Nomination Information

Each year, OTAN recognizes Students Succeed honorees who are successful as a result of the education received at adult education agencies. They inspire and embody a resilient spirit, overcome difficult challenges, contribute within their own communities, and improve their own circumstances.

Who may nominate a student? When is the deadline?

Nominations may be submitted from any California adult education agency between Monday, January 1, 2024 and Friday, March 15, 2024.

What is the nomination process?

  1. Nominations are completed online within the January 1, 2024 – March 15, 2024 nomination period.
  2. Once the nomination window has closed on the website, a copy of each nomination is distributed to at least three readers along with a scoring template and rubric.
  3. Readers independently read and score each nomination. Scores are totaled and then categorized into whether the nominee has qualified to be included in the Students Succeed database or not. If so, then their published story and photograph are posted on the website when their signed and dated permission form is completed. Students will also need to review and approve their story and submit a photograph before their story is published.
  4. Notification will include one of the following letters:
    • A letter of congratulation is sent to the nominee, nominator, agency administrator, and the school’s legislator. A certificate for the nominee will be prepared and the nominator will be contacted for the best way to present the certificate to the nominee.
    • A letter of regret is sent to those nominees and their nominators who did not meet the criteria.
  5. The four Students Succeed honorees who earned the highest scores will be awarded the following:
    • OTAN will create and produce a video for each learner highlighting their success. These are added to the Students Succeed website.
    • Two nominees will be honored at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) fall conference while the other two will be honored at the California Adult Education Program (CAEP) Summit. This will include an invitation from OTAN for both the nominator and nominee to travel to and from the conference and attend the organized events honoring the students.

What criteria is used to score a nomination?

The rubric below offers explicit criteria for scoring. Nominators should consider writing a clear explanation of their nominee’s journey that focuses on the learner’s time in adult education. It is crucial to highlight specific anecdotal or quantitative examples of ways the student contributed to their adult education classroom and local community while overcoming obstacles.

Student nominations that meet or exceed the minimum score needed (rubric below) qualify to have their story and photograph published on the Students Succeed website. (Target score for database inclusion with 3 readers is 27, with 4 readers is 36, and so on.)

Rubric component 3 2 1 0
The nominee is employed. Got a job, got a better job or promotion and increased wages due to adult education. Employed full time/self-sufficient and attending adult education courses concurrently. Part-time employee, volunteer, providing care as a parent/guardian. Unemployed or work status unclear.
The nominee has made positive contributions in adult education or other community projects. Provided significant adult education or community leadership. Volunteered at adult education and/or within the community. Made a positive impression or contribution to adult education community. No contributions mentioned.
The nominee has identified and met further education, training, or career goals as a result of completing their adult education program. Adult education achievement was a stepping stone to new goal/higher education/workforce training or career goal. Achieved primary goal by completing adult education program/s. Making noticeable progress in adult education coursework. Completed some adult education coursework but unclear in its relation to goals.
The nominee has improved life of self/others because of learning experiences. Direct cause/effect of improvement in life role because of adult education. Nomination indicates multiple and marked examples beyond the individual and immediate family. Examples provided demonstrating how adult education led to positive changes in personal and family life roles. Direct relationship shown between adult education and improved personal life. Relationship not established between adult education and current life role.
The nominee overcame difficult challenges to pursue adult learning. Achieved adult education goals despite extraordinary hardship. Overcame multiple barriers/challenges to pursue adult learning. Worked to put self through school and/or overcame a personal challenge. No difficult circumstances indicated in nomination.

Tips for writing a strong CAESS nomination