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Emerging Practices with Promise

Submitted By: Dione Carter, Santa Monica Regional Consortium

Professional learning community leads to more rigorous pathways

The Challenge

One of the challenges the Santa Monica Regional Consortium (SMRC) members face is developing a seamless transition from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Adult Education Center to Santa Monica College (SMC) due to the varying systems of K-12 and higher education. Although, best practices and professional development shared between the SMRC members are a continuous effort. The goal is to link the programs and provide uninterrupted services to the adult education population.

The Solution

The SMRC is in the process of identifying a seamless transition process for enrolled adults to continue their education through credit, noncredit and short-term and long-term enrollment options. A critical component of this goal requires alignment between student support services (i.e. counseling) and curriculum. The SMRC also continues to identify community and business partners to establish stronger pathways to academic success and gainful employment.  Along with establishing stronger pathways, the SMRC conducted a needs assessment to identify areas for improvement. As a result of the needs assessment:

• The relationship between SMC and SMMUSD faculty and supportive staff has been strengthened by having them meet regularly to share best practices of operations at each site.
• Professional development for the program manager and lead faculty members from each site has been funded in the form of a two-part, three-day training on professional learning communities hosted by CALPro.
• Partnerships with not-for-profit organizations, local institutions, city and county establishments continue to be explored so as to identify the literacy, secondary education and workforce preparation needs of the community as a whole.


As a result, SMRC is excited to offer six noncredit short-term vocational and workforce preparation certificate programs that will begin in the fall and/or winter. These new noncredit certificate programs are in the areas of bicycle maintenance, business essentials, computer basics, customer service, early childhood education, integrative health and rehabilitative therapy. Secondly, the consortium will continue to expand on technology and digital literacy and contextualized learning and will explore curriculum in other AEBG areas, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities and older adults. Also, the SMRC funded a computer software program called CommunityPro Suite to seamlessly refer and track students and student services from SMMUSD and SMC to regional community partners and employers.

The Data

More than 1,500 adult learners receive orientation, assessment, follow-up services and career development every semester. In addition to the existing programs in adult basic education, GED and English as a second language (ESL), SMMUSD plans to include an ESL distance learning course offering further support of Santa Monica-Malibu adult learners.

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