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Automated: OTAN-- Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Lori Howard: Thank you. Welcome, everyone, to supporting English learners in realizing their career goals. As Alisa said, she's doing a dual role today of being our moderator as well as our presenter. So I'm here with you, Lori Howard, Program Specialist Coordinator specializing in IELCE, or EL Civics, and Alisa Takeuchi from Garden Grove Adult Education.

Let me see if I can advance my slide. Here we go. So this is our agenda for today. I'm going to give you a little introduction to IELCE just as a reminder. Most of you are fully aware of it. But as a reminder, what we're talking about today. And then Alisa is going to talk about the workforce training program for English language learners at Garden Grove Adult Education. And this is training for becoming a general office clerk. And I think she has a few things about future plans she's going to tell you today as well.

So first of all, to get to know you all a little bit, if you would type the kind of organization you work for, an adult school, community college, CBO, or other, could you type that in the chat please so we can see who's with us today? Adult school, adult school. Great. OK, so we're mostly adult school people. That's good for us to know. Anybody else? OK, transition to tech college. That's good.

Alisa Takeuchi: Oh, that's good.

Lori Howard: OK, great. OK, great. And we just have one more question. You can go ahead and keep typing that if you haven't yet. But our second question is, how familiar are you with IELCE programs? And I want you to type in, number one, if you're not familiar at all, up to number five if you're very familiar. So one to five, how familiar are you with IELCE programs? Aha, we have a big range, but a lot of ones. So good. OK, but a big range. You either aren't familiar or you're very familiar. So that's good to know. That's OK.

So today, this model then will help you. If you're not familiar, you'll learn a lot, but it will probably be a lot of information for you. So don't worry just take it in slowly. And those of you who are familiar, I hope you're here because you're wanting to improve the program you already have. And we're going to talk about that too. So that's great.

So by the end of this session, you participants will be able to identify at least one workforce training model for English learners. So as I said, Alisa is going to talk about one specifically, and then a little bit more. And then she's going to talk about the components of her program, the successes, any challenges they encountered, which will hopefully help you as you develop your programs. And then talk a little bit about remote learning and assessment, if that's involved in her program, and other things as well.

But as you listen to Alisa, I would like you to consider how the elements of the model could be implemented at your agency to either improve or begin a workforce training program for English language learners. You may have heard that the WIOA grant is coming up for application this summer for '22-- I'm sorry, for '23-24. So this summer in August, the application will be open.

So if your agency hasn't yet participated in WIOA or in IELCE 243 workforce training, now next summer will be your opportunity to begin that process and apply for the '22-- no, whatever, the next year, not this coming year, '22-23-- '23-24 I think is the first year. But in any case, the application will be open. So it's a great time to be thinking about it and learning how to do it from an expert, Alisa, and her agency.

So tell you a little-- sorry, it's OK. So tell you a little bit about our IELCE, which stands for Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Funding. So many of you might have participated in our regular EL Civics funding. We have that number 231 for regular EL Civics connecting students to the community.

And we've had that funding since 19-- well, it came out in 1998. California started their program in 2000. And we've had it all that time. And it included workforce training at the time, but it wasn't emphasized. But in 2014, the grant was reauthorized and there became more emphasis and more funding for workforce training.

So just for background information, the grant is the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title II of AEFLA. So it's WIOA Title II, and it's part of the AEFLA-- Adult Family Literacy Act. So that's good for you to know because you might hear those acronyms.

So from the beginning, this HAS not changed since 2000 really. That Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education is education services which enable competency in the English language. When we first started the grant, some agencies started teaching in the native language, which cannot be part of the grant.

And actually we heard about it recently that some CTE class was being taught in the native language. That is not what this money is for. You can do that, but you can't use this grant to do that because this is an English language grant. We're teaching the language needed in order to access the community or access training and work.

So education services which enable competency in English language and advanced skills needed to function effectively as parents, workers, and citizens of the United States. That's the general EL Civics grant 231. And then also an emphasis on workforce training down here at the bottom now, my cursor, may include workforce training. If you apply for a 243 funding, then you will combine English language support and workforce training. And that's what we're going to be talking about today.

So this is the symbol we use to show the combination of those. And the combination is this thing in the center in the green, Integrated Education and Training. When you combine adult education and literacy, which in the case of what we're talking about today is the ESL component, the literacy component is ESL.

