Speaker: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Nate Sachdeva: All right, welcome everyone. Welcome to connecting strengths, interests, and values to education and careers. We are a San Diego adult school, which is part of San Diego Unified School District. I'm Nate Sachdeva. You can follow me at @pardnersd on Twitter.

I'm a program manager with the office of college career technical education with San Diego Unified. I have 15 years with the school district. I was an elementary teacher, a high school teacher, a middle school elementary principal prior to coming over to the central office and leading the San Diego adult school. Welcome.

Nicole Lincoln: Hi, my name is Nicole Lincoln. I've been with San Diego Unified adult education for seven years. Prior to that, I was with the Los Angeles Unified school district where I taught for five years.

Kirsley Tate: Hi, everyone. Welcome. My name is Kirsley Tate. I have been with San Diego Unified for six years, and with adult education two years. Prior to that, I was K through 12 with Borrego Springs Unified school district. And I'm currently the adult debt counselor. So welcome, and we hope you enjoy our presentation.

Nate Sachdeva: All right, so we are the San Diego Adult School. Like I said, we were part of San Diego Unified school district. The district has about 100,000 students. And we are also part of the San Diego adult education regional consortium, so our partners at San Diego college and continued education as well.

Our school services approximately 300 students at any given time. We offer a hybrid independent study model that you're going to learn more about. We have four high school diploma instructors, one adult basic education teacher, and our counselor. Our school sites are at Crawford, Garfield, Lincoln, and Mira Mesa.

And we service students throughout the city limits of San Diego. And we're excited to be here.

So everything began with an essential question. So we started with, how do we create meaningful relationships with our students? As you know, over the last few years, a lot of dynamics have changed. And so we wanted to make sure that we were out in front as much as we could.

So we started to revamp our orientation process to make sure that students felt a part of our learning community. And that included having a counselor sitting down and reviewing the transcripts with the student, understanding what courses were going to be needed as they move forward and pursue their high school diploma.

It includes the CASAS math and literacy assessment. And then we added in the Beable literacy and strengths inventory assessment to our intake program as well. You're going to learn more about Beable as we go through our presentation. I learned about them when I was an elementary principal.

We utilized Achieve3000, which you might be familiar with. And Achieve3000 has the ability to scaffold the content and information that (Inaudible) at their reading level. And so Beable's kind of the extension to Achieve3000, and we utilized it with our adult students to where we can take the content in the courses as well as the career exploration pieces and scaffold it to their reading ability, which has been very beneficial for us.

And then from that, once we identified their strengths, interests, and values, we create a college and career planning meeting with the counselor. And that's how we kind get the ball rolling to make sure students are-- understand the purpose of being in our program, as well as what could be possible as they move forward.

Nicole Lincoln: So the way it used to be with student intake. Students were basically referred to our program from their high school counselor. The counselor would walk the student over to the classroom. There would be little conversation with the student about the goals of the student and the expectations.

And the counselor would basically do a hand-off. The adult education teacher would sit down with the student and discuss their requirements for graduation. The student would be assigned their coursework through a packet, and then sometime later the student would come back with that completed work, usually within a week, and receive the next set of instructions in terms of what work was required for the next visit.

So the way it used to be with student and teacher relationships. Well, students were required to come into the learning lab and work on their assignments at a designated amount of time during each week. The conversation usually focused around academics. Was the student on par for completion of the assignments that they were to complete?

Little conversation existed about outside activities with the student, and the students would leave the program with little interaction other than they were meeting their goals to get their high school diploma. So there was an adequate amount of interaction, but there weren't real connections being made at this point.

So what have we learned? Well, we learned that as a result of the pandemic, student interaction lessened. There was a drop in student course completion. We experienced-- we noticed that there was a drop in student attendance, and we needed to engage the students more because the online process was very impersonable.

