PCC Celebrates Adult Education & Family Literacy Week

PCC Celebrates Adult Education & Family Literacy Weekfile_000

PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College & Career division started celebrating National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week a day early, and we kept on celebrating for a day after as well.file_000-2

Last Saturday, staff, student leaders, AmeriCorps members along with their family and friends worked on the courtyard to maintain and clear out the lovely plants and landscaping that that they started last year.  I stopped by on Monday to check out the progress, and it looked awesome!

Our Literacy Connects friend, Betty Stauffer had a wonderful op-ed published in the Star. It was a positive story about the literacy needs in our community.  http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/guest/betty-stauffer-literacy-is-the-foundation-of-a-community/article_5b9ca900-5645-52c2-88da-6e1a9be3d513.html


On Monday, all of our teachers and instructional leaders attended an in service on formative assessment. They learned, reflected and practiced techniques to ensure students are learning and that teachers are delivering content in a culturally sensitive and respectful manner.  At the end of the day, the 50+ gathering split into open space groups to discuss a variety of topics.

Our Civics & Student Leadership program also participated in a Get out the Vote campaign at the YWCA with the League of Women Voters.  Did you know there are just over 500,000 people registered to vote in Pima County?  Did you know that in the last primary, only 30% of the eligible voters turned out?  That means, your three crazy friends are deciding the future for the 7 of us who are sane!

On Wednesday, KOLD’s Maria Hechanova did a story about our classes and interviewed a student.  Richard was open and honest about why he dropped out, how he had tried over and over for 10+ years, and that he was finally dedicated to finishing.  Watch for Richard in your classes, because I told him we would help him finish!  He wants to be a broadcast journalist when he finishes; and he wants to be a good role model for his kids. http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/33274891/pcc-recognizes-national-adult-education-family-literacy-week


Also, on Wednesday, superstar Ambassadors, Laura Porfirio and BHS/IBEST HSE graduate Linda Langston were hobnobbing with policymakers in D.C. They met with both Arizona Senators or staff, Representatives Grijalva, McSally and others as well.  COABE sponsored the trip for nearly 50 advocates and held 100+ meetings with policymakers! They were able to tell them about the importantance of adult education for thousands in our community.  Linda was able to speak firsthand how adult education, her teachers and our programs changed her life. Laura secured a few tours this Fall, so watch for those bigwig visits as well.file_000-6

On Thursday, Telemundo came to do a story about our program as well. Teresa Moreno, Student Services Tech extraordinaire, handled the entire interview.

On Sunday, we ended the week with a large Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) accountability session. Over 500 people attended the session.  “All politics is local”, as House Speaker O’Neil was credited with saying… in a time where speaking about national politics can lead to angered friends and family feuds, pay attention to the local and state races  And more importantly, help your students see themselves and their issues in context – help them see why voting is important to them.   Many times, local policymakers are the most accessible and the most responsive.

Throughout the week, there were highlights, facts and figures posted on social media.  The purpose of National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week is to raise file_000-5awareness about what adult education is and why it is so important for our nation.  I think we did that!


Pima County Re-entry Coalition Fair

Pima County Re-entry Coalition Fair

The first annual Pima County Re-entry Coalition fair was held Saturday April 30th, 2016 at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex.  This fair highlighted the progress made in re-entry efforts and the enormous network the Pima County Re-entry Coalition has developed over the past 7 years.  It is important work and we are proud to be part of the effort inside the Pima County Adult Detention Complex and outside on the Coalition.

Over 30 community programs were set up to showcase opportunities and resources for individuals looking to move forward in the community after incarceration.

According to John Hindman, PCC’s 17+ year veteran Instructor at the Jail, “It was great to talk to people taking an active role in their family member’s transition from incarcerated to returning to the community.”

