[phone conversation]

Maria, you might want to mute. OK. And nobody's coming in yet-- oh no we've got a few. Here we go. Come on in, folks. Come on in have a seat. We're trying to get one of our presenters in the room. You know, stuff happens. So while we're doing that I'm going to be looking for Pete in the attendee list and if he comes in this way I'll promote him.

Meanwhile, you are here for a presentation-- OK, Pete Gonzales wait, wait, wait, here he is, here he is. Oh gosh, it keeps moving. Wait. It's like a game. Here we go, maybe. I think I got him. Did I get him? There he is. Score. OK. All right, folks. We got everybody. Now, I have to do some housekeeping real quick and I'll talk real fast. All right. OK. Here we go.

I'm going to share my screen you've probably seen this before. And you'll see it again if you keep coming to this conference which we hope you do. We are recording as soon as I hit that Start button and you started coming in it was recording. So you need to give us time to post them though. All of the videos that are recorded will appear on the VFairs site and they're going to be there for a couple of weeks. But we won't have them up until probably the end of the week, OK. So give us a couple of days, they will be there though.

You control your audio. It's one of the few things you control in this webinar. So if I sound too loud, turn me down, if I sound too soft, turn me up. Same thing when the other speakers come on. If you think your sound should be coming out of your headset, because you don't want to disturb the people next door, but it's coming out of your computer, check that little carrot next to Audio Settings and you can choose your own output.

So it's the output that you're looking for. Make sure it's set to headset if you think it should be a headset, or whatever you have it set to. Webinar chat, please don't use the chat for questions. Don't do it. Use the chat for, hey, how are you doing, or if the presenters ask you to type in a yes or no. But put all of your questions in the Q&A. OK. So everyone click on the Q&A. Remember to type your questions there. It is much easier for the presenters to see the Q&A because the chat keeps moving, the Q&A doesn't. So please type your questions in the Q&A.

If you-- this is another thing that you can control in the webinar, are your View Options. So up the top of your screen when a presenter is presenting, if things look a little small to you and you want to make it bigger, you can click on that View Options button and select the view that you want. If you want to work off to the side, you can always also do that by exiting Full Screen. All right.

OK. I'm going to stop sharing. I'm going to hand off to Alex. I'm just picking somebody.

Thank you so much.

I think we can start here. Good morning. My name is Maria Lopez. We're from the Inland Adult Education Consortia. I'm a transitions counselor for San Bernardino Valley College.

My name is Pete Gonzalez, also from the Inland Empire Consortia. I am a transition counselor for San Bernardino valley college.

Hi everyone, I'm Alec-- Herberth Alex Jaco. I work as a senior student services tech for Crafton Hill college and I'm also part of this Inland consortium.

All right. We're going to talk in detail about our transitional strategies that have been working for us. We're actually quite proud of our strategies. So we will go into detail. The way we have set up our presentation is, we're going to speak a little bit of each. And we're going to tell you what we did before COVID and then what we're doing now in COVID. Alex, go ahead and go to the next one.

All right. So the dedicated on-site counseling advisement. So this is again, before COVID, so we would dedicate a minimum of a full day to each site. We do have five adult schools that we work with. So we would dedicate depending on the size of the Adult School we would dedicate either one or two days a week. We provide workshops, different types of workshops, we do like a college 101, we do help with the application, we do financial aid.

We also do classroom visits where we walk classroom to classroom depending on-- the ones we typically like to target are like the GED classrooms, the high school diploma classrooms, or even the advanced ESL level classrooms. Just to kind of tell them, hello, who we are, what kind of services we provide for them, and that seems to spark up interest. Sometimes even-- not every student attends our workshops or the classroom visits to kind of help market us and promote us.

College field trips. So we do give them tours around the college. We had-- we actually had planned before COVID, but we had planned a tour for just our adult Ed student. This was going to be the first time we ever offered it. But unfortunately, it had to be canceled. But we are still keeping that on our to-do list for when we are back in person. Our college does a student day. And typically, it is geared for the high school students. But we had been inviting our adult Ed students as well. So we were trying to change it up a little bit and offering that just for the adult Ed so that they can feel a little bit more welcomed.

Whoops. I don't know what happened there. It stopped sharing, I'm so sorry.

I'm sorry I think my internet connection is bad.

Uh-oh. OK. So we do serve as a college consortia and college representation. So basically what that is, is we do tabling events, different career fairs, we do have a Mexican consulate near us. So we do like I said, table events, we participate in giving information about the college and what the adult Ed program has to offer for them. Next slide, Alex.

OK. So obviously, with COVID we've had to make some adjustments and changes to how it is that we service our students. More specifically the adult ed population. So what we've been able to do is, we are working remote now. So we have remote office hours. We do this by telephone, email, Zoom, Cranium Cafe, which is a really good system that the district is using. And essentially, it's encompassed all in one where you're able to basically sign PDFs, you're able to video chat. So it has a lot of really good features.

To be completely honest with you, most of our students feel the most comfortable using phone. So we've adopted-- we use RingCentral, a program that's been provided by the district . And then also, I prefer the Google Voice and for a few reasons. One, the most specific reason is because we're able to actually text with our students. So we can-- as we're talking with them, we text them links for various pages that we need them to visit or whatnot. So, trying to find unique ways to be able to stay connected with our students.

Like I said, our students-- we've noticed that texting is a really good option for them. The best part about RingCentral and Google Voice is that we can turn it off and on our phones. So on our days off, the weekends or whatnot, we have that ability to do that. Flexible schedules and appointments outside our traditional office hours. So a lot of our students are-- especially our adult population are deemed or been classified as essential workers. So they're working all hours of the day and night. So we've made ourselves available. We're holding meetings at 7, 8, 9 o'clock at night because that's the only time they're available.

And we'll talk about a little bit later a lot of them have families and young children that are completing schoolwork during the day so it makes it a bit difficult for them to be able to set an appointment with us during those-- what would be the traditional office hours. We are still providing workshops but we're providing them in a virtual platform as the way we are here. They've been working out really well. So what we're doing is one to two workshops per week. And then we're also recording the workshops and making them available to the students so they can watch it at their leisure.

