ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN: HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA PROGRAMS

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1 ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN: HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA PROGRAMS Prepared for Long Beach City College May 2015 In the following report, Hanover Research presents its findings from an environmental scan of adult high school diploma programs in the Long Beach area. The report also provides an overview of key insights and trends gleaned from interviews with administrators of local programs.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary and Key Findings... 3 INTRODUCTION... 3 KEY FINDINGS... 3 Section I: Scan of Area Programs... 5 OVERVIEW AND METHODOLOGY... 5 INSTITUTIONS... 7 Requirements... 7 Community Colleges... 9 Adult Schools Private Schools Section II: Best Practices and Trends POPULATION ESL Population Young Adults FLEXIBILITY FOR STUDENTS Delivery Mode Open-Entry, Open-Exit Systems Hanover Research 2

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS INTRODUCTION In recent years, adult education programs across California have closed as a result of the state budget crisis. 1 The closure of these programs and shifting demographics have created a gap between student demand and the availability of adult education programs, leading to insufficient class space and long wait lists to enter programs. 2 Subsequently, the California Department of Education and California Community Colleges Chancellor s Office has identified the shortage of adult programs as a critical issue. 3 Hanover Research has prepared this report for Long Beach City College (LBCC) to identify existing adult high school diploma programs in the region and associated trends. The report draws primarily on information available through published reports, as well as interviews conducted with administrators of five area programs. te that this report focuses solely on adult high school diplomas programs that are not categorized as General Educational Development, HiSET or TASC programs. At current, the Long Beach Consortium does not have any adult high school diploma programs of this type (under this report s working definition), and therefore this environmental scan aims to inform LBCC of potential competition should they choose to develop such a program. KEY FINDINGS Program administrators emphasize that a strong, consistent demand exists for adult high school diploma programs in the Long Beach area. o Demand for high school diplomas has increased because of educational requirements for employment. For example, Santa Ana College administrators attribute recent enrollment increases to the increasing number of employers requiring a diploma for job entry and advancement. o Immigration legislation has also contributed to growth in diploma program enrollments. One community college administrator observed a spike in enrollments following the passage of the Dream Act, which grants conditional permanent resident status to individuals who graduate with a U.S. high school diploma or GED. Increases in demand, coupled with a lack of existing programs in the Long Beach area, suggests that new adult high school diploma programs would be viable. Hanover s environmental scan identified 14 institutions with adult high school diploma programs within 20 miles of Long Beach City College. 1 Adult Education Regional Planning. California Department of Education, California Community Colleges Chancellor s Office, p Ibid., pp. 6, Ibid., p Hanover Research 3

4 Adult schools and community college programs typically focus on students from distinctly different demographic groups. Adult schools primarily work with younger students who did not complete high school. By contrast, community college programs tend to attract an older population of students already engaged with other internal programs, such as ESL courses. Flexibility plays an important role in the success of adult diploma programs. Most adult diploma programs provide education through online or lab settings that emphasize individual, self-paced learning. Many programs implement openenrollment periods that allow students to register for classes year-round and complete classes at their own pace. These approaches accommodate adult learners who may have conflicting work or family obligations Hanover Research 4

