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Emerging Practices with Promise

Submitted By: Bill Bettencourt, Sierra Joint Consortia

Professional Development leads synergy, buy-in, and integrated pathways

The Challenge

Placer School for Adults was faced with the challenge of integrating, from the bottom to the top. The school's leaders wanted to innovate, educate, invigorate, and clear the path for their students to come in one door, and then leave by a multiplicity of other doors that lead to internships, career paths, further education and so much more.

The Solution

The solution required something bold, global and unifying. The school created a Teacher Academy in which twice yearly it brings all of its part-time teachers into one space for a paid eight-hour day. During this event, organizers explore with them the educators (CASAS/TOPS Enterprise), teaching practices, curriculum, and a new picture and model of integration. A model in which everything we now do as a school leads our students to career pathways and possibly further schooling. A new model which does all of this in a way that uses existing resources and creates integrations they could only come to as a group.


The outcome has been the development of two integrated pathways based on collaboration between its CMA program instructors, its Business Office Professions instructor, and its ESL and ABE instructors. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The Teacher Academy, the training, the opportunity for teachers from different areas of the adult school to collaborate and dialog on many other possibilities, has led to the beginnings of a culture of collaboration and integration.

Growth potential and escalation of more integration will be realized in the near future. Another positive consequence ,and yet not easy to quantify, is that the school is seeing that its instructors/staff are creating a new reality of "community of practitioners" who are thinking about how they each/all integrate among and between programs/classes, and how this better supports the adult learners in our region.

The Data

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