The semi-annual Colorado Adult Education Professional Association (CAEPA) conference is a great opportunity for Adult Education specialists from across Colorado to come together and share ideas and experiences. Administrators and instructors alike learn from and support one another. But how does this conference affect the students they are all striving to serve?

“CAEPA offers a lot of great teaching strategies, materials, and new ideas on improving our program,” said Marisol, an instructor at Workplace Education. She was one of four Workplace Education employees who took the trip to Colorado Springs for the CAEPA conference, which took place on April 27, 2018.

One common theme among all the people at the CAEPA conference is the desire to serve the community. They do this through teaching and helping adult students in Colorado who come from all over the world. The purpose of the CAEPA conference isn’t simply to gather professionals to talk about their work. The purpose of CAEPA is for instructors and administrators to find new ways to help their students, their adult learners, in their pursuit of greater education and employment opportunities.

At April’s CAEPA conference, Workplace Education employees learned about things like practical student screening, traditional versus authentic student assessment, Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) test administration, and other resources to improve students’ learning experience. Practical student screening provides a way for administrators and teachers to better understand a student’s needs when they first come to Workplace Education. That way the student will be placed in the class that will help them learn and progress the most.

With traditional student assessment, learners spend a lot of time taking tests, doing worksheets, and memorizing specific facts. With authentic assessment, teachers tailor lessons to the needs of the students, utilize more team learning, and integrate what the students already know into real-life applications. It’s also usually more fun for both the students and the instructors.

Finally, CASAS testing helps teachers and learners alike determine what progress has been made in a student’s education. Test scores can reveal areas where a student needs to improve, along with subjects a teacher may need to cover more thoroughly. Everything the instructors and administrators at CAEPA learn is for the benefit of their students, and by extension, the community.