And then you have workforce preparation activities that help students prepare for or participating in workforce training. And then you include the workforce training. All these three elements together become the Integrated Education and Training, or IET that you probably have heard of. So our IELCE, the English part of that grant, supports the IET-- the Integrated Education and Training.

So just a little bit to tell you about our EL Civics grant for those of you who aren't that familiar that all parts of our EL Civics grant include performance-based instruction. So IELCE, EL Civics is a performance-based instruction and assessment system. So the instruction is given in a performance-based manner. That means students don't just write about it or take a grammar test, but they actually do something, like complete a job application or do an interview.

So for example, we have a civic objective. And those are general competencies that help students access their community. For civic objective 33, the objective, general objective, is identify and access employment and training resources to obtain and keep a job. That is supported by a series of what we call COAAPs-- Civic Objectives and Additional Assessment Plans.

And a COAAP is a performance-based assessment. Agencies are tasked with looking at the assessment planning instruction that will help students complete that assessment. So the instruction is performance-based. We're teaching to the test. How do you fill out an application? And then we're testing, giving students an opportunity to fill out an application and show or demonstrate that they can do it.

So sample assessment task for civic objective 33 are, as I said, complete a job application or demonstrate successful job interview techniques. So those would be two assessment tasks. When students complete the assessment, they get a pass/fail. And there's a whole system of payment points, et cetera, related to this. So this is a pay for performance system. Students receive instruction and take a test. If they pass the test, the agency receives money for having help that student become competent in an objective.

So as Alisa talks, I'd like you to think about, how might your agency implement some of the elements of the programs that you're going to hear about? OK, so that's your task while you're listening. And Elizabeth has a question. Would it be accurate to say that we're teaching to a test that closely resembles a real-life situation, and it exactly would?

We are wanting to be one step away-- we'd like to be real-life, but we can't be in the classroom. So we're one step away from actually doing something in the real world. Yes. And we're teaching to the test. That doesn't mean we're giving students the answers.

So for example, I like to give the example of talking to a doctor about an illness. So in the classroom, we might teach 10 illnesses and their symptoms. So students are learning all 10 of them. But on test day, sort of like real-life, for example, the teacher could put out four 3 by 5 cards face down on a table, have the student pick one. And on the one they pick, there would be an illness.

So student has learned all 10, but they don't know which one they'll be asked about. And then they have a conversation with the doctor about the illness that is set on their card. So that helps the randomness of a real-life situation. We never know what kind of sickness we're going to get.

OK. And Eileen, I'm glad you're back with us. So anyways, as Alisa talks, I hope you'll consider how you might implement some of the things she's going to talk about. And again, she's going to be talking about general office clerk from Garden Grove Adult Education. So I'm going to stop sharing and let Alisa share her slides.

Alisa Takeuchi: Nice. Thank you so much. So give me one minute. Let me find all my Zooms. Oops. Uh-oh. Oh, there we go. Are you able to see my slide?

Lori Howard: Yes.

Alisa Takeuchi: Great. Thank you so much. All right, so now let me resituate myself. So before I start, I just want to-- now that I heard Lori's part about the WIOA grant being open again this summer for the next two-year-- for potential '23-24. I know for a long time-- OK, so Garden Grove has done the-- we've probably heard of the WIOA and the EL Civics from almost the get go.

I started in Garden Grove in 2001. And I think we started EL Civics probably in 2003. And so we have been doing this for a long time with just EL Civics. And I can't encourage you enough. If you're an agency that just hasn't been able to apply through the window-- because it took a long time. They didn't accept a lot of people for a long time. And then slowly and surely the application has been open. But if you do have an opportunity to do it, I highly encourage it. I think that it's a very good opportunity for you as an agency to be WIOA-funded.

And so as I'm talking through the evolution of our IELCE program, I want to just reiterate that it hasn't been an easy process for us. And this isn't going to be some glowing like, oh, it's been so great and perfect. And we're so just so huge and stuff, because there are agencies who have been very successful with the IELCE and are much bigger programs.

But I really do just want to kind of give you the perspective from our end and the struggles that we kind of went through and are still going through. And if you are an admin, or if you're a teacher and you're really just not too sure of how this whole process works, I will kind of talk to you about it at least through my lens.

So as you can see on the screen, I work for Garden Grove Adult Education, which is in Southern California. And we are working with one of our consortia. And I say one because we are in a very unique situation where geographically, we are in three different regions. And so we are actually involved with three different consortia.

