The first week of summer Adult Education classes saw a major change for teachers of ESL, GED and ABE students district-wide. Beginning this term, teachers have begun entering class attendance online, directly into the CCC student administration database from which it is uploaded to DAIS-I, the state-wide reporting system used by ICCB. This one change will save an enormous amount of time and manual, repetitive data entry for both teachers and support staff. Beyond this – and for the first time in CCC history – attendance, enrollment and retention information will be available to program managers, deans, researchers and administrators in real time.
Those who know adult education understand how vital accurate attendance collection is. Classes are offered free of charge to students to learn English, improve basic math and reading skills, prepare for the GED test or acquire job skills, because state and federal funds have been allocated to assist them in these endeavors based on their hours of attendance in class. So getting attendance right is even more important than getting it done efficiently.
Beyond these practical benefits, online recording will also help make the Adult Ed program a more technology-oriented environment. Adult Ed instructors are accustomed to “getting the job done” with whatever materials and resources they have available. By plugging into technology as part of their daily routine, the awareness of – and in some cases the need for – 21st century technology access will spill over into teaching and organizational tools. By the end of the first week of summer term, it was even reported that teachers at one college had begun entering attendance on their smart phones!
As members of the Process, Operations and Governance (POG) Task Force at Reinvention visited Adult Ed programs to support the new attendance process, we heard overwhelmingly enthusiastic responses:
“I’m so glad this is happening now!” – Adult Ed Manager
“I’ve been asking for this for years.” - College Registrar
“That’s it? I’m done? I can go now? Easy!” – Adult Ed Teacher
To get to this point, POG depended on the ideas, commitment and collaboration of many. We would especially like to thank the hard work and flexibility of the district OIT team: Valerie Davis, Bill Beckner and Corie Jimenez. Also, thanks to all of the Adult Ed deans, managers and coordinators who made the summer implementation possible. And finally, thank you teachers for your openness and feedback and for taking up the front lines of an exciting – yet difficult – change.
– Kimberly Swise, Process, Operations and Governance Task Force