KVOA news covered the event.


chris and qian IMG_2211

Qian Prescott, Chris Parisoff, and John Hindman staffed a booth for Pima Community College and were able to talk to many families of current and future students.

hindman IMG_2209

Qian Prescott, John Hindman and Sheriff Chris Nanos



Content + Confidence = Math Bridge

“My confidence in math greatly improved. No more math anxiety.”

The Adult Basic Education for College & Career division at PCC is working hard to help students transition into college or onto new career pathways. One way we do this is by offering accelerated Math Bridge classes to all PCC students at Northwest, Desert Vista and East campuses, every spring and fall semester. These intensive classes are 7 weeks long, and meet for 12 hours a week. If you do the math, that’s 84 hours of instruction -nearly double that of a regular class, yet taught in less than half a semester’s time!  This model allows students to immerse in the content of the class and move faster toward their goals.

Math Bridge classes are unique in a number of different ways. First, they are no-cost and non-credit, so students don’t have to use up their finances or time while they strengthen their foundational skills and knowledge of the college.  Both ABE and Dev Ed students attend classes together.

Another difference is how Math Bridge classes approach teaching math. Instead of trying to cram in as many lessons in operations-based math skills as possible in 7 weeks, the instructors focus on developing a deeper, conceptual understanding of the math. This not only has shown to help students perform better on assessments such as the Compass test or the GED, but students have also consistently reported a significant increase in their confidence with math.

 “I feel a lot more confident in math especially since I have not taken it for 16 years. Being in the classroom and working with my peers has been great too! This 3 hour class feels so short to me. I really enjoy coming.”

The Math Bridge Instructors developed this model and curriculum based on several years of study on how best to teach adults Mathematics through TIAN (Teachers Investigating Adult Numeracy).   TIAN uses teacher inquiry and reflective learning to engage teachers in learning how to design and implement effective mathematics instructional approaches for algebra and data analysis. TIAN was piloted and field-tested with math teachers in six states whose adult students had math skills at the ABE, pre-GED, and GED levels.   Website: http://tian.terc.edu/

We also know that math isn’t the only thing that students need to be successful. Math Bridge classes integrate skills for student success into the classroom, and bring in resources to help them along the way. Essential study skills are developed and practiced; tours of the campus with Student Life engage students with campus activities; and weekly visits to the class from a dedicated Student Services Advisor help students learn how to navigate the college system and maximize its resources. Finally, students also explore career pathways and meet with faculty and college career counselors to map out their next steps onto those pathways. Students complete the Math Bridge class with relationships already established with college faculty and staff, and feel comfortable asking for help.

 “This class has pushed me back into school. It has gotten me used to being busy and using my time wisely. I’m truly grateful.”

The first Spring Math Bridge class wrapped up last week, and the results already look good.  The first Spring Math Bridge classes of 2016 wrapped up last week, with over 80% of the students moving up on their placement  levels!  Of course, it’s not just test scores going up that leads to success, it’s about being engaged:

“It has helped me to re-learn all that I didn’t care about through high school. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

The next Math Bridge classes will start on March 28th  at Desert Vista, Northwest and East campuses, and are open to all PCC students. This fall, classes will also be available at Downtown and West Campuses. For more information about Math Bridge classes, contact Wendy Scheder Black at wscheder@pima.edu.

“I’m anxious to get going with my college classes…This class has been a boost for me!”


Math Bridge Teachers – Mary Jo Chmielewski, Linda Kangas & Consuelo Carrillo


NOTE:  There is a professional development opportunity for Instructors who want to learn more about Bridge classes coming soon – stay tuned from your center for more information.


Adult Basic Education featured on AZPM

Arizona Public Media aired a story about PCC’s Adult Basic Education Division this morning on NPR.

I want our Instructors to take note of the compliment from the college on the level of faculty engagement.

I want to echo that sentiment that our Instructors and staff are extraordinary!  Students, the community and the college see it.  It’s obvious that each of you cares for our students and their success.

Thank you for providing that excellent attention to students!


Future adult educators?

Future adult educators?