And so it's been a very big-- like admins are right now going, [sighs] OK, and rightfully so because we are being pulled in different directions. But at the same time, we're able to collaborate with three different consortia with different avenues.

And so the one I'm going to be talking about today is with our Rancho Santiago Adult Education Consortium. And their main community college is Santa Ana College. And through Santa Ana College, we are the adult education facility for this consortium, as well as Santa Ana College also has a school of continuing education, which is an adult ed program through the college. So this is the collaboration that we have built through them with one of our consortia.

I will be talking about the business and finance pathway that we had worked with Santa Ana College with. And then also just within the last few weeks, we are starting to develop a new pathway called business office technology. And I'll go into that at the end.

So just to give you a small background information about us, again, we're Garden Grove Adult Education in Garden Grove, California. Just to give you some reference, we are 1.5 miles away from Disneyland. That gives you any clue. So our population right now is primarily Vietnamese and with a large community of Latinos. And we used to have a very large population of Koreans, but they have kind of migrated into another section in another city next to us.

And so like I was saying earlier, geographically, we have schools in the Garden Grove district in different regions. And so that is what has allowed us or has prepared us for being in three different consortia. So we have a school of school in one particular region. So now we are part of a different consortium. And then primarily, most of our school sites are within another consortium. So we do have relationships with them. And then we do have some schools that are within the Rancho Santiago Consortium. And so now this is the collaboration that we're making with them.

Let's see. So like I was telling you from the beginning, our IELCE program is very small. In 2017-2019, we didn't know what we were going to do. Because of our situation, we have a very large campus and it's one of the oldest campuses in Garden Grove. I think we're the second oldest actual campus.

And so we had housed many different CTE courses. And it's been flipping flop back and forth between being part of the adult education program, and then it switched to the Garden Grove Unified School District program. And then just recently within the last two years right before pandemic, it got shifted back again into adult education. So a lot of this IELCE where we're trying to connect with the CTE programs based on our campus have been very difficult because it's been a tug of war between who is in control or who has access to these classes.

And so just to piggyback a little bit with what Lori was saying about EL Civics in general and IET, and especially now with the pandemic, we know that the labor workforce is low. They are in desperate need of workers in the trades.

And so prior to the pandemic, the whole push for adult education and community colleges to work together to accelerate learning so that-- because we had so many CTE courses. All community colleges and adult schools may contain CTE courses, but many of our ESL students weren't prepared with the language to succeed in that. And many of the CTE courses were fee-based. And then on top of that, once you do the course, then perhaps there's going to be some sort of license or certification. And they didn't have the language skills to be successful.

And so what the idea was is that to take the adult education classes for ESL support for the CTE classes. So students at the simultaneous instruction would have CTE instruction, as well as ESL support so that it would help our students that are EL learners to succeed and get certified in a much faster way than to go only through the ESL courses, and then transfer over into CTE because now it's simultaneous and the pathway was going to be much quicker.

So again, many adult education sites were really successful with us. They really worked well with their community college, and then they were able to make these connections. For us, it was a little bit more difficult because again we are housed in a section where we were being pulled in different directions. But we really wanted to do this. We really wanted to try to create some courses so that we had the CTE and the ESL support at the same time. But now it was a question of, where were these all being located?

And so as you can see on the screen, we started with employability skills. And so Santa Ana College already had this pathway to have students as they completed these stepping stones. Scaffolded courses at the end would gain an industry skills certificate so that the student can now take that into the workforce and be confident that they were successfully able to get a job, and feel confident that they had the skills to do that job.

And so we started that right in 2017. And we were literally like tip toeing in the water. So what we did was we brought in a Santa Ana instructor, a community college instructor, to come onto our campus one night a week. So the students would get the ESL instruction three nights a week, and then she would come one night a week. And it was OK. The students really enjoyed it.

But because there were only coming one day a week for the actual CTE part of it, their progress wasn't really as accelerated as we had hoped and probably as Santa Ana had hoped to. And that was all because of scheduling. So again, we still didn't have that real connection with our community college yet to really get the scheduling down and really trying to create this course that would help benefit both of us.

Through that, though, as like the next school year came around, we had some ideas. We took the areas of growth for that particular class and we took the successes and we try to create another course. And now we're doing the general office skills through Santa Ana College. And so again, it was now let's take a look, like, what are the challenges? What are our obstacles? Why wasn't that other class successful? And a lot of it had to do with scheduling.

