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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Jaemi Naish, Tamalpais Adult School

College, adult school strengthen already strong partnership to benefit students

The Challenge

Many adult learners do not view themselves as potential college students. Adult students often have a misconception about who a typical college student is – which includes age, educational level, and future aspirations. Tam Adult School and College of Marin work closely together to change student perceptions and, in doing so, have created designated pathways for advanced studies into community college.

The Solution

Information and targeted outreach were key strategies for addressing this challenge. Adult School and Community College staff discussed college student demographics with adult learners and highlighted ways in which they fit into the college community, boosting adult learner confidence and increasing enrollment into higher education.

Tam Adult School and College of Marin partnership activity highlights:

- Information and Outreach: College counselors and student ambassadors participated in regular visits throughout the year to the adult school campus, meeting with adult learners to discuss short term career programs, financial aid, job placement, and transfer programs.

- Student Support Services: College counselors met with learners at the adult school to complete college applications, conduct career exploration workshops, discuss AB540 eligibility, and provide academic support for adults with disabilities.

- College Visiting Professor: A College of Marin mathematics professor taught ASE-level mathematics to adult learners at Tam Adult School through a piloted partnership. The goal was to support adult learners in completing GED math content and exam while simultaneously learning about college options, and continuing mathematics studies with this same instructor in college.

- College Tour: Adult learners county-wide attend a special informational session held in their honor on the College of Marin campus, where students learn about academic and career programs, financial aid, are given a campus tour and hear testimonials from current students, many of whom are Tam Adult School graduates.

- Successes Celebrated: Student success stories are shared regularly within the Marin AEBG Consortium. Recent student highlights include a small cohort of adult learners who began their studies in ESL at the adult school, transferred to community college, and have been accepted into both UC and CSU’s.


As a result of the strong partnership that exists between Tam Adult School and College of Marin, there has been an increase in completed college applications, students meetings with college counselors, and support services provided to adult learners. An increased focus on providing important transition-to-college information, outreach and support services to adult learners, a group traditionally underserved in education, has truly benefitted adult learners in Marin County. Student surveys show that adult learners are interested in attending college but need continued guidance and clear pathways to achieve this goal. Survey results also show adult learners find college-hosted career exploration workshops useful and relevant while considering campus tours an important first step for future enrollment. There is a growing number of former adult school graduates turned community college graduates that have recently been accepted by UC’s and CSU’s and are transferring into universities as a result of their hard work and the strength in the partnership that was formed to help support this very goal.

The Data

Check out Tamalpais Adult School graduates, Grely Mazariegos, a recipient of ACSA’s Every Student Succeeding Program, facilitated by OTAN. Videos and student success story links provided below.

Supporting Information

Grely Mazariegos Story & OTAN Video

Saul Godinez Story & OTAN Video

Tamalpais Adult School

College of Marin

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