Tag Archives: ADE

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2018! I hope everyone had a relaxing and rejuvenating break! I know things are nearly in full swing with classes starting after the MLK Jr. Holiday on the 15th.

Reports from Collaborative Curriculum Development Days (C2D2) were very positive. C2D2’s purpose is to provide time and space for teachers from all locations of ABECC to come together and develop/maintain our curricular units.

I heard that the two Math presentations were excellent and teachers from each of the PLCs say they are excited about and planning to use one of the units they saw presented.

Sarah framed the day perfectly: Why do we do this curriculum work? The ADE and PCC (HLC) require us to have curriculum. WIOA requires that our curriculum is aligned to the Arizona Adult Education Standards. Our curriculum needs to be fully contextualized to careers – Thanks to Lisa for helping us dive deeper into that topic. And of course, we have a deep history of valuing teacher-created curriculum. It’s our foundation.

I will be coming around the centers for “Regina Chats” every so often, as well as swinging by for meetings and such. Feel free to invite me to cool stuff happening at the centers or in your classes.

We have a rock solid management team – maybe the best we’ve ever had. We need it, because change will continue to happen, rules and requirements will continue to regulate our work, more money is probably not in our future, and student expectations will continue to evolve….. we are ready for it!

Welcome back!



C2D2 Lisa 2017


THE Grant is in!


PCC Adult Basic Education’s WIOA grant application was successfully submitted to the Arizona Department of Education at the end of February.  The grant is now going through a review process that includes screening for demonstrated effectiveness, review and feedback from the local Workforce Investment Board, and evaluation by the Arizona Department of Education – Adult Education Services Division.  Notification to successful grantees will be made in May.

As we wait to hear from the ADE, it is essential that the entire Adult Basic Education team prepare for implementation of all aspects of the grant.  The instruction and services laid out in our grant application are based on the high quality instruction and services we offer, with some additions and changes that will allow us to strengthen our collaborations and programming to continue to improve our services to students, in alignment with WIOA.

As we look at the ways in which we are “reaching for the stars” in improving programming, we must identify now what we need to do to prepare for full implementation in the new fiscal year.  It is essential that every member of the Adult Basic Education team contribute to the conversation and planning for implementation.  We would like to encourage all teachers and staff to become familiar with all parts of the grant application, above and beyond those parts they may have helped to write.

The entire grant application is below:

FY18 AZ Grant Application Package for PCC Adult Basic Education for College and Career

Below find the Request for Grant Applications:







Time to Brag!


As any parent knows or really anyone who has people or things in their life they are proud of…. there comes a time to brag!

Adult Education staff just finished our Arizona Department of Education yearend report for fiscal year 2013-2014. While it’s a timely, lengthy, and demanding project – writing it, collecting evidence, crunching data, compiling and proofing it…. it’s a great testament to the work we do in Adult Education.   It is a reason to brag!

There are a total of 13 documents and nearly 100 pages of report that we send to the ADE.   If you don’t want the read the whole thing, I understand.   If you do, let me know, and I’ll show you where it is saved in the shared files for anyone in AE to read.

One of my favorite pieces is the additional narrative section. We get to add whatever we want… whatever we are most proud of.

Here is just some – go ahead, run out and brag!

 What activities or events did your program do during Adult Literacy Week?

  • PCAE hosted the 12th annual National Adult Education Honor Society Induction Ceremony at El Pueblo Liberty Learning Center on February 11, 2014. Ten students were recognized for their outstanding work in adult education classes and their civic engagement.
  • Students participated in the Adult Education Day at the state capitol in Phoenix on February 13, 2014. Several student ambassadors met with their legislators to share their personal stories of the positive impact of adult education on their lives, and to thank them for supporting the programs.
  • Students submitted entries to the annual Literacy Contest Awards and were honored at Rio Salado Community College Conference Center in Phoenix on February 13, 2014. Students from the Santa Rosa received a Distinguished Merit Award for their submission of “Hopes and Dreams for my Child”, a collection of stories and aspirations from the parents to their children, and students from El Rio Learning Center were recognized for their submission of “Stepping Out, Moving Forward”, a collection of student reflections on school and career goals. Finally, English Language student Jing Sun was recognized for her story “Hello, My name is Jing Sun”
  • The Ocotillo Family Literacy class created a PowerPoint book that incorporated children’s original artwork. The theme of the book was exploring the careers their children imagine for their future.
  • Adult education ambassadors presented on the benefits of adult education student leadership at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference at the University of Arizona on February 15, 2014.



