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AEP Questions and Answers

This is a collection of questions that are most frequently asked of the AEP Office. They are organized by topic area and will be updated as needed.

Annual Plan

We will provide access to PDFs, copies, and screenshots with guidance so everyone can see what will be required. The SPOC will have to be the one to input the information into the electronic system for final submission.

Yes, we can do that for drafting and discussion. The final submission will have to be inputted through the electronic system.

A draft for comment will be posted the week of March 14 and finalized by March 23. It will be due in July, exact date still to be determined.

Maybe, it depends on how recently the revisions were submitted. Those submitted prior to the end of January, yes - they should all be there. If submitted in May, you will want to check to be sure the latest information is there.

At this point, we are planning on selected sections being locked. For example, some of the information provided in the CFAD that will auto-populate and cannot be changed, include the choice made between Fiscal Agent and Direct Funding and the allocation schedule. Those will remain locked. However, we may look into making some auto-filled sections in the Year 2 Plan editable, if need be.

Yes, Year 1 (2015-16) activities may be edited or added onto, but not deleted.

Depends on how the CBO was funded. If the CBO is a subcontractor – then they would be rolled up under their Fiscal Agent's expenses based on how they were funded (like object code 5000).

The AEP Office will release information and instructions related to the End of the Year data collection for Year 1 of the AEP Program. We anticipate this information to be released by April (if not sooner). The instructions are very similar to the WIOA student demographics and performance outcome reporting and the National Reporting System (NRS) framework.

In August, the state will release data submitted for Year 1, to be used for setting performance target goals for Year 2. We are all aware that Year 1 data will not reflect a full year of activities because for the late start to the year and that much of the data will be “fuzzy” until we have a fully operational data collection and tracking system that all consortia are integrated with. The state is working with experts in the field and consortium members in a focus group to develop this system. It is expected that an AEP Data Tracking system will be launched in the next few years. In Year 3 (2017-18), we hope to have our first full year of AEP data.

Each year, you will be asked to review your Governance structure and submit a form describing any changes. It would be a good idea for members to review their governance plan on an annual basis.

Yes, regardless of whether last year’s funding was MOE or Non-MOE – it all falls under the Adult Education Block Grant. MOE and Non-MOE members are required to use the funding to implement their Three Year and Annual Plans. If a district’s activities are not reflected in the various plans, use the amendment process to update them.

Consortia are responsible for checking and addressing those themselves. They should know whether the activities supported by the MOE and Consortium funds are both represented in the Three Year and Annual Plans.

Objective 4 is about filling gaps used for continuation of or expanding of "old activities." That should work for this.

Not all activities must be brand new. Addressing gaps in service can mean, for instance, reviving services that were reduced or eliminated in the recession. Working with Colleges to align curriculum and facilitate student transition, improve student support, etc. are just some of the many activities that align with the required objectives of the AEP. To be clear, in all our webinars and throughout the documents for the Three-Year and Year Annual Plan, it was emphasized that all AEP funds – MOE and Consortia Funding – must support the implementation of the Consortium’s Three Year and Annual Plans.

If a member is potentially in violation of AEP regulations, the consortium lead or primary should be contacted. The primary lead is responsible for the consortium annual plan. A suggestion may be for this to be discussed at the next consortium member meeting and a review of the program guidance and allowable use guide. The consortium can also request technical assistance from the State in helping resolve this issue.

That depends. Who was the Fiscal Agent in 15-16? How much did it cost for them to administer the consortium related activities (see Program Guidance)? If you are keeping the same Fiscal Agent, then that is already built into the budget. But you still need to find out the real cost, because it might not require the entire 5%.

Fiscal Agents are not necessarily “guaranteed” the same amount every year as stated in the legislation for members of a consortium. In other words, Fiscal Agents are not “protected members” of a consortium. These individuals and the amounts they receive can change (if the consortium votes on this change), and the percent negotiated for their services may also vary – it can be up to 5%, but does not “have” to be the full 5%. The amount paid to the fiscal agent would depend on the services rendered and terms and conditions negotiated with consortia.

On the other hand, if you go to Direct Funding, the consortium members would need to pool their resources together to pay the primary lead or designee for the cost of administering the consortium (which is still required under direct funding per all the State level deliverables). See Program Guidance for the list of those activities.

The amount of MOE funding amounts should already be filled out in the Year 1 Plan in sections 3 and 5, as requested in the charts. In your revision for the Year 1 Plan regarding activities that the MOE is funding, you can note that these activities are from that source and those providers. Just submit the changes as a revision/amendment with member signature or consortium minutes approved by members.

You are asked in the Year 2 plan to identify the KEY 3-5 strategies you are planning to implement to meet your 3-year goals. There will of course be many, many additional strategies that make up your implementation plan that you will want to share with members, partners, and stakeholders for their feedback and input, but for the Year 2 Plan submission, the state is just looking for the 3-5 high-level, most-important strategies that will characterize your efforts to achieve the AEP goals for that particular year.

The Annual Plan was always supposed to include the AEP activities for both MOE and Consortia Funds, as stated throughout the Year 1 Plan and Guidance. This continues to be the case.