So we needed to make changes, and we were forced to make changes as a lot of the profession needed to make changes. Our intake process was converted entirely to Zoom. It was fully online. There was a huge learning gap that we noticed that the students had to get up and going when they were moving to the Zoom format.

There was less time for the students to acclimate to this new process. It became even more difficult to build connections and relationships with the students, let alone have conversations with them about anything outside of academics. And less time to build a rapport with the students.

Nate Sachdeva: So that takes us to our questions and solutions. So we no longer could lean on the paper and pencil when we're trying to enroll our students and keeping files and everything. So everything had to move digitally, and we utilized Google Forms for this purpose.

We really wanted to figure out ways that we could build relationships. As adult education, a lot of students feel disenfranchised from their experience of the comprehensive high school sites. So the relationship with their instructor and the team of San Diego adult school is vital to their success.

So we wanted to make sure that the students understood that we saw them as unique individuals. We knew them on a more personal level and we were interested and invested in their long (Inaudible). And so by building these relationships, we predicted that we would be able to sustain.

The students would stick through and grind out a lot of the challenges and the barriers that we've gone through the past two years and understand the importance of reaching their goals and how we're there to support them along the way. And we really want to make sure that they are actively engaged in the school community.

This is a learning environment, but there's so much more than just the academic tasks that when we're building as a school we really want to build up the relationships and long term success and so that they are confident that they are going to reach their goals.

Nicole Lincoln: So it's definitely a delight to introduce you to one of our students. Our student here, Arion, actually is one of my students. Very, very appreciative of her to come in and do the interviews of the questions that we have to go along with our presentation.

I think you'll enjoy listening to some of her questions-- some of her answers to the questions that we asked of her during this presentation.

Arion: Hi, I'm Arion. I'm 19. I go to San Diego Adult School. Hi, I'm Arion.

Nate Sachdeva: So saving-- so you're going to meet Arion throughout our presentation. Our program targets students who are 18 and 19 years old who were not successful in getting their high school diploma in San Diego Unified. And then we also have a partnership with San Diego college of continuing education, who services students who are 20 and older.

So this has made it very nice for both of us so that students who want to stay at the high school sites of all of our sites are at our high schools-- so it's our learning lab within the high school. They have that opportunity, as well as if a student feels like they would do better off on a different setting, they do have the opportunity to go to our partner organization as well so that we can meet the needs of all of our-- the various needs of our student population.

Kirsley Tate: So I'll jump right on that, and I will talk a little bit about pre-COVID. Before COVID happened, the enrollment process, obviously, was all paper. We talked to the student at the high school level. And I'm talking about being a high school counselor at that time.

Not much was known about adult education, so we had to talk to the students about what it was, where to go, what papers they needed to fill out, and then pretty much send them on their way. And there was really little communication between us, the high school counselor, and the adult education at that time.

Move forward all the way to COVID happened, everything went online. I started working with the adult education. Having that connection with the high school counselors helped a lot, because now everything was online. We were able to-- I was able to communicate with the high school counselor with the student, have that meeting with them, and just walk them through the process of enrolling.

What is it that they need, what are the requirements, when can you enroll? And one of the amazing things about our program is, we pretty much enroll almost every single day. So we do not have a set deadline. Or if at the traditional high school you have to enroll by a certain amount of time to be able to have a certain amount of seat time, that's not how it works for us.

So now with everything online, it pretty much helps a lot of our students understand the adult education program and it's a lot easier for them to go from the school to our program and there's not many hoops they have to jump. It's just one straight line. So it's definitely made it a lot easier now than it was before.

OK, so here is Arion again. And she will be letting us know how education was viewed in her house when she was growing up.

Arion: Education was viewed very important in my household. Like that's also why I traveled so much to different schools because my mom wanted me to be in different environments learning, with different people. Because you will never be with the same people every day.

Kirsley Tate: All right, and I guess you can see like towards the end she looks to her-- to her right. I was standing on her right hand side. And at that moment, when she looked at me once I stopped the video, I had to remind her not to look at me. And it was almost as if she wanted me to let her know that it was OK what she had said.

