History of CCAE


CCAE History–Celebrating 75 Years


As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE), it is appropriate to take a look back at a bit of our history.

The early growth and development of adult education support groups, such as CCAE, has not been well documented. We do know however, that a support group called the California Association for Adult Education (CAAE) was formed in 1926 to promote the goals of adult education and it continued to function until 1937. Because of the seven year time lapse, it has never been fully determined whether or not there was a connection between CAAE and CCAE. We do know however, that in 1944, George C. Mann was the Chief of the Bureau of Adult Education (now the Adult Education Office, California Department of Education) and that he is credited as the driving force behind the founding of the California Council for Adult Education during the 1943-1944 school year. In addition, he served as the first Executive Director of CCAE.

The main purpose for forming CCAE was the need to have some grassroots support for Dr. Mann and the Adult Education Division in working with the legislature when they were pushing for positive legislation for adult education. If local adult education administrators could work with legislators in the local areas and personalize the needs of adult education, then we could have greater success gaining their support in Sacramento. Professional development was also an issue that needed addressing.

Several other educators have been recognized as contributing to the early organization of CCAE. Leo James, assistant to Dr. Mann, worked on the goals and purposes of the organization. E. Manfred Evans, from Los Angeles, continued the work for Mann when the Chief of the Bureau was called into service for the Navy during World War II, and Guy Garrard and Louise Heyl, who were both leaders in adult education in the 1940's and later became CCAE presidents, were instrumental in organizing and promoting CCAE around the state.

As mentioned above, Dr. Mann was the first Executive Director of CCAE, and he continued for about a dozen years in the duel role of CCAE Executive Director and Chief of the Bureau of Adult Education. His role in founding CCAE and guiding it through the early years cannot be minimized. Without his efforts there would be no CCAE, and adult education would most certainly not have been as successful as it has been over the years. In 1956, Dr. Mann retired from the Bureau and as Executive Director. It is interesting to note that his successor, Stanley Sworder, continued the tradition of serving in both capacities. So, there has always been a strong link between CCAE and the Department.

CCAE History–Celebrating 75 Years


Members of CCAE in the forties included administrators, teachers, University of California Extension personnel, key leaders in adult education, and other interested individuals. Today CCAE includes administrators, teachers, classified staff, institutional members, and interested individuals. Members are from adult schools, community colleges, correctional institutions, and many other public and private agencies which are dedicated to the promotion of adult education in this state.

The original sections were:

  • Northern Section (centered on the City of Sacramento)

  • North Coast Section (centered on the City of Eureka)

  • Bay Section (centered on the area around San Francisco Bay)

  • Central Section (centered on the area from Bakersfield to Fresno in the Central Valley)

  • Southern (all of what is now the Southern, LA Metro, and South Coast Sections)

There was a Central Coast Section in the fifties, but by 1969 the sections were identified as Bay, Central, Northern, Southern and South Coast. The sixth section to be added in 1987 was Los Angeles Metropolitan.

There have been many changes in the structure of CCAE over the years. Neither the Northern Coast nor Central Coast Sections had enough adult education programs of sufficient size in their areas to sustain sections, although they both existed as sections for over twenty years with limited membership. The Central Coast Section requested to merge with the Bay Section in 1965, and the North Coast Section followed in 1970.

At the same time, the number and size of adult schools was increasing, along with the population, in the southern part of the state until it became apparent that reorganization was needed. On March 21, 1969, the CCAE State Board approved a plan to split the Southern Section into two sections. The counties of San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial continued as the Southern Section. The counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Inyo formed the new South Coast Section. A lavish double installation was held at the Del Coronado Hotel in the San Diego area on November 8, 1969.

The next reorganization of sections occurred in 1985 when the South Coast Section divided and the new Los Angeles Metropolitan Section was formed. The LA Metro Section consisted of all of the schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and other independent adult schools on the west side of Los Angeles County. The South Coast Section retained the rest of the former section.

CCAE History–Celebrating 75 Years


As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE), let's take one last look back at a bit of our history. If you'll remember, last month we took a look at the structure of CCAE. This month, the Mission:

CCAE has always focused on promoting professional standards for adult educators and influencing legislation that protects and promotes Adult Education in California.

One of CCAE's major task is to keep a vigilant watch on legislation that affects the Adult Education community in California. By communicating with, and keeping our Assemblyman and Senators informed of Adult Education needs, we can foster better legislation for Adult Education.

The California Council for Adult Education is people working together for the advancement and continued professionalization of Adult Education in California. CCAE is unique among education organizations in its breadth of membership. Our members are the practitioners of Adult Education: Teachers, administrators, counselors, classified support staff, students and community.

Dr. George C. Mann

Dr. George C. Mann, Chief of the State Bureau of Adult Education was the driving force behind the founding of CCAE during 1943–44 school year. As an appointed government official, he saw the need for a grass roots organization that would support legislation and further the cause for adult education and adult schools throughout the state. Read more

To all of you who fought a noble battle and won a creditable victory goes the thanks and gratitude of all people who believe in adult education. Adult education would have been seriously hurt this year if it had not been for the united efforts of the California Council for Adult Education, the California Teachers Association, the California Association of Adult Administrators, and thousands of interested adults and citizens.
— Dr. George C. Mann