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California Workforce Pathways Minutes

The Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee plans to address workforce pathways to address California’s regional economies.

Friday, March 16, 2018

California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee Members Present
State Board of Education Representatives
  • Feliza Ortiz-Licon
  • Patricia Rucker
  • Ting Sun, Chair
Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Board of Governors Representatives
  • Joseph Bielanski
  • Pamela Haynes, Vice Chair
Ex-Officio Members
  • Gustavo Herrera, Young Invincibles
  • David Rattray, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee Members Absent
  • Valerie Shaw, Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Board of Governors
  1. California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee Meeting
    • Call to Order
      Chair Sun called the meeting to order at approximately 10:11 a.m.
    • Introductions
      Chair Sun had participants make introductions.
    • Meeting Overview
      Chair Sun provided an overview of the meeting’s planned agenda.
    • Approval of Meeting Minutes
      Chair Sun asked for the approval of the December 15, 2017 meeting minutes. Motioned carried by Member Bielanski and seconded by Member Ortiz-Licon. Minutes were approved without edits.
    • Housekeeping
      Donna Wyatt, Division Director, California Department of Education (CDE) shared the following housekeeping items:
      • Where the restrooms are located,
      • Remind attendees to silence their cell phones, and
      • Announce that the meeting is being audio recorded for internal purposes.
    • Purpose of Committee Meetings
      • Patricia de Cos, Deputy Executive Director, State Board of Education (SBE) reviewed with committee members the purpose and journey of the California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee.
      • Patricia de Cos also announced that the Governor’s Proposed K-12 Strong Workforce Program (in Trailer Bill Sec. 60 through Sec. 71) will not be discussed at today’s meeting because of the firewall that exists for SBE members to engage in discussions regarding legislative proposals.
      • Patricia de Cos announced that Chair Sun had agreed to be chair of the Joint Committee for another year, given that the existing Plan indicates that a K-12 representative would chair the committee in even years. There was no discussion among committee members.
    • Essential Questions
      Chair Sun reminded committee members of the following guiding questions.
      • What policies and/or principles should the joint committee recommend the state agencies to adopt in order to support the improvement or development of high quality college and career pathways?
      • How well are we serving our students with transitions from one system/institution to another, and providing high quality college and career pathways?
      • What longitudinal data sharing infrastructure is needed to support and understand trends within student progress, transitions, and the workforce?
  2. Outlook on College and Career Readiness
    Chair Sun introduced Marty Alvarado from Jobs for the Future (JFF), Marty introduced Renee Faulkner, JFF, who shared how other states are defining college and career readiness and other terms that can contribute to the day’s discussion.

Feedback from committee members:

    • Ex-Officio Member Rattray wanted to comment that as we talk about “cradle to career” it can be problematic to over-focus on K–12 definitions.
    • Member Bielanski reminds everyone that we need to make sure that the recent state investments in guided pathways at the community college (CC) level are included in the conversation. Another question we need to address is how do we get the student voice included?
    • Van Ton-Quinlivan, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), wanted to highlight wording “the in and out of education.” Our systems are not designed very well from this point of view, these are world-view shifts that we need to talk about.
    • Vice Chair Haynes shared some concerns about terms that we are using; one is “low income students”, another is “all students”, and “equity”. We (CC and K–12) want to hold on to “all students”, but when we look at “equity” we are not looking at equality. If we are really going to change the attainment gap we need to focus on the lowest performing students and move that dial. It is not moving all the boats up, it’s narrowing the gap of the lowest performing students, who may not all fall into low income. Vice Chair Haynes wants us to be truthful and define who we are talking about. At the bottom is African American male students, Native American students, and building on that are Latino students. We also need to look at the role these students will play in the economy that is being built.
    • Chair Sun highlighted that we need to unpack terms before we go deeper into the principles.
    • Member Ortiz-Licon mentioned that she was concerned about the discussion around the “in and out of education.” Students in the K–12 system move out because they are credit deficient and they go to a continuation school. We need to be careful how we word this because it means something different in each of our systems. Member Ortiz-Licon also asked what does “cradle to career” look like. Are we willing to put resources to that level? If not, we should not include something we are not going to put resources behind. The plan is something for us to use to align resources and priorities.
    • Member Rucker wanted to include that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan uses specific inflection points that students move through, like the transition from elementary to middle school and middle to high school. This conversation is around the next inflection point of when they leave high school and what comes next (higher education or the workforce). We can’t over simplify the “cradle to career” arch because each inflection point requires a different and unique set of requirements. We do not have the authority to address some of the requirements that are in the arch. We can consider the connections, but if the goal is to recognize “cradle to career” there are students that are under achieving which have nothing to do with finance or choice, the fact is they are being left behind. This plan needs to name it all and name those particular supports, requirements, and constraints as part of that transition.
  1. Draft Guiding Principles
    Marty Alvarado, JFF, facilitated a discussion on the draft guiding principles and helped establish some concrete action steps that can be included in the draft guiding principles document.

