Tag Archives: report

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:







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.


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.