So once I told her, just speak from the heart, just say how you feel, just be yourself, she was 100% comfortable after that. But in this video towards the end, she does look to her right, just kind of wanted me to let her know, no, you're OK. You did fine, you're good. Let's move on.

So I thought that was a really cute thing for her to do.

Nate Sachdeva: All right, so our online enrollment process. I guess we're moving to this model. Previously when a counselor at the school level was a San Diego adult school option, they were kind of contingent on the student following through, going to our school sites, registering for the courses.

Unless the high school diploma program learning lab was on that particular school site, there was sometimes that lag, or there was a disconnection between the opportunity and then actually following through with it. So now having the online option allows counselors to be sitting with the student and have at it.

They can actually complete their application while they're at their high school setting. We can intake them and get them the ball rolling very quickly. So it's really making things a lot more streamlined, and opens up access for all students.

Nicole Lincoln: From a teacher-- from a teacher, excuse me-- from a teacher perspective, this really revolutionized the enrollment process as well. It ended up taking a paper process and converting it online where it's all centralized. All of the answers are accessible by any of the members of the adult ed office.

And just really super convenient. It was just really a great addition, and we all noticed that. That it really helped things for us.

Kirsley Tate: And here, Arion is going to talk a little bit about who referred her to the adult ed program. Now during this video, she talks about her counselor over at Mission Bay High School. And we had a connection, Arion and I, for about a good five minutes. So Arion's counselor works at Mission Bay, who happens to be the same head counselor that worked at La Jolla High School when I worked there, and we're really good friends.

So Arion and I had an instant connection because we knew exactly what the counselor was like, how she was always having blankets in her office because she's always cold, and Arion and just light up the minute I told her, oh, I know who you're talking about. This is how she is.

And she's like, oh my gosh, you're so right. This is how she is. So it was a really good five minutes between Arion and I just kind of chatting back and forth about her experience with her counselor, and my experience with working with her in our previous high school. So here's this small video.

Arion: I was referred to San Diego Adult School through Ms. Kay, which is one of the counselors at Mission Bay. I should have took the opportunity earlier on than waiting, but I'm glad I still took it. I was referred--

Kirsley Tate: All right, so like Nate said earlier in our presentation, we have a partnership with San Diego College of Continuing Education. Now as he mentioned before, our program is specifically for students that are 18 and 19 years of age. However, there are exceptions.

San Diego College of Continuing Education does have a specific seat time that students have to meet. Unfortunately, a lot of our students are parents, a lot of the students have jobs, they have full time jobs. They are not able to meet that seat time. So we receive a waiver like the one you can see here on the screen.

There are two reasons why a student would come to us from San Diego College of Continuing Education. One of them is to just take one class or two classes. And the reason being for that is San Diego College of Continuing Education has very specific schedules for their courses and when they are offered. We do not.

So if a student only needs one class to graduate, but it's not offered until the Spring, there's really no need for the student to wait until the Spring to take that class. They are referred to our program to take it. They take the class and then we send them back. The second reason a student would come to us is because they are not able to meet that seat requirement with San Diego College of Continuing Education.

So they are released from their school to come and enroll with us. Once they come with that waiver, we do accept them. We do a review of their courses and we get them enrolled. So even though we specifically target 18 and 19 years old, we don't just stay with that group age.

We do have exception of students that are over the age of 20. Our program's open every single day, the whole year. So why not offer them the opportunity to be able to complete their courses with us if they can't with San Diego College of continuing ed.

So I will briefly go over our options. We have two different options. This is our option one. And our option one pretty much is 40 credits. And it's for our students that were so, so close to graduating from high school but they were missing one or two classes, or even three.

In this particular evaluation, our students do not need to take a college class, because a college class is required in our program. They need to make sure that they have all eight English courses, six histories, six math or six science. The two fine arts or foreign language, and then 12 elective credits.

