California’s Adult Education Consortia

California’s Adult Education system has witnessed transformative legislation in recent years

In 2013, AB 86 paved the way for collaboration among adult education providers. In 2015, AB86 entered its implementation phase with the passing of AB 104, which includes legislation to fund adult education via the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG).

AB 86 called for integrated plans from consortia of community colleges, adult schools, and other partners to close the gaps between student needs and services available, integrate programs and create seamless transitions to postsecondary education or the workforce, accelerate student progress toward academic and career goals using proven best-practices, provide professional development to support program integration and student success, and leverage existing regional structures.

With the passage of AB104 and the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG), AB 86 transitioned from planning to implementation. Around the state, 70 adult education consortia consisting of community college districts, school districts and county offices of education, are working collaboratively to expand and improve adult education in their service areas and build pathways for students towards postsecondary degrees and certificates needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The work of each consortium is focused around serving students in 5 identified areas of adult education: English as a Second Language, Career Technical Education, Adult Basic and Secondary Education, Adults with Disabilities and Apprenticeships.


There are four AEBG consortia in the bi-county Silicon Valley area:

  1. ACCEL San Mateo County
  2. North Santa Clara County Student Transition Consortium
  3. South Bay Consortium for Adult Education
  4. Gavilan Regional Adult Career and Education Services


ALLIES’ work served as a model for other regions in the state, noting the strong need for a more comprehensive, collaborative approach to adult education.



ALLIES and its partners played an active role in the development of Assembly Bill 86 (AB 86). ALLIES’ work served as a model for other regions in the state, noting the strong need for a more comprehensive, collaborative approach to adult education.

During the development of the bill, ALLIES Steering Committee members provided testimony and other input to legislative committees to influence the drafting of the AB 86 legislation that restructured Adult Education Programs.

In 2011, ALLIES and its partners participated actively in the Little Hoover Commission’s review of the community college system and advocated for recommendations that would support the community college goals of supporting social mobility and economic well-being of California’s students, including English learners. The group also shared lessons learned and best practices gleaned from its experiences.

Click here to view Recommendations for Developing Regional Adult Education Consortia, the ALLIES white paper prepared in Summer 2013 to inform the development of AB 86.


ALLIES continues to be a valued partner in the Adult Education Block Grant implementation process.

Concerned about AEBG legislation being heavily focused on workforce development, ALLIES supported the development of a framework for an Immigrant Integration Pathway identifying milestones for immigrant integration. ALLIES advocates for immigrant integration metrics to be included in AEBG data reporting requirements and presented the IIP framework at the 2016 AEBG Summit in Sacramento.


ALLIES facilitates connections between the AEBG consortia and their community partners


Aside from AEBG policy advocacy, ALLIES facilitates connections between members of the four AEBG consortia in the Silicon Valley area and their community partners through our twice yearly ESL Provider Network convenings. We support local AEBG consortia in their efforts to develop strategies around integrated service delivery models promoting the linguistic, economic and civic integration of immigrants.