CLP conceptualized the CAA framework and worked with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to launch the statewide initiative, which was designed to provide more structured educational experiences for students facing multiple barriers to postsecondary education.
CAAs aimed to increase the supply of middle-skilled workers by serving under-prepared young adults (ages 18-30) whose low basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics had shut them out of postsecondary education. CAAs supported these students through a holistic set of interventions to build the foundational skills needed to complete postsecondary education and enter careers.
The CAAs were instigators of institutional change. Rather than creating new infrastructures, they reworked existing systems for delivering career education by integrating them into existing services. They combined technical training and basic skills content into contextualized instruction, so students acquired skills in a format relevant to their careers of interest and they studied in intentionally grouped cohorts.