5 SECTION I: SCAN OF AREA PROGRAMS In this section, Hanover Research presents the results of its scan of adult high school diploma programs in the Long Beach area, along with a snapshot of the institutions offering such programs. OVERVIEW AND METHODOLOGY Adult high school programs provide a means for adults to gain the basic education and skills necessary to earn a diploma. 4 Other developmental skills often taught as a part of these programs include career technical training, English as a second language (ESL), and parenting practices. 5 Three primary types of organizations operate adult diploma programs in California: community colleges, adult schools (institutions operated by K-12 districts), and private schools. These offerings are referred to as adult secondary education at adult schools and secondary basic skills programs at community colleges. 6 To identify regional adult diploma programs, Hanover utilized a targeted online search; the California Adult Schools Locator database; 7 the California Adult Education Provider Directory; 8 and in-depth interviews with administrators of area adult education programs. Given LBCC s interest in the Long Beach area, the scan is limited to organizations within approximately 20 miles of LBCC. Hanover identified 14 offerings in the Long Beach area, including secondary basic skills programs run by two community colleges at six locations; seven adult schools operated by K-12 districts; and one program run by a private school. While this scan was extensive, the final list of institutions discovered may not be exhaustive. Diploma programs associated with community colleges can sometimes be found at multiple campuses. Because geography and transportation influence the ability of students to participate in diploma programs, Hanover identifies the locations of all campuses that provide diploma courses (Figure 1.1). 9 4 Adult Education - CalEdFacts. California Department of Education. 5 Ibid. 6 AB 86 Glossary of Terms. AB School Locator Map. California Adult Schools. 8 California Adult Education Provider Directory. Outreach and Technical Assistance Network. 9 Curiel, Steve. Huntington Beach Adult School. Phone Interview. March 13, Hanover Research 5

6 Figure 1.1: Map of Organizations Offering Adult High School Diploma Programs in Long Beach Area* * Scan includes schools within approximately 20 miles of Long Beach Community College Hanover Research 6

7 INSTITUTIONS This section examines programmatic differences between community colleges and adult schools, followed by a review of the types of institutions currently offering adult diploma programs in the Long Beach area. REQUIREMENTS Community colleges and adult schools have different program requirements in California, given the separate governing bodies that oversee each. 10 Specifically, community colleges and adult schools differ in the credit and exam requirements necessary to graduate with a high school diploma (Figure 1.2). K-12 districts set the specific number of credits for graduation in adult schools, and such requirements may differ between districts. 11 The adult schools identified in Hanover s scan require students to complete 180 or more credits. In contrast, each community college sets the requirements for its adult diploma program, and completion typically requires around 160 credits. Figure 1.2: Characteristics of Adult Diploma Programs at Community Colleges and K-12 School Districts in Long Beach Area CATEGORY COMMUNITY COLLEGE K-12 SCHOOL DISTRICT* Number of Institutions Offering Programs 2 7 Number of Total Programs 6 7 Typical Credits Required Exit Exam Required Yes * Adult programs in the K-12 system are known as adult schools. The principal of Huntington Beach Adult School, Steve Curiel, speculates that community colleges set lower course requirements to hasten students into college programs. 12 In K12 schools, students have to complete a high school exit exam that tests minimum skills in math and language arts. Students in adult schools also have to pass this exam. However, colleges have not implemented such a requirement in their system. Typically the graduation requirements for diploma students at colleges are lower, and I think that they have an interest in getting these students quickly through the diploma program and onto college classes. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School Figures 1.3 and 1.4 provide examples of course requirements at Santa Ana College and ABC Adult School, which are both located in Long Beach. These examples provide a sense of how curricula differ for diploma programs offered by community colleges versus adult schools. The two programs share similarities in terms of requirements for English, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. In addition to these requirements, ABC Adult School 10 Ibid. 11 Moss, Alma. Paramount Adult School. Phone Interview. March 12, Curiel, Op. cit Hanover Research 7

8 also has requirements for art appreciation or foreign languages, health and first aid, and technology. Figure 1.3: Requirements for High School Diploma at Santa Ana College SUBJECT AREA CREDITS REQUIRED COURSES English 40 Reading Composition Math Natural Sciences 20 Biological Science Physical Science Social and Behavioral Sciences 30 World History World Geography U.S. History U.S. Government Economics Humanities Electives Source: Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education 13 Figure 1.4: Requirements for High School Diploma at ABC Adult School SUBJECT AREA CREDITS REQUIRED COURSES AVAILABLE ONLINE Arts Appreciation/Foreign Language 10 Art Appreciation A Art Appreciation B Civics/Government 5 Civics/Government Yes Economics 5 Economics Yes English I, II, III, IV Yes English 40 English Review Literature Reading Health/First Aid 5 Health/First Aid Yes Mathematics (High School Level) 30 Mathematics I, II, III, IV Yes Geometry A, B Social Studies 10 World Cultures A, B World History A, B Yes Science (Earth or Physical) 10 Earth/Physical Science Yes Science (Biological) 10 Biology/Life Science Yes Technology 1 -- U.S. History 10 U.S. History A, B Yes English Elective Math Elective Other Electives 44 Parenting Elective Personal Finance Elective Psychology Elective Source: ABC Adult School High School Diploma. Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education. https://www.sac.edu/continuingeducation/programs/documents/hs%20requirement%20flyer.pdf 14 High School Diploma Program. ABC Adult School Hanover Research 8