    Feedback from committee members:

    • Vice Chair Haynes wanted to mention the online course work happening at the college level, and wants to ensure that we insert/recognize it as a method of learning.
  1. Unpacking Terms
    Marty Alvarado, JFF, facilitated a discussion on terms and main ideas that are contained in the draft guiding principles document.
    • Student Centered Services
    • Equity and Access
    • System Alignment

Feedback from committee members:

    • Unpacking Terms: Student-Centered Services
      • Member Rucker referred to Member Haynes’s comment about multiple entry and exit points and the variety of options for training in programs, we need to make it plain that it is incumbent on these programs to provide different vehicles for training and learning for students, including online learning and apprenticeship, for students to earn a certificate.
      • Member Bielanski asked if we are going beyond the principles to delineate things, how to inform them (professionals and students) that these are available.
      • Chair Sun indicated that we need to focus on the audience for these principles. They are generic, at some point we need to look at how these principles look through the lens of a student and employer. It is generic until we can flush it out more.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon feels that we are missing the distinct learning needs and the cultural background of students. See that they are there and acknowledge that their needs may require something else.
      • Vice Chair Haynes mentioned that at the college level they are still learning what being student-centered really means. The institutions are not built to be student centered, they are very antiquated. It means changing the institution and it means sequencing and pathways. Create operationally what it means to be student-centered. I am not sure this is enough to show that we need to change our institutions.
      • Marty Alvarado summarized by stating to be explicit in this principle that while we want to do all of these things and that it requires a focus on evolving, shifting, and/or changing our institutions.
      • Ex-Officio Member Herrera mentioned two things on unpacking student needs. In thinking about the context of higher education and workforce. Thinking about today’s students, working 20+ hours a week, adult learners, student needs like homelessness and food insecurities. How are we calling this out? Within the workforce, the unemployment rate may be going down but earnings are not moving up, today’s workers are not making as much as their parents at the same age and education. How are we, through our principles, calling these things out?
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray feels that this is where we need a student voice. We not only need to look at current students but students that have left, talk to those who are incarcerated, have special needs, and others to see what did not work. Multiple entry and exit points is important but it is also crucial to look at the cultural needs, I would like to go further, beyond aspiration and say it needs to be an engaging learning experience. Linked Learning, apprenticeships that combine academic and career learning.
      • Chair Sun asked if we are going to have these definitions as a glossary or appendix. Suggesting a definition of student-centered as a wide variety of education programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic support strategies that evolve to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, and values the cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students.
      • Marty confirmed with the group they like Chair Sun’s edited definition.
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray wanted to ensure that these definitions will need to be adjusted in the future.
      • Patricia de Cos, SBE, confirmed that this is an evolving document that should be adjusted as needed.
      • Member Bielanski wanted to highlight the work with the Career Ladders Project around student voice in this conversation.
      • Marty summarized that the document needs more work and that at this time it is a signaling document. The work is to find the intentionality and follow-up actions to ensure that the student voice is included. As a signaling document members agreed that it is sufficient at this time.
    • Unpacking Terms: Equity and Access
      • Member Rucker feels that there are universal needs that should be reflective in the definition. Talking about the recent school shooting, Member Rucker highlights that gun violence is now a perception and a reality for those affected students, but we have many affected students who experience gun violence daily and that is not being covered. Equity is not about fairness, it is about the control of the institutions we have purposefully exercise that creates these barriers, and that control. Influences what happens outside of the school that get pushed into the school.
      • Vice Chair Haynes feels that there should be a separation of equity and access. Would like to be concise and say that we want to ultimately eliminate the achievement gap. Be more explicit and bold, we are not trying to narrow the gap, we want to eliminate the gap.
      • Marty confirmed with the group that they want to separate equity and access.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon sees two points. One, operationalizing equity and access more by disaggregating the data and using that data to inform practice. Two, cultural linguistic relevance, it needs to resonate with those that have not experienced equity.
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray likes the idea of separating equity and access as two bullets, and agrees with the term elimination and encourages members to be bolder. Do we need to look at institutional racism and individual biases? Do we acknowledge and keep going down the road of just providing more student resources. When talking about CTE should we talk about tracking and how we do not stand for the tracking of students in K–12, but that changes as students get older (age 19-21).
      • Marty summarized by stating that it is a priority to elevate the systemic and institutional inequities and provide resources and policies that try to move the needle.
      • Chair Sun suggests a definition could be around that equity and access is the responsiveness to the individual’s social, economic and cultural conditions to ensure all students have equal opportunities to take full advantage of their education.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon highlights that there are differences when looking at the individual level and the institutional/systemic level.
