Peter Simon: Hello, everybody. OK, hopefully everyone can see this. Welcome, everyone. Thank you for coming. My name is Peter Simon. My partner Jennie Mollica and I are High Road Alliance consulting, and we do a lot of work around-- under the umbrella of equitable career pathways includes working a lot with adult schools and adult school consortia, community colleges, unions, government agencies, and the like around career pathways, around-- a great deal of work lately around apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

And we do research technical assistance facilitation and specifically with the SCOE TAP Group. We have been building this capacity around peer learning circles, which we're going to talk to you about today. Jennie, do you want-- let me group. I have to-- sorry.

Jennie Mollica: No, that's great. Thank you for that introduction, Peter. We're so happy to see everyone here today. We recently did a few facilitator trainings for these peer learning circles in adult education. And it seemed like it was just the beginning of a process we'd all like to see to support more use of this approach and we're really happy to be able to present to you today.

This slide here shows the objectives for today's one-hour presentation. We're going to try to squeeze in quite a bit. We'd like you to first hear from Renee who can share with you the CAEP vision for supporting peer learning and how that fits as part of the work that the CAEP TAP supports and part of the ways that we can all support each other. And learning from each other, building community among adult Ed practitioners across California.

So then Peter and I are going to give a description of this Peer Learning Circle or PLC approach. And it really is an approach. It's a tool that you can use in a lot of different contexts. So hopefully, you'll walk away today having a good understanding of how that's a tool that you might be able to use, or an approach that you might want to participate in to do some learning around a certain topic you're interested in.

So we're also-- number 3 here, going to do a little demonstration of how PLCs can help to both identify and address questions that come up in adult education. And then we're going to make sure there's some time at the end for some questions from hearing from you. You'll have participated in a little demo that gives you a feel for the Peer Learning Circle and that might allow you to also share some more ideas about how PLCs could be helpful for you. I think that's all.

Peter Simon: Hold on, there.

Jennie Mollica: We kind of skipped over, Peter, the slide that encouraged people to introduce themselves in the chat box. And I would feel free we're really going to encourage you to use the chat box throughout for questions, for ideas you want to share. All that's in the spirit of peer learning. But if you could kick it off by just introducing yourself there-- who you are, where you're from, what your role is, that would be a good way to get to know each other.

Peter Simon: OK, Renee.

Jennie Mollica: Now I think we'd like to hand it over to Renee.

Peter Simon: Please.

Renee Collins: OK, is everybody able to hear me?

Jennie Mollica: Yep.

Peter Simon: I think so.

Renee Collins: OK, good. All right. So CAEP TAP's goal in this PLC effort is to foster active and wide exchange among our adult education practitioners. We wanted to be able to provide a timely, structured approach to network about topics that are of high interest to our practitioners.

As an example, if an agency is struggling with online registration or implementing hybrid classes for low-level ESL, we wanted to provide an avenue or a place for our practitioners to reach out to peers to discuss and resolve those concerns. We also want there to be a possibility of cross and like position grouping depending on the PLC topic.

In our recruitment, we are-- speaking about our trainers and our facilitators and our recruitment, we are encouraging adult Ed personnel in all positions to consider being trained as a trainer. Secondarily, we want to provide a way for adult practitioners to engage with our CAP state priorities. The state priorities being learner transition, equity, program development to name a few.

Through the PLC model and to use our Advancing California Adult Education website, a subset of our CAEP site as a place to announce and maintain and retain information related to our peer learning circles. We want to develop a diverse cadre of adult education leaders and facilitating peer to peer learning.

Often, we are hearing from the field that we want more opportunities to network with our peers and we believe that this is one avenue for doing that successfully. So just recently, Jennie and Peter were able to lead two separate training of trainers for interested facilitators and I'm happy to say we had a very diverse group. And not to worry, if you missed that opportunity, the first go round, we will have future training of trainer events for individuals to become facilitators.

As Jennie has said in the past, you're not going to get necessarily a certificate or a degree in leading peer learning circles but certainly, she has some-- they have some great tips and tricks for how to do this successfully. And so we're really happy to be teaming up with them as partners on this PLC effort.

And with 25 trained facilitators, I'm sure very soon you'll start to see a lot of Peer Learning Circles being posted, probably, to our adult Ed training website where you can go and register for different trainings. That's where we're going to be listing our PLCs. That will be kind of regional and statewide. So we invite you to look for those and participate in those too.

So unless Jennie or Peter has something specific for me, I think I'm going to pass it back to you so everyone can learn a little bit more about what our PLCs are.