So one of the things that we thought would be a great solution was that we had some of our linking-- my school, Garden Grove School, instructors become CTE instructors. And so because of experience in the workforce, or because they had to maybe take a test or somewhat, they actually got their CTE credential. So they now were able to be our CTE instructor and our ESL instructor at the same time.

And so that really alleviated some of our obstacles into creating some of these classes that we didn't have to-- I can't think of the word. We weren't dependent. We weren't dependent on getting a schedule together with a community college instructor.

So Santa Ana College hired our three ESL teachers who are now CTE instructors for half. So two days a week, they work for the community college. And then two days a week, they work for Garden Grove. And so that was kind of a workaround for us on how we can start getting the general office skills certification program started at our campus.

So as you can see on the screen, this is a screenshot of what the General Office Clerk entails from the point of view of Santa Ana College. And so what we did was we took their courses and we talked with the instructors who are now CTE instructors as well and we said, OK, how will we schedule this? What are we going to offer our students as well as any student from Santa Ana College that also wanted to take it on our campus?

So it wasn't just for ESL students. Native English speakers could take these courses, the CTE courses, and they didn't need the ESL support. So our ESL students would also get the ESL support. So native English speakers would take the class two days a week. And then our ESL students would take four days a week, two CTE and two ESL. And so that was one of the models.

So way back in the day when all of this was just starting to blossom, we had learned about the I-BEST approach, which came from Seattle, Washington. And it was that kind of co-use. So it was either you had an CTE instructor and ESL instructor working together simultaneously to help your ESL students be successful navigating through the course, or you had maybe two days on, two days off CTE-ESL, which is what we used as our approach.

So there were different models that could be used. And so we were trying to think, OK, these are the courses that are required to get the certification. How can we best schedule it? And so these were some of the thought processes that went through our team's discussions.

And in addition, we also have the Digital Literacy for Office and Admin Support Workers. Again, these were also tears from Santa Ana College that students could move through the process to get these different certifications. And these, again, are industry-skilled certifications through the community college.

So as I mentioned before, we had some of our ESL instructors become CTE instructors. Because of their personal life outside of Garden Grove, they were able to become CTE instructors in technology and business because of the work experience they had, either previously or simultaneously, that could be used as part of their credentialing process.

So to be a CTE instructor, then you need to have X amount of years of experience in that field. And then you have to show proof of how you use that industry to become a CTE certified credentialed teacher. And so like I said, three of our teachers qualified. And so it made it a lot easier for us to navigate how we wanted to house certain classes on our campus, as well as still work with the community college because they're giving us the courses. But now we're using our campus and our instructors to teach it. And so that actually worked out really, really well for us.

Then we also incorporated Burlington English. So in addition to not in lieu of, in addition to the course outlines from the community college and the instruction that was given there, we also had Burlington English to supplement all that curriculum so that students can now maybe take that umbrella of the whole general office clerk, and then now work specifically into different pathways that they wanted to go into.

So for example, why would they want to have this particular certification? I want a particular job, or I want to go into this field, or I'm looking into this field. Burlington English allowed them to kind of explore different pathways that they could follow through to see if that's something that they really actually wanted to do.

In addition to that, we also incorporated EL Civics. So because some of the EL Civics are now-- so for those that are not familiar with EL Civics, this is going to sound a little bit over your head. But that's OK. So the funding for EL Civics was now available to us as a workforce IET/IELCE course so that it gave us a little bit of an edge to try to gain a little bit more money from the funding of WIOA.

And so we were perfectly happy with our 231 funds. No problem. It didn't have anything to do with workforce training. But now that we were trying to incorporate more of these IELCE classes, we wanted to take advantage of using some of these EL Civics to kind of bump up our funding for that.

And it costs us. And CDE were very, very helpful for us because we were still kind of lost. We really didn't have this clear pathway yet. And we were just kind of trying different things. And then they really steered us in the right direction of, yes, you're in the right direction. You're going the right way with this. But we're going to have to kind of change some of these things.

And so it wasn't like this a wall, brick wall, and they weren't going to support us or anything. They really wanted us to succeed. And so they were going to try their best to help us fix any challenges that we were having that the CDE was like, mhm, that's not really the vision that we had for this. How about if you try this instead, blah, blah, blah?

