank you. Patty, do you do you want to share your experience from your perspective?

Hi. Yes, thank you. So from my point of view it was all about maintaining calm and serenity for the students. Because it was such a rupture from their everyday coming to class, coming to school, seeing me in a classroom. And then all of a sudden me need telling them that the school was closing.

And so my biggest concern, after getting over their expression of shock, was making sure that when we resumed classes that they would have all the tools necessary to be online with me. So that meant a couple of things. That meant that I had to prepare them with their usernames and passwords.

And by that, I took them down to the lab. Some of them were a little bit tech savvy. Some of them weren't. But for sure it was a night of absolute collaboration between I and the students. And so we went down to the lab. We got them their Canvas information, their usernames and passwords.

And it was really a beautiful night, because I still remember assigning students to be mini teachers so that they would help students who did not have as high of a digital literacy skill in accessing their information for Canvas. But some of the tools that were in place already were like the application Remind. That was super helpful, because, aside from having their emails, I knew that I could send them instant text messages with any novelty regarding their online learning immediately.

So they already have that, and I think that was pivotal. Because through the Remind app, they were able to get the tutorials, PDFs, to be able to come on Zoom and resume a class like if nothing had happened, when so much had changed, especially for some students that didn't have internet connectivity at home or had limited data plans on their cell phones.

So that was the biggest challenge was making sure that all the students that were able to attend class in person could continue their learning online. And it was a struggle, because some of them-- it was all so new. There was just so much happening for them as language learners. And so, again, thanks to all the resources that we had, like the Zoom tutorials, PDFs that Merari had created and Jennifer, they were able to slowly read the steps alongside with me and help them connect.

And it was neat because a lot of them hung on. Some of them, unfortunately, they were affected by the pandemic because they had other worries about how to pay rent. So that was a big factor, but for the most part, I think that all the tools were in place to help support teachers to ensure that students could still come to class on a nightly basis. So we did the best we could and so did students.

Yes. I remember that night when all the teachers were just-- all of us had that shock look. And then we go to Nicole because it's like, OK, how do we hold on to the students that we have? How do we support the teachers that we have? And then Nicole in outreach is how do we help students come to school and know what's going on? So Nicole, do you want to share your experience?

Sure, yes. So as all of this was happening and we had all the pieces kind of all in disarray, at the time, I was the outreach coordinator. And we wanted to step in and fill in the gap to support students that were maybe falling through the cracks. We had so many students that were calling in trying to find ways to connect. They were so used to coming on campus, and all of a sudden the gates were closed.

So we're getting many, many phone calls and yet didn't have the capacity yet to be able to answer the calls remotely. And we didn't know how we we're going to do that. So we started a system where we would check voicemails. And we were getting hundreds of voicemails a day. And we were just calling students back trying to tell them, OK, this is how-- this is what you can do, or this is linking them up with their teacher.

We're trying really hard to come up with different systems. We're relying really heavily on Remind at that point as our main tool. And we really needed to try to find a way to make sure students knew you can still come to school. We're still here. There's still instruction going on and just trying to get to fill that gap especially for the ones that weren't sure.

Like someone had mentioned, they hadn't been there the last few days of prior to the pandemic, or maybe they got disconnected and got scared with the initial start of a pandemic. But then maybe a few weeks down the road it was like, oh, wait. I still want to have some normalcy here, continue with some studies. How do I get back and connect again?

So that was initially just kind of in pieces. And I think as that shock started to wear away is then when we started implementing process and procedure, which is I think where we can go next.

Yeah. So and one of the things that we were talking about as we were debriefing the experience that we had had is, what were the characteristics that helped us thrive. And with this theme of getting through and tools, we realized that we had to have these tools in place to help us move forward, right? So we needed to have trust.

And I think this is where the guided pathways work that we had begun doing beforehand, where we had started breaking up some of the silos that had been present, was there. We were able to take chances. And with that trust, we knew that we could make mistakes and that we would be supportive of each other as we traverse to this new world. We had to be flexible and to collaborate and to compromise.