9 Adult learners who complete a diploma at an adult school must pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), which tests for proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. 15 Graduates of diploma programs at community colleges do not have to pass a standardized state exit exam, although Santa Ana College assesses proficiency in high school subject areas by providing students with the option to pass either courses or exams developed by the program. 16 To get a high school diploma, a person usually has to pass a state exam. I feel bad for those people because some of them have been trying to pass that exam for four years The beauty of our program is that students can take classes that teach them these subjects specifically Students can also get credit for the tests by taking certain classes. For example, instead of taking the composition proficiency exam, students can take a Composition II class. Many of them are relieved to hear they can take classes instead of tests. It really takes the pressure off of them. - Snell Wayne, Adult Education Counselor at Santa Ana College COMMUNITY COLLEGES In southern Los Angeles, there are six adult high school diploma programs administered by two community college districts: the rth Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) and the Rancho Santiago Community College District (Figure 1.5). NOCCCD manages its adult diploma programs by district, with separate off-campus centers, while the individual colleges oversee programs offered on-campus in the Rancho Santiago Community College District. 17 While these education centers share their names and campus space (in the instance of Rancho Santiago) with their associated community colleges, administrators note that these continuing education programs operate independently. 18 Many of these education centers have [their] own campus, management team, and teachers. 19 Although primarily functioning as separate schools, these programs collaborate with their associated community colleges when they report attendance for state apportionments 20 and act as feeder schools for postsecondary programs CAHSEE Description - CalEdFacts. California Department of Education. 16 Wayne, Snell. Santa Ana College. Phone Interview. March 30, Kosko, Christine. Santa Ana College. Phone Interview. March 30, [1] Ibid. [2] Wayne, Op. cit. 19 Kosko, Op. cit. 20 For more information, see ncredit Education Policy Brief. Community College League of California, April Kosko, Op. cit Hanover Research 9

10 Figure 1.5: Overview of Diploma Programs Offered by Colleges in Long Beach Area SCHOOL NAME LOCATION COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT DISTANCE FROM LBCC CREDITS NOCCCD Cypress 22 Cypress rth Orange 7 miles 160 NOCCCD Anaheim 23 Anaheim rth Orange 16 miles 160 NOCCCD Wilshire Center 24 Fullerton rth Orange 17 miles 160 Santa Ana College Centennial Education Center 25 Santa Ana Rancho Santiago 19 miles 160 Santa Ana College Main Campus 26 Santa Ana Rancho Santiago 19 miles 160 Santiago Canyon College 27 Orange Rancho Santiago 27 miles 160 Source: Program websites ADULT SCHOOLS Hanover identified seven adult high school diploma programs offered by K-12 school districts (Figure 1.6). Unlike the community college model, K-12 districts have a one-to-one relationship between their districts and adult schools. Figure 1.6: Overview of Diploma Programs Offered by K12 Schools in the Long Beach Area SCHOOL NAME SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATION DISTANCE FROM LBCC CREDITS ABC Adult School 28 ABC Unified School District Cerritos 7 miles 180 Downey Adult School 29 Downey Unified School District Downey 7 miles -- Garden Grove Adult Education Garden Grove Unified School Garden Center 30 District Grove 16 miles -- Huntington Beach Adult School 31 Huntington Beach Union High Huntington School District Beach 15 miles 180 rwalk-la Mirada School District 32 rwalk-la Mirada Unified School District rwalk 7 miles 180 Paramount Adult School 33 Paramount Unified School District Paramount 7 miles 190 Wilmington Skills Center 34 Los Angeles Unified School District Wilmington 11 miles -- Source: Program websites 22 SCE - High School Program. rth Orange County Community College District. 23 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 Tuition Free Adult High School Diploma. Santa Ana College. https://www.sac.edu/continuingeducation/programs/pages/highschool.aspx 26 Ibid. 27 Adult High School Diploma Program. Santiago Canyon College. https://www.sccollege.edu/departments/oec/continuingeducationprogramsoffered/hss/pages/welcome.aspx 28 High School Diploma Program, Op. cit. 29 HS Diploma - GED. Downey Adult School. 30 Adult Education. Garden Grove Unified School District. 31 Diploma/GED. Huntington Beach Adult School. 32 High School Diploma (HSD)/GED. rwalk-la Mirada Unified School District. 33 Diploma. Paramount Adult School. 34 Harbor Service Area. Los Angeles Unified School District Hanover Research 10