The 3-Year Plan is the big picture, so you would only make revisions to that if your big picture plan is changing. The Annual Plans have more detail, so it is more likely that changes would need to be made in those. If your 3-Year Plan is changing, please contact the AEP office to discuss prior to submission.

Much of the form automatically saves upon entering values. However, just to be safe, you should be sure to manually save your work often.

Yes, there is a word limit on the narrative.

These links allow you to add or delete entries in the tables.

Something that you would want a legislative member, the public, and/or policy makers to read about and justify giving adult education $500M each year.

No – just the CFAD information will be auto-filled. Due to formatting and other changes, it was not possible to do any other auto-fill.

Please update your plans to reflect any major spending areas that you may have missed – like professional development, MOE activities, capital outlay, etc.

The State needs the formal approved minutes, if those are provided instead of signatures. The form being used to submit revisions/amendments requires submitters to certify that the files they've uploaded have been formally approved.

There is no need for minutes if we have the signatures: Signatures OR Minutes — just one file.

Choice of fiscal organization shouldn't necessarily change governance. If governance structure has changed, then that change must be shared with the AEP office through a revised Governance document submission.

There can be issues with such changes, so you will need to submit the revision. Basic rule: Make sure that you have a clear plan and can verify that the activities carried forth with the designated AEP funding is in alignment with your consortium’s approved annual plan.

Starting July 1, 2016, revisions can start up again. You are right, the money follows the year in which the activities are taking place. This year’s activities -> this year’s revisions. Next year’s activities -> next year’s revisions. It is fine if activities are multi-year, but we need to have a clear relationship between when funds are expended and when the activities take place. The AEP Office has to report accurate information to the legislature based on information received from consortia.

The Year 1 (2015-16) Plan should show the activities taking place in that year and the timeline should reflect that actual projected finish date, even if in another year. Timelines in the Year 2 (2016-17) Plan should reflect the reality of implementation in that year, as in the successive years. An “on-going” designation is not adequate.

There are slight changes to the Governance Template (hence the new date), but nothing substantial. The Governance Plan needs to be reviewed by the consortium membership annually and Governance template needs to be filled out and signed and submitted annually. Though it is possible that there will be NO changes to the plan or the membership from year to year, it is unlikely. Annual submission of the signed Governance Plan is the evidence needed to show that all current members of the consortium are familiar with and in agreement on the consortium's governance structure.

No, they provide different kinds of information. The CFAD's information is time sensitive and is needed in May. There is more time available for gathering the Governance Information. This will be due July 15th with the Year 2 AEP Plan.

The AEP Governance Template is required. You may upload your by-laws but that is not required.

We understand the challenge and as we go forward, we are hoping to learn from your experiences on how to do this. To be clear - the requirement to project and report on expenditures by objective is a requirement of the legislature, not something the CDE and CCCCO came up with. The Legislators want to know to what extent and how funds are being spent to address the objectives put forth in AB86 and continued in AEBG per AB104. The strategies promoted in these objectives are the strategies they expect to see carried out in the consortia throughout the state. This is part of our accountability to legislators and taxpayers. We won't know the best way to meet this requirement until we try for a few cycles. One way to start can be to identify what objective or program benefits MOST from the activity. Expenditures by Object Code will also be collected.

The narrative fields are fixed at the size indicated and cannot be expanded. The reason for this is that the information in the Plan will be compiled for all of the 71 Consortia for a report to the Legislature. Due to the space available in the report, our office can only use so much information from each consortium – so please be succinct.

The Annual Plan was always supposed to include the AEP activities for both MOE and Consortia Funds, as stated throughout the Year 1 Plan and Guidance. This continues to be the case.

In the Annual Plan form, there are only two sections where you can upload information. Each location has specific formats and instructions for uploading. They are:
in Section 1, an organization chart and/or governance plan, and
in Section 3, the consortia expenditures.

The 3-Year Plan is the big picture, so you would only make revisions to that if your big picture plan is changing. The Annual Plans have more detail, so it is more likely that changes would be reflected there instead. If your 3-Year Plan is changing, please contact the AEP office to discuss prior to submission.

You will need to send an updated Governance Plan if your governance structure has changed, and/or if you have new members in your consortium. This is to verify that everyone is aware of and commits to adhering to the Governance structure throughout the program year.

You will need to send an updated Fiscal Management Plan if this process has changed, and/or if you have new members in your consortium. This is to verify that everyone is aware of and commits to adhering to the this Fiscal Management Plan throughout the program year.

It is used to get an overview of your ambitions and your progress in the implementation of your Annual Plans in support of your Three-Year Plan. The Annual Plan Executive Summaries are posted on our AEP website and shared with the Legislature.

No, you will just upload the individual member submissions. The AEP Office system will do the totaling for you.