Peter Simon: OK, thank you, Renee. So--

Renee Collins: OK.

Peter Simon: --I'm going to start out by just saying a little bit about what we mean by Peer Learning Circles. And I don't really believe in reading PowerPoint slides but you can follow along here. I think the thing about Peer Learning Circles and why we think this is really a useful way to gather up our collective knowledge and wisdom is that it's really, fundamentally, something, I think, people do naturally, which is you seek out people who are facing similar issues, problems to solve or tasks to accomplish and you naturally gravitate toward getting together and figuring out what to do.

So what this really is fundamentally is systematizing that process which I really think is just a pretty natural thing people do on their own. A Peer Learning Circle really is lightly facilitated. And again, as the facilitator-- we'll talk a bit more about this later, but you're not the expert, you're a peer. So-- let me just quickly look for my notes here.

You're amongst peers that you're not the expert, you're not the teacher, you're not the trainer but it's really more of a convener and a light touch of facilitation. Often, Peer Learning Circles are for a limited period of time. It might even be just once, but likely not. There's, generally, around a specific topic and even more specifically, structured around specific questions. And we'll talk more about this later, but a lot of the process of evolving a Peer Learning Circle is seeing how a group of questions can spawn another set of questions based on the conversation and what the process of reflecting together.

And the whole idea, also, about the structured Peer Learning Circle is to really build a network of these different Peer Learning Circles that could support a community of practice and also we'll talk more in a little bit about how we also want to have a system for gathering the learnings from these different discussions on a statewide basis. So that's it in a nutshell. Jennie?

Jennie Mollica: Yeah. We thought it was also important to just talk about what a Peer Learning Circle is not just to help our common understanding of it. And I think Peter suggested, already, it's really not meant to be a training because there's no trainer, there's no teacher. And it's a good chance, maybe, for those of us versed in education and having played roles as educators to step back from the front of the classroom and just be among peers and just-- we're figuring this out together.

So like Peter suggested, there might be a facilitator, actually it's important that someone be guiding the conversation. But it's a light leadership role. It's really simply guiding. And the wisdom dummies is there among the group. It's also not a focus group. It's not there to pull information from people as a form of research. It really is meant to be a safe space where people feel like they're on common ground and just exploring.

It's also-- you could think of it as a little bit different from a meeting and a work group meeting. You're not necessarily working toward any particular goal. Like Peter said, it's the questions that are driving the conversation and it's a common interest in exploring those questions, maybe coming up with answers together, coming up with solutions together.

But it may not have a set agenda. The questions may guide further discussion and further questions so that the conversation evolves. But it's not necessarily a meeting with an agenda and outcomes. And I think Peter also suggested it. It could lead to a community of practice, it could be that this form of coming together as peers could-- people could decide they want it to be more of an ongoing community around a certain topic.

So it could be the building block but there's no upfront expectation that a Peer Learning Circle, which like Peter said, it could be just an hour of conversation or it could be a few conversations on a topic. There's no requirement that it becomes something so lasting that we might call it a community of practice.

Peter Simon: Thank you. So we'll just talk for a minute about what are some of the desired outcomes of the Peer Learning Circle? And as Jennie mentioned, really, I think a term that we use a lot is the wisdom is in the room. I remember back in the old days, we used to say, we are smarter than any one of us. And that's a driving principle here. That is really you all are the experts. So this is a chance to get together.

And I'll just say that Jennie and I, last year, talked to a number of consortia around the state and asked them what they needed and amongst other things. And a common theme that came up in those conversations is people are very eager for opportunities for peer exchange. So that's a good part of why we're doing this right now. Is to respond to that stated need.

So it's really gathering up all of your knowledge, it can be facing a particular problem and coming up with different strategies, it could be that you could have a Peer Learning Circle with people who are very experienced and people who are just starting out with some particular task. So it could be a sharing in that regard. It certainly builds community and as we'll talk about a little later, it's an opportunity to document all this knowledge and wisdom and learning and questions that other people could share along the way.

Jennie Mollica: So here we wanted to talk a little bit about what kind of preparation can go into using this approach and this was something we really emphasized in the training we did for facilitators. If you're not signed on to be facilitating, you might not do this extent of preparation but it's something that is likely to go on before a PLC happens. Kind of like you would set an agenda for a meeting. But in this case, like we've said, it's really based on questions. The agenda is really the questions.

And so there's a process that can happen of just listening to what are the questions, what are those burning questions in our adult Ed world or in on our campus or within our consortium or across the state. And people who are thinking about what questions will guide a PLC we are often talking to colleagues, talking to students, having heard past conversations or brainstorming about what topics and questions would be a good fit for the PLC approach.