We don't have many students that need the option one. Mostly our students need our option two, and I'll go over that in our next slide. But the few that we do have needing the option one get done pretty quickly, and then we just kind of move them along and talk about next steps.

And that's one less thing they have to worry about. Here is our option two. And our option two is for our students that pretty much need almost everything to graduate, or unfortunately they do not have enough elective credits to meet the option one. So we do a course credit. I do a course credit evaluation.

We give them credit for the classes that they have already taken. And for option two, on this one you will see they need practical art but we no longer require practical art. They do need to take the college class. We do offer a college class through San Diego College of Continuing Education, and it is our college and career readiness.

And basically, our teachers do an amazing job at helping our students enroll for that class. It is offer Fall and Spring, and over the Summer. And we get them enrolled, they take the class, they meet that college class and then we move on. That does not mean that a student has to take the college and career readiness class with us if they are interested in anything else, in taking a different course.

They are more than welcome to, however it does have to be two units or more. One of the perks is that if a student is coming from within San Diego Unified, a lot of our high schools do offer college courses and a lot of our students do take advantage of that. So some of them come to us with that credit already.

Nicole Lincoln: So we ended up getting this program called Filemaker where we are able to store all of our student documents, student information. And one of the benefits of having this centralized location of all of our student records was we needed to have a transcript area where we actually created the transcript for the student.

And so in the past, teachers had to actually take any of the previous transcripts that students have from other institutions and basically input that data onto the Filemaker transcript. So this process was very time consuming. It took a lot of time. Took time away from building those connections that we need to be building with our students.

And then it was just-- left room for errors. Since then, that has become the responsibility of our counselor. So I'll let Kirlsey go into more details about that.

Kirsley Tate: So like Nicole said, when I first started with the program, it was right when COVID hit. You know, I had little interaction with the previous counselor. So there was a lot of room for error when it came to typing the transcripts. Now if you work at a high school-- if you work at a school-- and you know how long it takes you to just type one document.

Now imagine having to type a document for every single student that comes to your program. And some of our students move schools so many times outside of San Diego Unified, so you end up with three transcripts, four transcripts. Having to type all of that within Filemaker.

So after about six, seven months, I went to Nate and I went to another coworker within our program and I pretty much just-- I don't want to say begged, but wanted them to truly understand how time consuming it was to sit there and type a transcript. Something that would take an hour, an hour and a half per student.

So all I did all day was type transcripts. So luckily, we were able to get our Filemaker program to let us download the transcript from PowerSchool, which is a program that's used within San Diego Unified. And what we do-- what I do is I download that transcript into my computer and I automatically upload it into Filemaker.

I no longer have to type anything. The only thing I have to do is go to the students historical grades, download their historical grades that they have in PowerSchool, their transcript, and import it into Filemaker. It's a life saver. It takes no more than ten minutes.

And I say ten minutes because it is a computer program. Any computer program has a glitch. So every now and then, I do run into a credit given for a class that was not supposed to be given a credit, or a word that was misspelled. But if you ask me, those little things compared to actually typing a transcript is absolutely nothing.

Now the only downside to it is I can only do that for students that are within San Diego Unified. So I still type all the transcripts for students that come from out of district. But at least we are able to go from 200 students that need to be typed to maybe 50 that need to be typed.

And it no longer takes that long. So it does allow the teachers to be able to have that communication with the student instead of wasting their time typing a transcript. And it allows me the time to be there for the teachers if I do make an error on a transcript or if I gave credit for something, the teacher will let me know. And then I go in and I'm able to actually focus on that.

So that is one of the perks about how our Filemaker program works now.

OK, so this is part of Filemaker. And pretty much the student schedule. So if you go back to a few slides into our option one, option two, you notice that I type in the courses that the student has received credit for and the grade that they have received for that class.

