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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Steve Radford, Antelope Valley Union High School District

Consortium hosts community workshops to gather valuable input for regional plan

The Challenge

The Antelope Valley Adult Education Regional Consortium (AVAERC) region serves an area of 1,945 square miles, which accounts for 40 percent of the land mass of Los Angeles County, as well as a small section in the southeastern part of Kern County. The cities of Palmdale and Lancaster contain approximately 81 percent of the service area population. The rest of the population is dispersed somewhat equally throughout the region. Additional residential centers in the valley include the communities of Quartz Hill, Antelope Acres, Rosamond, Littlerock, Pearblossom, Acton, Sun Village and Lake Los Angeles. Due to this large service area, understanding regional needs, rather than specific community needs, proved to be extremely difficult.

The Solution

Rather than attempting to contact every provider of adult education/training across the region separately to inquire about their needs, the AVAERC opted for a collaborative approach that brought together stakeholders from throughout the region to provide input into an adult education plan for Antelope Valley. The consortium hosted a series of community workshops that provided a venue for adult education/training providers and consortium members to have meaningful discussions. The consortium sent mass invitations for the workshops to community representatives throughout the region. During the workshops, attendees selected the program area in which they most often worked, allowing the consortium to create expert workgroups, by program area. The workgroups then identified areas within in their respective programs that needed to be addressed at a regional level. The workshop participants reassembled as a single group, and all the areas of need were shared so that the entire group could rank them to identify the region’s greatest needs.


The work completed during the community forums allowed consortium members to gain an in-depth understanding of the region’s specific needs. Rather than synthesizing information from an outsider’s perspective, the consortium allowed the experts who are working in the field to do their own analyses and to determine what they felt were the most important issues facing the region’s residents. Participants of the community forums expressed gratitude for being included in the conversation as the consortium planned a new direction for adult education in Antelope Valley.

The Data

Thanks to the community forums, approximately 300 community and consortium members provided input for the adult education plan, allowing the consortium to develop a blueprint that was truly representative of the region’s needs.

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