I had the good fortune of presenting to Dr. Patty Anders  Family and Community Literacy Class this morning at the University of Arizona.  Students were interested in adult basic literacy and adult education, correctional education, and juvenile education.  I’m optomistic after my 25 year career that perhaps the next instructors, managers, or even Deans are in that group of hopeful students.

I was please to share with them what some of the issue are, what we do at Pima, and a few of my favorite stories.

Below find the link to Matias’ story along with a few other resources that may be useful.


NCL information and link



According to CLASP, “Although federal adult education has traditionally been supplemented by sizeable state-level matching funds, a decline in federal and state funding for adult education has resulted in states serving only fraction of the students—2 million out of 93 million—who could benefit from services”[i] (CLASP, 2012).

See the fourteen minute advocacy story “We are Adult Education” video link https://vimeo.com/9186597

http://www.coabe.org/ Why adult education matters

Matias’ Digital story, along with others, on the support adult education channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/supportadulted



PCC Adult Education Celebrates National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career division invites you to celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, September 21-26, 2015 http://national-coalition-literacy.org/2015/08/national-adult-education-and-family-literacy-week-is-coming/.

This month, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce, for the seventh year in a row, a House resolution designating the week of September 21st, 2015 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy (NAEFL) Week!

In addition, for the fifth year in a row, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will introduce a Senate resolution that also recognizes this important honorary week which celebrates the achievements of adult education in the United States.

This year’s NAEFL week will not only celebrate the critical role that adult education, English language services, and family literacy play in our country, but the opportunities that lie ahead in the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The law calls for a strengthening of our adult education programs so that learners can both improve their literacy and prepare for post-secondary education and employment.

PCC Adult Education serves approximately 5,000 students each year who, according to Laurie Kierstead-Joseph, Advanced Program Manager of Adult Education Services, “need to strengthen their basic literacy and math skills, improve their English, study for a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, and prepare for community college or vocational training.”

To recognize this national celebration and the achievements of adult literacy students, Pima will be sponsoring and participating in the following activities:

  • Congressman Raul Grijalva signed in support of the resolution tovoter reg 2015 designate the National Adult Education and Family Literacy week for the seventh year. Congressman Grijalva is a steadfast supporter of Adult Education.
  • On Sept 22nd, student leaders from PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career division will do a voter registration drive at three adult learning centers as part of a college-wide celebration of National Voter Registration Day. At the 29th St. Coalition center, Selena Llamas from Expect More Arizona will open up the drive with inspiring facts that link education to voter turnout.
  • Adult education students and graduates will post brief reflections about their “keys to success” on The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE)’s Facebook page. Student reflections will highlight the teachers, mentors or family members who encouraged or inspired them along their adult education journey.
  • Adult education staff will welcome over 125 high school equivalency students at the New Student Orientations on September 22 at 9:00 a.m. and September 24 at 4:00 p.m., at Community Campus. The importance of civic involvement and student leadership in adult education will be highlighted as student leaders give personal testimony and share their digital stories of success.
  • Instructors will implement reading-focused activities such as library tours, maximizing library resources, book reports and presentations.

Find more literacy facts at http://www.proliteracy.org/the-crisis/adult-literacy-facts.
For more information about PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College and Career (ABECC) classes, call (520) 206-3987. Learn more about the services provided here. here.

Adult Basic Education for College & Career – Report to the PCC Board of Governor’s

Find the report to the Board that the President submits annually below:

Highlights of FY 2014-2015

A new law:  This year marked the rewrite of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) into the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  Pima College Adult Education will be shifting gradually next year to comply with the new law.  This includes changes in class offerings, closer collaboration with the Pima County OneStop, and a name change to Adult Basic Education for College & Career (ABECC).

National Adult Education Honor Society:  12 students were inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society in recognition of outstanding student achievement. It is always incredibly inspiring to hear the voices of the teachers and students talking about their successes in adult education and their plans for the future.  Several BOG members attended the induction ceremony held at El Rio Learning Center.