And I think one of the things that we realized is titles and roles just went out the window. Because it was like, what is needed and let us do it now. And with all of that, have a growth mindset that helped us understand that this was going to be a process that was going to be in the works, and it still is. And so as we're talking about this, I just remember having small little moments of change and then some kind of normalcy.

And then we had to figure out, what are we going to do to continue thriving in this experience? And perhaps this is where Adrianna can share how because we had these virtual meet and greets, it started a different momentum for her and her department. And then, Jennifer can also share about how through the leadership that we have, because our administration was very instrumental in helping us think outside the box and take those chances. And I think the trust went in both directions through admin, through faculty, through classified. So, Adrianna, do you want to share your experience?

Sure. Well, one of the things that through guided pathways we created was the meet and greets virtually. We were at a point where we had been planning a in-person event through guided pathways. And that didn't come to be because of our pandemic.

So we brainstormed, OK, are we just going to let go of that idea? It's such a great idea. But wait, we can do something now. So I remember being on a call with several of our school leaders, many of who are with us this afternoon. And we brainstormed.

And so through these meet and greets, I was lucky enough to be either in the first or second session of them. And it entailed talking about my program, inviting the whole school, and sharing a link with students to say, come and learn more about the GED HiSET program. Come learn about the high school diploma program. Come learn about the ESL program. We all did one every week.

And so specific to the GED HiSET program, I can tell you guys, it was essential to our growth. Our average numbers before pandemic versus post-pandemic, extreme difference. And I owe a lot of that work to the introductions that we did along the way, namely, and at first the meet and greets.

So what we did is that we presented our program, answered questions, introduced students to the idea of joining us virtually. And that, in itself, was-- increased our numbers significantly. I believe that we may have had about 100 students during that initial meet and greet. And I just remember that got the ball rolling until we got other pieces in place such as SAC GO and other items that definitely made our program grow by 400%.

We grew 400% over and since March, which is incredible. And as a department chair, it is still surreal to me to now have close to 90 students in one Zoom session. This morning I had 70 students just learning science. And it's just been phenomenal.

Perhaps, Jennifer, you can share about SAC GO and the older adults program, how that got impacted too.

Yes. So and again, a shout out to our leadership, Dr. Kennedy, our vice president, really, really helped us to understand, OK, we can be reactive. And that's how we all were at first, OK, let's figure this out.

But then, OK, so this is a situation we're in. How can we be proactive? How can we really serve our students? And what kind of programs do students need right now? Like we had to look at what our offerings were. And how can we meet the students where they were?

So the HiSET program, for example, the HiSET GED program was something that we knew that students could really benefit from. And it could thrive in an online environment. So in addition to the meet and greets, we spent money. Like, we had marketing campaigns. We had a lot of online marketing campaigns because that's all we could really do at this point. And they were effective.

And then we also-- so it all started out with SAC GO which was an online English program. And so we had this pretty big marketing campaign to get students to understand that learning online wasn't so scary. And it was tremendously successful. But that was because of-- so we had a system in place that we'd been working on over the past six months so that registration was a very simple process for the students.

So it was a combination of the leadership supporting us, but then also having some tools in place to make the process of students actually taking part in class pretty simple. So we had the SAC GO ESL program. And I think we had-- Nicole, you can confirm my numbers. But in the summer I think you had 6,000 applications come in. It was a really, really successful program.

And then from there, because we had such success with the SAC GO English program, we were like, OK, what other programs can really thrive in this type of online environment? So HiSET and then another program that we started, and it's still in place now and anybody who has someone at home that would benefit from these classes, you should look into them. But it's called Active Adults Online. And it's geared to people over 50, but any age group can participate as long as you're over 18.

And so this was a completely online-- it's an online program for seniors. They access classes via Zoom. And because we know that Zoom and email can be a little tricky for this population, we created a special portal so that students could access the classes very easily. So long story short, we just-- went from being reactive to proactive and we put things in place. And it was not perfect.

So that's why that the second point-- like mistakes happened without a doubt. But we were in an environment where we supported each other. So when a mistake happened, we weren't scared, but rather we were, OK, let's rally and figure out how we can fix it. And that's what we've been doing. Still to this day we're fixing mistakes and making it better.

