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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Andreea Serban, Coast Community College District

Utilizing geographic information system mapping to guide impact and success

The Challenge

The members of the Coast Adult Education Consortium (CAEC) sought to identify by geographic location areas where Adult Education Program (AEP) program resources could be applied most effectively to communities in need. The consortium sought to identify gaps for communities in need, while also considering how well these populations were being served by the consortium members and how other organizations were serving these populations as well.

The Solution

CAEC utilized geographic information system mapping technology (ArcGIS) to identify communities with the greatest need for ESL and Adult Basic Education. These communities were first identified by taking the latest findings from the American Community Survey to identify within the CAEC service area the adults who had an education less than 12th grade and adults who self-indemnified as not speaking English well or not at all. CAEC then compared by geographic location adults who had been served by CAEC members within the past academic year. A gap analysis was performed to identify communities by zip code, city, and census tract who had the highest potential impact that had not yet been served by CAEC members.


Utilizing data collected by the consortium, data from nationally normed surveys, and mapping technology, a powerful tool was developed to consider the effectiveness of the consortium’s service to the community. This tool can be continuously used, adapted to analyze other AEP program areas, and improved upon to ensure effective use of AEP resources. As a result of these efforts, CAEC members have implemented more focused outreach and areas for partnership within the communities with the greatest need.

The Data

The outcome of this process has helped to ensure that CAEC members will effectively utilize funding and resources to achieve the greatest potential impact. These data and analysis have informed the direction of planning and resources in the annual and three-year plans recently submitted. This process of discovery has resulted in a new perspective to outreach to communities that previously were not identified or underserved.

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