I can't believe my first year as State President is almost over. So much has happened and is happening that it sometimes almost seems overwhelming, but I can honestly say CCAE and adult education are in a great situation. Were it not for the support of an excellent State Board and support personnel, I'm not sure I could be saying that. But we cannot rest yet (there will be time for that later). Now is the time for engagement, and I am calling on each of you for your support.
Engage your legislators, assembly members and senators. There has not been a time in over 10 years when both legislative support and state funding have lined up so positively for adult education. Thanks to the recent work of our advocate, Dawn Koepke, and other key adult education supporters there is a state level interest in adult education. But that interest can quickly fade as other organizations also lobby for funding. Now is the time to engage locally. Visit your legislators. Call or email their offices. Speak with the staff. Let them know how important adult education is to your community and the students you serve. Listen to the CCAE key talking points here.
Engage your consortia. Much of the positive feedback we receive is around the work that is being done collaboratively with partner organizations in our regional consortia. We have come a long way to build relationships, create pathways to college and career, leverage funds and resources, and bring back services to adult learners. This collaborative work is providing adult school students opportunities for advancement that were not present or clearly available before. In addition, significant investments into student support services have also been made across programs. We must continue these collaborative efforts, and other promising practices, and truly create the seamless pathways and accelerated learning programs that our students need and that our state needs. In this way we will continue to demonstrate the superior value of adult education. Also, plan to join us on CCAE's annual Legislative Day in Sacramento, April 9-10. This year we're planning an Adult Education Rally on the steps of the Capitol Building. Materials for local and Sacramento visits are on the CCAE website here. You are free to print out all of these materials yourself. These materials are the ones referenced in the webinar sited below. Watch for additional information regarding Leg Day soon!
Engage your CCAE State Board. In order to best plan for the coming year, the CCAE State Board has embarked on a strategic planning process that will gather input from all aspects of the organization. A vital component of that input is your voice. Please take a few minutes to give us feedback here.
Engage your students. Of course, you already engage your students every day they are in class. But what I am talking about is engaging them a little deeper. What are their plans for the next year? What are their challenges? What jobs are they considering? What other schools are they considering attending? As we move into the world of increased accountability it is becoming more important to build strong relationships with our students so that we can better support them, possibly providing or connecting them to additional resources, but also better measure and report their successes. In many ways, those who engage with students frequently might be the most important component of the accountability system being developed.
Again, now is the time to engage. Next month might just be too late. Next week might be too late. Don't wait for someone else to stand up for you, your school, and your students. Now is the time to stand up and make your voice heard.
If you have any questions or need any help engaging, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will do all I can to help you.