And I think this is where the website redesign was very helpful. Because the way-- and this was done before the pandemic. It's just redesigning the website so it's very student friendly and the way Jennifer-- she had surveyed students to find out is this word easier to understand than this word. And the way it's written is for students in the student's voice, versus for the teachers for us to understand. And that's something that she keeps striving to.

So every time she mentions that students said this, they like this word better than others. We go back and just go, OK, we get it. We get it. So it's for the students. That's why it's nice and simple.

And I think Nicole can talk about the registration process and how that came about. Because I think, what I realized is that a lot of our students were ready to do online instruction. They were ready. They had digital. A lot of them have digital literacy. There were the students that didn't, but quite a lot of them were ready. So it's like meeting those students where they were needed and finding the faculty to support that growth too. So if Nicole, do you mind sharing about that registration process?

Yeah, absolutely. So yes, what Merari's saying is absolutely correct where there were many students that were ready to jump in and join. And so when we wrapped our heads around everything and were able to start with this registration process, because we didn't have a way for students to really register online. Because we were just so used to having everything done on campus.

And the systems we did have, very few students had used them in the past. And they were not easy to use. So we started looking at what an online application would be. What would an easy application look like? What were the necessary components? And how could we have students easily select what they wanted to join?

And so we came up with some different systems. We had-- with the website, we had landing pages where we would have registration forms that tied in directly to the program that they wanted to be a part of. We also had the structure in place although it hadn't been heavily used for an online searchable schedule. And so we started working a little bit more on getting that a little bit more user friendly where students could search for the classes and programs they wanted and then click on the registration forms in order to register for that.

The next problem we had to deal with, or issue that kind of arose, was, well, how-- what do we do with the registration forms when they come in? Because our registration staff was not used to working on processing registrations in this way. Even just, what do we do with an incomplete application? Or if someone submits an application and the last name's different than what we have on file. Like all these things start to come up, and we had to come up with process and procedure for that.

And we essentially ended up coming up with a whole online-- we call it the-- I call it the workflow system. Because it routes the applications in different ways and allowed our staff to have easy access and easy communication amongst each other. Because as they were all processing the forms, they were all in different locations when they had been used to all being in the same office together. And so there was just so many different areas that came up as we started delving into the registration process.

Can you also share your relationship with data? Because I know the data played a significant role in all of this time of transition. It's figuring out who the students were that we had. What happened with them? This is where Janet helped facilitate laptops for the students and then the new students that were coming in. So can you or Jennifer take a lead on that?

Yeah. I can say a few words and then I'll let Jennifer then take over after that. But yeah, data was very, very important. Because it's what allowed us to continuously keep looping back and seeing what was working and what needed to be tweaked.

We've had so many versions. I think we're on version I-don't-know-what of all of the systems we've gone through. Because it was all driven by data. Jennifer was the one with the website who was really looking at the numbers of, well, how many people are visiting these sites? And then I on the other hand, could see, OK, well how many actual registrations are coming through and how much is being completed? And then we would put both parts of it together in order to then make decisions on what needed to be done next, on where our area of priority needed to be as far as moving forward.

Yeah. To add to that, even now, we are really working hard with student retention. So we're tracking all the students with zero hours. And because we have these processes in place now, it is really easy to-- honestly, not really easy. But it's somewhat easy to put together a list of those students. And we're actively contacting them, and we're figuring out-- we're even looking at data on how is the best way to contact them? So we have sent some students text messages versus other students emails. And what's the response rate back?

We've had a lot of-- we also have a lot of surveys going out to students getting their feedback on what they like about classes, what they don't like about classes, what they thought of the website, what they thought of the registration process. And so all of this data is really still to this day informing what we're doing and the changes we're going to make.

And it wasn't just feedback. It's not just data from the students but also faculty. For example, we got some really great feedback about the website from faculty. So we made changes. Nicole-- the outreach team, because they are interacting with students so much, they gave us some really insightful information about the registration form and some changes we could make. But yeah, everything we do we're constantly looking at the numbers and just trying to get an overall idea of what the student experience is and then making adaptations.