11 K-12 administrators believe that their adult schools are more popular then community colleges among students for a variety of reasons. For example, administrators posit that students prefer adult schools due to the mechanisms that easily facilitate transfer from high schools to adult schools within the same school district. 35 Curiel believes that location and accessibility play a critical role in student choice: 36 One of the reasons that students prefer adult schools is that there tends to be a school district much closer to where they live The availability and location of adult schools is usually more convenient for students. These students aren t high school graduates and probably not in highpaying jobs. This means that affording a car and transportation can be challenging. It could be enough of a deterrent if a college is three or four miles away. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School Curiel also notes that adult diploma students can face challenges such as lack of confidence, motivation, self-discipline, and tenacity. Curiel believes that these factors may play a significant role in whether students decide to attend diploma programs at an adult school or a community college. In discussing the preference of students for adult schools, Curiel discusses these factors in more detail: 37 Confidence Do you think someone who struggled in school feels comfortable stepping foot on a college campus? That is something we try to get our college colleagues to understand. A college campus is an intimidating place for someone who does not consider themselves an academic They lack the confidence and motivation to try to get through the college system. College is not an easy system to break into; you have to know how to register for classes and find classroom locations on a big campus. That can be too much for an adult who is lacking in basic skills. 35 [1[ Curiel, Op. Cit. [2] Pawlisz, Nancy. ABC Adult School. Phone Interview. March 19, Curiel, Op. cit. 37 Ibid Hanover Research 11

12 Perception [This] group that we see in the adult diploma program has a hard time imagining themselves in college. They might have heard that college is a big lecture hall with a professor standing in the front of the room, and they realize they would be alone. In adult school, the classes tend to be small with a few students, and there are more opportunities to interact with the instructor. Even though colleges tend to have a different setting for their adult school programs, students don t know about that. They only see college in movies and television where it s presented as big lecture halls with 200 students in a room. Familiarity Adults tend to be more comfortable with the K12 system. If they have kids, they know their local school district and how to get there. They also know the diploma requirements and content of the classes their kids took in high school. For example, one parent went into the adult diploma program at the same time that their kid was in high school. They were both taking algebra and could study together as they were going through the same course. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School PRIVATE SCHOOLS In the Long Beach area, Parkridge Private School is the only private option for adult learners interested in pursuing a high school diploma. Of the institutions examined, Parkridge is the closest program geographically to LBCC. While the school does not explicitly state the number of credits required to graduate with a diploma, its informational flyer suggests that students may receive credit through unconventional means, such as work experience or vocational classes Adult Diploma. Parkridge Private School Hanover Research 12