A new Refugee Class:  PCC is an integral part of the community organizations that serve refugees in Tucson.  Through our conversations with the refugee community we learned that there was a special need for refugee youth without high school diplomas and with a lack of English language skills.  The new class was designed to prepare young refugees with limited English proficiency for the GED® test.  We had 17 students attend on a regular basis. This class was called “HSE for ESL”. Our goal was to either get them ready to pass the GED test or to get them to a high enough level to be eligible for Pima OneStop or occupational courses through PCC.

Citizenship grant:  As a subcontracted partner, PCC was awarded a two year grant for $200,000 from the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to provide classes promoting Citizenship Education.  Working in collaboration with the grant awardee, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW), we developed six contextualized Citizenship classes designed to teach English using a variety of citizenship and civics materials as the curriculum content. During the three quarters the program was in operation in FY15, the program served 42 unduplicated students, many of whom were referred to LSS-SW for low-cost naturalization/legal services and representation.

Family Literacy closing:    Sadly, after twenty-plus years of providing an award winning comprehensive Family Literacy Program in Tucson, we closed the last two classes – one at Santa Rosa library and one at Ocotillo Early Learning Center.  We carefully connected students and their children to services and programs to help them continue on their educational journeys. We also worked closely with all our collaborators to ensure smooth transitions.   During this last year, the program served 54 families.

At its peak, the Family Literacy Program was in ten sites and over the twenty years provided comprehensive services for over 3600 families in our community.  We continued the program even after losing funding in 2012, but it wasn’t possible any longer.  We are hopeful to serve as a resource to school districts interested in providing comprehensive Family Literacy.

City of Tucson grant:   We received a grant to improve College and Career Readiness (CCR) skills among students preparing for their High School Equivalency (HSE) exam.  College and career readiness refers to the content knowledge, skills, and habits that students must possess to be successful in postsecondary education or training that leads to a sustaining career. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for developmental coursework. With this grant, we served just over 100 students testing at 9th grade level or above.  Program participants participated in career and college-focused lessons, supplemental classes, one-on-one advising, and referral to career and college resources. As a result, participants’ basic educational and job-readiness skills increased.

Programs and Services

Students Served:   Adult Education served 4826 students.  Pima’s program accounts for nearly one quarter of all the state adult basic education students.

Fiscal Year Total Students Enrolled in Classes1 ABE Students Served2 ESL Students Served3 Achieved a Gain4 GEDs Attained5
2014-2015 4826 2092 1245 58% 300
  1. Unduplicated headcount of students enrolled in PCAE Programs (Banner) Unduplicated headcount of Qualified NRSpro students in ABE/ASE placement (CompStudentInfo).
  2. Qualified Students have completed at least 12 program hours.
  3. Unduplicated headcount of Qualified NRSpro students in ESL placement (CompStudentInfo)
  4. Percentage of Unduplicated Qualified ABE/ASE & ESL Students who achieved a Gain (Gain = ~2.4 grade level increase; ie: 6th grade to 8th grade)
  5. Unduplicated headcount of those attaining their GED/High School Equivalency at the PCC testing center, not limited to PCAE Students.


Transition to Pima Community College:    Members of the Transition team meet with students to provide information on educational, training and employment opportunities, referrals to community agencies, academic and career advice and planning, support in goal setting, campus tours and presentations, and information about financial aid, assessments, and scholarship opportunities.

  • Over 600 students were served individually and over 5000 through orientations, group presentations, workshops, field trips and collaborative instruction.
  • 37 scholarships for GED® test single-subject exams were awarded to students who attended adult education classes.
  • 5 HSE graduates received $250 merit scholarships to attend credit classes at PCC.

Bridge to College and Career (BCC):   The Bridge to College and Career program offers Bridge classes and IBEST programs at 3 PCC campuses, aimed at adult learners who are ready, or getting ready to transition into college.