I do have one other thing just to add, which is, and we have Patty here with us too. So Patty, as a teacher, actually let us know how hard it was to onboard new students since we're open entry open exit. And she had a really large roster, and new students kept on being added on. And it just got to a point where it was just like how do you keep onboarding new students if you don't know who the new students are?

And based on that feedback, we were actually able to develop a report for teachers that would show them every date what-- who were the new students that were added onto their roster. And so that was a really interesting collaboration between getting data and information from faculty and then being able to make adaptations that were helpful to everyone.

Yeah. I think that was the best tool ever as an instructor. Because it was such a tense moment of trying to keep all students in the classroom, not losing them, because this was such a new format for their learning. But you also wanted to welcome in the new students. And so there was so much movement going on with the rosters.

And so I think one of the best tools that were given to us, again, by Dr. Kennedy was a report where we could just click on it. And it would just list the most recent student added onto our roster, as opposed to going through our roster, making multiple copies of it, and seeing what numbers had changed, what new names were not familiar. So this new report was just vital in helping us ease our tension as teachers to make sure that we were welcoming and sending out those welcome email letters, the welcome letters to onboard them.

And that just made a big world of a difference. Because then students weren't feeling like, I registered, but I don't know who's supposed to contact me. Because my new instructor doesn't know that I've been added to her classroom.

So this just made really such a vital difference. And I was really thankful, and I still am to this day, because I'm still using it. Because it just made everything flow. And I think we were highly understood by administration what tools we needed to secure our teaching online and to make sure that we were keeping our students in the classroom as well as welcoming new students.

And Janet, do you want to share your experience? Because you have a lot of contact with students and especially the students that have the most need, right? So we've been talking about students that have come anew to our campus. But you've had contact with students who are currently presently in the campus and disrupted in such a massive way.

So in speaking with students who still have a need for technology, and this was brought up to the administrators. They started the push to start opening up labs. And right now, we have three labs that are open. I believe there's three labs.

And this is to target students who do not have internet at home or don't have technology at home. And it's minimal. We don't have full days open. And just, I think we have two days at the moment. That's what I can think of right now.

And Adrianna, I do want to share? Because you have students who needed a lot of support from Janet's.

Right. Many of our students, as mentioned previously, they needed access to technology. And so it was, again, working together as a team to make sure that we reached out to each other and helped, as best as we could, students. The biggest issue right now for us is supplies. Some of our students have expressed, I don't have that book, teacher, and I can't buy it because I was just laid off. Or, I'm in a position where I need accommodations, and what do I do?

So now that our campus is opening, as Janet mentions, we're also opening up our labs as mentioned previously and to that our classrooms. So I know that some classrooms have opened. Our classroom will be opening up very soon. And we hope to be able to provide students with textbooks on a loan basis with materials on a loan basis just so that they are again successful in what they need.

Our most current need if I may add-- if I may to speak to accommodations a little bit Merari, is that in our growth, again, we have to meet students where they're at. We need to meet faculty where they're at. And to that effect, train them and give them the tools that they need to be successful in their respective programs.

I'm most recently dealing with a quadriplegic student who has but very limited access to his right hand, doesn't have the technology, is doing the best he can. This young man connects every night to his classes. And right now we're working with our DSPS office at Santa Ana College and we are trying to get the right tools for him. So again, administration providing us with open classrooms, all of us working as a team.

Again, we've said this a million times, and I will repeat it. It takes a village. And it really truly has made all the difference in our success. But again, and I echo my colleagues, we're learning as we're going.

And this particular student will be very-- I know he will be very successful. I've reached out to HiSET. They will be able to accommodate him to take his exams from home with breaks and SAC will be able to provide him with the technology for him to do voice to screen. And he'll be able to type out his essays and take his multiple choice exams.

That's wonderful. Jennifer, I'm not sure if we can go ahead and now talk about from the spring into the summer, we had to do a transition, right? So now we're a little bit more comfortable. But we're still learning through this process.