      • Vice Chair Haynes appreciated Ex-Officio Member Rattray’s comment on the issue of tracking students and agrees that there should be some recognition that it is not what we are about. There is a difference is in the type of work there is today, these are great paying jobs with benefits. The on and off ramp is exactly what happened to Vice Chair Haynes because of life (marriage, babies, etc.); life gets in the way.
      • Member Bielanski asked how to make students knowledgeable of the services (the ones available outside of the classroom) so students are not shut out. Professional development is also needed for those working in our colleges because some are just not informed.
      • Marty requested a check-in about our equity definition at this point, for this document, understanding we are bound by the realities of our systems and state, and asked to what extent does this definition need to be about students and/or about the systems at this stage. It is systemic equity.
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray asked the group whether access needs to be a separate principle. We do not want to diminish the importance of access.
      • Marty summarized with the group that access should stand alone and we need to develop a better definition for equity.
    • Unpacking Terms: System Alignment
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray believes that we should be clear that we are talking about upward mobility, and we should acknowledge that people are being forced out of the economy and have to come back at a lower level. We all say we should get aligned, but there are situations that call out the faults in this idea, an example is pulled resources, like money, if you are not sharing money it is easy to say we are aligned but everyone keeps 100% of their dollars. Another example is shared decision making like a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), unless you say and have governance, and a form of decisions that multiple segments are going to empower a third party group to make together, I worry that you give lip service to alignment. I think we should say something about power and money because money and the authority of governance can change organization institutional behavior.
      • Marty reminded the committee that when she first presented to the committee last year regarding system alignment, at the top of the list is power and money. Without culture change, power and money will continue to rule and the system can be gamed.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon agrees with much of what has been said. When we are talking about the emphasis on career technical education (CTE) she wanted to emphasize college, it is college, career, and CTE. We need to recognize that transferring to a four-year institution is a pathway for many of our students, and she would like to see college called out specifically.
      • Van Ton-Quinlivan added a point on the issue of ecosystems. Many times when a new pot of money comes out, program administrators of the new funds act like nothing has happened before. We have tried to build an ecosystem so when new money comes out we need to actively scan the ecosystem and build upon what has happened. We keep building from scratch.
      • Marty, reflecting upon Ex-Officio Member Rattray’s comments, added that when new money available, it also builds a new power center with a new agenda. How do we set an expectation that we are going to build from where we are, and not shift the focus?
      • Member Ortiz-Licon stated that we need to institutionalize the partnership or collaboration. We want to prevent dissolving every single time and then coming together. These agreements/alignments need to be institutionalized beyond existing people because it should be based on the organizations coming together.
      • Marty mentioned incentivizing the relationships.
      • Member Haynes mentioned that we have regions in workforce but they may not be how regions are defined in the K–12 system, there may need to be some give and take around this conversation. We set this ecosystem around one set of criteria, so now that we are trying to align we need to think about what regions work for what we are actually trying to do, especially if we are talking about our communities and partnerships. Regions are a morphism here but when is becomes actualized in practice, we will need to see where those lines are drawn.
      • Ex-Officio Member Rattray wonders if we should say “evolving regional economies”. There is such a dynamic nature between the regional economies and needs of institutions, players, and students. They are moving more, and “place space” is becoming less relevant with the nature of work, so how do we get away from the static, get away from the “you are Region 9”. It should be a little “r” not a capital “R”, because the term “regions” can mean something different.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon likes the word “efficiency” in the definition for system alignment that JFF provided and feels that it is critical to include in our document.
      • Chair Sun feels that what was brought up regarding the money those words need to be incorporated somewhere.
      • Member Haynes feels that everything needs to be looked through an equity lens.
      • Member Ortiz-Licon states that it is all of these principles merged, maybe we need to call it all out, like attainment of student outcome is based on equitable attainment when looking at data to see discrepancies and where we need to align resources. It needs to be shared values because the CC system and the K–12 system must agree that these are our values, and the values are then operationalized in these principles.
    • Patricia de Cos made a suggestion that we need an overarching statement that these are all interrelated in the opening paragraph. That they are not siloes but are a complementary unit.
    • Chair Sun said we need a glossary and a preamble.
    • Marty summarized the conversation by highlighting the ideas that need to be reflected in the document. The committee wants to include in the opening that we elevate that these principles need to be inter-related and work together in concert, individually they are important but only work when taken as a whole. It is the intent that this will be a dynamic document that should have an established edit and review cycle and that we are adding a glossary to make key terms explicit.
    • Member Haynes says that these are guiding principles that will live and change over time. The issue around data collection and sharing, if that collection and sharing does not get pushed down to the field and they know what it means, that it is actionable. What I have found is that the CC faculty is not using the data in their decision making processes. They have been myopic because they get the student and then the student levels, they do not get a sense of what they are doing and how it impacts the whole.