Bridge Classes:

  • Completed 4 accelerated Math Bridge classes, and 1 Science Bridge class, serving 78 students at two PCC campuses.
  • Bridge classes are contextualized to College and Career Readiness. Each 7-week class included 3 visits from Student Development Advisors, 1 visit from a counselor and 3 visits from occupational faculty members.
  • 100% of Bridge students used AZCIS to complete skill and interest inventories and conduct career investigations. All students reported a significant increase in college readiness.
  • 90% of Bridge students improved scores on either TABE or Compass.

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST):

  • Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST) is an instructional model that strengthens students’ basic skills in reading, writing, and math at the same time that they are attending an occupational program at PCC. With an IBEST program, Adult Education and Occupational Instructors co-plan and co-teach, and all basic skills instruction is contextualized toward the course content. The students then are able to work simultaneously towards their combined goals of attaining their credential or Certificate and passing the GED® exam.
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) IBEST supports 12 English language learners toward the completion of a 21 credit occupational certificate in HRM. The program culminates with an internship this fall.
  • Behavioral Health Services (BHS) IBEST supports 16 HSE students toward completion of 18 credit occupational certificate in BHS and passing of the GED® exam. The program culminates with a clinical observation course this fall.  BHS IBES is supported by a grant from the Arizona Department of Education and is fortified by a partnership with PCC’s Center for Training and Development and Pima County OneStop.

Distance Learning (DL) Program:  DL had 251 students in FY15 making educational gains and improvements that exceeded Arizona Department of Education target goals.  The DL program is the largest Adult Education DL program in the state, and has also become a model program in the state on how to effectively work with learners at a distance and in hybrid classes.

AmeriCorps Program:    PCC’s program was awarded a $93,000 renewal AmeriCorps grant.  11 Members graduated from the program; collectively, they gave 15,337 hours of service; they recruited non-AmeriCorps volunteers to work side by side with the Members providing an additional 2,851 hours of service; they served 670 adult education students with low literacy skills with 1:1 tutoring; and of those students 80% of them increased one level as indicated on the National Test of Adult Basic Education.

  • While members served they attended classes and worked toward their academic skills, and 5 members earned an HSE this year.  A stellar member was chosen to be HSE graduation speaker.
  • Members and Coordinator, MaryAnn Phininzy participated in the WIB Youth Council, Emerging Technologies Youth Career Expo. Over 120 youth attended.

Refugee Education Program (REP): REP contracts with AZ DES to provide English Language Training to refugees resettled in Pima County. The program offered eleven English classes of different levels from Pre-Literacy through Intermediate to 610 refugees. The refugees are referred to the program by three resettlement agencies: International Rescue Committee, Refugee Focus and Catholic Community Services. REP also offered VESL (Vocational English as a Second Language) classes for refugees at International Rescue Committee and Refugee Focus resettlement agencies.  Our REP Manager serves as a Co-Chair of the AZ Refugee Resettlement Program Strategic Plan Committee – Language and Literacy priority. The team working on the plan represents various organizations, such as Literacy Connects, University of Arizona, Pima County Library, and ABECC and their work will be completed by January 1, 2016.

Volunteer Services:   58 volunteers worked with AE students in a variety of capacities in FY 2014-2015, providing more than 3000 hours of volunteer service.   Volunteers were primarily recruited through the United Way of Southern Arizona’s Volunteer website. Volunteers are pre-screened, oriented, trained and placed within all of Adult Education’s various programs. Volunteer orientation includes the history of Adult Education, its place within Pima College and the community, the nature of adult learners, and keys to success as a volunteer. Most volunteers serve as tutors working one-on-one or with small groups for individualized instruction in math, reading/writing, and ELAA.  Volunteers also facilitated 4 ELAA conversation classes. This year the program expanded its use of volunteers as Student Success Coaches, who reached out to students at all learning centers and satellite classes.