We've actually noticed that we've gotten a lot more contact from students that are watching the recordings after the fact as opposed to those that actually attended the live session. So we're still doing the same ones we're doing enrollment, financial aid, orientation, we've been able to partner with some of the programs on our campus from the CTE programs, the Career Technical Education. And they've actually had guest speakers come out to highlight the various CTE programs that we have on campus from welding machine, automotive, aeronautics. So it's worked out really well. And like I said, the best part about it is that it's recorded so that our students can go back later and re-watch it or even share it with family members or friends.

The virtual classroom visits. This one's been-- it's been fun. Because for-- we're used to being on the campus or at the adult schools and walking around through the halls and meeting with students. And we're all missing that. We are missing that connection with our students. So the classroom visits are a lot of fun because we've been given the links for the various classrooms that are taking place online or virtually. And we'll go in, and it's supposed to be a five minute virtual classroom and ends up being 20 to 30 minutes because the students ask a lot of questions, and we're able to kind of connect with them there. So the virtual classroom visits have been very helpful for many different reasons.

And still, we're serving as a consortia college representatives. We're still out there. Obviously as we are here now and talking about the strategies and the tactics we're using to reach our students and make sure that we're giving them the service that they deserve. Next slide, Alex.

So that was one of the strategies. This is the second strategy that we use. Obviously we keep the-- our students are considered non-traditional students, but along with that, they also all face various, multiple barriers. Some have-- we work with a lot of the ESL student population. We do have a lot of single parents, we have working adults, we have re-entry students. So with the ESL student population, a lot of them-- the language is still a barrier. So we do help them and explain the difference between the ESL sequences at the Adult School compared to the ESL sequences at the college. And what they can learn-- the difference-- what they can learn with the ESL classes.

Our single parents, as Pete mentioned, they do have a lot of other barriers with their children and child care. The working adults typically needs a little extra help. We do-- even when we're in person we do often stay extra. A little bit longer of our workday with these working adults because they're usually off at six or seven PM. So sometimes we try to do phone appointments if it's a little too late. Or Pete is super generous and is willing to stay extra late. Our re-entry students, they come with a lack of confidence. They've been gone for so long. So we serve as that extra motivation for them.

We do have college educated immigrants. And that's usually part of the ESL population. When they come and seek us out they say-- they inform us that they've completed their studies in their home country. So we kind of guide them through the process. It is a lengthy process for them so we try to walk them through step by step with it. Our undocumented students often come with the misconception that they cannot study because they're undocumented. And that is untrue. So we do explain the difference and additional barriers for them which one of the biggest barriers is cost. It's an elevated cost for them. But it doesn't hinder them from studying.

International students. We have a couple of these, they do have to go through certain visas, obviously. So we have to explain that to them. Students with disabilities. We are seeing students with disabilities. We do direct referrals to them-- for them, to the disability program at the college. And the older adults oftentimes with them, obviously the confidence and the lack of technology skills that we coach them through. Next slide.

OK. So what we're seeing right now with our non-traditonal student population, especially in reference to their barriers, is all students are facing multiple barriers now, right. So the added intersectionality from the single parents to the ESL. And we're going to get into a few of them here but it's just-- it's even more so than what they normally face, right. So one of the main issues that we're seeing with our student population, is low computer and digital literacy. More so with our ESL and our re-entry students.

A lot of the students that we're working with are very uncomfortable working with computers. And that's causing some issues now that everything is completely online. So even using programs such as canvasses we use and even web advisor to get them through the process of enrolling and applying and all that can prove quite difficult. So a lot of the programs now are available through mobile apps. And that seems to work a lot better for the students because they feel a lot more comfortable using a touch screen phone than an actual computer with a keyboard and a mouse, right.

We see this, we actually have a computer lab , that's not open now obviously, but we have touchscreen computers in there. And the students do a lot better with being able to use the touchscreen computers. So that's been a very-- it was very beneficial for them when we were able to use that. But now, anything dealing with the phone they're a lot more comfortable with. Same thing with our older adults that lack that computer literacy skills. It's proving difficult for them. And I think more so is, you'll hear in the student panel, it's the lack of confidence.

But once they get into it and they continue with the process, in large part with our help and that motivation between ourselves and the staff and their professors, they're able to conquer that, right, and do really, really well. And then also, our students with disabilities. The traditionally-- with-- when we were open our DSPS officer, Disabled Student's Program and Services, have computer labs and the students were able to go in there and actually receive help working through the various programs to get their work done. Now that that's not open, obviously there are still services being provided, but it's difficult because they're not in person anymore. So you still have to know how to get on the computer. So that's one of the main difficulties that we're seeing with our students right now is just the computer digital literacy.

And then on top of that, not only are we trying to get through our own coursework but also managing our own children's virtual learning, right. So a lot of our parents are single parents or working adults. So we're spending all day working with the kids, trying to get them online and get their stuff taken care of. All of their coursework and then also ourselves trying to learn the systems to be able to get our classes done. So just additional barriers that our students are facing in this virtual world now.

Another barrier that our students are facing, is work/house insecurities. So this is actually difficult or a barrier that's being faced by the entire student population. And they're at risk. So not only are we looking at the lack of space, we'll say, if you have a couple children that are trying to do work online, and then you're trying to do your work as well. And we're living in a one bedroom apartment. Everybody's on top of each other and trying to get that work done. So as we know it's difficult to be able to get these assignments done without a quiet space to be able to do that. So just that housing and work and security all together is obviously as well causing issues for our students.

Internet access. Once again across the board. Not only between our faculty, staff, and our students but as you'll hear in our panel little-- in a little while, is these virtual sessions are taking place there's information that can be lost as the-- your Wi-Fi slows down or the computer-- the Zoom freezes or whatnot. So this can be very frustrating for students in a situation where they're already uncomfortable and frustrated with the curriculum or the work that they're actually trying to do.