  1. Describe your collaborative efforts with the local GED Testing Center(s).
  • GED Testing Coordinator is a member of Adult Education Leadership Team and was involved in the development of a three-year strategic plan for PCC Adult Education.
  • The GED Testing Coordinator had biweekly check-in meetings with GED Testing and Adult Education Services.
  • The GED Testing Coordinator presented GED 2014 at the AALL Conference held at El Rio Learning Center and attended by Adult Education staff and administrators.
  • Adult Education Managers coordinated with the GED Testing Coordinator to provide students and teachers with a better understanding of and access to GED Ready Practice Testing.
  • The GED Testing Coordinator was a member of the Adult Education Teacher In-Service Planning Committee.
  • GED Testing staff met regularly with staff at Brookline College, Marana Correctional Facility, Pima County Jail, Las Artes and Fred Acosta Job Corps to coordinate testing services for students.
  • The GED Testing Coordinator collaborated with Adult Education teachers at the Pima County Jail to develop mobile computer-based testing services so that the 2014 GED can continue to be offered in correctional facilities. This is the first mobile lab in the state!
  • The GED Testing Coordinator trained Adult Education front office Support Staff on GED 2014 changes with GED Testing Service and provides ongoing updates to teachers and administrators.
  • The Adult Education Services Manager and GED Testing Coordinator are a part of a PCC committee that planned and implemented the new computer-based testing center to provide GED testing starting in 2014.
  • Pima Community College provided approximately $40,000 to fund the development and opening of a computer-based testing center for administering the GED test to Adult Education students and the larger community, including a mobile laptop testing system for corrections and addendum sites.

3. Describe your collaborative efforts with local public libraries to assist adult students to access literacy materials, technology and services.

  • Adult Education instructors and librarians at three libraries coordinated to provide students with library tours and lessons on using electronic resources, and signed students up for library cards.
  • Throughout the year librarians came to adult education assemblies/information fairs/classes and taught students various library and literacy skills.
  • PCAE and library branches distributed each other’s marketing and class offering materials.
  • Libraries provided six classroom spaces for PCAE volunteer-taught Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship classes.
  • The Library GED Coordinator and library GED Homework Tutors participated in PCAE’s Teacher In-Services.
  • PCAE staff attended Literate Worker meetings and also met with University of Arizona Dean, Library Director, and Literacy Connects to discuss collaboration opportunities.
  • PCC’s GED Testing Program coordinated with the Library GED Instructional Program to share information on student graduation rates from library classes.
  • Library GED students were invited to PCAE’s annual HSE Graduation and also had opportunities to apply for PCC scholarships.
  • PCC’s GED Testing Coordinator attended bi-annual Library GED Team meetings to present GED closeout and GED 2014 updates and answer questions.
  • Santa Rosa Library provides space for the Comprehensive Family Literacy Program serving 32 families.
  • The El Rio Public Library held computer classes in the El Rio Learning Center computer lab several times during the past year.  Our Adult Education students were informed of the classes and had first priority in filling the seats.


  1. Describe how your program integrates literacy and civics instruction including instruction in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, civic participation, and United States history and Government, through activities, projects, events or curriculum that helps learners become active and informed parents, workers and community members.
  •  Volunteers facilitated four different advanced ELAA “conversation classes” while citizenship rights and responsibilities volunteers taught lessons in history, government and civic engagement to over 200 students preparing for their naturalization test.
  • Voter Registration – volunteer citizenship instructors, in collaboration with the Pima County Recorder’s Office, staff a voter registration table four times per month at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s naturalization ceremonies at the DeConcini Federal Courthouse, registering approximately 150 new citizens per month.
  • US History / Government: PCAE has 12 Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship classes. Half of these classes are taught within PCAE’s three learning centers, while the remainder are taught through our collaboration with the Pima County Public Library system at various library sites. The program uses a 10-unit curriculum that focuses on the various aspects of government, history, civics and the Constitution. Volunteer instructors also expand the curriculum through newspaper articles and current events as a way of learning and experiencing how the Constitution, lawmaking and government can affect students’ lives, and conversely, opportunities for civic engagement teach them how they can have an effect on government.
  • Teacher training: At an ELAA PLC attended by 6 ELAA teachers, the Civics Coordinator did a training that combined a structured ELAA speaking technique (known historically as a “Rod Story”) with Civics content. By using photos and video clips, teachers learned how to adapt one aspect of the history of voting in the US to low, intermediate, and high level ELAA classes. Instructors later explored the Change Agent as a way to extend the activity through relevant reading material.
  • Civics resources outreach: Several times throughout the year, the civics coordinator sent resource links such as the Change Agent, the ADE’s civics content standards, and books and films to Professional Learning coach Barbara Carey, various instructors, AmeriCorps members,       and civics team members. As a result of this networking, more and more instructors are making use of the Change Agent on line as well as hard copies. One ELAA instructor had students submit articles to the Change Agent, and one of those submissions will be published in the coming year.
  • Government in Action: Prior to a visit by student leaders to the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting, teachers were invited via email to have their students visit the Pima County government website to research their county representatives. Civics team members also distributed a grid listing the responsibilities of county government.
  • Adult Education Ambassador Ana Chavarin spoke at the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting to express gratitude for the Board’s support of PCC’s Adult Education Program.
  • In May, Congressman Raul Grijalva visited an intermediate level English Language class at the 29th Street Coalition Center where immigrant students shared their stories and appreciation of the educational opportunities offered through PCC’s Adult Education programs. Prior to his visit, students learned about the three branches of government and how Congressman Grijalva fits within the federal government structure.
  • On March 11th, the students discussed House Bill (HB2379) that would have eliminated funding for many libraries around town. Students wrote to their legislators in support of the libraries.