    • Marty suggested that this may be the next step in the process is to look at policy recommendations, actions items, and the state Perkins plan. This document is for this group.
    • Marty reviewed the suggestions of the group. Adjustments for the student centered principle, we are going to update the definition to what Chair Sun provided and make explicit the institutional changes necessary for adopting a student centered approach. This is about institutions as well as about students. For the equity piece we are going to add access as a separate principle and keep it as an example in equity. We are updating the equity definition to include in the glossary, and update the principle to make it so that it is explicit around expectations for systems and institutions, so we will look at equity from a systemic and institutional lens and address it from that perspective at this stage. Around alignment we need to make it explicit around what the expectations are for the institutions. Given where we are today, with today’s conversation, does the group want to move forward with taking a vote on accepting the document with the changes outlined and be able to move on as a group to get to the work that has been elevated.
    • Chair Sun feels that this is right and wants to see the equity and access changes, I would like to ask to move forward with the other pieces and leave equity and access for the next meeting. Take a vote on all the pieces except for equity and access.
    • A motion to approve the student centered principle, the system alignment principle, and the remaining pieces of the document, excluding equity and access, was made by Member Ortiz-Licon.
    • Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Haynes, motion approved by all.
    • Ex-Officio Member Rattray would like to see the other comments that were made are included either in the document or the glossary that may have not been caught in the summary.
    • Chair Sun reiterated that this is a living document.
    • Ex-Officio Member Rattray feels that we need to road test this document, it is a good North Star. As we share this we will get feedback and we should bring that feedback back to the committee for the next reiteration.
    • Vice Chair Haynes feels that there needs to be real clarification on why equity and access are being reworked due to the large amount of content. Given Ex-Officio Member Rattray’s comments she is concerned that it does not reflect all the work we are doing and so that feedback may be incomplete. The concern stands unless there is an addendum to this document that says “on these issues we worked on this, this, and this, and will be added to the document” to make it clear to the field that this is not yet a standalone document.
    • Member Ortiz-Licon thinking about the ESSA plan development, it would be nice to see a template for the new state plan so we can see how we will incorporate these principles in the state plan and start thinking ahead.
    • Ex-Officio Member Herrera wanted to emphasize what Ex-Officio Member Rattray and Member Bielanski said about being student centered and bringing the student voice, that element is captured but critically important to continue to bring out.
    • Chair Sun agrees and quoted the committee’s second essential question around student voice. Maybe we bring in students in to talk about their experiences that will inform our values and norms and help with implementation.
    • Marty asked a follow up question, what this group feels like that they need to get ready for the plan and next steps to move forward.
    • Rattray feels we need a safe place to discuss what we could have done differently with previous programs like the California Career Pathways Trust.
    • Chair Sun would like us to revisit topics that have been covered in previous meetings with this document as a lens. It will help figure out the transitions.
    • Patricia de Cos believes the work of this committee is not about a particular program, it is about looking at a system. The previous state plan does not make sense to us now because California has undergone so many changes and made significant investments since then. On the K–12 side, we do not have longevity of data because each program requires different data points so there is a need for an ongoing sustainability plan to be able to collect those data. The other piece is that we live with two concurrent paradigms in this system. One paradigm is that we have two concentric circles that are intertwined and that intersection is where we try to get system alignment so pathway programs make sense to students. Another existing paradigm is described with two separate circles that acknowledges the average age of students enrolled in the community colleges is age 28. Not all high school graduates are going into CC which is why the guiding principles document is written so globally to accommodate both of these paradigms, and we want local programs and regions to see themselves in this alignment. We also want to encourage alignment and acknowledge the multiple on and off ramps. How do we put together the ecosystem to support and encourage students in their process?
    • Marty shared that while there is a value to look reflectively as an exercise of learning we need to design it in a way that equates to what we did today. We look at the program, reflecting on our document, and ask how it would look different and what that would mean to give us concrete examples as we prepare to look at the state plan. Staying rooted in the programmatic but leveraging a programmatic opportunity and experience to elevate the shifts and see what they look like.
    • Member Ortiz-Licon wants to acknowledge that while we look at the past keep in mind the context of that time.
  1. Public Comment
    Chair Sun asked for public comment.
    • Sheryl Ryder – Placer County Office of Education
    • Theresa Kennedy – Tri-Cities ROP
    • Anna Fontus – Linked Learning Alliance
  1. Discussion and Next Steps
    Patricia de Cos reviewed committee member attendance for future meetings.
    • Schedule of Future Meetings
      Future Meeting Dates for 2018:
      • Friday, May 11, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
      • Friday, July 13, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
      • Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
      • Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  1. Adjournment
    Chair Sun adjourned the meeting reminding everyone that the next meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 11, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Questions: Tara Neilson | | 916-445-5568 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 11, 2022