And then even for ourselves with faculty and staff, trying to teach our classes and get all our stuff up loaded, it causes issues for all, right, as we know now in this virtual world. And then the last one is basically balancing family, work, and education. So once again, across the board risk. Maria and Alex and I were-- last night trying to finalize everything on the presentation and we all had our kids bouncing around and running around all over the place. So it's just something that we have to show our students that it's the norm now. It's kind of what we have going on and not to make them feel negative in any way because they have their children in the background. We have to be patient with them and help get them through what they need to do and get them the information they need to be successful in our courses.

And then, adults working non-consistent schedules. This is proving to be a huge barrier as well because as the next one says, they have difficulties finding routines. So if you know you're working a set schedule, you're able to do your homework in the morning, or the evening, in the night. And as we know, it's difficult. Working a full shift and then coming home and trying to complete homework. Or after working with the kids all day trying to do their homework and then going to work yourself and then trying to do your work as well. So that balance is something that our students are finding difficulties with. And across the board, with staff, faculty, and the students.

OK. So one of the other things that we do-- our strategies that we do is-- we call it the hand-holding. So we do step by step college application. So as we said, we typically start with a workshop where we get a group of students and help them all at once to apply to the college. Typically when we promote the college application workshop we do inform the students to apply only if they are ready to start in the next semester. So if they know they're going to complete their GED, their last GED test, or they know they're working on their last class for their high school diploma, or if they're in the advanced ESL level. Those are the students that we typically promote to, to start the college application.

There's others that want to just apply just in case. Which is fine. So we do the workshop, if they don't attend the workshop Pete and I schedule appointments individually with the student and we help them one on one. Alex does a lot of the one on one with his students for Crafton. So we all do again, we call it the hand-holding because they truly need it. Oftentimes they answer certain questions incorrectly and it automatically deems them as international students or non-residents which can pose obviously, the cost fee to go up.

We do financial aid workshops. But with this one, we find that students, in a sense, prefer to do the one on one with financial aid. Because they feel it's sensitive information. And it's totally OK with us. We don't mind it at all. The orientation, obviously right now it's only available online. But we are considering doing orientation workshop to see how that goes this time around. But we normally do it in person. For our ESL students, we offer workshops at the various adult schools for the orientation. So again, we promote to those students who have applied. We tell them to come back for the orientation and then we help them.

Before was the actual assessment. And we would have our assessment office come into the Adult School and provide the test for them. Now it's just a questionnaire, so it's just a placement questionnaire. And that's done online. So we just walk them through the process of how to access it. And the last piece, Peter and I do schedule one on one appointments for their education plan. On their education plan, this is where we talk about their educational goals and what type of classes they need. We also discuss their placements. So where did they assess, where should they start?

And we do talk a little bit more in-depth with them with that placement. Because sometimes they'll place a little bit higher. But the student doesn't feel so confident to start at that level. So then we do the appropriate steps on our end to start them at a lower level. And lastly, we help them register for the very first semester. So we teach them the-- how to log into their student account, and how to look for those open classes and register for them.

All right. Now during COVID, we're doing the same thing. But I think more enhanced. We're encouraging the students a little bit more. We're more of a cheerleader now as well, trying to get them through the process and motivating them and build up their confidence to let them know that they can do this. So as far as a college, application we're still doing it online. A lot of Zoom calls, a lot of walking over the phone. I think between Maria, myself and Alex we have all the applications memorized now, right. I mean we're probably talking in our sleeps and walking people through the application process. But it's just-- it's what we've done and we continue to do.

I'll have students call me and I'll ask them what page they're on, I know exactly what they need and we'll walk them through that. Same thing with the financial aid. Because our appointments traditionally were anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. They've actually increased to about an hour and a half to sometimes even two hours just depending on the needs of the student. So what we're doing a lot of times with the financial aid, is we're having them go through on their own and fill out what they can. And then we'll go with them-- make an appointment, a follow up appointment, and then we'll actually go step by step through each screen to correct or add any information that they might have missed.

The orientation, obviously online now. As Maria said, we're looking at possibly offer the orientation in person or via virtual, right, via Zoom. And more so, we're looking at our ESL community. So we're able to walk them through and get them the information they need about the campus and get that-- basically that box checked for them. Placement, online. We actually like helping our students, or walking our students through this questionnaire now.

It's only, what I believe, six questions six, seven questions. The difficulty that we have at times though is it asks specific questions about high school. So when our students are asked what English and math class did you take in high school, they're thinking about what they did when they were 16, 17 years old as opposed to what they just completed at the Adult School. So we want to make sure that we make that known to them that we're actually talking about what you just completed completing your GED or any credit recovery for high school.

And then still, we're still making those education plans. I think we've always been very meticulous in the way that we make these Ed plans, try to get a lot more information from the students. But I think it's even more so now, right. We're trying to figure out what's your situation at home, are you working, do you have kids, what's your honest availability. We can say we can be a full time student but if you know there's only a couple hours throughout the day or week that you're able to do stuff, we're probably going to have to tailor that down a little bit. And then obviously, looking at those four unit classes like the English classes and the math classes and possibly recommending that they wait until future semesters to be able to do those in person if they feel that they might need that.

And then obviously registration, we go through and help them register for their courses. Our registration actually opens up for party A on November 2 for the district. So we're going to be pretty busy in the next few weeks. So it's just something like I said, we're still continuing the process, it's just a little bit more hand-holding. A lot more feedback per se.

So we're making sure that we're-- through those text messages, through those emails, following up with those students. And I think that's what a lot of them need. As busy as we are, we've got a lot of things going on. Sometimes we need that little reminder of, hey I'm here for you, don't forget we need to register next week. Or don't forget we need to make an Ed plan or whatever the case may be.

So it's just something that we have to make that conscious effort of following up with them and letting them know that we're here and keeping them on track.

And then just so you get a little bit of a visual of what we deal with, with our students when we talk about lack of computer literacy. Oftentimes, we prefer to do this via Zoom because we can share screens. But oftentimes our students can't do that. So what they end up doing, is they'll open up their laptop to where we're guiding them to. But then with their phone, they're telling us what-- they're showing us on their phone what they're seeing.

So we're often toggling between their phone and their laptop. So we're squinting hence Pete wearing his glasses, I recently got a pair of glasses just because I was squinting all day long. But hey, we're making it through. So just to give you a little glimpse of an idea of how we help them and the technological issues that we deal with.

