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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Janet Miller, Saddleback College Adult Education

Strategic partnerships support adult education efforts

The Challenge

Saddleback College, in partnership with its two largest K-12 feeder districts, needed to transition adult students at Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) and Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) learning sites to Saddleback College Adult Education. All are members of the South Orange County Regional Consortium.

The Solution

In summer 2015, Saddleback College, in partnership with SVUSD, assumed the responsibility for transitioning high school equivalency (HSE) classes to the college. In partnership with SVUSD, the college established Saddleback Adult Education MV on the campus of SVUSD’s Silverado High School in Mission Viejo and focused its efforts on building strong foundational supports. In fall 2015, the college expanded its adult education program and strengthened its partnership with SVUSD by developing a state-approved curriculum for noncredit adult English as a second language (AESL) and citizenship, in order to help adults prepare for the workforce and achieve United States citizenship.

The college continued to expand its Adult Education Department in summer 2016 by transitioning AESL and HSE classes from CUSD and establishing Saddleback Adult Education SJC in San Juan Capistrano. A full reconfiguration of the SJC site included relocation of the Capistrano Adult School office to create additional instructional spaces. In addition, designated indoor and outdoor childcare space was established and furnished. In fall 2016, Saddleback College transitioned AESL and citizenship classes from CUSD to that location. Again, the college focused its efforts on building strong foundational supports.

A third partnership with College and Career Advantage (formerly South Coast ROP), further enhanced the college’s adult education offerings as it transitioned not-for-credit CTE programs including: pharmacy technician; dental assistant; and surgical technologist. Adult students have access to highly technical laboratories with state-of-the art equipment, such as a fully equipped operating room, a medical assisting lab, a dental lab and an X-ray room. Students also have the opportunity to participate in internship and externship opportunities with more than 300 business and industry partners throughout the region to earn certifications and licenses, and to obtain employable skills in high-demand or high-wage occupations. Programs are offered at the College and Career Campus in San Juan Capistrano.

In fall 2017, Saddleback Adult Education will transition adults with disabilities programming from SVUSD. In Spring 2016, Saddleback College learning disabilities instructor Dr. Michael Hoggatt developed a specialized curriculum comprised of nine adults with disabilities course proposals, which will lead to a degree or certificate. Courses were approved by the State of California in April 2017 and will be launched at Saddleback Adult Education MV, at Saddleback College, and with a third community partner at an additional location in Mission Viejo.


Since the initial transition of adult students from our K-12 districts, all instructional sites have been enhanced and upgraded. Additional site improvements include: computer/technology labs and tutoring centers; technology supplies, including document cameras and document readers; and classroom supplies, including textbook and dictionary class sets, wall maps, and whiteboards. Partnerships with Saddleback College’s Counseling Department and Learning Center have brought designated counselors and tutors to adult education sites. A HiSET testing center has been opened at Saddleback College for adult students wishing to earn their high school equivalency. In addition, through a partnership with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), the College and Career Preparatory Academy (CCPA), including its high school diploma (HSD) program, was housed at the College and Career Campus (CCC) in San Juan Capistrano.

The Data

To date, Saddleback College Adult Education has hired more than 30 qualified associate faculty into the adult education AESL pool, as well as two faculty coordinators. Ten HSE presenters have been hired. The college is in the process of hiring more than 20 associate faculty for its adults with disabilities program being launched in fall 2017. Additional off-site office staff also were hired during the transitions of CUSD and SVUSD programs in order to provide seamless support at our off-site locations. Transitioned and new employees include maintenance and security, reception, assessment, HiSET testing and clerical support staff. Memoranda of Understanding are also in place with the partner districts, which allow for shared office staff and facilities.

In Spring 2017, AESL classes enrolled 1,265 students in 28 sections; HSE classes enrolled 900 students in 20 sections; as part of Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) efforts, 150 adults with disabilities (AWD) students were enrolled at Silverado High School; through our partnership with the College and Career Advantage, 65 students were enrolled in CTE programs; in partnership with College and Career Advantage, more than 30 students were enrolled in HSD classes. (Classes are open enrollment/open exit. Numbers may reflect duplication if students are enrolled in more than one class or program.)

In the future, the college will be expanding the number of classes offered, hiring additional faculty, and increasing the number of teaching sites in the South Orange County area to ensure that all adults have easy access to “learn and earn.”

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