And one of the things that was brainstormed in the summer was something where the students could get support. Because a lot of times faculty were doing a lot of the onboarding and the supporting the technology. So ESL instructors are content specialists in ESL, not necessarily with technology. But they were doing that the first two weeks of class. And I think all the other instructors became tech IT people.

And so the idea for the pilot in this fall is we-- through Jennifer, and Nicole, and the team, came up with a Virtual Welcome Center. And then during the summer, one of the other things that we realized was a lot of our faculty needed a lot more open education resources. So we wanted to be mindful of the fact that students didn't have the resources to purchase material.

So again, with administrative support, we were able to create some curriculum that we have put into comments to support our ESL community with sample shell for all the levels to at least get them through this period of time until we have a little bit more time where we can breathe into a better curriculum. So Jennifer, do you want to go ahead and share that with the group?

OK, very good. So I'll go ahead and share the Welcome Center first. Sorry, I was so organized and now I'm not. OK, so this is our land-- this is our home page. And from the home page, we go to the virtual Welcome Center.

So with the Virtual Welcome Center, how this came about was just like Merari said. We noticed that students were calling with specific needs and also requesting information online with specific needs. So we talked with our outreach team because they were the ones that were really dealing with this large influx of students.

And we also, talking about data again, we analyzed all the requests forms that came in. And we were able to see what questions students seemed to have the most issues with. And so based on that information, we created the Virtual Welcome Center.

So this is for students, but it's also for faculty to show students and just to help them with some basic questions that they may have. So it eases the burden of the outreach team because of the large number of calls and requests we're getting in. And so yeah, this is it.

So these were the questions that our students needed help with. So I need help with registration. Click here, and you can get it. I want to talk with a counselor. So in one easy place the students can easily access information.

For example, I want to learn how to use Canvas. If I click on here-- one of the biggest issues that our students had was that they just had a hard time accessing this link. So now that we had this link on the website, it just made it that much easier. And so we encouraged faculty to show this page to students during the first week of class to introduce them to the information they can find. And this was created.

In addition, and again, we talk about things are always changing. We're doing all kinds of pilots. So for the first month of classes this fall, we actually had online live time support for students as well. So on this page students could click a Zoom link and connect live time with one of our outreach personnel to get support.

So yeah, and it keeps building, and it keeps getting better. For example, this right here it says, I need help connecting with my teacher. Because we just made a change to our registration process and students are now emailed the teacher name and email address, we will be changing those to something that students now have an issue with, a new issue with maybe they need support with.

OK, and then when we-- so now I'm going to switch over to Canvas. And so just like our students need support, our teachers also need support. And so, one second, OK.

So if you go to OER in Canvas, we noticed that we have amazing teachers at our school. But it was difficult for some teachers to really get their head around how to use Canvas, how to use Canvas as a tool for instruction. So a group of us got together and this was-- Merari had this wonderful idea to, hey, let's create something that not only our teachers can use, but anybody that's struggling or anybody that needs lessons in Canvas can use.

So if you go to Commons, and you can do this anywhere, if you type Santa Ana College, and then ESL-- (SINGING) aah! You can see that these are courses and lessons that anybody in the world, really, could access and use in their Canvas online classroom. And we have-- so classes range from beginning low through advanced high, all kinds of fun topics.

They're ADA compliant. They're accessible. We hope that they're kind of fun, that students enjoy them. So yeah, there you go. Merari, you want to go from there?

Yeah, and one of the things that we-- I want to share is like these classes were set up. There is also modules that can just be downloaded individually, depending on what the faculty need. And they are free to use, and amend, and tweak however you want to as long as you give attribution to the writers.

And the idea of this was we are all in it together. When this whole pandemic started, one of our part time faculty created this really cool video to show students how to access Zoom. And we put it on the website. Jennifer put it on the website. And another community college was able to grab it and share it with their teachers.

And this is a special period where a lot of what I have seen is that there's a lot of collaboration and sharing. Because we all know that this is a difficult time. And we want to support and help faculty so that students can be supported.

The idea is that we are in it together, and we need to make this happen for all of us. And so whatever ideas you can come up with from what we are sharing, we hope that it's something that's successful for you. And you can amplify it and make it bigger and share what you have learned from that experience too.