And now you might be asking, what support we have post transition, right. When we are face to face, we always try to refer the students to other college programs. For example the first year experience FYE, the EOPS which they gave a presentation yesterday. We invite them to be part of the summer bridge, take the student development courses. If we know that they have, or may have, a disability we always recommend them to visit the disabled student services. So they can receive those accommodations.

We also-- at Valley and Crafton, we have a specific office where Pete, Maria, and I can be at least a couple of times a week. So students can come back and if they need help with the new FAFSA for the new year. Or maybe they have a question about the class, they can always come and visit us. We don't just disappear after the transition. We are a constant resource for them. Even something they ask for assistance with the homework. Because maybe they don't really have the confidence to go to the tutoring center. And that's when we actually explain the process.

You have to-- you can get specific assistance for the subject, don't be afraid of that. And that's how we lifting assimilate the new environment. We do have some plans coming soon. One of them, is to form a peer mentorship program. We are really excited because we should be able to start next year with a dual enrollment with schools. And Maria and I, we are working really hard on transition pathways. From adult school to college.

Now that we're virtual, we still have some post-transition services. As always, we continue referring them to other college programs. Like Pete mentioned, we have Cranium Cafe, email, so the students can also participate in different activities because of those programs. Something that we implemented, we have invitations for trainings and tutorials that we create. This year was the first virtual summer bridge. And we did a pre-- training on how to use Zoom, how to use Canvas, which is the our Google Classrooms.

How to use the student email, how to create a presentation. And this training was specific for the new students coming into college. But we extended the invitation to previous cohorts. People who started the transition back in 2018 were able to join and get those new skills because they are also facing this new environment, right. We also have-- we still have the access to college transition counselor or advisors via virtual meetings. They can always knock on our doors on Zoom or Cranium Cafe. Schedule an appointment via Zoom. I know Pete and Maria love the phone calls, video call and emails.

Another resource of the colleges, and I know that some of the adult schools have, we offer free Chromebook and hotspot check out for students who don't have access to this means of learning. So they are free for them to take them home, use them, they can check them every semester. Even with COVID, we still have the idea of creating that peer mentorship program, the dual enrollment, and the transition pathway. COVID is not going to stop our goals.

Originally, in the ideal world, we wanted to have a student panel. Because of the situation we cannot accommodate and we had panels yesterday morning. These are the questions that we asked them. Want to find out four different things. One, we want you to get used to the students, hear their stories and their background. Second, we want you to see how was the transition between adult school and college. Third, the student had the opportunity to describe the pre COVID and post COVID learning style that they have. If they have any difficulties. And last one was if they have any suggestions or any recommendations that they might want to see implemented for the future or other cohorts.

So I know that you're going to have this presentation available later and this is going to be recorded. So I'm not going to read the questions. The student panel consisted of obviously Pete, Maria, and myself. And we selected five of the students from the different adult schools attending to Crafton and Valley. These students are participants on different college programs like EOPS, DSPS, first year experience, the summer bridge.

So we invite you to pay attention, and if you have any questions, you can type it on the Q&A. And Pete, Maria, and I will try to answer them as you see the video. Anything else before I play the video, Maria? OK.

Ready to go.

So please enjoy.


Good morning, everyone. Today we are holding our student panel for the--

Alex, we've lost the sound. The video seems to be playing.

Good morning, everybody. My name is Maria Lopez. I'm also an academic counsel for San Bernardino Valley College for the adult education program.

I am Alex Jaco, I work as a senior student services tech at Crafton Hills College.

And from here, we're going to allow our students to introduce themselves.

And we can go in order of views. So I have Troy first. Troy can you do this yourself?

Yeah, my name is Troy George. And--


Yeah. I started at ICC. And I'm in Valley College. And I'm majoring in math and science.

Perfect, thank you--

I'm also an exchange student.

Thank you, Troy.

And next we have Ronald.

My name is Ronald Parata. I started at Redlands Adult School. I am now at San Bernardino Valley College. And my major is computer science, computer science.


Hi my name is Tracy Edge. I started at Redlands Adult School and now I'm at Crafton Hills College and I'm majoring in science.


Then we have a Lani. No, Lani.

Yeah, Lani, it's okay. OK my name is Lani, I started at ICDC school, I go to West Valley college and my major is child development.

Thank you. Last on the list we have Maria.

My name is just Maria My name is Maria Lunamin and I started to do Yucaipa adult school and I go to college and my major is radiol technician.

Radiology tech-- thank you, Maria. Maria is going to Crafton Hills College. Thank you, guys. So Pete and I will going to ask you different questions. Do you want to start, Pete? With the questions.

Yeah sure. So one of our very first questions for all of you is what was your motivation for going back to school.

Well, mine was they go back to destroy your ways. I was in an accident and it knock me back to second grade level. So I dropped out and it took me four years to get my high school diploma.

Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

My motivation, I have always wanted to go back to school. I felt like it was the right thing to do. Especially since nothing was picking up for me, like work, there wasn't any future going on or anything. And then as far as entrepreneuring, like starting my own business, that wasn't really working out either. So school was my only option. School is always there. So I figured school was the right thing to do.

Thank you. Tracy.

For me, I didn't really know the direction of my life. And I felt really embarrassed that I did not have my high school diploma. So I decided to pursue my education.

Thank you. Lani.

Oh, me? I transitioned because I suffered a car accident. And I couldn't do my other career again. So I transitioned into child development due to my situation.

Thank you. Maria.

I'm motivated about the-- I think, pursue my goals in life. So that's why I'm motivated for back to school.

Thank you, Maria. The next question, did you start school before or after COVID?

Well quite a bit before COVID. I've been going to college all the year. I've been going to college since, then everything went online. So it's been quite an experience.


Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

So yeah I started Valley college before COVID. Like in January of 2020. So COVID-- all the classes got canceled around-- during spring break. That was March 15th. It was like mid semester. Exactly mid semester. So I was there for two months and then everything went online. So I definitely started before and I'm still going strong now. And it's October 15th or some-- 23rd around so, yeah.

Thank you. Tracy.

I started adult school before COVID and I started college during COVID.