Student Success Coach Program:    The goal of this program is to increase student retention, persistence and motivation, help them overcome barriers to success, and increase the rates of transition into college and careers.  The pilot program began in the spring of 2014, and this year grew from serving students in one center to three, and four additional coaches were trained. The majority of coaching was in the areas of: 1) class/academic needs, 2) career/future exploration, and 3) community resources and referrals.  The focus of coaching shifted according to what we learned about student needs.  Often, they simply needed one or two sessions to address something in particular, rather than long-term assistance.  We offer services to students according to individual needs. An exciting innovation this year was that some AmeriCorps Members chose to be Student Success Coaches.  They brought a unique and helpful perspective as current and former Adult Education students.

Citizenship Classes:   Twelve Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship classes were provided at nine locations around Tucson, including the three Adult Education Learning Centers and six Pima County Public Library locations. The classes are all taught by volunteers. One of these includes a well-attended Spanish-only class for students who are eligible to take the Citizenship test in their native language. The program provided classes in Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship to 219 students, who received 2488 hours of instruction in the areas of history, government, civics and civic engagement, current events, and the U.S. Constitution.

 Eyeglass Referrals:  Our Student Services team referred 50 pre-screened, low income students for free eye exams and free eyeglass referrals. Participating companies were Lenscrafters, through their Gift of Sight/One Sight program providing the glasses (three local stores), Accent on Vision, and Alvernon Optical providing free exams.

RAISE:   The RAISE program contracts with AZ DES – Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) to offer classes including Reading, Writing and Math Skills, Computers, Money Management, Language Arts, Life Skills, Social Skills and Expressive Arts to adults enrolled with DDD. The RAISE program offered a total of 19 different classes each week to 81 students. Students are referred directly from DDD. Program staff work with DDD staff as well as community partners such as Easter Seals Blake Foundation, Beacon Group, and Goodwill Industries.  The College is investigating how to better serve students, and the RAISE program will be transitioning into services/referrals that are more aligned to personal goals.

 High School Equivalency Testing:  HSE Testing administered the GED® Test at the Community Campus, Northwest Campus, and the Pima County Jail.  We continue to test private sessions for groups of students from Las Artes and Fred G. Acosta Tucson Job Corps.    Other tests are also administered in the testing center for the Teacher Ed program, EMT, and include the Paramedics studying here on PCC’s contract with the military.

  • Approximately 300 individuals received their HSE diploma in FY15 after testing at Pima Community College.
  • At the start of FY15, we began taking the computerized version of the GED® Test into the Pima County Jail using a non-internet based, closed system of eight laptops and one administrative laptop developed and funded by the College. Two PCC staff will present in Florida this year about this closed system.
  • The number of test-takers is down nationwide since the Test transitioned to computer-based. However, this number is steadily rising and the number of test-takers is up nearly 50% this year, when compared to the same period last year.
  • Pass rates for the computer-based GED® Test are also up in Pima County, nearly matching the average pass rate of the paper-based test. Pass rates continue to be significantly higher than the national and state averages.

High School Equivalency Graduation:  Despite the lower numbers, we held our usual inspirational graduation ceremony.   Graduates joined PCC BOG members, community leaders, policy makers, college staff, families and friends at the High School Equivalency (HSE) Celebration at the TCC Leo Rich Theater

 Contracted Classes:

  1. Two classes are provided at both Pima County OneStop Centers as part of an IGA between the OneStop and PCC.  At the Rio and Kino OneStop center classes, 71 students were served.  It is a great long-term partnership, and one of the many visible ways that Pima County truly supports a One Stop system for job seekers who also need basic skills or a HSE diploma.
  2. Pima County Adult Detention Center – For 24 years, the Jail has contracted with Adult Education to provide all of their adult basic education programming.  This year classes served 358 incarcerated students.

 Civics & Student Leadership Program:   The Civics & Student Leadership Program works with adult learners, adult educators and community leaders to integrate civic learning and community engagement to promote positive change in our community.  We foster civic engagement and student leadership development through various opportunities by bringing adult education into the community and the community into adult education.