But like Jennifer shared, and all of us have shared, it's like we've gone through so many opportunities for growth, right? We do something. We try it out. We learn from it, and we move to another level, right?

So as we are learning right now, our faculty are getting trained with learning technology a little bit better. Hopefully, we'll start a more robust systems education program with faculty that are better prepared for that. But all of that has happened because of this pandemic and the opportunity to push through it and get through it, versus get frozen by it.

And so we're hoping that as this experience happens, the opportunities for so much more happens, right? So what I wanted to highlight is experiences that Patty has shared in her class. We do this for the students. So we want to close this little part of our presentation with our student voices. So Patty, do you want to go ahead and share your experience with your classes?

Sure. So the first experience was checking in with students to see how they were doing, to see how they were handling the pandemic. And this was already in the summertime. So by now, students have adapted to online learning. New students who hadn't been in class before were now taking ESL classes. But there was always that underlying feeling of student angst, of frustration, of uncertainty, like are we going to be able to go back to class in the fall?

So I decided that I would give them a picture prompt that I selected from the New York Times. And I let them have creative freedom to express whatever it was that they were feeling. And so it was like this exhibition of using different types of media to express themselves and how they were feeling as ESL students.

And so in the picture, there's a young girl who's staring at the computer screen. I'm sorry, there's a computer screen here with faces like a Zoom screen. And she's looking out the window. And you see the virus is floating around in the air.

And they were able to either create a biography, prose, a pull-on, use video or an audio recording, or create a fictional characterization of this girl. And this was actually one of my students, Maria Mejia, and she is basically talking about how she saw her daughter in this image just looking out the window and understanding that this was the new now, the new way of learning, and preparing for a better future. So it like I heard just their voice and what they were feeling as students being online learners.

And that new, that-- I don't know what the word is. But I would say, uncertainty. Like where is this-- where do we go from now? Like we're here online. This is how I'm feeling. I'm feeling like this girl. I'm looking at my teacher and my classmates on a screen, but what happens next?

So this was just another exercise in letting them express however it was that they were feeling with this new modality. And then from here, the second thing that happened, and I think Jennifer captured it just perfectly by saying that it was a time of expansion, of just growing. And I think that one of the things that happened with my students were that they themselves expanded, and grew, and became flexible, and were looking not just like the fall semester. Because they knew already, because they had been told by me, that we would resume classes but they would be online again.

But the first question that came up, after I told them we're going to be registering all of you all over again for classes, they said, no, no, but wait a minute. What about in the spring? And I was like, the spring? I'm like, I'm just finishing summer. Like, what about the spring? Like, I wasn't even thinking about that.

And so what this all created, this pandemic, was this new awareness and this new idea that there are many opportunities for students to learn in a different way. So some of them might have struggled with the pandemic and learning online. But for other students, it was a new way of entering academia, of getting a chance at education, a chance at learning English.

So I didn't have an answer for them. I was like, I don't know what's going to happen in spring. So my students they wrote to the dean. And it was just a wonderful moment of agency, of empowerment, and just communicating directly to the dean and letting him know how much online learning had impacted their lives in a very positive manner.

So this first email is from a student of mine called Juan Jesus Hernandez. And he was the one that had actually asked the question like, what's going to happen after this in spring when we were just finishing summer? And so he wrote this nice email to the dean and just let it be known that it was important for him to continue a different way of learning, of attending school, which was online. And that this needed to be a possibility for the future, not just for the now but for the future. So this was a great example of his own growth as a student.

And then we had a second email. And this one I think made me cry when I first read it, because I had no idea that this is what some students struggle with. And in this letter, this student, Maricruz Morales, she is a mom of two. And she did want to take English classes, but she could not go to school. Because she has two small children. So she was waiting for school to open again, so that she could enroll in the preschool that we have at Centennial or at Santa Ana College.

But being an online student, it just changed her future. For her it was like, wow, I can now for the very first time take English classes online, be at home with my kids, and not worry about taking them to school, going to my job, and then going-- rushing driving to school to take my ESL classes. So for this student, when I saw this that this was her reality, it was just mind blowing. Because I had never even-- I wasn't aware that this was one of their struggles. So this was another example of how this student grew and just wanted to let the dean know that, hopefully, this could be an avenue for her or a path for the future, as a permanent path for the future.