Thank you, Tracy. Lani.

Yeah I started before, 2019 at the summer adult school. And now I'm in Valley college.

And last, Maria.

I studied before COVID for couple years. And I still there now.

Thank you. All right. So the next question is--

I just want to add-- I commend-- I just want to add I commend you all for coming back to school and sticking it through. Because I know that online learning is not that easy. So really congratulations to you all.

Thank you.


OK. So our next question is, how would you describe your education experience before COVID. Troy.

It's been wonderful. It's been really cool. It was really hard at first. Because my brain was a little scrambled. It's got better.

Thank you. How about you, Ronald.

It was interesting. All my classes-- I had three classes, they were all college-- on campus classes. So it was interesting at first but-- yeah, it was definitely-- everything was on campus. It was a good experience at first. So yeah it was definitely interesting, it was fun while it lasted.



I would say my experience before COVID was very positive. And I felt I had a lot of support and I feel like having that experience has helped me to continue my education. And I feel like the support I had then, even though we're in distance learning, I feel like I still have that support.

Thank you. Lani.

My experience before COVID was pretty much just echoing, I guess, what everybody else is saying. It was different, right. Because you're online. You didn't like more personal connection with their classmates, the teacher and stuff. But doing this online thing, honestly I have the teachers and stuff so it doesn't really feel that much different.

Thank you. Maria.

Well for me, I think go to college before COVID was more motivated because you can talk with somebody else if you have a question or open your mind. But when after COVID is little challenging for me because I now to work too much with computer. Things like that, having question and I don't know what I do, because I not find somebody else answer me or-- a little challenging. But I think it overall is good to experience to the computer. And there's more skills for me.

Thank you. I'll follow up with the next one anyway, I think we kind of answered some of it but it was basically, how would you describe your experience now. Right now post COVID, where everything's online and in a virtual environment. Think some of you kind of answered that but-- you want to add a little bit more to that, Troy?

Yeah. Experience now is really good, actually. Because I had to learn the-- had to develop my techniques are more network over-- online. And once I did that I reached out and talked my counsellor, and professor, book store, every-- But it was kind of difficult and first you learn that then you are right. But now it's going great.

Awesome. Thank you, Troy.

Yeah, so my experience now, different. It's a little different. You get used to it. At first it's a little different but then you get used to it. Some classes are easier, some things are easier. Yeah, and you get more free time, I guess, more free time. Yeah. That's pretty much it.

Thank you, Ronald. Tracy.

For me, distance learning has helped me to build confidence and helped me to be more assertive. It's helped me to feel a lot more comfortable with the computer. And just-- I-- it's kind of put me in a pos-- forced me to do things that I probably would not have done before. And I think it's been good for me. It's hard. It's helping me to grow.

Awesome. Lani.

Yeah, my-- with distance learning, I think it's great, you know. Especially in the world with technology. Some of us were scared of the computer, I know myself, I was really scared like, oh man, I just know the basics. How do you Google the thoughts, you know. To submit an assignment, now it's like you motivate yourself. You know you have to push yourself to the limit, like saying, hey I got this. Like there's YouTube videos you can watch. I really like it. It prepares you for the world because the world is technology nowadays.

Thank you.

Thank you, Lani. Maria.

Well for me, I think I say it's challenging everything, because learning in the computer now is a little different. But I think it's good idea to try to-- put your limits and pursuing your goals, you know. It's a little hard but I think it can do it.

Thank you. So next question is, what are some of the challenges you face in the process of becoming a college student.

In the process?

Yeah, so we're talking more specifically like the application process, financial aid, registering for your classes, maybe even purchasing your books. Just some of the challenges you might have faced.

I still face the challenges.


You know. Before my accident, I was going to college already. And certainly for my contractor classrooms. And then I got in a accident everything changed. I had to take all the time to get the education back. I'm in a wheelchair, everything changed. And I had the loan as the deposit. So I haven't been getting any financial aid. I still work on that and I try to get it taken care of. It really-- it's been challenging but then more I do is so rewarding that I just stick with it.

Some of the real challenges have been learning how have network online and use this computer right.

Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

I don't know, like they say on campus, that's like the easiest part of college. So it's nothing compared to the classes. So yeah, it's pretty-- for me, it was pretty simple. Everything was straight forward. Like Alex was help-- helped me beforehand with my financial aid. And everyone's there to help you fill out all the forms and everything. So all of that stuff was a piece of cake I think. Yeah, I didn't really have any problems with anything on that aspect. So it was all-- it was all pretty easy, I think, I don't know.

Great. Great to hear. Thank you. Tracy.

For me, like Ronald said, I had a lot of support from Alex and Arlene and from the adult school to transition and with FASFA and financial aid and all of that. So that wasn't hard, I think, for me the challenge was more so believing I can do it. So it's just an internal thing. But the Redlands adult school has really supported me all the way. And they still are supporting and helpful.

Thank you, Tracy. Lani.

I don't really see any real challenges I faced like that. But the only challenge I will say, will be like getting your books on time. You know you wonder of your books and it's like everybody is trying to rush and get them at the same time. That was the only challenges I have. Everything else is-- it's good. Valley College, I felt like it is doing a really good job.

Thank you so much, Lani.

With the way all prepare their teachers and stuff like that.

Perfect. Thank you. Maria.

Well for me, I think it was a little challenging and fancy and things like that. But I know-- Alex helped a lot so now I feel more comfortable to do things. So I think it's a good idea having a lot of support. Whether at the school. And that's what I've got.

Thank you, Maria.

You're welcome.

Awesome. I'm up, right? What are some of the challenges that you faced in this new virtual environment. Troy.

Some of the challenges I faced?

Yeah, in the new virtual environment. Taking our classes online. Or just being in online in general.

Canvas sometimes. I mean I lost my homework a couple times. Almost done with an assignment and I hit a wrong button and erase it all. So now I do it in Word and then transfer it.


Thank you, Troy.



Yeah just getting used to everything. Creating your schedule, maintaining your schedule and just getting used to everything, knowing the deadlines. I don't know. Yeah. Just getting used to everything, I guess. After that, it's all like you get used to it and it's pretty simple, I guess.