And so then we were able to work with them about that. And it's still an ongoing process with this. Because again, like I said, with our whole situation with where are the CTE classes housed and who can access them, we're still struggling a little bit with how to incorporate those three components.

So now that we've kind of has this vision, we have the cooperation with the community college, now it's like, what do we do? So what we had to do was the students that were very interested in this new CTE/ESL support combo, they had to register with Santa Ana College for the CTE courses. And then they registered with Garden Grove Adult Education for their ESL support.

And so it was a different process and the registration process for community college is quite different. And at the time, we were really trying to transition our higher level ESL, our APE students, our high school diploma students. And we were really trying to get them transitioning into community college, even if it was just for a summer course, or some workshops, or things like that so that they could have a community college ID.

So that made the transition a little bit easier for us because we had so many students that were already at that point. But that would be another consideration if you're just beginning with this whole process really working with your community college on how to make the transition from adult education to community college as seamless as possible for the ESL students. Because even just registration was very difficult.

And so we were able to work with the adult education department of the community college to actually kind of revamp their registration process to make it more language level friendly because they never had that experience before. They didn't know that they needed to change that until we actually asked them to. So those are the kinds of conversations that you might want to have with your consortium and the powers at be that can help you help your students transition into community college seamlessly.

And then also just with any CTE course as well, a college class, especially a CTE course, the amount of homework or just all consumption of the class and how many hours of homework they were going to have to do and how much they were going to have to study in the book and the vocabulary, those were all into consideration too of, how can we help our ESL students the best way we can to help them succeed for that new course?

The other thing that was really important to us from the get go with our talks with the consortium was that we wanted to make sure that all of our students had access to the counselor, whether it was our Garden Grove counselor or the Santa Ana College counselor. Because again, we knew some things, but we didn't know all of the things that happened with the community colleges. We weren't experienced enough to know how to guide our students appropriately through the community college pathway or navigate their system.

And so it was very important for us that we had this communication with the community college counselor so that they would be available to our students when they had questions, or when they felt like they were falling behind, how can they help them to become successful?

So here's some stats. So before the pandemic, we had about 60 students who are enrolled in our various CTE courses. And at the time, we had three different pathways and I think five classes. So 60 students, we didn't have anything to compare it to because that was our first time doing it. But we could compare it to other agencies. And we know that we were not very big.

Then once our school closed and we went through the pandemic, our numbers definitely dropped because we had so few students who were not interested in online only instruction. And again, that's a very real obstacle when you have CTE courses, especially the ones that are more hands-on, automotive, HVAC, welding. How do you navigate with the hands-on instruction?

And there's been a lot of very creative ways that people have been doing it, but we didn't have to look into that yet. And so it wasn't really one of our considerations. But just not having students not wanting to come onto-- I mean, sorry, not having students able to come onto campus to do the physical technology things that we were doing in the classroom, that really distracted a lot of students and just had them just drop. And we didn't see them again.

And so now that our school is open again, we do simultaneous instruction. We did not gain a lot of our students back that had left during the pandemic. They did not come back when we finally opened up our classes again. So that was a real struggle for us.

And then because we had a little situation with our community college, and that because our numbers were so low, they forced us to close a couple of our classes. And so that's why our numbers are about 20. So again, it's not for the lack of trying or it's not for the lack of really trying to incorporate this collaboration with the community colleges. It really is just from the onset of pandemic and not being able to have our students-- or our students not coming back to us.

So another kind of obstacle that happened with our community college is that because they had their own set of rules or how they were adjusting to online versus in-class, they were saying that they didn't want us-- for the CTE portion, they didn't want us to do simultaneous instruction.

So for us right now, we have in-class students and online students at the same time. And Santa Ana College did not want that. They all wanted only in-class students. So all the students that were very comfortable being online in Zoom and learning that whole time in the pandemic stopped coming because they didn't feel safe. They had transportation issues. They had childcare issues. Whatever the issues were, they weren't coming back on campus.

And so we did lose quite a few students from that as well. So again, just for administrators and for teachers, these are kinds of struggles that we had gone through that we had to kind of look up beyond the box and say, how can we fix this? What do we need to do?

So in order to qualify for the IELCE, the IET programs, there needs to be a single set of objectives. So as I was saying before where you have a CTE course-- we've all had CTE courses or we know of CT-- vocational learning, that's what used to be called. And those objectives that they require need to be also in the ESL support, those same sectors. We need to share those objectives.

