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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Eileen Stear, Rio Hondo Region Adult Education Consortium

Consortium takes learning on the road with caravan day tour

The Challenge

The Rio Hondo Regional Adult Education Consortium needed to find a way for members of the group, as well as non-consortium agencies in the region, to fully understand the purpose of the consortium and what each member agency offered in the way of adult education services. Being armed with that knowledge would make it easier for all involved to work as a region to improve and expand adult education. The challenge was how to facilitate the sharing of information in a way that truly illustrated the important role each consortium member played in offering and supporting training or education for local employment in high-demand fields.

The Solution

To address the challenge, the consortium came up with the idea of a day tour, by caravan, for its members. The consortium organized two all-day caravans for counselors, staff administrators and stakeholders, including workforce development agencies, that involved loading a bus and spending the day interacting and learning first-hand how each of the five participating agencies supports adult students. During the bus ride, the participants played games meant to educate them, as well as generate dialogue about each program, training and how agencies could better serve and support adult students. At each stop, member organizations led walking tours of their respective facilities, stopping by classrooms so participants could witness adult student learning and see the various programs in action. Lunch provided a relaxed setting and allowed for free-flowing dialogue about the educational agencies and all they provide, along with what workforce agencies could do for adult students to further enhance their employment gains. Time on the bus provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to ask questions of tour guides from each location.


Nearly 70 members from agencies within and outside of the consortium participated over the two days, with individual participants representing a range of positions at local organizations that included the Southeast Area Social Services Funding Agency, ChapCare, the Department of Rehabilitation, Economic Development Department, the Goodwill and others. The event served to open the door to deeper, more meaningful dialogue among the agencies, which is the foundation for strong partnerships. Workforce participants continue to set up appointments to meet and speak to consortium members to assist in sharing or providing needed resources to create new opportunities for adult student training and employment. Requests for future caravan day tours continue to come in.

The Data

The caravan day tour received excellent feedback from the participants in a post-event evaluation, with nearly 100 percent indicating it exceeded their expectations and provided a comprehensive understanding of the consortium, as well as a better understanding of all that it made available for adult students’ life-long success.

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