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A Letter From Tricia Johnson

Hello CAEPA members,

My name is Tricia Johnson, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and the vision of adult education from the perspective of the Colorado Department of Education.

In June of this year, I was named Director of Adult Education Initiatives with CDE. My priority has been to listen and learn about your programs and our adult learners. A great deal of that time has also been dedicated to actively engaging in advocacy for adult education and literacy in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) conversations across the state.

Originally from Oklahoma, I relocated to Colorado in 2010. I have been in public education since 2001 and worked in private business prior to that in the oil and gas industry. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in K-12 education, higher education, and career and technical education. Prior to making the trek out west, I served as a classroom teacher, community college department chair, research analyst, and marketing manager. After arrival in Colorado, I became the manager of the apprenticeship division for Emily Griffith Technical College, where I worked with apprenticeship partners from nineteen sites across Colorado. Most recently, I served as chief academic officer for the college, leading the institution’s instructional master planning development and instructional accreditation efforts.

Throughout my tenure, one common theme has emerged - commitment to the non-traditional learner. I have seen first-hand the challenges many students face when it comes to accessing education, whether that be due to a system inconsistent with their cultures, barriers in their personal lives, or institutional approaches to teaching and learning. Wholeheartedly, I believe in the ability of our systems to transform to meet the diverse needs of our learners.

Suffice it to say, we are experiencing a good deal of change when it comes to how we serve adult learners. This is a time of partnership and collaboration, a time for problem solving and creativity. We have the opportunity to be in the forefront in the dialogue about how best to serve Coloradans, and we are fortunate that language acquisition and basic skills needs for our learners are realized as an integral component of growing our great state. Join us at the CAEPA annual state conference October 23rd and 24th 2015. Located at the Westin Hotel Westminster Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Education Office of Adult Education Initiatives is committed to providing support and service to the field. Our vision is that adult education contributes to community success through collaboration that transforms individual lives.

We look forward to striving to achieve that vision alongside you. As it stands, I have not had the opportunity to meet the vast majority of you, but I hope to do so at the 2015 Rendezvous on October 23rd and 24th.

Thank you for your commitment to serving Coloradans, and I am honored to be working alongside such a committed group of educators.

Regards, Tricia