So it's not an ESL beginning in high class and some of the students are just learning some of your vocabulary for this class. It's with intention that these students that need ESL support are wanting to have this particular CTE pathway. And that's one of the key things that really took us a long time to figure out. So we have an HVAC class here on campus. And we do have an automotive class here on campus. And so now we are trying to figure out a way, how can we bring in the ESL support?

And so a couple of different ways is that the CTE instructor gives us their textbook or their curriculum. And then an ESL teacher or a team of teachers will go through that and ESLfy it. That's like my word. So we take the vocabulary words and we pull those out. We take important concepts and we take those out and we make PowerPoint, or we make slide presentations. We create worksheets for them. We do all these things that we would do for our normal ESL students, but now the focus is directly on to the CTE course.

The nice thing with working with your community college on this is that they have already done most of the work. So community colleges take an extraordinary amount of time to get their CTE courses qualified for certification. And it could take up to like two years for them to come up with the curriculum, send it off to the state chancellor's office and get it approved, and then brought back to the agency.

And so why would an adult agency want to recreate that course outline when all we have to do is take it from the community college, and then scaffold it so that our ESL students can work their way up through it at the same time?

So again, some of the challenges I've mentioned some of them before were-- in the pre-pandemic, the schedule was the biggest issue because they had one teacher that was available, but she was only available one night a week.

It helped us to kind of get our foot in the door to figure out-- like see how it would work, but it really didn't help us with our acceleration to have our students get more knowledge just one day a week for the CTE portion of it. They were getting all the ESL support, no problem, but they weren't getting the CTE part of it. So we tried it for a semester-- oh, for actually a couple of semesters and just kind of worked from that.

Also, the staff. We had to decide who was going to teach the ESL part of it because we were busting. Before the pandemic, we had a very large program and we had lots of waiting lists and stuff. So all of our teachers were already occupied in other classes. So to pull them out of a normal ESL intermediate high class and transfer them into ESL support class, we just couldn't do it. In fact, all of our classrooms were filled too. So we didn't even have a classroom to work with.

So those were some of the challenges that we had to kind of figure out as time was going by. But then all of a sudden, the pandemic hit. And now we have issues with enrollment. We had issues with attendance. And then again, like I said, with the remote only.

It was very difficult for our students to get that hands-on experience while they're at home and on different devices because some of them were on phones or iPads. And then if you're trying to teach keyboarding processes or things, or Word, or something, it's much more difficult on these other devices rather than the desktop computers that we had in our classrooms.

All right, so some of our successes. [chuckles] So one of the biggest successes prior to the pandemic was the collaboration with the community college. We had no collaboration with community colleges prior to this. Because this introduction to IELCE and the whole consortia push, this is when we started to have connections with our community colleges.

Before, we had no talks with them at all. There was no even collaboration to talk about, hey, how can we get our adult ed students prepared to transition into community college? And that was probably one of our biggest downfalls. So now that we have this collaboration, we are really talking with them a lot about, how do we transition the students so that they can become the most successful they can in a California Community College?

Also, the opportunities for the students. Like I said, we never offered this before. We never even talked to the community colleges before. Now all of a sudden, we are opening up these different classes. They weren't necessarily the IELCE pathways, but we were actually just doing a transition English class where the students are now academic English so that the teacher at Garden Grove Adult was preparing them for community college English. And we all know that that could be a very large gap.

And so that was just one of the examples of us trying to shorten out this bridge between the two. And then we also offered a writing class, a grammar and writing class, with a community college instructor, but with our link and education students so that they can get a feel for what it's actually like to be with a community college professor. And he treated them just as he would a native English speaker English class. And man, it was a big eye opener.

And so looking back on it now, it was kind of-- we started this whole ESL support because they would go to the native English community college English class two days a week, and then they would go to ESL two days a week. And so our ESL instructor was preparing them for that next class, or that next lesson, or homework, or things like that. So even though it wasn't work for us, we were still getting that collaboration, which was really, really nice.

Once the pandemic hit, some of the successes, the silver linings was that because the students were all on Zoom, their direct application to some of the skills that they needed to learn was right there. They had no choice but to learn keyboarding because they were typing if they had a computer at home.

And we also offered Chromebook checkouts. Because again, this kind of typing is not the same as this kind of typing. And so we really needed those students to have the Chromebooks so that they were experiencing the skills that they needed to be successful for the general office clerk on the device that they most likely would be using in the workplace.