In Filemaker, this is what our teachers use. This is what they know the student needs to take in order to graduate from our program. You can see that this particular student needs 15 classes. I list the classes that the student needs, and we go in and put in the status.

If it's in progress, myself, the teacher, or anybody else running our data knows that the student is currently taking that course. If it says completed, that means that the student has been issued a grade. It is on their transcript and it will be under Filemaker transcripts as well.

Within this screen right here, I do an expected grad year. That does not mean that I am forcing the student to graduate within that year. It's just that it allows me to be able to pull that file, look through the courses, and have a conversation with the student and let them know, OK, I have you as a potential graduate for the year 2023. What is your goal?

Do you want to graduate in that year? Do you see yourself graduating before, or do you see yourself graduating in 2024? So it's more for me to be able to keep track of our students. And the student schedule screen is for the teacher to be able to know what the student needs.

Now of course, just like anybody else, I'm human, I make errors on this student schedule every now and then. But I'm thankful that I have several eyes looking at the student schedule in the transcript so the teachers will put a discrepancy in and let me know. I go back in and I will always let them know when it's done.

Absolutely, I've made a mistake. I wrote in a course two times instead of once. And then we correct it. Because they do depend on this screen when they are giving the student their courses.

Nicole Lincoln: Going further with that, in our program, the teachers will complete the report card when the student has finished a course. And this is actually the benefit of the screen. So when the teacher is ready to move the student into the next course, you can easily look at this screen.

You know what class, you can consult with the student on what class they want to take next. You can also inform the student of how many classes they have next, because a lot of students who may have ten forget that they have ten and they think they probably only have five.

But it's something that you can show the student right in the classroom. Additionally, another benefit of our Filemaker program is that we are able to upload documents straight into the program. So if a student has completed any type of outside requirements or things of that such.

Certificates that need to prove that they've completed a requirement. The teacher can get a copy of that via PDF, or create a PDF of it, and upload it right into the student's file. And anyone who-- in our office or program that has access to the Filemaker-- can look at what that document is that's been uploaded.

So that can also include IEPs, if a teacher needs to look at an IEP to see what is listed in the IEP. We have the ability to download that and look at that, as opposed to waiting for that information to be sent over or reviewed. We can do it right in our classroom.

Nate Sachdeva: We wanted to highlight this section of Filemaker because it is easily modified and customizable. So we found that as a major strength. So as we're going through the school year, we can make changes mid-year to benefit our teachers and students. As well as we're not just tied into, well, this is how the program is.

This is what it has, this is what the abilities are. We can constantly make improvements. So we have found that to be very beneficial for us as a school.

So now for the fun part. So this is-- the RIASEC is based on the Holland codes, if you're aware of those. So basically what we're doing is we're identifying the strengths, interests, and values of each individual student. That allows us to have a conversation with the student, get to know them on more of a personal level, as well as give them-- just give them insight as to what careers might be of interest to them, or what they might be good at moving forward.

We really want students to not only pursue a job or a career, but something that they're truly passionate about. Something that they're going to be excited to go to work every day. And as you all know, San Diego is a very expensive city. It's not-- the cost of living is constantly rising, so we want our students to have the opportunity to live, and live well, in the city of San Diego.

So these are all ways that we are connecting with our students, as well as preparing them for the future.

Kirsley Tate: All right, so these are just a few of the RIASEC interest inventory points that the students see when they're taking the survey. Now obviously there's more than 16 questions, but I just wanted to give you just a few examples of what they are.

And pretty much, they go from strongly dislike to strongly like. And I want to highlight that after the student takes it, I always let them know when I meet with them. It does not mean that just because the survey told you that you're going to be working in an office for the rest of your life that that is what you're going to do.

This is just to give you an idea of, based on your interests, what careers may be good for you in the future. So our students take this. It does not take that long, if they take it seriously and they read through the question and they answer honestly. Some of them might find that they just kind of click and get it over with, so they end up with things that they have no idea what they are.