  • 92 student leaders participated in Civics and Student Leadership activities for a total of 2529 hours.
  • Student Ambassadors traveled to the state capitol to visit lawmakers with the purpose of building relationships and raising awareness of the importance of adult education in Arizona. Ambassadors met with Senators Bradley and Cajero-Bedford, and with Representatives Ackerley, Friese, Gabaldon, Mach, and Wheeler.
  • Student Ambassador Jeannette Vindiola spoke at the County Board of Supervisors Meeting about adult education in our community. More than 25 adult education students attended in support and as part of the yearly civic engagement field trip.
  • The El Rio Learning Center Student Leadership Council met with Ward 1 Councilwoman Regina Romero to discuss safety issues regarding four bus stops frequented by El Rio students. Councilwoman Romero has started the conversation with City officials to help move these changes forward and students will present their case at a City Council Meeting in the coming year.
  • Student Leaders and AmeriCorps members hosted the screening of Barrios and Barriers, The Tucson Civil Rights Era, at the 29th St. Coalition Center. Student Leaders and AmeriCorps members facilitated small group discussions on race and discrimination for approximately 70 students, staff, and administrators. Also present were PCC Board of Governors member Mark Hanna and Community Campus President Dr. Lorraine Morales.
  • An Advanced ELAA class at the 29th St. Coalition Center invited presenters from PCIC to lead a Civic Academy on the upcoming County Bond Election.


Literate Worker Group:   Adult Education staff attend a monthly Literate Worker meeting with the Pima County Public Library, Pima County OneStop, Community Based Organizations like JobPath, and the county’s Faith Based Initiatives Coordinator to share information and cross-refer to classes and activities.  The team also looks for ways to ensure programs are not duplicating services and for joint funding opportunities. This team has been meeting since 2007.

 Literacy Connects (LC):   This is the sixth year that PCC and Literacy Connects partnered to offer students an HSE class at their main location to ensure that students have a clear path to passing the GED® test after receiving one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction. 46 students enrolled in the HSE preparation class.

Literacy Connects partnered with our Family Literacy program and Make Way for Books to bring Teach the Parent, Reach the Child curriculum train-the-trainer workshops into the Literacy Infusion project.  They also collaborated to support the Santa Rosa Family Literacy class.  Two volunteers worked with the Family Literacy team to ensure that the adult education needs of all parents were met.

 City of Tucson, Mayor’s Initiatives:  We revised the Teach the Parent, Reach the Child curriculum in collaboration with Literacy Connects and Make Way for Books, from an 8 session, research-based training series to a four session series. Parents learn about the importance of reading to their children and parents build a home library.  We received a grant from the Mayor’s Education Task Force to offer train the trainer workshops in Sunnyside and TUSD schools. Parent leaders and school staff were trained to deliver curriculum. Parent leaders were so excited by the curriculum and the reception from parents that a training was also completed (by the parent-leaders, on their own!) at a local south side church.

  1. Teach the Parent Reach the Child (TPRC): Parents read more than 12,600 children’s books to their children. This parent-to-parent training impacted 81 families and 665 children’s books were given to TPRC teams to distribute to families to start home libraries.
  2. The Mayor also established a HSE / Certification scholarship fund to pay for the GED® Test and/or certification tests that prevent students from getting a job.

JobPath:  We continued our collaboration with JobPath to provide English & Job Skills classes for Highly Skilled immigrants. JobPath recruited students from our classes, as well as from other local organizations, to participate.  Students received individual as well as group assistance in developing the skills needed to find a job in their field, as well as advice on networking, preparing resumes and cover letters, and interview skills. The program had excellent outcomes, with over 50% of participants being placed in employment, many of them in professional-level jobs in their professions.