13 SECTION II: BEST PRACTICES AND TRENDS In this section, Hanover addresses practices and trends that may influence the success of an adult diploma program, including regional demographics. This information is primarily drawn from interviews with administrators and faculty at adult programs in the Long Beach area. POPULATION Figure 2.1 shows the distribution of students enrolled in adult basic education and adult secondary education programs in California. Adult secondary education programs include both diploma and GED enrollments, while basic education includes enrollments in any programs that develops basic literacy and numeric skills. 39 During the time period between 2005 and 2009, enrollments grew for both types of programs. Figure 2.1: Enrollments for California Adult Education Programs, 2005 to 2009* 250, , , , ,000 Adult Basic Education 100,000 62,410 76,516 Adult Secondary Education 50, Source: California Department of Education 40 * According to the Department of Education, Data [was] not collected past due to flexed Adult Education funding. Despite continued demand since 2009, enrollments in adult basic and secondary education have fallen. 41 This decline in enrollments is attributable to the California budget crisis and recent decreased funding for education programs. 42 These budget issues present a significant challenge to consider when designing an adult diploma program. In an interview, 39 Adult Education - CalEdFacts, Op. cit. 40 Ibid. 41 Adult Education Regional Planning, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Hanover Research 13

14 Nancy Pawlisz, an instructor at ABC Adult School, explains that many adult diploma programs in the area have closed in recent years, citing budget reasons. 43 I believe that Long Beach Adult School closed about two years ago, and they directed a lot of students to us. They closed for budget reasons. Another school near us, Bellflower Adult School, also closed for budget reasons. There have been numerous schools that closed near us due to the budget crisis. - Nancy Pawlisz, Instructor at ABC Adult School The budget crisis in this interview refers to government cuts in California that totaled $5.8 billion for K-12 schools and $695 million for community colleges. 44 Many K-12 schools directed funding to other critical programs and services and decreased adult education services. 45 While the adult education system works with students of all backgrounds, the California Department of Education has identified six specialized populations it aims to serve: 46 Adult immigrants, Adults with disabilities, Disadvantaged adults (i.e., low income and hard-to-serve adults ), Homeless adults, Incarcerated adults, and Single parents and displaced homemakers. Individuals from these groups have often experienced life circumstances that impacted their levels of educational access and attainment. In interviews, however, administrators noted that adult diploma programs in the Long Beach area primarily target specific immigrant populations, young adults, and first generation students. 47 ESL POPULATION Curiel explains that diploma programs enroll many immigrants who may not have had the formal education they wanted before arriving in the United States. 48 In many cases, students participate in internal transitions that promote them to diploma programs after gaining language proficiency through ESL classes within the same school. 49 Programs often 43 Pawlisz, Op. cit. 44 Cuts in California. The New York Times. 45 Adult Education Regional Planning, Op. cit., p Adult Education - CalEdFacts, Op. cit. 47 [1] Curiel, Op. cit. [2] Kosko, Op. cit. 48 Curiel, Op. cit. 49 Kosko, Op. cit Hanover Research 14