Civics Participation: 300 students participated in nearly 2,833hours of activities:

SLC Gatherings & Events

  • Ben’s Bells presentation
  • Civil Rights presentations
  • 29th Street Mural Project
  • Affordable Care Act presentations
  • Drug prevention presentation
  • Workers’ Rights presentations

Community Events

  • Volunteered at Thanksgiving in the Barrio and Info table at Christmas in the Barrio
  • Attended Youth Career Fair
  • Participated in AZ Town Hall – 3-day training

PCC Activities

  • Emerging Leaders Training
  • East Campus Fundraiser
  • LULAC First Generation Documentary Screening
  • Future Leaders Town Hall
  • Student Life Leadership Symposium


  • AALL
  • ProLiteracy
  • National Collegiate Leadership Conference (NCLC)
  • Youth and Peace Conference

Leadership trainings – with AmeriCorps

  • Communication x 2
  • True Colors
  • Social Media Class

Special Projects

  • Stories that Transform Project
  • Speaking at GED/HSE Orientations

 Is there anything else you would like to share about your program? (Include any recognition, awards, or other accomplishments for the program or staff.)

Are you kidding… of course there is!

Noteworthy Activities:

  • Students and staff have had regular access, including meetings, with Pima College’s new Chancellor, Lee Lambert. This has given Adult Education new significance with the rest of administration and staff at the college, including an increased integration of student services for PCAE students. The new Chancellor has written about adult education several times in his first year already.  All of the PCAE blog entries can be found at this link: http://pimachancellor.wordpress.com/tag/adult-education/
  • PCAE completed a comprehensive Strategic Planning process that involved Appreciative Inquiry, the examination of program data, the integration of funder expectations, and alignment to the College Strategic Plan. A three year plan is in place.
  • PCAE has made great progress in the development of a seamless transition from Adult Education to credit programming at PCC.  PCAE staff has also expanded representation on college-wide committees such as the Developmental Ed Redesign and HLC Reaccreditation committees, which has raised the profile of and support for Adult Education within the College.
  • On September 11th, staff, community members, partners, policymakers, Ambassadors, student leaders, and former adult education students participated in a Roundtable Discussion with the Assistant Secretary of Education, Brenda Dann-Messier, at El Pueblo-Liberty Adult Learning Center.
  • The new Bridge to College and Career program was launched with the hiring of a Program Coordinator and a Math Bridge pilot class.   Additional Bridge classes are coming in the new year and planning is ongoing for an IBEST class for ELAA students interested in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
  • Our partnership with Goodwill Industries of S. Arizona included two successful projects.  Goodwill received a federal Department of Labor grant for their GoodFutures program (http://www.goodwilltucson.org/goodfutures-program.html)  We were a contractor that provided twelve cohorts of students with adult basic skills instruction and college readiness targeting youth (18-21) with prior involvement with juvenile justice system. These young “employees” attended AE classes at the Goodwill location two times per week to work on reading, writing, and math for test preparation or basic college readiness.
  • Another project was the FastTrack GED Class for Goodwill employees who were close to being ready to pass the GED 2002 exam before it expired at the end of 2013. Students attended class for 14 weeks. 17 students received 28 hours of instruction; 11 passed the Official Practice Test and 10 passed the GED exam and received their Arizona High School Equivalency Diplomas
  • During the closeout of the GED 2002 version of the test, 12 GED Test Fee Assistance applications were reviewed and approved by student leaders and staff. The applications were impeccable, and the essays were inspiring. The student leaders were thrilled to offer this kind of assistance to their fellow classmates.
  • In May, students, staff and AmeriCorps members assisted at a 2-day HSE Test Fee Fundraiser at PCC East Campus aimed at raising funds to assist students in paying for their HSE test fees. This first time event, initiated by staff at East Campus, was a huge success and raised over $4,000.
  • In March, more than 50 students, staff and community partners attended an Adult Education Regional Focus Group to assist in the Development of a National Action Plan for OCTAE. In preparation for the event, student leaders organized focus groups at all three adult education learning centers. These discussions yielded insightful and substantial input that was incorporated into the national action plan as well as PCAE’s own strategic planning.
  • There were two Digital Storytelling classes this year; one at the El Rio Learning Center and the other at the El Pueblo Liberty Learning Center. The classes culminated in a showcase of the stories for other students, family members, staff, and friends. Story themes ranged from returning to school to parent success stories. Everyone in attendance was inspired by these moving pieces of personal transformation. One student’s digital story was shown to Congressman Grijalva’s staffer on a visit to the campus and PCC’s Chancellor sent out the stories via social media as examples of alternate assessments of student learning.
  • A Student Success Coach pilot program was begun in the spring, based on the observation that students’ persistence and retention was affected by many life issues outside of the classroom. In an attempt to address this, we recruited six community volunteers and trained them to be Student Success Coaches. They met with students who volunteered to have a coach, assisting them with issues such as low-cost bus passes, student I.D cards, family issue resources, applying for financial aid, navigating the PCC system of enrollment, etc. The program is being extended and improved for FY 14-15.
  • The AE program benefitted from the volunteer service of 14 AmeriCorps Members. AmeriCorps Members completed 15,300 hours of service in various classrooms in all corners of PCAE as tutors, teacher’s aids, and Student Leadership Council facilitators, as well as working in the community in collaboration with other organizations. All of these activities helped them to develop their leadership skills. Based on AZ minimum wage, that’s a ROI of $120,870.
  • PCAE used 55 Volunteers (not including AmeriCorps) who donated their time to virtually every part of our program including Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship (17), math (13), ELAA (12), reading/writing (8) and the Student Success Coach Pilot (6). Volunteers were oriented, supervised, observed classes, and attended in-services and other professional learning opportunities throughout the year.