Thank you, Patty. And I want to just share for me with-- I taught a class in the summer because I figured if the teachers are going through this, I'm going to go through it with them. And I'm going to experience what it is that we're putting into place, so we have a better understanding of what the impact on the students and the teachers.

And while I was teaching, CATESOL, because I belong to CATESOL as an ESL content expert, had a competition, an essay competition. And I'm a strong advocate on participating and throwing your name in the hat and just experiencing the experience without the final outcome. And so I asked all my students to just write an essay. And I wasn't going to help them.

They just needed to write the essay. The essay was on resiliency, and my student won. So I'm super excited that my student got the CATESOL state essay competition award. And her story-- the essay she wrote was just beautiful. And I love her voice. Of course, she's an ESL student. So there's still some grammar issues but the way she characterizes as being part of a pearl chain. That's very strong, very flexible, and beautiful, just really summarizes the beauty that I feel that we all are.

We are all part of this amazing community of resilient individuals, staff, faculty, administration, moving us through this historical period. And we are showcasing how, if we focus on our strengths, yes, we are going to have bumps in the road. But we can make this happen if we lean on each other. So we want to just close this with that student voice.

And if you would like to connect to us, I believe the last slide that belongs to us is our information. So we have our website, which has sac.edu/sce for School of Continuing Education. Our social media handle is @sacsce. And we have our OER resources and comments.

And you can reach me by emailing weber_merari@sac.edu. So we really appreciate the time that you have given to us. And we're going to go ahead and turn this over to our guided pathways regional coordinators. Thank you, everybody.

Great. Thank you so, so, so much to our Santa Ana College partners for sharing your incredible story. It's always such an inspiration to learn more about the work that you all are doing together, right? Together to help students, because it really does take a village to make this happen.

So you shared how important it is to reflect on issues using data and feedback from students and your campus team. You also shared how important it is to be willing to take risks and going ahead to innovate and then realize you can iterate after you've tried something. Because students need you to adapt and do things differently. And overall, the importance of having an unwavering commitment to serve your students in any way that you can.

You've really truly harnessed this crisis to change things for the better for students. And I think your story really helps to highlight how adult ed, non-credit, and guided pathways work together to ensure equity for our students. But in what way exactly? So we'll touch base on that.

So adult ed and non-credit are often uniquely situated to adapt to the community's changing needs. For example, we know that there is a digital divide in our communities and among the groups that we serve in adult ed and non-credit. As Santa Ana shared today, they were able to quickly step up and get their students' technology needs met, both with getting physical pieces of technology, like laptops, but also making sure that students have the ability to utilize that technology especially that was new to them.

The work of Santa Ana also helps to really highlight what we can do to increase access for students even when this education is remote. So while some people have been responding to this pandemic just saying, I can't wait till we get back, mourning the loss of in-person classes, moving online has actually opened up a world of access to many of our students who have never been able to physically visit our campus or come to campus in the past. Whether it's homebound community members with disabilities, older adults who are feeling very isolated during this time, because they have had to quarantine or remove themselves because they're high risk, right? For COVID. Or other reasons that they could not be in person was shared, moms who are taking care of small children, family members, or other family obligations, they have jobs, et cetera.

This move has been really, really supporting them and helping to open up opportunities for people to earn their high school equivalency, learn English and basic skills, stay active and so much more. Adult ed and a non-credit are also really vital in helping to lift students and the communities up in addressing economic issues and helping students learn job skills or inter-educational programs, which will help to support themselves and their families. And I think this is so critical, as especially we have entered an economic recession, right? That is the reality in which we are in right now.

So having learned these skills in getting things educational credentials, it'll make it much more likely that our students will be able to get good jobs, and not just earn a living wage to meet their basic needs, but to earn a wage that allows them and their families to really thrive and be able to have access to opportunities that they might not be able to elsewise. And I think another thing of huge importance that is never-- should never be lost in this conversation is adult ed and non-credit is key in fostering human thriving, which at the end of the day is the goal of guided pathways in undertaking these transformational changes within our educational systems.