But they're still kids. 18, 19 years old. Right out of high school. But this is to help them have an understanding of possible careers, possible futures that they may have after they graduate from high school.

Nicole Lincoln: So giving you a little background information about Arion. When Arion first came to my classroom, she was a little shy. And when students come into the classroom, I try to look for something that they have on, something that they may be wearing, anything to make a connection with them.

So this particular meeting with Arion, she had these beautiful braids in her hair. And I recognized that they had a really beautiful color to them. And so I decided to have a conversation with her, because I have a daughter and I take the task of braiding her hair at times on the weekends.

So in conversing with Arion about how her braids were, and I was admiring them and I thought they were just fantastic, she lit up. She was excited to talk about it, excited to explain to me how she did her hair and she went through the procedure of telling me how she blends different colors.

And it was a really subtle look. And I was just enamored at it. And so that's when she began to tell me that she wanted to pursue a career in cosmetology doing hair. And I said OK. So I introduced her to the Beable program and I said, well, let's have you take this career assessment to see if you're on the right track, see if that's going to align to what you're thinking that you might want to do.

And I'd love for you to hear her reaction as we play this video.

Arion: I think the Beable career assessment is great. It shows you what your strengths are. Mine is enterprising, social, and artistic. So for the careers that I like, I like to do hair. And I want to be an entrepreneur, eventually. So when I was looking at the-- I clicked on the little profile person, and it shows you a career.

So I clicked up there and it shows you everything that you need to know to be a hairstylist. You need to have your station cleaned and all those things. And education-wise, how far education you need to have. You need to have a GED or a diploma, and then it tells you like about the type of hair you need to do, all those types of things.

How far you need to go along for that. So I think it's great, depending on what career you want to choose. You can find and pick and you can observe or explore around in the app. I think it's a cool app to use. I think the Beable career--

Nicole Lincoln: So, sorry. So for Arion-- you can hit the next slide. So for Arion, it really reaffirmed where her thoughts were in the process of going into cosmetology. When she completed the assessment, she got a RIASEC review. And as she stated, she's artistic.

And we talked about the artistic part of her and how she was blending different colors of hair. And then we talked about the social, how you have to be able to converse with different types of people if you're going to service the public in this career. And we talked about enterprising.

A lot of beauticians, a lot of hair stylists, a lot of barbers, they are entrepreneurs. They are their own business. And we discussed how she was on track, in terms of seeing that this is what she wanted to do. So she was very excited about it.

She talked about her career goals. And here in this video, she's going to discuss the question of, how have your career goals evolved?

Arion: I developed an interest in my career goals when I was young, due to my mother. She pushed me to do anything in life. I like to do hair so she decided to help me find a way to get me into braiding boot camp and things like that. So if you don't have a plan, is what she was saying, you ain't going to accomplish much.

So I tried to have a plan A, B, C, and D for everything. I developed--

Kirsley Tate: All right, so based on her RIASEC score, I met with her-- and you'll see that on a few slides from now-- and pretty much explored careers. You know, her career and education plan. And this is something that is new to us, not done before. So basically meet with the student and just get to know them a little bit more.

So in Arion's case, her primary goal was just to get her high school diploma and then get a job. That, to her, is very important. She wishes to graduate next year. And of course, she wants to be in cosmetology, hairdresser. Anything that has to do with hair, she is-- she loves it.

You know, she can sit there and talk to you about it for hours and hours. And she lights up when she talks about how passionate she is about that and how she sees herself doing that in the future. And she understands-- and she knows very well-- that she does not want to work for anybody else, but she wants to work for herself.

And she knows that it's a lot of work. She knows that in order to do that, she has to be disciplined and she has to actually follow through with what she says she's going to do. Which I have no doubt she will accomplish, because she is very aware of the dos and don'ts in order for her to achieve that goal.