And then refining those down and deciding on a few questions that seem to be a mutual interest and that becomes the opening of the conversation. And we'll share with you in just a bit as we model how this works how just having two questions could be what's needed to kick start it or you might have a few more-- Peter, why don't you go to the next slide? Yeah.

Peter Simon: OK.

Jennie Mollica: Something we wanted to emphasize is this idea that the scope of who's invited, who participates in a Peer Learning Circle can really vary depending on the need. It can be something-- it can be an approach that you try just within your school or your college to gather people around a certain question or it could be something used at a consortium level or including a few of your partners. It could be a way of convening conversation and learning across a region.

There may be different levels of capacity at different schools across the region around a certain area or you might be wanting to learn from a school that you've heard is doing great stuff and you want to have that formal chance to come together and talk about it. So that could be something that you grow within your region.

Renee also referred to the support that's available if you want this to be statewide. If you think you have a question that's not just a burning question for you or even your consortium but might be relevant statewide, CAEP TAP is there to support the publicity around that and who knows who will show up and who knows what you might learn from someone in another corner of the state.

Peter Simon: Right.

Jennie Mollica: So in a sense, that's building on some of the energy we feel when we go to a conference and it's that rare opportunity to connect with people and chat in the hallways, which we're now not getting as much of a chance to do if we're not always in-person. But why not use Zoom capabilities to run a Peer Learning Circle? It can be done in-person but we've done our work with these mostly over the last few years where we've been using Zoom a lot. So no limits geographically.

Peter Simon: Well, and I'll just quickly add that one thing that was very encouraging for us in doing these trainings with CAEP TAP in last month was that the people who showed up to be trained, the initial batch of people to be trained as facilitators really ran the gamut from consortium directors to teachers. We had a couple of front office staff, which I thought was great. So it really is the whole gamut of people working in adult Ed consortia. And that's exactly what we were hoping for.

Again, I'm not going to read this. We just threw this slide in here because these are some of the things that either we thought of or we've been hearing in our research and I'm sure you hear a lot of this. This is just-- and some of these may well be combined in different groupings but just to throw out a shotgun blast of different topics and I'm sure you have 30 more. But just to spark your thinking--

Jennie Mollica: And just to reiterate here, Peter. If I could chime in, we suggest these as topic areas but wanting to emphasize that it's still the question that drives the PLC. So within this area of short term CTE, the question might be how can we make our CTE programs more accessible to the English learners in our community. There's the question. And that's what you're exploring and seeing if you have answers to. So it's questions within these areas.

Peter Simon: Yeah, thank you Jennie. You're absolutely right. And then again, before I even go into this list, one thing we want to reiterate is those of you who are out of in this session, when we're done, we're going to talk a little bit about what's next. But you can take-- you're going to have access to the facilitators training slides. And if you get all excited about facilitating these groups, we'd encourage you just to dive in. Maybe get in touch with us.

But this is not a formal process. It's, as Jennie said, an approach that we're encouraging. So here are some basic tips for pure facilitation and we borrowed some of this. You'll see the link there, the Peer 2 Peer University which is actually based in the libraries and online adult Ed resources. But we thought this was a nice list.

That again, it's not a very directive role as facilitator if you're really encouraging participation. A lot of is listening and listening for questions or asking for clarifying questions. Sometimes, you might be providing feedback or at the end of a Peer Learning Circle, doing a quick summary for folks. And of course, since we all love to talk about all kinds of things, it might be keeping the group on topic because it's pretty easy to go shooting it off.

But that's a balancing act in itself because sometimes, a group will start out with this topic and everybody will head over here. And that's also OK. That maybe it turns out you all have some burning questions that are related to the initial opening question. And that's fine also. And really just to model the whole spirit of this, which is curiosity and valuing everyone's questions.

Jennie Mollica: So we're going to talk you through just a very few more slides here because what we really want is to show you how this works and throw you into one of these, to get a feel for it. I think that's going to really help. But the few other points we wanted to make. One is this point made earlier that in a way, these are a great chance to document learnings and practices that are working and resource links and even more questions.

And so we've created a document that can be used as a template, but it really could take any different form. An opportunity to share synthesized notes with CAEP TAP. And they're offering to create a kind of archive on their Advancing California Adult Education website.

That could be a place to identify certain people who are interested in these topics and participating in these Peer Learning Circles so that they could be contacted through the Connect page of the website. So it's different ways that CAEP TAP is willing to support some community building and some sharing around this.

