COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Strategic Plan - Life Long Learning Action Team’s Report

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Approval of Life Long Learning Team’s recommendation for award and certification program and next steps

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, White, Davis, Allshouse

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

August 3, 2005

 

ACTION:    X                          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

In the initial development of the County’s current Strategic Plan, the Board identified Life Long Learning as one of the County’s strategic directions. In April 2004, the Board approved the addition of four strategic Life Long Learning goals to be added to the FY 03/04 – FY 05/06 Strategic Plan. These goals were added so that the County would become more focused on developing and facilitating quality educational opportunities for all by diversifying delivery systems and structures, broadening our approach to providing services to all learners within our community, and linking education and workforce preparation.  

 

In September 2004, a Life Long Learning Implementation Team, consisting of representatives from community organizations, local government and the school system, was created to move forward on the County’s four strategic Life Long Learning Goals.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Life Long Learning Goals:

1.1   Create accessible opportunities for everyone to learn, ensuring educational services meet the needs of the changing             demographics in the community.

1.2      Meet the teaching and learning needs of all citizens along an appropriate continuum of ages and stages of development

1.3      Ensure the educational system meets the workforce preparation needs of current and future employees and employers

1.4      Position the County as a recognized leader in educational excellence

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The Life Long Learning Implementation Team worked to identify life long learning opportunities and gaps in the County, to connect the plan with on-going work in appropriate departments and agencies and to move forward in all four strategic goal areas. The team studied demographic data, geographic displays of the needs throughout the County, and invited speakers who shared information about the needs of the adult learner and training in the workforce options. They spent a great deal of their efforts preparing a proposed program for Goal 1.4. This team disbanded per its original charge and timetable. However, prior to disbanding, the team made the following recommendations regarding their view of the next steps the County should undertake in this area:

 

Goal 1.1 and 1.2:  The team recommends that due to the breath of this goal and the need for input and collaboration outside of the County structure that these two goals regarding accessibility and meeting the needs of the changing demographics need a continued effort. The team recommends that the County ensures that these efforts continue in collaboration with schools and community agencies.

 

Goal 1.3:  This goal is to ensure the educational system meets workforce preparation needs. The team recommends that the County staff join efforts with organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and PVCC. Efforts should include working together to convene businesses and non-profits around the issue of workforce literacy and skills training and to promote the development of one-stop workforce development system. One opportunity identified by the group would be to utilize the existing Business Education Round Table (BERT) and the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) as existing platforms for these efforts.  The team recommends that future focus should be on what the schools, PVCC, adult education and UVA could do to better align their work to increase workplace skills and to jointly take action to make sure the entities are addressing these issues in a common way.

 

Goal 1.4: To position the County as a recognized leader in educational excellence across the board, the Team recommends that the Board review and approve a two level recognition system – a Quality Recognition Award and Certification Program. This program was conceptualized by this team, is based upon high quality organizational standards, and was developed by Strumpf Associates. The award would help education and lifelong learning organizations or programs meet research-based standards of program quality and to learn how to measure and document performance outcomes. The Award and Certification Program would promote a set of quality standards against which an organization that promotes any aspect of life long learning can benchmark its current approaches and practices.  The system would have two levels of recognition:

 

1)  Award:  Any public, private for profit, not for profit organization that delivers education or learning services to Albemarle County residents could use this tool to conduct a self assessment of their operation against quality “learning” standards and submit their assessment to the County.  A committee would be established to review the applications and those organizations who demonstrate “promising practices” in accordance with the criteria outlined in the self assessment would receive an award from the County.

 

The second Level would be certification.  This level would also require a self assessment and the completion of an extensive application. 

 

2) Certification:  This second level of the proposed program would be certification. To be certified, an organization would complete a self assessment and an application. Outside reviewers would rate the application against the stated criteria and if the score was high enough, they would conduct a site visit to 'certify' that an organization was accomplishing what was stated in their application.  The certification would be based on a more extensive and specific set of evidence than the award in the application and on a site visit. Based on how well the organization does against the established criteria, a review committee would certify whether an organization or program has the processes and practices in place to continuously improve their education ad learning delivery system.  To fully implement the second tier of this program, the team recommends that the County partner with another entity which would be the one that conducts the review and provides the official certification. The Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation have indicated that they are interested and are willing to engage in future dialog about a potential partnership.

 

See attachment A for more details.

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

The team recommendations would require staff coordination time and volunteer time, but efforts are not expected to have a specific budget impact.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

It is recommended that the Board accept the recommendations from the Life Long Learning Implementation Team. The recommendations are that the County staff:

 

1) Continue collaboration efforts with the schools and community agencies to move forward on Goals 1.1 and 1.2;

 

2) Meet with organization such as the Chamber of Commerce, WIB, and PVCC representatives to work together to convene businesses and non-profits around the issue of workforce literacy and skills training;

 

3) Approve the approach outlined in the attached proposed Quality Recognition Award and Certification Program in which the County promotes the self-assessment and award portion of the program and meets with the Chamber of Commerce and/or the Community Foundation to discuss whether they would partner with the County by providing the certification portion of the program.

 

We would like to thank the Life Long Learning Team for their efforts. Team members were:

 

1)  Tom Gillette              Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA)

2)   David Plunkett          Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

3)   Marcy Stoll              Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC)

4)   Peter Thompson       The Senior Center

5)   Peter Warren           Virginia Cooperative Extension Office

6)   Rudolph Beverly       Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACCA)

7)   Vernon Bock            Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC)

8)   Eileen Dean             Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP)

9)   Laura Vinzant          Albemarle County Office of Management and Budget

10)  Lori Allshouse         Albemarle County Executive Office

11)  Mike Culp               Albemarle County Information Technology Department

12)  Bruce Benson         Albemarle County Schools – Department of Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology

13)  Diane Behrens        Albemarle County Schools – Department of Education Support and Planning Services

 

The team was facilitated by Lori Strumpf of Strumpf Associates

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A – Proposed Quality Recognition Program
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