Thank you. Tracy.

For me, it will be balancing out my own distance learning with my kids distance learning. And sometimes just connecting with-- tutoring, that part sometimes can be a little hard. Haaving that consistent. But other than that, it's been pretty good.

Thank you, Tracy. Lani.

Now the challenges that-- I will say-- I don't know, we're probably all facing right, because everything is online right now, is when the computer freezes. And the teacher's lecturing and she's getting all into it and you're wanting to take notes and you feel like, am I the only one. You know, you kind of get embarrassed, you're like can you repeat that. Because my computer froze.


I think that's a story that everyone can relate, right?

Oh yeah.

Thank you, Lani. Maria.

Yeah, I think it is what you say, Lani, is the challenges when the network stop. You don't know what they do and try to reload it and everything for the start again, you know. Listen what they say. That's a little challenging for us I think, in this environment to-- online.

Thank you, guys. It's my turn, right?


So the next question, some of you have stated this before, but we want a more specific answer, right. Have you found the virtual learning environment to be more difficult or not and why? Troy.

Yeah. Well it can't be more difficult because you don't have a professor there that you can talk to right there. I had to do a lot more research to find things. Want to ask your questions of the professor I got the email and wait for it to reach Mars. Sometimes you get back real quick and sometimes at all. I think learning how to research and answer my own questions and then-- good in a way though, you know.

Perfect. Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

Yeah I think a little bit of both. Like from my math class for instance, before COVID, we had to do all our tests. We couldn't use any notes or anything. But I guess they are being lenient, so after COVID, we were allowed to use our notes and-- I mean, that helped a lot. And then some courses are easier and some are more difficult. Yeah I think-- I don't know-- it's just like some are more easy and some are more difficult, I guess.

Thank you, Ronald.

You're welcome.


For me, I think it's kind of what you make of it. And I also feel like having an open line of communication with your teacher is like a choice that can really be helpful to navigate through distance learning. And I think it makes it a lot easier if you're able to ask questions and get feedback pretty quickly.

Thank you. Lani.

I think it's easy. Some people say it's difficult, but like you said, you make it difficult, of course it's going to be difficult for yourself. You know, we have to do our part too because-- I feel like-- when you work with your teachers, which I see something with my nieces as well, you have to work with the teachers. Because you have to understand. They're teaching us, we're not the only class that they have. They're in charge of other students as well.

So when you have that understanding with your teacher and you work as a team, I think there's better communication. And you guys are more-- you guys can move forward in a positive way. Put in your part 50-50 because it's a team. We are-- with the pandemic-- it's like we all got our whole lives changed. Not just us as students, but also as teachers. So taking that into consideration. I think will make it less difficult.

Thank you, Lani. And Maria

Well I think that learning online is a little both part. I think is a little difficult and a little more easy because it depends what class you take it is-- When you have a more question I think it's more difficult because this feedback is delay or whatever. But when you have more easy classes there's more communication and you understand more. So I think is equal I think. Bad and good. I don't know, maybe.

[interposing voices]

Yeah. Perfect. Thank you. Thank you, Maria.

But I think that-- I think you guys are learning that with online classes you have to be a little proactive when contacting your professors. Taking what Lani said, the pandemic did change everybody's life. So the teachers might be struggling to also keep up with so many emails. That might take them a little bit longer than normal. So yes, I think you guys are learning to ask early. Because the response might be delayed a little bit.

I'll take your word. Really changed, we're still listening to our instructors. Now online got to read a lot. After , that is a big transition

Yes, definitely is.

All right. So next question for all of you is, what virtual resources have you used since COVID. For example summer bridge programs, have you taken advantage of the Chromebook and the hotspots that the district was handing-- sorry, handing out, counselors, virtual workshops, tutoring, or any of the other programs, like DSPS or first year experience. So-- there you go. Troy. Troy first up.


Why don't you explain that, Troy.

I was-- I got to touch screen And really cool but sometimes I have a-- I can do-- with drawing on it. But they're so small, I can't do nothing. So I went to the library, and check out the Chromebook and now I got a big drawing. I can do two take and one and test my eyes sometimes but it's pretty cool. I've needed a lot of that different things. I still go to the campus. I go every week. And since I have been getting aid, and take all my money and paid my bills. I've been going to the college campus and getting the food pantry too reviewed. They been taking pretty good care of me at Valley College.

That's awesome.


Yeah I could go and get texts for anything. I learned how to do all that. I could go online or I can go to the library and ask. So it's all right.

So you want to touch a little bit on the programs that you've applied for and been accepted to?

Oh yeah. I'm in FYE, first year of Spanish. But you know that's coming to an end as I approach the end of in my first year. But they've been helping me with getting all my books. And stuff, you know. And I'm also for Honor Society I got in to all that, doing really good. And I also been extending STEM reading I'm a STEM student and so-- and how he was saying he got easy classes, none of my classes are ever easy.


Times I just wanted to throw my Chromebook But there's a lot of good programs. And I also in DSPS. So I got a couple different counselors and sometimes I would even still talk to people before I talk to them. So he's been like a advisor for me. It's been really great.

Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

Yeah so me, I've used-- I was in the summer bridge program, in EOPS, and I've gone to on campus tutoring when I needed it for during class. And everything-- I got all my questions answered, everything taken care of. And I was just like in and out pretty quickly. There wasn't any problems or anything. I recommend using the resources if you need them, everything. Yeah.

Can you tell us about your experience during the summer?

The summer bridge program? Yeah, it was really informative. There is a lot of-- obviously a lot about the resources. What we can use and how to use them. It pretty much described everything with campus, about the college. Everything that was on the campus of the college and it was really informative. So I recommend taking that too. Especially if you're not familiar with colleges or anything.

Ronald, because of that program, were you able to join any of the programs on campus?

I think I might have already been able to but yeah. That definitely helped and if I wasn't able to before, I probably would have been able to after that program. So yeah.

Perfect. Tracy.

I attended summer bridge. I'm a part of EOPS and attending summer bridge really helped me because it prepared me for what to expect in my classes, the workload, and connecting me to different programs. And I feel like it was really essential for me because I don't think I could handle the workload of college life. It taught me how to use a computer, different programs and we did a lot of writing.