Peter Simon: OK. And also and I don't think we need to dwell on this, really, but the whole idea is we're hoping and we've observed some of this actually taking place already. Is that by using this approach, that they'll be an organic growth of different groups will have discussions and either maybe narrow it down and come up with a topic for their next meeting.

It may also be that you're going to invite other people, it may spawn a whole new CLP-- new PLC. So it's just-- this is not a structured growth. The idea is to engage people who are interested in similar concerns. So just for the sake of time-- so I'm going to click on this link here.

And also in a minute, don't click on this this. You don't have to go this. This is just to show you that this document is a generic, a template that we produce, which you'll have and it's a way of organizing the different questions as you see here. And then you can-- on the right hand side, you capture what people are saying as you go and everyone is typing in this document, OK? So let me quickly get out of this. This is where-- OK, I'm going to go back. This is where-- hold on a second. OK, so--

Jennie Mollica: What I'm going to do is paste in the chat a version of this note taking document that we want to use today to do a little demo. And so I have pasted in the chat here a link to a Google document that Peter is going to bring up on the screen in just a second.

Peter Simon: Just a moment here, hold on folks.

Jennie Mollica: And what we like everyone to do is to click on this link and go into that document yourself. This might require shrinking your Zoom screen a little bit so that you can look at another document on your browser. Oh, I see a few anonymous users popping up in there right now.

That link will take you to a document that's very much like the one that Peter shared just a minute ago as a template. But this is one that we've customized for today. So it says, this is our notes from the CAEP summit PLC presentation. If we were using this for a full PLC and we were just getting to know each other around this, we would take some time upfront to type in our contact information, our name, just to introduce ourselves.

But what we're going to do right now, and this is for the sake of time and also so that you can just begin experiencing this as a tool for using PLCs in your community, is we're going to take you to a first question. And this is a question that we've posed here as a discussion question.

You'll see it there. It says, what can PLCs mean for you in your adult education setting? How could they be useful? And what we're going to encourage you to do, it's wonderful to see so many of you have already clicked on this link. If you haven't already, please click on the link because we're going to encourage you to type here. And it can be a little bit-- it can be a bit confusing the first minute that people try this because you might be inclined to type on some other people, you might need to make a little bit of space.

But it's a chance for you to type in. And what we're going to do is we're going to take a quiet five minutes here and ask you this-- oh, thank you Anonymous Wolf for starting to put some ideas in there. We're going to take these five minutes or so just to poke around in this document and see what others are writing and add some comments to yourself, start to reflect on this question and just to begin the dialogue. Then there's some-- yeah, Peter.

Peter Simon: Oh, just at times, we've done this where it's a longer typing session where we actually play a little music just to shift the mood a little bit. So people, it connotes that we're not talking to each other, we're just typing. This is great. And by the way, it's really nice to hear from some of you instead of just talking at.

Jennie Mollica: Well, and I think in a smaller group. It could be done with the size. We could come off mute and make this into more of a conversation.

[interposing voices]

We're not too big a group. We might do that just a moment.

Peter Simon: We're getting into-- oh, good. I may have to know how to shrink this exactly. But you all are in this document as well. So you can scroll and see what people are writing. And you'll also have this document. I mean, the great thing about this approach also is that because you now have this link, that you will have that Google Doc after the session is over.

And often that's we've actually had PLCs that Jennie and I have done where people, for scheduling reasons or whatever, were unable to attend and they actually access the document and put in a whole bunch of valuable stuff themselves, which was really terrific and added to the conversation. It was great.

Jennie Mollica: And these notes are things that you could share with others. If you know of others that are interested in the topic, it could be an agreement within the group that this is for public consumption. But another approach is for someone in that facilitator role to synthesize what the takeaways were from a conversation and maybe not share this document with others who weren't participating. It's a judgment call that you and your group might make.

I notice the first comment under the first discussion question is that these PLCs can create a safe space for brainstorming strategies and that is an important part of it. Depending on the topic, on the context, and who's involved, you might want to make this a private space in which case you share the link with a small group.

This is great. I see people are freely exploring the document. Many of you did introduce yourselves and I'm seeing some good questions there. Even if you start out a PLC with a few questions already in mind, encourage them right at the front because some of these questions that come up maybe questions that you want to add right away.

So I'm seeing, Doug, you asked a really interesting question about how to keep groups engaged if you don't want this to be a one-time get together, would you want to keep the group coming back? And I'm going to model a practice. What I'm doing here is, I'm adding a row and I'm inserting that question there because we may want to, as a group, talk about that question, right?