15 do not collect precise data regarding the immigrant status of their students; 50 however, adult education program administrators state that the ESL population accounts for a significant proportion of diploma-seeking adults in the area. 51 Christine Kosko, a dean at Santa Ana College, observed that enrollment numbers peaked following the passage of the Dream Act, 52 a law that provided a method to acquire permanent citizenship after completing secondary and postsecondary education in the U.S. 53 It seemed that when the Dream Act came two years ago, there was a real surge of people. There were people basically waiting outside to get a seat in the classroom. When things happen related to immigration, there seem to be surges.. - Christine Kosko, Associate Dean for Instruction and Student Services, Adult Secondary Education at Santa Ana College In addition to the Dream Act, immigration policies implemented through President Obama s executive order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may also have an impact on the ability of immigrants to remain within the United States and pursue educational opportunities. 54 In a regional planning report, the California Department of Education and California Community Colleges Chancellor s Offices explains: With the fear of deportation no longer hanging over them, it is likely these immigrants will begin to take steps to improve their career options and their integration into American society. 55 As part of this trend, Kosko highlights the significant Hispanic demographic of the diploma program at Santa Ana College. These data do not provide specific evidence for the immigration status of program participants, but do offer additional perspective on the diploma-seeking population in the area. YOUNG ADULTS Two of the adult school administrators interviewed for this study from ABC Adult School and Huntington Beach Adult School note that their diploma programs enroll students who vary widely in age, but that a substantial percentage are between the ages of 18 and Curiel explains that the school attempts to connect to [non-graduates] immediately after high school. 57 Pawlisz speculates that the relationship between adult schools and high schools within the same school district plays a role in attracting these students: Ibid. 51 [1] Ibid. [2] Moss, Op. cit. 52 Kosko, Op. cit. 53 Dream Act: Summary. National Immigration Law Center. https://nilc.org/dreamsummary.html 54 Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). US Citizenship and Immigration Services. 55 Adult Education Regional Planning, Op. cit., p [1] Curiel, Op. cit. [2] Pawlisz, Op. cit. 57 Curiel, Op. cit. 58 Pawlisz, Op. cit Hanover Research 15

16 We have five high schools in our district. If any students from those schools do not finish their diploma, they are recommended to come to us. We are their first choice. A lot of our 18 and 19- year-old students come from those high schools. This is true for all the adult schools in California. - Nancy Pawlisz, Instructor at ABC Adult School Because community colleges do not share this relationship with local school districts, their diploma program populations generally consist of individuals in slightly older age ranges. According to one counselor, the average student at Santa Ana College enrolled in an adult diploma program is in their late 20s. 59 FIRST GENERATION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Family and community support systems may contribute considerably to the ability of first generation adult high school students to participate and succeed within college systems that offer high school diplomas. Curiel notes that proper support systems may be lacking for first-generation high school graduates. These individuals may lack at-home guidance to navigate procedures at postsecondary institutions, which could act as a barrier for individuals interested in high school diploma programs offered by colleges. 60 The adult school will take care of you and help you get started right away, but community colleges do not have that mindset. Their mindset is that there is a process that must be followed, and if someone doesn t follow that process, they have to start over. There is not a lot of flexibility. However, they are recognizing that this is a problem. If a student doesn t have a support system for example, someone in their family who can help them understand how to pick classes and get through college they have to do a lot on their own, which is difficult. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School FLEXIBILITY FOR STUDENTS In the Long Beach area, many diploma programs offer flexibility for students in course delivery and registration. These policies are particularly important for the adult diploma demographic, which generally cannot complete courses within the standard time constraints associated with traditional education. Flexible scheduling can assist adult learners who may have obligations such as work and childcare. DELIVERY MODE In an evaluation of adult diploma programs in the area, three delivery formats are available: classroom, lab, and online. Figure 2.2 provides summary descriptions for these formats. The 59 Wayne, Op. cit. 60 Curiel, Op. cit Hanover Research 16

17 classroom approach uses synchronous instruction and study with mandatory class meetings, while lab and online options emphasize an individual, self-paced approach. Figure 2.2: Typical Course Delivery Systems for Diploma Programs in the Long Beach Area Classroom Standard instructor-directed class meetings. Mandatory meetings for each lesson. Example: rwalk-la Mirada Adult School Lab Individualized, self-paced study within a campus setting. Instructor available to answer questions during lab session and/or student meets with instructor individually on a regular basis. Example: Santiago Canyon College Online Self-paced study at home or in campus computer lab. Students complete coursework and meet deadlines on their own schedule. Example: ABC Adult School Sources: Curiel, S.; 61 Pawlisz, N. 62 In the Long Beach area, most programs offer a lab delivery mode; three of the programs provide online course options in addition to traditional offerings (Figure 2.3). Hanover s scan found no programs operating solely through an online delivery system. Huntington Beach Adult School experimented with allowing students to complete coursework completely online and found that the approach had challenges: 63 We have tried to get away from the two-day per week model [of in-lab work] and offer most of the courses online so that they could do work in their personal time. We track their progress to see if they are performing well or struggling. If students aren t doing well, instructors can contact them to find out what s happening. We haven t had a lot of success because the type of students we have tends to have a lot of issues with motivation and discipline. It s necessary to hold them accountable. A lot of our teachers have said it might be necessary to institute the minimum two days per week [in lab] to get students on track before we give them full flexibility through online work. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School 61 Ibid. 62 Pawlisz, Op. cit. 63 Curiel, Op. cit Hanover Research 17