They held us accountable and if they held us to a standard and it actually made it easier for me dealing with my classes.

Perfect. Thank you so much, Tracy. Lani.

Yeah the-- the department I use is the DSPS department and they've been amazing since I started. I can email them, they get back to me to set up an appointment. They've been really helpful. Also, when I started at ICEC adult school in San Bernardino. Mr Peter Olderga And he was amazing because my first class was with him. And then this whole pandemic started but even when it started, he motivated us. He didn't give up on students.

And I remember when he emailed all of us, and was like, hey, how do you guys feel about using online and stuff. And he just made it better for us in that transition as well.

Thank you, Lani. And to clarify, the DSPS is Disabled Students Programs and Services, that we offer at the district for all of our students. And the class that we taught was an actual student development class. Student development 102, life skills for success in college and life. And that was a class that we actually taught at the Adult School of pre pandemic, right. Troy and Lani are both students in that class.

And like Ronald had mentioned, right at spring break it was decided that we were going middle March, online. So all of our students transitioned to an online format and have been since. So it was a good class and same-- very similar to the summer bridge, a lot of informational stuff that's given to the students as far as resources on campus.

OK. Maria.

OK. For me, I think the bridge program was excellent. Because is the good transition to the college and know about the classes and everything else. So that's what it's good program. And EOPS too. I think it's a good idea, this environment to motivate it for us to continue to education.

Thank you so much.

You're up Alex, or me?

I think it's you.

OK. Describe your experience working with college counselor or advisors before COVID and then how, if it's changed post COVID.


It hasn't really changed. I mean, I would visit him before and I still need him but it's just, before I was seeing him in person and now it's all online. But I can still see him and talk to him through Zoom or Zoom conference or you know My [inaudible] counselor will do FaceTime on the telephone. So we see each other, you know. It's really ain't not much different for me.

Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

Yeah so mine before, it's pretty much the same. I have an EOPS counselor. So I have to see him three times a semester and do my progress reports. I mean, I guess it's easier to submit my progress reports now because all I have to do is take a screenshot. But other than that, yeah, it's pretty much the same, I guess. Because I didn't spend that much time in my counselor's office. Like just at the beginning when I went over my student plan for the next two years. But after that-- I'm in and out in like 10, 15 minutes.

Thanks. Tracy.

My experience has been positive. And I feel like the adult school to college, it's kind of been the same. A lot of support. And the counselors have been very developed.

Thank you. Lani.

Yeah, my experience has been very positive with the DSPS and also with Mr. Pete, he's been a good advisor to me. So when I have any concerns, I can just email him and he gets back to me. The same thing with the DSPS department. I email them for an appointment, they get back to me and we do Zoom meetings, so I still see them, it's just not in person. But you still have that physical, I guess. But it's been very positive.

Thank you, Maria. For me, I think before COVID is a little more warm in a relationship with the counselors. After the COVID, I think it's a little cooler down. But I understand. This transition and a lot of pressure for this new environment. So that's what I think. Maybe before-- later is a little more better.

Thank you, Maria. OK. Next question is, how confident do you feel in continuing, or if you are starting your college education, in this virtual environment. Troy.

I feel real confident. I mean it's-- to me sometimes I think is that all this thinking really is saving me. But now it's a virtual environment. Now because I'm in a wheelchair, and I did just jump in a car and go, you know. And it made it easy for me. It made it a lot easier for me.

Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

At first, I was a little worried about it. I didn't think I would adapt to it very quickly. But after a couple weeks I got used to it and-- yeah it wasn't that bad at all. I like it better and things like that. Yeah, thank you.

Thank you. Tracy.

I feel confident. I'm actually a little nervous to be inside a classroom because this is my only experience. So I feel confident that I can continue.

Thank you, Tracy. Lani.

Yeah for me at first, it was like could I do this. Have you outdone yourself. Could I do the whole technology thing. But now I'm honestly really confident and like I said it pushes you, you know what I'm saying. Because that's the world we live in, technology. So it's been a very humbling experience for me.

Thank you, Lani. And Maria.

Well for me, I think this experience is only motivated every day for this transition. And I think I can do it.

You all can.

Yeah you are.

Yeah, yes.

I would like to add something. I'm doing a lot of the lectures with the stuff I'm doing. And it's making it so much easier. I can back up the lecture when I need to. And listen to it over. Sometimes I'll do it three times and it sinks in. I actually enjoy more of my information that way.

Thank you, Troy.

Thank you, Troy. So we'll ask-- we only have a couple more questions here. So we'll ask our next question is, can you share your suggestions on how we as advisors and counselors can better serve our population.

And be honest guys.

And be honest.


Have a door to door service.

House calls. You want us to make house calls?


I can't think of nothing because every-- everybody has made themselves so available all the time. And I got no complaints and I really can't see a way to make it easier. I really can't.

Thank you, Troy.

Thank you so much, Troy. Ronald.

Yeah, I agree with Troy. Everything is available there, Redlands or anywhere. You want-- you can find the information. No they're doing-- you guys are doing a good job already. And I don't I don't have anything-- any suggestions that you guys aren't already doing. Yeah, I'm happy with the situation with everything. Thank you, for all the help.


I agree. I think you guys are doing a great job. You're very supportive. You guys are always there right away when we need you. So I wouldn't change anything.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Yeah I wouldn't change anything to be honest. Compared to the pandemic that we all got into in a way. Just everything got thrown at us. I mean you guys are doing an amazing job with the resources that have been given to you guys, you know what I mean. So I have no complaints, to be honest.

Thank you, Lani. Maria.

OK. For me I think a little different. So I skip this.

Oh, OK.


And it's clear the experience not going to be the same for everyone, right. And we respect that and that's what we are looking for. So that we can improve it and make it more accessible for everyone. And we clearly understand that this time are-- weird and difficult. We commend you guys for doing the best that you can.

Definitely, definitely.

So the last question, and-- is it your turn or my turn? Doesn't matter. Last one. Is similar to the previous round, but can you share an idea, or an experience, that you think this group or any future students should know about adult education and/or college in general. Troy.