Or someone may add a question here in the introductions that would be a great addition to the conversation. Oh, sorry that was Adriana's question. I didn't see that. So anyway, I've pasted that question below. I see one question here. How does this approach differ from traditional PLCs?

You may know more than I do about other uses of a similar approach or something called PLCs. Sometimes, the term Peer Learning Community has been used.

Peter Simon: And also Professional Learning Community.

Jennie Mollica: Professional Learning Community.

Peter Simon: I mean, we really debated whether to call it something else and stuck for now with PLC. I mean, I think the short answer of how it differs is, I think, that this is more informal than, maybe, what you've encountered in terms of what I know of Professional Learning Communities that are more structured by an outside entity. That's my sense of it from the research we've done. So this is very much homegrown.

Jennie Mollica: And actually, thinking about the question of how to keep the group engaged, we haven't yet typed in that little note where-- Peter, could you scroll down? I typed at the bottom there. A new row with this question. How to keep the group engaged. And it's an interesting one because like we said, a Peer Learning Circle is just an approach to answering your question.

And if the question is answered in that first conversation or if it feels complete or just if people are busy. It may be a one-time meeting and the engagement piece may not be the issue. But something we found is that often, one generates more questions than can be answered during that time.

So the next Peer Learning Circle would be focused on a different question. And often, the engagement is the continued curiosity and continued interest in the questions that come up. If the next question that comes up is not one of interest, then, maybe, the person doesn't need to be engaged in that next one. There are ways, certainly, that if there's a growing group of people interested in a general topic, you could keep in touch with them and continue sharing questions that will be explored through PLCs.

But there may not be a need for people to participate in everyone. Again, it's not really a work group with that kind of objective. It's more an approach to addressing the questions coming up.

Peter Simon: So time wise, I mean, we're doing fine in terms of time here.

Jennie Mollica: I though we should take a minute, Peter, to-- yeah, look at what people have typed in. So--

Peter Simon: Yeah, exactly.

Jennie Mollica: If we look at this first question and it's great that people jumped in, I mean, sometimes it's helpful to go question by question. But why hold back if there's interest?

Peter Simon: Right.

Jennie Mollica: But wanted to take a look at-- so something that we might model as kind of facilitators of this conversation is seeing what people have written in response to this first question. What can PLCs mean for you and your adult Ed setting? How could they be useful? And sparking some reflection on what's been written here. And this is where we can react, but it would also be good to come off mute and what do you think, Peter? We didn't plan it but I think with this group--

Peter Simon: Sure. Why not?

Jennie Mollica: I think we should say, come off mute. And if people have thoughts on this, I think it would be really interesting for us to hear from each other. Thoughts on-- your reactions to this. Is this something that you think is valuable? Is it any different from things you're already doing? Is it an approach that you think could work, especially, well in certain contexts?

There's some interesting comments here. I think the one about discussing interpreting policies is an interesting one. So the questions that come up as a new policy is put forth, maybe the person who wrote that could elaborate a little bit or the comment below about discussion of data and how that could drive some of the questions in these. Does anyone want to come off mute?

Peter Simon: Please.

Audience: Hi, my name is [inaudible] and I wrote back about policy. And I think that because in the sector, there are so many changes happening. Policies and practices and sometimes they're difficult to interpret or to fully understand or comprehend.

And so I think this could be a great platform for peer education and discussing and sometimes, there may be things that are being underutilized. So it's an opportunity to explore and to encourage people of things they may not be aware of and what is available out there. So I think it could be used for that as well. Thank you.

Peter Simon: And I--

Jennie Mollica: That's great.

Peter Simon: --I would just quickly add from what you just said, which is, going back to the idea of it being possibly a safe place where nothing's going to be shared outside of your Peer Learning Circle and I say this as an ex-administrator, is I used to yearn for a place where I could go with peers and say, what the hell does this really mean? I have no idea.

Because you can't do that in front of a group of employees or peers when you're in charge, right? So just throw that out. What about data as Jennie mentioned? This was a fairly interesting idea of-- anyone would like to share what they were thinking when they wrote that? Or anyone for that matter? I mean, how does that strike you of using a Peer Learning Circle to reflect on data?

Audience: This is Wendy. I did not write that, but I am doing that. Because--

Peter Simon: Say more.

Audience: So I've been doing Jamboard data sessions with different constituency groups at the college as part of our three-year planning. And data is loaded for a lot of people frequently like the data sheets that were provided by CAEP, they raise so many questions amongst employees who don't live in the world of data.

And just giving people enough space and time to look at it, ask questions, express their doubts, compare it to their own personal experiences, and discuss what's missing in the data to me seems critical.