So basically, this is something that is done with every student. But this one in particular that we're seeing right now on the screen is Arion's. And we talk about pretty much her short term goals. What is it that you want to accomplish in the next two years?

So she's currently in our program. Where does she see herself two years from now? What do you want to accomplish then? And she'll answer that for us.

Arion: I see myself in two years graduating, hopefully with a car, a stable place to be. Starting up school for cosmetology or massage therapy, whichever one I decide to do first. That's pretty much it. Hopefully with my own salon, too, because I have a place for it and stuff.

I just got to work on bringing people in. I see--

Kirsley Tate: All right, so based on her RIASEC score and all of that, I do some investigation on my end. Pretty much on what route the student can take after they receive their high school diploma program. What courses they can take, what schools they can go to.

And I come up with a list of things. Now when I meet with them, I always want to make sure I let them know. This does not mean that you actually have to go to the schools that I am providing you. You do not have to follow with anything that I am putting on this piece of paper.

But as your counselor, I did a little bit of research and these are some of the things that I came up with. And as you can see in the picture where we're talking about it, she has the same list on the paper as the one that you can see here on the screen. And I just want the student to be able to have an idea of where they can go.

That there are schools out there that actually offer what she is interested in. What are the prerequisites to get there? Does it cost any money? Is there any financial aid? Do I qualify for financial aid? So we do a little bit of research on that and pretty much answer any of the questions that she may have.

It's not set in stone, just like I tell her and any of our students. It does not mean that what your goal is in two years is going to be the same goal that you have in five years or ten years. But it's good to have an idea of, oh, I want to be in cosmetology. Let me go ahead and do some research about Jasmine Beauty School.

This is what they offer. It's within my budget, I'm able to get financial aid, so let me go ahead and do that. But just put it out there, it does not mean the student has to follow through with what I'm offering them. It's just to get them some help and get them some information.

All right. So this one right here is another RIASEC score. And pretty much is another one of our students, Cameron. And he's very artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Before we get into Cameron more specific, let me tell you that Cameron is very-- he lights up when he talks about what he's interested in.

He can talk to you about it for hours at a time. He was very clear with me when he told me he wanted to work at a store. He did not let that go for the 30 minutes that I sat with him. He wanted to work at a store and he wanted to be a cashier. He did not care about anything else.

And the reason why he wanted to be a cashier was because he wanted to interact with people. He wanted to make people feel good at the end of their shopping journey. He wanted to be the last face they saw as they were leaving the store. So he kept telling me, I want to be at a store.

I want to be a cashier because I want to have a positive impact on the person at the end of their shopping. And I thought it was just great to see him have so much passion for it. He didn't know how he was going to get there. He had no plan. But he knew that that's what he wanted to do.

So this is Cameron's right here. And he wants to graduate this year. Wants to work at a school. He's also interested in culinary arts, but that's more down the line. 10, 15 years from now. But right now, if you were to meet Cameron face to face, he will tell you, no, I want to work at a-- I want to work at a store, and I want to be a cashier.

You can get him out of that thought. That's what he wants to do right now. Second goal, obviously, is to get a job. And his other goal is to live independently. So he wishes to have his own place, live alone, and not with his parents. These are some of the college courses that I looked up for him.

Now I do my research at different schools. Does not mean that the student has to attend Southwestern College. They can go to any school that they wish. But I just kind of give them an idea, hey, you want to work as a cashier. But maybe in the future you want to move up to be the manager of the store.

And you can still make an impact with the people as they're leaving. Here, you can get a certificate as a bookkeeping technician. So just to kind of give them ideas that there is more that they can do. Not just stay within that one goal that they have.

This third student right here, this is Leslie. And she's realistic, social, and enterprising. Now Leslie has just a story like no other. Struggles right now with her personal life, does not have a stable home. Her goal is just to be able to get a job and get permanent housing.

Even though she wants to have her high school diploma, she's thinking beyond that. She's thinking, in order for me to be successful, I need to have a place to live. And in order for me to have a place to live, I need to get a job. So she is definitely resilient through everything that she has been through up to this day and all the progress that she has made.