  • PCAE partnered with Literacy Connects to recruit adult education students for the Stories that Transform project, which ran from mid-August through September. Stories that Transform is a pilot project that combines adult literacy and live theater to produce a powerful performance of student stories. This creative pilot project combined art, theater techniques and writing to produce an outstanding performance by adult learners. On September 20th, over 75 community members and supporters came out to 29th Street Coalition Center to see a multi-media production that featured both live skits and digital stories, all based on students’ personal and creative writings.
  • Approximately 400 students attended presentations on the Affordable Care Act from Pima Community Access Program (PCAP) at the El Pueblo-Liberty, El Rio, and 29th St. Coalition Centers during the fall of last year.
  • Civil Rights Restoration speaker, Andy Silverman, from the University of Arizona School of Law gave two presentations in August to the OneStop classes at the Kino and Rio Nuevo. Approximately 20 students received information about their rights as citizens.
  • The first annual Second Chance Job and Resource Fairs (sponsored by Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s office) were held in November and March. The November Fair was focused on a broad array of resources for ex-offenders, such as housing, restoration of rights, education, etc. Based on feedback from attendees, the March fair was focused on employment. Many local employers were there to meet with ex-offenders and assist them in their job search.
  • HSE Testing Closeout – The entire GED Testing and Adult Education Services crew worked extra hard to test and retest almost 1000 people in the last two months of the year.  These staff members worked extra hours and served testers with great empathy and patience as testers hurried to complete and pass before the test changeover.
  • For the second year, PCAE has partnered with the University of Arizona and the PCC Foundation in providing scholarships and coordinating referrals of five students in need of testing for learning disabilities for those in order to have a current diagnosis to receive accommodations for the GED test.
  • PCAE continues its longstanding partnership with Alvernon Optical, Accent on Vision and Lenscrafters, this year coordinating referrals for 30 students to receive free eye exams and glasses.

