Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School continues to expand, in both enrollment and course opportunities/availability. Enrollment increased again this year in all programs (ESL Civics participation, ESL Citizenship Preparation, ESL Digital Literacy, and the high school diploma program). Classes are offered three mornings per week and four evenings per week.
The number of adult education students enrolled in the high school diploma program has also increased. Last year, 31 students were enrolled in HSD classes with 13 diplomas awarded. This year, 38 students are enrolled in HSD classes. The number of adults completing their high school diplomas is on track to eclipse last year's record high of 13.
There are many reasons why enrollments in Firebaugh-Las Deltas Adult School have increased. All four teachers live in the community of Firebaugh and use community networking efforts to advertise the program. Mr. Anderson, the administrator who oversees the Adult Education program, is also a community member and promotes the program. New immigrants from Yemen also enrolled to gain English skills (which necessitated the hiring of an Arabic-speaking instructional aide). Finally, word-of-mouth recommendations from adults who are satisfied with our program helped bring in even more adults.
Mr. Anderson submitted an application to the Accrediting Commission for Schools/Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ASC/WASC) to begin the accreditation process for students graduating with a diploma. The Visiting Committee from WASC will inspect our program in April, 2018 and will make their recommendations to the Commission regarding our accreditation status. I will post the outcome at a later date.
Our Adult Education program is necessary for our community to be able to access workforce opportunities. There is a need to align program content and accreditation with the state’s industry sector needs so as to provide California’s employers and businesses with the skilled workforce necessary to compete in the global economy. Workforce and education programs need to be accessible for all Californians, Firebaugh residents especially, and ensure that everyone has access to a marketable set of skills and is able to access the level of education necessary to get unsubsidized in-demand jobs that ensures both long-term economic self-sufficiency and economic security. The district’s support of this program is commendable.