She wishes to graduate this school year, to obtain a job right after graduating, to have a place of her own. Once she's stable enough, she wants to go to community college, eventually culinary school. She's also interested in becoming a flight attendant. And the reason she wants to become a flight attendant is because she did a project about flight attendants when she was enrolled in high school, so she got interested in that.

But she was very specific in telling me, if I going into flight attendant, the reason I'm doing it is because of the money and because I travel. I can travel the world. And who would not want to travel the world and get paid for it? So she was very excited about that. But she's also excited about cooking, and her culinary arts.

So that's something she does want to pursue as well. And these are just some of the courses that I provided for her. Just some ideas of what she can do. And if she wishes to pursue them, she just kind of knows the route to take. But if you were to meet Leslie right now, her specific goal is to graduate, get a job, and have permanent housing.

Everything else, to her, can wait. She just wants to have a place to call her own and not move around as much as she does right now.

OK, so here's Arion again. And we're basically just asking her if she thinks she's on track to reach her goals. The goals that she has pretty much set for herself.

Arion: I believe I will accomplish these goals, because I put in the work to do it. And the most I need to do is stay focused. My priorities are usually in check. I stay on track with them, for the most part. So I think I will meet my goals. I take care of my health and stuff, for the most part as well, so that leads down to everything. I believe--

Nicole Lincoln: So what have we learned at this point? So with the Beable program and the career assessment, we've learned that the students are just thinking beyond the diploma. You know, it used to be conversation of when you graduate and then that was the end of the conversation.

But now they're actually thinking beyond. They're thinking about a career and what career aspiration they want to pursue. They're not just focused on a job, but a career. And they're using that word about where they can see themselves in the future. What are their long range goals, what are their short term goals?

They are looking at the ability-- this program has the ability to provide research opportunities for them to go further in detail about their career. And they're excited about it. You know, it has them looking forward to the future and where their career could go.

Arion: The adult school-- high school experience-- has been great for me because a lot of things has been going on at home, personally. So it gives me the chance to focus on that, and also focus on my school in my own time frame without me being rushed, you know, so it helps.

Nate Sachdeva: This is a few slides, or pictures, of our commencement. And so it's always a joyous occasion, it's always an exciting day and time. But now we see it not as the endpoint, but as the beginning. So we are always excited to have our graduates, obviously.

But now we're excited not just for them to reach this point, but also what's going to be their goals moving forward. And we know that we're getting them prepared for long term goals. Only more rewarding than it used to be. And we're proud of all of our students for all their accomplishments that they've done.

The last few years have been very difficult, and the world is changing. And so it's very good to see that students are having a long term focus, and we're preparing them for the future and beyond.

Kirsley Tate: So early on, we talked about our short term goals. And these are the long term goals for the next five years. And basically, why is it important for you to have goals beyond your two years? Why is it important to think in the future? Why is it important to understand that maybe what you want now is not the same thing that you want in two years, and it's definitely not going to be the same thing that you want in five years?

We all know that when you graduate high school, you go to community college or you go to a four-year university. What you wanted to do in high school is not necessarily what you wanted to do once you start college. And it may not-- it may change a couple of times when you're in college because you find your passion, you become interested in other things.

So here, Arion talks about her long term goals. So in the next five years, where she sees herself.

Arion: In five years, I see myself with either my cosmetology license or my massage therapy license. And with businesses hopefully, one. I also see myself studying to do business management more and focusing on being more of an entrepreneur.

Kirsley Tate: So obviously we have no doubt that Arion's going to be great in business, regardless of what path she chooses to do business and owning her own business. It's something that she's very passionate about.

Nate Sachdeva: So thank you for joining us for our session today. We hope you found it informative. Our contact information is on the screen, and we do have a few minutes here if anybody does have any questions for us.