Peter Simon: Have you found in those discussions that you have learned different perspective on data that you hadn't thought of?

Audience: Yeah.

Peter Simon: Good, cool.

Jennie Mollica: Well then, I wonder Wendy in the context of three-year planning, how does that conversation and raising questions then inform planning and actions and target setting and have you been moving to that next stage or are you really just beginning with the reflection and reaction as you look at the data?

Audience: We're in early stages right now. Just trying to engage as many people as possible in hearing what the plan needs to do, seeing what data we need to consider, and letting people be heard. We're not at developing new strategies. We're waiting for our new chancellor to start on Monday. We've got-- there's a lot of organizational stuff happening at City College. What a surprise. I know none of you have ever heard that before.

Peter Simon: That's new information, right.

Audience: Right. So right now, I'm just letting people react, comment, observe, ask questions, and just collecting all that in theme boxes, basically.

Peter Simon: That's great.

Jennie Mollica: Nice, yeah. Yeah. I mean, that points out that creating this safe space where peers can interact is-- and doesn't need to be about problem solving in an immediate sense. And there are benefits that come from-- there are benefits to the individual and to the entity or the community they're in just creating that listening space and hearing each other and being heard. That's really interesting.

Peter Simon: I think it's interesting also this comment about communication between individuals and, possibly, across programs because we certainly had the experience of being in what's like a Peer Learning Circle where you have people-- let's say, you're building a partnership and it might be a chance-- let's say, between an outside agency and an educational institution.

Lots of times, people really don't-- just want to have a place to ask each other what might be really naive questions like why do you do that or what does that mean? And I've seen those be very incredibly valuable conversations that, again, in a meeting, you usually don't have a chance to have that dialogue. So just that's cool the people to see that.

Audience: And I add to that, Peter. This is [inaudible] from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. And this is exactly an example of why I'm here. So I don't directly belong to the adult education world, but we offer a program where we partner with adult education providers to help low-income individuals gain employability skills.

And so that's why I'm participating. So it's just a prime example of what you said where you have another agency coming in to share or, perhaps, as a guest speaker or to share information and knowledge to-- in the hope of strengthening partnerships that can benefit our common audiences. So--

Peter Simon: Right. And thank you for that. And with my facilitator hat on, I would, of course, want to ask you more questions and maybe pursue some line of setting up some other discussion with you because I'm immediately curious what work you do represent. But we don't really have-- but you know what I'm saying that's really great for you to share that. Thank you.

Audience: Sure. I'll put my email so you can contact me.

Peter Simon: OK, please.

Audience: Thank you.

Peter Simon: Thank you very much. Yeah.

Jennie Mollica: Well similarly on this note about encouraging communication across programs, we've also been part of some PLCs with people who are in very like roles but very distant from each other geographically and haven't had a chance to really grapple with some common questions and share resources and what works. And we've seen these note taking documents populate with all sorts of links.

Links to people's own websites where they're maybe sharing some things that they've documented about what they do or links to other resources, links to tools they've used. And so it becomes a real-- in that sense, can be a really practical means of sharing across programs that, otherwise, wouldn't have a chance to do that sharing.

Peter Simon: And also just to note, as just happened here, is that actually, people who are in the middle of a PLC say, here's my cell phone, text me. Let's talk later. It can even be just a one on one connection. You can go off and follow up. And when you look at the training, we give examples from earlier PLCs of this template populated with all kinds of additional questions, links, phone numbers, everything is in there. People are just throwing all this stuff in there, OK?

Maybe we should go on, for the sake of time, to the next question.

Jennie Mollica: Yeah, look at all these great questions.

Peter Simon: I know, I know. This is great. Now, we don't want to go back. We can just stay on this forum.

Jennie Mollica: We can just have a whole string of PLCs answering these questions. I wonder if anyone who entered a great-- one of these great questions here would be willing to elaborate and just say why question and what would it mean to explore this in a PLC setting?

Peter Simon: Please.

Audience: I had a comment.

Peter Simon: Sure.

Jennie Mollica: Yeah, Dooug.

Audience: You mentioned a couple of things. One was-- it's actually two comments. One was, how could we integrate some of our programs and further advance our ESL programs with CTE and get that integration piece going. So one of the things that we're trying to do here is we reach out to the community stakeholder partners and find out what their needs are. And really do a lot of listening.

And we invite them-- I started, for example, a dental assistant program. And before we did that, we visited 37 dentists and found out that there was a huge need for dental assistance in the area here where they were traveling a little over an hour just to find a dental school that they definitely could not afford.