Collaboration with the Pima County Public Library:   Our strong relationship with our library system continues to help adult education students and their families:

  • Adult Education’s Citizenship Education program collaborated with thePima County Public Library using branch facilities to host citizenship classes throughout the county and provide instruction for over 90 legal permanent residents.
  • Instructors at adult education learning centers and librarians at various public library branches worked together to provide adult education students library tours, lessons on using electronic resources, and access to library cards. Public libraries played a part in new student assemblies and librarians were invited to classes throughout the year to facilitate student learning of library and literacy skills.
  • The Santa Rosa branch of the Pima County Public Library provided facilities for adult education and parent education components of the Family Literacy program. The Head Librarian at Santa Rosa was the keynote speaker at Family Literacy graduation.
  • El Rio, El Pueblo, and the 29th Street Coalition Learning Centers collaborated with the Pima County Library on numerous events, including Welcome to El Rio, a “book-bike” program that provided free books for students, new student assemblies, and career and resource fairs.
  • Adult Education Services participates in the Pima County Public Library’s HSE meetings and acts as a resource for library tutors and teachers on the Official GED® Test.
  • PCAE and Library branches distribute each other’s marketing and class offering materials.
  • Instructors utilize library Caboodle Kits which provide class sets of books.
  • The El Rio Library uses the PCAE computer lab to conduct computer and job search classes which many PCAE students attend.


  • Student winners in the 2015 Arizona Adult Literacy Week Contest included: 3 Digital Stories by Brittany Hudson, BaoShow Hwang, and Catalina Llamas and a PPT about “Continuing my Education” by Ocotillo Family Literacy students. Instructors Olga Garcia-Crook and Jennifer Clark attended the ceremony to accept their awards and some continued on to the capitol.
  • Ana Chavarin, GED graduate and Adult Education Ambassador, was elected to the board of VALUE. She joins Assistant Program Coordinator, Mireya Escamilla, in representing Adult Education student leaders nationwide.
  • Micki Ulrich is a member of the Sunnyside Literacy Zone Council.
  • Regina Suitt serves as the COABE region 7 representatives, COABE’s Public Policy Chair, and a board member at EDGE Charter H.S.
  • Laura Porfirio, Katy Brown, and Anne Petti serve on the board of AALL.
  • Anne Petti serves on the University of Arizona CESL Community Advisory Board and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE) Blue Ribbon Panel.


  • Matias Rodriguez and Israel Gonzales were awarded the Mayor’s National Service Award at the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service on April 8th.
  • Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning (AALL) Awards: Chelsea James was presented with the Award of Excellence in honor of Gary P. Tang.  Janice Gallagher was awarded Educator of the Year.  Brenda Miranda was presented with award for Student of the Year.
  • MaryAnn Phininzy was honored by the International Women’s Leadership Association, as a Woman of Outstanding Leadership.
  • Laurie Kierstead-Joseph received her Master’s in Education from Capella University.
  • AmeriCorps 20 year anniversary celebration; “20 for 20,” 20 alum were nominated and honored across the nation, and 20 were honored from each state. National recognition PCAE alum: Deenie Espinoza and State recognition PCAE Alum: Blasita Aguilar, Cynthia Brewer, Consuelo Carrillo, Alma Hernandez, Ana Robles de Monge and MaryAnn Phininzy.



At the federal level, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed.  It was a bicameral bipartisan legislation that requires Workforce agencies such as the One Stops, DES, Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation to work on a shared vision and state plan with common outcomes.  There are also more opportunities for adult education and community colleges to work in partnership with the local Workforce Investment Board to deliver targeted and comprehensive adult education services that directly relate to the workforce needs of our community.  We continue to be poised to lead the state in preparing a workforce that is skilled, educated, and 21st-century ready.

Aligned with the new WIOA goals, we plan to expand our offerings in the Bridge to College & Career (BCC) Program. Through accelerated Bridge classes and IBEST programs on PCC campuses, students will improve basic skills and move into credit programs and new occupational tracks at PCC. Additional Bridge classes are already being planned and funded by PCC for 2015/2016, and plans are being developed to build capacity for more IBEST programs in partnership with the College.