Montebello Adult School CTE Fair

Submitted By: Michele Stiehl

Los Angeles Regional Adult Education Consortium


Type of Practice: Learner Transition

Program Area(s): ABE / ASE, ESL / EL Civics / Citizenship, CTE / Workforce Prep / Pre-apprenticeship, Adults with Disabilities

Region: Los Angeles Basin

Consortia Involved: Los Angeles Regional Adult Education Consortium

The Program of Practice

Comprehensive Program Overview:
After a temporary pause due to the pandemic, Montebello successfully revived its CTE fair, reinstating a significant community event. This fair brings together adult school programs, community organizations, employers, high school seniors, and the greater community. The CTE fair highlights current CTE programs, community organization services, and allows students to meet with potential employers. This one-day event specifically addresses learner transitions to postsecondary and careers, equity of access to services and education and employment opportunities, and curricular student demonstrations of learning. This program highlights what a small district can do to connect the community and schools.

The Problem(s) of Practice:
This event focused on three areas, all related to connecting various local populations with information and services. Montebello adult school identified several gaps in service in the years preceding COVID.
1) How do we connect high school seniors who are not on track to graduate or may want an alternative to college with adult education programs? The goal is to start creating education plans with potential adult students before the current school year ends.
2) How do we connect our adult education students to potential employers and training options? Montebello Adult School is committed to not only having students complete coursework, but also connect them to a related jobs or any other career/ educational plans and goals.
3) How do we connect our students and community members to local community-based support services? Montebello is committed to helping students, potential students, and community members with resources that address any barriers.

The Response

These responses align with the three identified populations:
1) Montebello adult school, the superintendent's office, and local high schools joined forces to identify potential candidates for adult school programs in the upcoming summer and fall. To ensure easy access, the district organized bus transportation for all the identified students, allowing them to attend the event during the school day. Upon arrival, students were provided with map and sign-off sheets encompassing all the exhibitors present. They explored the event, actively engaging with exhibitors, asking questions, and obtaining signatures on their sheets. As an incentive, completed sheets were entered into a raffle, offering the chance to win donated prizes, adding excitement and motivation to the experience.

2) The CTE program booths showcased the skills of current adult students, allowing them to demonstrate their expertise to event attendees. Moreover, adult students themselves had the opportunity to participate in the event by visiting various booths hosted by employers, colleges, and community organizations. They could ask questions, gather information, and even register for desirable opportunities such as apprenticeships, school bus driver training, and office occupations. Training programs for other member-districts and consortia were also included, emphasizing a collaborative approach to education. By attending the event, students gained valuable insights into the diverse programs available at their own school as well as throughout the wider community.

3) The event welcomed all community members and took place in close proximity to a local park and community center, creating a convenient and accessible venue. To ensure inclusivity, numerous booths were staffed by bilingual representatives including MCAS students, enhancing the event's reach and accommodating diverse attendees. Participants had the opportunity to explore an array of program offerings and access valuable community resources. The academic and ESL programs also had booths.

The Unique Features of the Program

The uniqueness of this program lies in its ability to position the adult program as a vibrant community hub. It effectively establishes connections between community partners and students, serving as a bridge that brings together valuable resources and opportunities. Additionally, the program offers a supportive environment for at-risk high school students, providing them with a gentle transition and ensuring their continued educational journey. Moreover, it serves as a platform for CTE students to celebrate their learning achievements while allowing various programs to showcase their distinctive features. By witnessing individuals similar to themselves thriving within the program, potential students are inspired to envision their own success and recognize the possibilities that lie ahead.
Facilitating the transition of high school students to the adult campus serves as an effective method to enhance student connection with the adult school. By bringing high school students onto the Adult Ed campus and allowing them to experience firsthand what it's like to be a student and thus significantly increasing the likelihood of their active engagement and registration. This approach not only provides a smooth handoff but also familiarizes the students with the environment, fostering a stronger sense of connection and affinity towards the adult school.
In Montebello, the teachers go above and beyond to ensure their students have access to relevant job opportunities aligned with their areas of study. Their program is far from simply providing training and leaving students to rely on luck for their careers. Instead, they actively forge connections with potential local employers, enabling them to guide their students towards better-paying jobs and promising career prospects.
The CTE fair unveiled an exciting addition: the Community Closet. Spearheaded by dedicated faculty members, this transformative initiative offers career clothing to students at no cost. By providing these essential attire options, the Community Closet aims to create an equal playing field and empower students during interviews and in their new professional endeavors.

The Outcome

The Montebello CTE fair made a triumphant comeback, exceeding all expectations. It witnessed enthusiastic participation from all the CTE program areas. The collaboration between the superintendent's office and local high school administrators proved to be a resounding success, resulting in the arrival of five busloads of students and attracting over 300 participants. The students were filled with excitement, actively engaging with the booths and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Both administrators and teachers unanimously agreed that this remarkable event must continue as an annual tradition