But we found a need and then we backward mapped what it is that they needed specifically and that PLC group has been-- the process that's been going on for a while and now we've been able to, actually, put that together and will be up and running in about possibly five and a half months.

Peter Simon: That's great. Where are you located?

Audience: Woodland, California. Woodland.

Peter Simon: Woodland, OK. Thank you.

Jennie Mollica: Nice. Great example.

Peter Simon: That's a really fantastic example, yes. Who else? What do you want to say about your question?

I think this is a really great question. This last one about the challenge of how do you transition back from remote classes to in-person classes? And how are we not going to lose a bunch of people and the jumbling that. Oops. Sorry.

Jennie Mollica: Well, that's an example where you can imagine a PLC, it's slightly facilitated, doesn't take a lot of prep, really. If you have a question like that and you know that people are actively struggling with it, it can be as simple as that to put out the call and say, we're just going to gather and have a safe space for talking about this. Acknowledging, maybe, none of us has the answer but we're all struggling with it. And it can be very timely, I think.

Peter Simon: And since we're now off mute here, I'm just curious, since we've been presenting this and just doing a little peek at this, I'm curious, is this-- I know we're going to ask as a closing question, but can you imagine yourself doing this and you go, oh, boy. I have a topic I'd love to get people going on that. Is this resonating with you?

Jennie Mollica: Or are you already doing it?

Peter Simon: Yeah.

Jennie Mollica: That seems like--

Peter Simon: Yeah.

Jennie Mollica: --part of what you already do.

Peter Simon: Anyone care to leap into the discussion here?

Audience: I'll add in again. We had such success with the dental program that we've started several other programs and it's been-- this model has been very successful. We walked with it in baby steps and just we're constantly reworking it so that we're listening to and understanding the stakeholders' needs as well as the community needs for employment, et cetera, and trying to answer those questions.

In addition to that, we were able to create some vessel classes within those CTE classes, which is definitely targeting and we're trying to anticipate and increasing our enrollment. But it serves as a huge need. And without those PLCs, I guess, we could have speculated on our own but we got the facts that we needed in the data that we needed from our stakeholder partners. So that that just, once again, proved that the PLC model is working. And we are constantly refining it as we go.

Peter Simon: Well. And PLC-wise, as I'm listening to you, Doug, I have half a dozen questions, if I was in this group with you, I would want to ask you. Like how did you find the resources to create these new CTE programs? Because that's something that we run across all the time. It's like, what a great idea but how did you build a dental assisting program as an adult Ed consortium? Or maybe you did it with a group of partners. That's my first question as I listen to you. How did you pull it off?

Audience: Well, first of all, that that's a good question. A lot of people ask that Peter the-- it's data-driven, you can start with local, regional LMI data. It's knowing your community. It's knowing your community. And a lot of times, it's as easy as going to a [inaudible] meeting or a rotary meeting and you're introducing yourself and finding out there's a dentist or a manufacturer that's hurting and they're all saying the same stories.

And then it's doing a little more investigating and going a little deeper in the weeds and finding out what role they play in the community and how does that look regionally so that we can start a stakeholder consortium groups that will support this.

And that's really where it starts. But really, it's knowing your community and then diving in a little bit deeper to see what data and how it supports with what the stakeholders need. And a lot of times, it's those top-- it's culinary manufacturing in our area, dental, medical. It's those things. But you have to do-- you've got to do a lot of investigating on it.

Jennie Mollica: Hmm.

Peter Simon: Cool.

Jennie Mollica: It makes me think, Doug, a PLC could be a forum for first bringing together employers that could evolve into a employer advisory group but in a very informal, organic way. It's interesting--

Audience: You know what? You hit the nail on the head. The PLC is the initial meet and greet and from there, it evolves. So then you're creating that stakeholder consortium which is-- an advisory group which is really-- that's what drives it. The curriculum, the outcomes-- the student learning outcomes for internships. That's what drives it right there.

Peter Simon: Cool. Well, thank you. We're getting close to the time.

Audience: I just wanted to make one commend--

Peter Simon: Sure, please.

Audience: --with time. Based on what Doug mentioned and Jennie mentioned, I think that this is such a great resource because it's something that can be struck with very little time and money required. It can be dissolved, it can be short term, long term. And also there's opportunities for cross-learning. So something somebody mentioned desioling employment, bringing employers.

So at different times, you can bring in different experts into the arena and them and share what they have to offer and explore opportunities for partnerships. So I mean, there are so many different ways that this could be leveraged. And you just need to be creative. And it's, basically, a simple tool for spreading education and awareness and without a lot of prep or effort. So I think it's great.

