CCAE History–Celebrating 75 Years

The Structure of CCAE


As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE), I think it's appropriate to take a look back at a bit of our history. If you'll remember, last month we took a look at the founding of CCAE. This month, the structure of the organization:

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.

Next month: CCAE's Mission

This information was condensed from the CCAE State Leadership Handbook, 2018-2019. Most of the information was researched by Steve Prantalos (Executive Director, 1999-2013) and Virginia Donnellan, (President, 1995-1996).

Best Wishes for a great month ahead!

Adriana Sanchez-Aldana
Executive Director
California Council for Adult Education (CCAE)