Carolyn Zachry: Welcome to the 2023 '24 school year. I am Dr. Carolyn Zachry, the Education Administrator and State Director for Adult Education. I'm excited to share with you today that over the past year, we have witnessed dramatic increases in enrollment. We are not quite to pre-pandemic levels. We are getting there. And I expect us to hit that mark within the next couple of years.

We have a couple of changes this year that I would like to share with you. First, in addition to the collection of Social Security numbers, we can also begin collecting student Individual Tax ID Numbers, known as ITIN. These can be used in place of Social Security numbers for those students who may not have a Social Security number. CASAS TE has been updated to provide a field for the ITIN.

The student technology intake survey has been updated to reduce the number of questions. Please continue to ensure that all students complete the intake survey annually. The state aggregate data is shared with the California Department of Technology and is being included in California's Digital Equity plan.

The continuous improvement plan is back this year and will be due April 30, 2024. We are hoping to release the updated documents sooner than in the past. This will provide you with more time to develop your plan for the 2020 '25 school year.

For new administrators and new grantees to the WEOA title II grant, I am pleased to announce that our new administrator and new grantee orientation will be October 3rd through the 5th. It will be virtual again to allow for greater attendance. More information and registration will be available in early September.

As many of you know, we have been focusing on our employment earnings outcome data. This is the information that is collected once students have exited your program, whether through graduation, completion of a program, or have just stopped attending for 90 days or more.

Students that provide a Social Security number, or now an ITIN, are matched in the UEI data set with EDD. Those students that do not provide one of these identifying numbers, are sent the simple four question survey. As you know, this is done through the Wizard in CASAS TE and is sent to students via text or email. I appreciate all the work that you do to follow up with these students who do not complete the survey. I know this is a big lift and your diligence and perseverance are appreciated.

We are working with the Division of Adult Education and Literacy from the US Department of Education to move the needle on this outcome data. To do this, we need to work together. Our goal is to achieve 45% of students providing an identifying numbers, such as Social Security number or ITIN, or a 60% response rate on the survey. Note, that I did not say these students had to have a job. We are focused on increasing our response rates.

I want to remind you about the importance of accessibility of digital content. It is important to our students who have the need to use a screen reader or other visual enhancements on their learning devices. OTAN has great resources to help in this process. All of our leadership projects CalPro, CASAS and OTAN are here to support you. I encourage you to use their resources and attend professional development trainings to further your knowledge.

I wish you all a successful school year. I know the work that each and every one of you do on a daily basis contributes to the success of the adults attending your programs. The success of those individuals is brought home to their families. I know that the difference you make in that one person's life also makes a difference in their family. Thank you.