Well, it requires an honest commitment. I know that much. There been times where I almost quit. But I didn't. I just kept moving. And don't make decisions on my own anymore because sometimes I'll be a little hasty running to my network. And use that when I'm supposed to do. One thing I think, it'll be very good especially come to the adult school is it has been-- class we go into for college prep I think that all should be mandatory. Because it is a lot of good information there. And then you push you in line with motivation, persepective, everything. It just helps a lot.

Perfect. Thank you, Troy. Ronald.

Yeah, just to be ready, to be prepared, take it seriously. Put effort into it. Some classes are going to be easy, others are going to be tough. You might want to quit but just keep pushing forward and get through it. And it gets better on the other side. Yeah and it all works out in the end. Definitely recommend going to college and doing it for sure.

Perfect. Thank you, Ronald. Tracy.

I think if you go to the adult school, you're going to be motivated, you're going to be encouraged. I think also for college, like Ronald said, don't give up. There are going to be times you'll feel like quitting, but I think it's rewarding each time you finish something that you thought you couldn't do. And I think it's also very important to keep an open line of communication. And there's a lot of times where I didn't understand things my teachers will tell me and I have to tell them, I don't know what you mean. And not be afraid to sound dumb or under educated because that's how you learn. That's my experience so far.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you, Tracy, yes. Lani.

Yeah I would agree with Troy. Taking that college prep with Mr.P was really helpful for me because I'm 34 years old, so going back to school was like, wait a minute. Could I do this? You feel out of place. But no it was really a humbling experience and that class, I feel like what Troy said it should be mandatory. Things like that. And I would like to also say that you have to put the work in, you know what I'm saying. You have to walk in with a positive mindset to be successful. You can't walk into an experience being negative because that's like letting yourself down. But you have a positive experience, you're going to be successful.

Echoing just what everybody else was saying, having an open communication with teachers. What I'm learning there's no question is too dumb. You know what I'm saying. If you have a question say it. There's been a lot for me you know what I mean. Because it's a learning experience for everybody. There's always something to learn.

Thank you, Lani.

Thank you, Lani.


Well for me, it's a little difficult this time, the new transition. But after that little by little later I can motivate it and I'm talking with people and try to find my answer with my counselors, my teachers. I think it was everything like little by little motivation. For continue to pursue my goals. That's what I do.

Thank you, Maria.

Thank you, Maria.

And thank you all all of you guys. We know that your time is really valuable--

OK guys, because of time that was the whole meeting of the panel. Then we just thank the students for their participation and their time. Keep in mind that they may have work or classes and they dedicate this hour for us to get their input. As you can see, there's different backgrounds and different stories. So I hope this helps you understand the work that we do and why we are so passionate about working with this population.

I think we answered most of the questions. If you guys have specific questions, feel free to email us. I know we have only a couple of minutes but this is our-- on the screen, you'll see all three of our direct emails. So if you would want any information or even a copy of these slides we can definitely share.

Diane is asking how we included-- oh, no-- it's just a comment-- thank you, thank you.

We really wanted to-- we really wanted to have them live but we were afraid since this was more of a webinar setting to have a lot of technical issues with the students. So we decided just to record them.

And also, I don't know how many of you are local for the San Bernardino, Colton, and Grand Terrace area, we have been having some power outage. So we don't want any technical issues, right. So I thought-- a measure of precaution, that's why we decided to have it recorded and then show it to you guys.

And we've been really fortunate as well with the culture that's at the adult schools, where everyone's really willing to motivate and cheer others on. So when we ask the students to come out and let them know basically that this was going to be shared with all of you and with other students, they were all about it. So they were quick to jump on and willing to give their stories and-- we do this at times at the adult schools too, when we do workshops where we'll invite a student that's gone through the process to share their testimonial. And it seems to really resonate with the current students there.

And they can see that it is a possibility for them to move on and continue their education. It's one thing for us to sit there and talk to the students and encourage them but when they have other students that have gone through the same thing that they have, saying the same thing that we're saying, it just solidifies that, right.

Right. which is one of the reasons why we are really hoping to get the peer mentorship program going. Because like Pete said, is one thing to hear it from us but it's a whole other story to hear it directly from another student who's probably living the same reality that they are.

And another important thing to consider, that's why we like this picture, we work as a team. There's not Valley or Crafton. We are a consortium. One of the students, Ronald, he attended Redlands adult school. He enrolled into Valley, he took the summer bridge at Crafton, and then now he's taking classes at Valley again. So we see it as a whole entity. We don't see names. We just work together. All of the technological training, Jorge Saucedo, he has been amazing teaching us how to use Zoom, how to create better presentations.

So it's a group effort. Don't think that this program works because of one person. It's because of the communication and interaction that we have with the adult schools, their principals, counselor, teachers, the college staff, the different programs, and administrators. So it's a team effort.

And like Alex was saying, adding on the support that we have at the adult schools is amazing. I mean we were welcomed with open arms. They saw what we were bringing to the table. What we wanted for their students and it's just a true collaborative effort. And we're at well-- pre pandemic, we were at three to four different schools per week, kind of bouncing around. So we were kind of used to that being somewhere different just about every day. And we're kind of doing the same thing now. We're home, but we're focusing on all the different schools that we're working with.

And once again, like I said, we couldn't do the work that we do without the support of the adult schools.

So there's-- we have about two minutes left. If there's any other questions-- I guess you guys can put them on the chat since we all have the chat open.

No questions?

No questions. We were really thorough.


That's the best way to be. Hi, folks. This is Melinda Holt. I'm the tech host. I'm going to be ending this meeting real quick. If you have any questions, type them in, we still have a few minutes here. I did want to remind everybody that at the end of the session when we end it, you will be taken to a screen to continue to the evaluation. Please, please, please fill out those evaluations. We do share those with the presenters after we look at them.

But it's good input to have not only for CAEP TAP, but also for the presenters so they can see how great they did. This is a really-- I was watching the video, it was really cool and it was great that you did the tech thing of recording. Instead of worrying about all the issues that might have come up. it doesn't look like there any questions. So on that note, thank you all for attending and panelists, thank you all for presenting. Have a great conference.


Thank you.