Peter Simon: Thank you.

Audience: Thank you, yeah. We're really optimistic that this is going to be a practice that becomes widespread in this state. I'm not sure we need to go back. I mean, we have a slide that says, questions answer discussion and I think we're kind of doing it.

Jennie Mollica: I wonder if people do have other questions, just based on what you've seen today, what you've heard.

Peter Simon: Yeah.

There's no right or wrong here. What's on your mind?

Jennie Mollica: Brian, I see you asked a question up in the-- earlier in the document. What are the various groups that are already using this process across the state in adult education? And I don't know that it's being formally used. It's something that Peter and I have used somewhat in the work we've been doing recently but we don't know of others who have already adopted this process. The training we just did was just a few weeks ago of those who went through the facilitator training.

And they plan to launch some Peer Learning Circle soon, and we're going to reconvene that group in early November. But I wouldn't say that there are others who are already and are regularly using this.

Peter Simon: One thing we have heard about is more on the administrative level. Is there's been a natural grouping of regionally or subregionally administrators like consortium leads getting together quarterly. We've heard of that happening and I'm not sure if it's, actually, happened.

We heard an interest a while ago amongst consortia who are serving rural-- working and rural populations that there's a real, incredible commonality, of boy, we'd love to talk to other people who are geographically dispersed or rural because they have a whole set of different issues than people in like a major urban area, for example.

Jennie Mollica: We've also heard of some regional convening of transition specialists acknowledging their similar roles.

Peter Simon: Yeah. So maybe, with a couple of minutes we have left, this question here, what was most useful for you as a takeaway from this discussion down here where we are right now? Would anyone like to add anything else either verbally or in writing?

And as we get these yeses from the anonymous [inaudible], and the raccoon, and the lemur. The last slide in our PowerPoint which we'll put up as we close this and you'll have this PowerPoint as well, has our contact information. And we'd love to hear from you and we can follow up with you directly and invite you to subsequent-- we're going to be having more trainings of groups of people to come together and go a little deeper in terms of how to be a facilitator and organize these groups.

And we'd love to capture you and hear from you so we can make sure to reach out to you when those trainings take place. And again, as we said, you're also totally welcome to just jump in and stay in touch with us, and we'll hook you up with the ongoing conversation with other facilitators. There's no--

Jennie Mollica: Yeah. We are planning those to be monthly meetings with anyone who's interested in-- is kind of a Peer Learning Circle of Peer Learning Circle facilitators--

Peter Simon: Exactly.

Jennie Mollica: --an opportunity to come together and say, what's working, how are you thinking of doing more in this space? So happy to include people in that.

Audience: Janine and Peter, this is Wendy again. In the San Francisco Bay Area, I was just privately messaging Jack, We used to have a quarterly consortium lead meeting which fell by the wayside. And I really miss those conversations. And it didn't matter to me that each one of the consortiums was structured differently and had completely different needs. It was just being around people who were trying to address the needs of adult Ed students in whatever institution.

It was so meaningful and I would think that Zoom would make it actually easier to reinstate that because you're not-- Jack just said, we were a good group, weren't we? It was just so great and it's been, at least, a couple of years since we've done that. So--

Jennie Mollica: Well, I'd say, pick a question and send out the Zoom invitation and use the link to this little template to take notes and there you go. You could restart it. Why not? I think we're right at the hour. So we're going to have to wrap up so that Peter could move on to next event.

Peter Simon: We'll have here's our contact information. You'll have this PowerPoint. Please get in touch with us. We'd love to talk to you about this. All of you who said yes or maybe thought maybe feel free, as you go forward, be in touch. We'd love to have you join us. Thank you.

Jennie Mollica: Thanks, everyone.

Renee Collins: OK. Thank you for joining today's session with Jennie and Peter. I did put the evaluation link in the chat box. It is for the day 1 evaluation. As a reminder, all resources that Jennie and Peter have shared can be found under the Resource section of the vFairs Platform Landing page. You are welcome to add it to your swag bag or email to a colleague. You'll also be able to access this recording and all sessions on the vFairs platform shortly after processing. They should probably be available tomorrow.

Each session will be stored on the vFairs platform and accessible to all registrants until the end of the year. You can locate those in the agenda and we'll see a button labeled, Recording once the video has completed processing. Remediated recordings will be added to the website in the new year and all registrants will be notified by email and via the newsletter. Thank you and continue to have a great conference.

Peter Simon: Thank you all.

Jennie Mollica: Excellent.