And then now we were able to open up these classes for students who weren't able to come into the campus for whatever reason, child care, transportation, health. And they were able to join our classes remotely that they didn't have that opportunity before. So it was kind of a big surprise for us that we really thought-- all we saw at first was all the students that we lost, but then actually we gained other students that we never had before. So that was kind of nice as well.

So recent change that I was sort of going about was that just in the last couple of weeks, because our previous collaboration with Santa Ana College had to be canceled, our general office clerk-- sorry, our computer basics class had to be canceled because we didn't have enough students in the class. And Santa Ana College wouldn't allow it to continue because the enrollment was so low.

So what do we do now is that we ended up purchasing-- our director went-- she and I both went to a conference and we saw a presentation separately on ICEV. ICEV is a private company who has worked with industry-skilled companies to develop these courses that will enable students to complete a course and be industry skill-certified.

And so I saw the presentation and I thought, well, that's kind of interesting. Like, I'd like to know a little bit more about that. And later just on a whim, my director said, hey, I went to this presentation. It was really great about these CTE courses that can be done online or that we can-- I'm like, I went to the same one, blah, blah, blah.

So we kind of started talking about it. And she went forward with it. And so she ended up purchasing the business office technologies course through this company. And so we shifted our students from computer basics over to the business office technologies. And I'm going to share with you just that for the next few minutes.

So this is no way a plug for ICEV because really it's so new to us. I mean, I just kind of learned about it like about yesterday and the day before. So it's no plug on them by any means. But I will say that as we're going through this, it seems to be working for us just in the few weeks that we've had it. And so let me go through the process of what we did.

So we purchase the course. And so you purchase the course. It's an umbrella purchase. And then you pay for seats or licenses. And then once the students are ready to take 100-question test to see if they pass-- they have to get 70% to pass, and then they get the certification. And so you pay for the tests as well. So you pay for the course, you pay for the seats, and then you pay for the tests as they come along.

Now if a student does not pass the test the first time, they do have a second chance for free. And then after that. So we are paying for this. We are paying for this. And then if a student does not pass the second time, we encourage them, of course, to go back into the course, go back through the areas that they're struggling with. And then they can take the test again, but they'll pay it out of pocket on themselves.

What this is really nice is that it really helped meet all the needs of our students. So us as a school, we are providing this course for them. Now, also what we heard was that if a workplace has a need for their employees to get a certification in something in that particular field, the employers could also sponsor employees to actually take the courses to get certified as well. And then also individuals who may not be connected to a school site or may not have a job yet, but they really want to get certified in certain areas, they can actually do these courses on their own.

So the industry that ICEV have used to prepare for the business office technology certification was Express Employment. Express Employment is an international staffing agency. They work in quite a few different countries. And they are one of the leading companies that prepare people to be better exposed to certain types of jobs. And so they worked with the ICEV to create these courses for technology skills and business skills.

So not only are our students learning the hard skills, keyboarding, and Microsoft Word, and Google products, and things like that, they're also learning about business skills, how to conduct business language appropriateness, things like that. So it's kind of an all encompassing course.

These are the skills that when the student completes the course will gain for this particular pathway. So again, like I said, the primary is office technology. They really delve into these different types of digital skills that our students will need to know in order to get an entry level job, the word processing, digital presentations, spreadsheets, data sheets, desktop publishing. And then here comes the workplace communication, appropriate language, things like that. And then also the ethical applications in the workplace. So giving them the full comprehensive idea of what it's like to be in a job.

So for the future beyond just that new course that we had just started a few weeks ago, we are also in the process of working with our district and with our community colleges on adding additional classes to our campus. That's been one of the biggest obstacles for us is because of our consortia issues, we are only allowed to house certain CTE courses from one of the consortiums.

And so working with them very directly on, what courses can we offer on our campus that we can get support from you and we can support you with those? And then also taking the two classes that we have here already, the HVAC and the automotive, and developing those support classes, the ESL support classes for that.

Basically, that's it. I'm like exhausted. [laughs] That was a lot of talking. And I'm really sorry that I was really rushing through that. But I really wanted to give you just kind of the bird's eye view of our program, and the struggles and the successes, and the process that we had to go through to work with our district, our community colleges, our consortium to really make this happen so that we can fulfill students' needs on really getting them into the workforce in an accelerated fashion.