We understand the challenge and as we go forward, we are hoping to learn from your experiences on how to do this. To be clear, the requirement to project and report on expenditures by objective is a requirement of the legislature, not something the CDE and CCCCO came up with. The Legislators want to know to what extent and how funds are being spent to address the objectives put forth in AB86 and continued in AEBG per AB104. The strategies promoted in these objectives are the strategies they expect to see carried out in the consortia throughout the state. This is part of our accountability to legislators and taxpayers. We won't know the best way to meet this requirement until we try for a few cycles. One way to start can be to identify what objective or program benefits MOST from the activity.

No, since this is not a fiscal declaration, the signature process is streamlined. The Primary Contact will certify that all members have approved the Annual Plan, and retain the minutes of the public meeting where this approval occurred. NOTE: It is important that true consensus of all members be reached and documented if we are to be able to use the Primary Contact’s certification going forward.

No – in the 16-17 annual plan, we ask for 15-16 to date expenditures by program, by objective, and by object code. We also ask for 16-17 planned expenditures by program area and objective. You won’t have to submit the 16-17 budget by object code until the Fall. For the remaining 15-16 carry over funds – use the online expense and reporting system to revise your budget going into next year, and update your 15-16 annual plan to reflect how those funds will be spent.

Please upload any revisions or changes to your annual plan via the AEP portal. Meeting minutes may be used in place of signatures, if the change or revision is referenced in the minutes and agreed upon by members. Deadline for revision is May 15, 2015.

There are four main documents/reports that AEP consortia are required to submit to the State. All elements are expected as indicated, provided funding for AEP continues to be signed into the state budget by the Governor each year. Due annually are:
1. Consortium Fiscal Administration Declaration (CFAD);
2. Annual Plan;
3. Student Data;
and 4. Annual Budget.

In addition, there is a Three Year AEP Consortium Plan. This is the big picture document that provides an overview of each consortium’s goals, objectives, and major efforts that will be taken to achieve the purpose of the AEP over the three-year period. This Plan would be updated every three years.

In June 2016, the state also released Data and Accountability funding to assist with building the capacity to submit Student Data. That required a one-time Data and Accountability Plan and Budget.

No, only two passwords per consortium are allowed. This is so that consortia can maintain control of the content and editing of the official documents submitted to the State on behalf of your consortia. Documents and information will have to be provided to the person(s) your consortium designates in order to be entered/uploaded, certified through signature of the Primary Contact(s), and finally submitted to the State.

The AEP portal does allow for up to two primary contacts to have access, so it is possible for co-chairs to both access the portal.

You will get notification that the system is open through the Primary Contact currently on file for 2015-16. If that person will not continue to be the Primary Contact for 2016-17, the current Primary Contact should send an email to the AEP inbox at aebg@cccco.edu with the request to change for next year. The request will be verified and the new Primary Contact(s) for Year 2 will get access. The verification process should only take about 24 hours.

The Primary Contact(s) can be the leader, co-leaders, or a designee of the consortium. This role is mostly about flow of information, not decision making. Because of the size and structures of many of our AEP consortia, we are retiring the term "Single Point of Contact." We encourage consortia to limit the number of Primary Contacts to no more than two per consortium so that information can flow predictably to and from the rest of the membership.

There are two levels of access to the AEP documents - View Only and Editor. In View Only, a person identified by the Primary Contact(s) can view all of the documents but they cannot edit them. View Only access can be granted to any number of people, and each person would be referred by the Primary Contact(s). The Editor is the single person who has the clearance from the consortium membership to submit official consortium documents and make changes to them. Just as with the View Only individuals, the Editor is identified by the Primary Contact(s). Access is based on passwords associated with email addresses.

The rationale for the two levels of access is to make sure that viewing and editing of official AEP documents is in the control of the Consortium membership. Primary Contacts will know who is asking for access to their documents and be assured that the only changes that occur are exclusively made by their Editor designee.

Not sure why that's showing up - but the fiscal report is not part of the annual plan. If you look at the template on the website - there is no fiscal section. The fiscal section is not part of the annual plan report. View the template on the website - we don't have a fiscal section - so I wouldn't worry about.

Yes, this is the new version found in the portal. I have attached the latest work product to date. Although not complete, all other information has been entered without much of an issue. We had one problem which I worked out with Greg, which was to remove information from a cell which would not delete. That was corrected.

You can find the Annual Plan Template on the following AEP Web page:
http://aebg.cccco.edu/For-AEBG-Grantees/AEBG-Consortia-Reporting-and-Planning

The first link on the page above will provide the template for you. Once you access the template document, you will see that Section 2 provides the space to input your fiscal spending. 
If you are looking for the online expenditure reporting system, you can find that further down on the Web page shared above. You will need to log into your consortium's specific page within that system. 

Consortia and their members must agree to adhere to the general assurances listed as part of the annual planning process. For the purposes of evaluating Consortia and Consortium Member effectiveness, the California Department of Education and California Community College Chancellor's Office establish annual indicators of compliance. Failure to meet the requirements listed in the 2017-18 AEP General Assurances Document may result in a determination of non-compliance and lead to partial or complete loss of Consortium and/or Member funding. (See annual plan general assurances). Please note that all the items listed above for consortia and member effectiveness are also covered in the AEP General Assurances Document.