18 Figure 2.5: Number of Long Beach Area Adult Diploma Programs by Delivery and Instructional Mode 5 4 Course Delivery Mode Classroom Lab Lab + Online Classroom + Online 8 6 Instructional Mode Synchronous Individual Both Source: Institutional websites In terms of instructional method, programs favor an individualized, self-paced approach. Self-paced and individual learning approaches afford students with opportunities to complete coursework in the time they have available. Pawlisz compares enrollments for their lab and online course options, and observed these trends: 64 Students tend to finish more classes in the online option. I think that s partly because students can work on the class whenever they want, either after work or on the weekends. The lab is only open Mondays through Thursdays I would say our online option is about double the size of the other option. In particular, our online program has been booming in the last year. - Nancy Pawlisz, Instructor at ABC Adult School The higher number of programs offering lab, online, and individual learning is likely linked to the time constraints faced by adult learners. Adult learner populations may have life 64 Pawlisz, Op. cit Hanover Research 18

19 circumstances, such as full-time employment, that can act as a barrier to attending regularly scheduled class meetings. The Outreach and Technical Assistance Network notes that distance options can benefit adult learners by [addressing] many barriers to participation and persistence, such as transportation, disabilities, childcare issues, [and] work schedules. 65 OPEN-ENTRY, OPEN-EXIT SYSTEMS Without the semester time constraints enforced by traditional classroom approaches, selfpaced, individual learning systems can implement open-entry, open-exit systems. An openentry, open-exit system allows a student to enroll in and attend classes at point during the semester, as well as discontinue attending them whenever they desire. All of the adult diploma programs, including the community colleges, 66 in Long Beach employ this system. Curiel explains the advantages this offers over traditional semester systems, such as those used at some institutions of higher education: 67 In our system, a student can walk in one day, complete his paperwork and registration, and start classes the next day. It s a two-day system with orientation and assessments the first day, and the second day they go straight into class. It s an open-entry, open-exit system. However, colleges are more complicated. The adult school will take care of you and help you get started right away, but community colleges do not have that mindset. Their mindset is that there is a process that must be followed, and if someone doesn t follow that process, they have to start over. There is not a lot of flexibility. - Steve Curiel, Principal at Huntington Beach Adult School 65 Advantages of Distance Learning for Adult Education. Outreach and Technical Assistance Network. https://adulted.otan.us/inn/pdfs/advantagesofdistancelearning.pdf 66 Adult High School Diploma Program, Op. cit. 67 Curiel, Op. cit Hanover Research 19

20 PROJECT EVALUATION FORM Hanover Research is committed to providing a work product that meets or exceeds partner expectations. In keeping with that goal, we would like to hear your opinions regarding our reports. Feedback is critically important and serves as the strongest mechanism by which we tailor our research to your organization. When you have had a chance to evaluate this report, please take a moment to fill out the following questionnaire. CAVEAT The publisher and authors have used their best efforts in preparing this brief. The publisher and authors make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this brief and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. There are no warranties that extend beyond the descriptions contained in this paragraph. warranty may be created or extended by representatives of Hanover Research or its marketing materials. The accuracy and completeness of the information provided herein and the opinions stated herein are not guaranteed or warranted to produce any particular results, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every partner. Neither the publisher nor the authors shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. Moreover, Hanover Research is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. Partners requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400 Arlington, VA P F Hanover Research 20

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