Conference Attendance/Presentations:

  • Student Ambassador Ana Chavarin and Advanced Program Manager Laurie Kierstead-Joseph attended the ProLiteracy Conference in Washington DC and participated in visits to several Congressional Offices.
  • Adult Education Ambassador Francine Raymond attended a 3-day Arizona Town Hall Retreat on “Vulnerable Populations in Arizona” April 27th-30th.
  • On January 31st and February 1st, twelve student leaders and four AmeriCorps members, participated in the annual Ambassadors Training at El Rio Learning Center. The ambassadors program is an intensive, 12-hour training offered to emerging student leaders who wish to develop their personal story and voice as representational leaders in their community. Students get an opportunity at this hand-on training to practice speaking with people in power about the benefits and importance of adult education in their lives and in our community. At this year’s training, Representative Ethan Orr was invited to assist students in the training. For most students this was the first time meeting an elected official.
  • Norma Sandoval-Shinn and Cecilia Ramirez attended the National Conference on Family Literacy in Washington DC.
  • In October, student leaders participated in a Student Leadership Panel at the AALL Conference held at El Rio Learning Center. The student leaders discussed how student leadership council participation contributes to college and career readiness. The conference was attended by more than 100 adult educators from around the state.
  • Adult education ambassadors presented on the benefits of adult education student leadership at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference at the University of Arizona.
  • The Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning (AALL) Fall Awards Conference was held at the El Rio Learning Center.  State Senator Linda Lopez was the keynote speaker.
  • In October, four student ambassadors attended the Future Leaders Town Hall at PCC’s Desert Vista Campus. Adult Education Ambassador Ana Chavarin facilitated one of the discussion tables on the town hall’s theme of Early Child Education.
  • Regina Suitt presented for the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) on PIAAC and advocacy on a live webcast from D.C.
  • In December, AmeriCorps members and several staff attended the AZ Summit on Service and Volunteerism in Phoenix. Two members supported a presentation on what Tucson did for Global Youth Service Day.
  • In November, Qian Prescott, Wendy Scheder-Black, Karen Smith and Lisa Grenier attend the National College Transition Network conference in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • In April, Barb Carey, Kerry Peck and Norma Sandoval-Shinn attended International TESOL in Portland, Oregon.
  • In March, Regina Suitt and three staff members attended the COABE National Conference. The four-day event was held in Pittsburgh, PA
  • In March, Anne Petti and several staff members attended Tucson’s first Dream Conference, sponsored by the organization Scholarships A-Z.


  • PCAE staff member Gloria Durazo won AALL’s Support Staff of the Year Award, PCAE student Catalina Llamas won the Student of the Year Award, and PCAE Volunteer Jasper Melton won the Volunteer of the Year Award.
  • Adult Education Alum Ana Chavarin was the recipient of the Soroptimist Women’s Support Award. This scholarship will support Ana, currently enrolled at PCC’s Desert Vista Campus, as she pursues her degree in psychology.
  • Adult Education Ambassador Ana Chavarin was recognized by the Pima Community College Board of Governors at the October Board meeting for her outstanding achievements in adult education.
  • Adult Education Alumni and Ambassador Ana Chavarin was asked to be a board member of the national adult education student organization VALUE.
  • On May 6th, five student leaders from El Rio Learning Center were awarded certificates of recognition for their participation in the PCC West Campus Emerging Leaders
  • On June 4th, the HSE graduation speakers Ana Monge and Javier Rodriguez had “Lunch with the Mayor” at the Cup Café in Tucson. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is an active supporter of adult education.
  • The AmeriCorps program was presented with a Proclamation from the Pima County Board of Supervisors declaring Global Youth Service Day for Pima County.
  • Assistant Manager Elva De La Torre participated in the University of Arizona’s Social Justice Symposium, and moderated the closing speaker’s panel.
  • Anne Petti is a member of the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) Advisory Board at the University of Arizona, and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE)’s Blue Ribbon panel (http://www.cccie.org/immigrant-education/blue-ribbon-leadership-panel).
  • Regina Suitt is on the Board of Edge HS, a board member and Public Policy chair for COABE, a member of the Mayor’s Education Task Force, a member of ProLiteracy’s Community of Practice and presented on NCL’s PIAAC implementation webcast.
  • Regina Suitt, Ambassador Ana Chavarin, and former student Jesus Garcia were interviewed on the John C. Scott radio show.
  • Regina Suitt, Instructor Phil Ruhl and several GED students were interviewed in a KVOA story about the new GED test.
  • Masha Gromyko is the Co-Chair of the AZ Refugee Resettlement Strategic Plan Language and Literacy team
  • Anne Petti and Katy Brown serve as Board members on AALL
  • Instructor John Hindman represents PCC on the Pima County Reentry Coalition.
  • Chelsea James and Jim Lipson completed their year two assignments and certification requirements for the 2012-14 Leadership Excellence Academy.
  • Regina Suitt and Laura Porfirio have continued to serve on Literacy Connects Advocacy committee – a broad representation of various community partners – which focuses on awareness raising and relationship building among providers and community leaders.