The City of Los Angeles Youth Opportunity System requires that youth assessment be conducted by an organization other than that providing training services. This practice ensures objective assessments of program participants and allows individuals to be referred or redirected to a program that meets their specific needs. The City of Los Angeles saw the benefit of having one organization process and evaluate all youth regardless of where they are in the city.
The City of Los Angeles chose the UCLA Community Based Learning Program (CBL), an umbrella organization for various projects serving at-risk youth ages 14-21 in many areas of the city. The program, which has operated for the past 13 years as part of the Office of Instructional Development at UCLA, enhances the success of youth programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act, Title I.
How does CASAS help the City of Los Angeles?
The City of Los Angeles chose to standardize all assessments using CASAS, which allowed for a non-biased assessment of student gains.
"CASAS provides the best tools for in-depth complete participant assessments," said Pamela Schachter, Coordinator for Curriculum and Training, CBL. "Members of the CBL are able to better serve participants, and participants get the specific help they need to improve their lives."
How does the CBL work?
First, an agency recruits a participant to its program, and then the CBL provides assessment and client coordination services for each participant, including an initial assessment using the CASAS Employability Competency System. Participants receive assistance with developing an Individual Service Strategy (ISS) based on assessment results and factors including interests and activities, career goals, work readiness, education background, and personal goals.
The ISS is a roadmap for each participant's next steps to achieving self-sufficiency, meaningful careers, and productive adult lives. After completing the ISS, participants are referred to partner agencies, which include education consortia and community based organizations, in six service areas across Los Angeles for intensive training. The CBL returns after the participant completes training for a re-evaluation to determine if new goals should be set or if the participant should be referred to another agency for additional training.
For more information, contact Pamela Schachter, assistant director, UCLA Community Based Learning Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.