Education is a way to open pathways. And by helping to attend to the needs of historically underserved minorities and students, the work that we do recognizes human potential and helps to support personal growth and community thriving and brings us closer-- and many steps closer to reaching social justice for all of our communities.

So just to revisit the guided pathways mindset, the four different pillars. The first one-- pillar one is all about basically clear connections, right? Clarifying the path for students. We are clarifying the path to students end goals by ensuring that every program we pair our students for good jobs and further education that's needed for their career advancement.

So we're talking about simple and clear processes that you saw them talk about earlier, organizing their courses and their programs so it's easier for them to explore and to engage students. Maybe backwards mapping of all the different programs, connecting between departments and programs, I think one of the things that stood out is that word connection. Because I feel like for Santa Ana, it really is communicate, collaborate, and then appreciate what each has to offer. And that includes the students, the faculty, the staff, admin.

And then the last one, what they talked about was great. It was their streamlined websites. So it made it easy for students to navigate. It was informative, and then possibly even fun. Slide two please.

So the next one is pillar two. And that's helping students get on the path by assisting all students actively explore their options, interests, and programs. I'm sorry, interests and strengths, become part of an academic and career community and develop a full program completion plan. So you saw them talk about their targeted community outreach, clearly starting and ending points, various onboarding supports, and then reducing as many access barriers as possible like the portal that they'd mentioned. Next slide, please.

You can see that much of Santa Ana's work centers on the third pillar, which advocates helping students stay on the path. I love something Jennifer said, learn what the student experience is and make adaptations, which you could probably summarize all of guided pathways with that. So they removed obstacles and basically paved the path and they provided-- by providing wraparound support through collaborating with students.

I love the idea of making the mini teachers, providing computers, food, other forms of proactive intervention. And it wasn't always anything fancy. They answered the phone and called people back. Next slide, please.

We can also see Santa Ana's connection to guided pathways in the fourth pillar, ensure learning. The team provided professional development, especially through Canvas. That was amazing, shared Canvas tools and contextualized education to ensure that students were learning. They gathered data and put the results to work.

Again, I'm going to quote Jennifer who's awesome. The team said, let's rally and see how we can fix it. And it's clear here in our conversation outlined in these last four slides that continuing ed and guided pathways are like that old commercial says, two great tastes that taste great together. Next slide, please.

And we're honored to have had the opportunity to elevate this good work. If you'd like to get in touch with your own guided pathways regional coordinator, I'm putting a link in the chat that will help you connect to the coordinator for that region. You know, I've given about 40 conference presentations in my life but never one with a dog on my lap. And I'm thinking that should be the new normal. Well, maybe just everyone at a conference should bring a dog.

Anyway, here's my email again, wsmith@foundationccc.org in case you want to join our non-credit and guided pathways community of practice. Oh, someone beat me to it. Thank you. All right.

Let's see. We do have a very few minutes. We got a couple of questions. Would anyone else like to ask a question of the team?

Can the--

Doesn't seem to be so. Oh, did I hear one?

This is Merari. I was just wondering if we can unmute the participants if they want to ask questions. I don't know if that's possible here.

Hi there. This is Mandilee and unfortunately, in a webinar platform, our attendees must communicate through chat. So attendees, at this time if you would like to communicate with our panelists, refer to your chat. Make sure that you've highlighted the panelists and attendees so they can see your questions.

I don't see any questions.

I guess all the questions have been asked. Again, thank you so much for your work Santa Ana. Thank you, regional coordinators.

Thank you.

And all 11 presenters.

Takes a village.

Attendees for hearing us out.

Thank you very much.

Thank you, team, for being here. And attendees, thank you for joining. We do invite you to please participate in the session evaluation once we close out this webinar. Simply click the continue button, and it'll take you rate to the session evaluation.

And that will close out our third day of this summit. We have one more day tomorrow. So we hope to see you all tomorrow as our sessions begin at 8:30 in the morning. Thank you again, and we hope to see you soon.

Thank you.

Thank you.