School News

Orienting Students toward Success

00:32 22 December in News
          At HBAS, our first goal is to help our students reach their goals. This means providing support and guidance from start to finish. That’s why we’ve revamped our enrollment process to start our students off on the right foot.  When students enroll in our Career Tech, High School Diploma, GED and ESL Programs, they will attend an orientation.
          During the interactive session, students learn what they can expect from our school, and what our school expects from students. We offer tools and resources to help students overcome barriers to success- with a special focus on our College & Career Center and Student Support Services.
          An incoming ESL student recently shared about the experience:
“I feel very lucky receiving this priceless and professional orientation about finding my career, personal and academic goals, besides my personal growth. Starting over in a new environment becomes an interesting challenge for all of us. There are many variables in the equation, this is a clue solving the answers. Thank all of HBAS team-members.”
          Through this new process, we hope to ensure that our students reach their education and career goals at HBAS and beyond.  Learn more here!

New Career Pathways with OCC!

22:17 03 November in News, Uncategorized

As part our collaborative work in the Coast Adult Education Consortium, we are offering two career pathways with Orange Coast College.  The Childhood Development and Personal Care Aide courses prepare students for in-demand jobs, and are either free or low-cost.  These classes are open to everyone, but we especially encourage our ESL Level 3 & 4 students to take the next step in their education and careers.

Early Childhood Development  January 29 – May 27, 2018

This program is a partnership between our ESL Program and the OCC Early Childhood Education Department. After earning 3 units in this program, students will only need 3 more units of Early Childhood Development to qualify as an Assistant Teacher.  Taking place at Fryberger Elementary School in Westminster, the program consists of two courses:

1. Child Growth & Development (3 units): Fridays, $46 per unit + student fees
2. ESl for Early Childhood Education (optional): Thursdays, Free

How to Enroll: Class space limited, so be sure to enroll early! * Visit the Adult Education Office at OCC, or attend a Registration Session at the HBAS Gothard Campus on one of these dates and times:

  • Wednesdays, Nov 8 & 15: 2:00 – 4:30pm
  • Mondays, Nov 27, Dec 11: 8:00 – 10:30am
  • Tuesdays, Nov 28, Dec 12: 4:00 – 6:30pm
  • Wednesday, Dec 6: 8:00 – 10:30am

* Click here for more detailed course information.

Personal Care Aide  January 8 – March 28 / January 9 – March 29, 2018

We are able to offer this high quality program FREE OF CHARGE!  Personal care aides give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or elderly and fragile. The demand for Personal Care Aide is steadily rising, and companies are standing by to hire our students.

How to enroll: Class space limited, so be sure to enroll early! * You must come to the HBAS Gothard Campus to enroll in person on one of these dates and times:

  • Mondays, Nov, 27, Dec 11:  8:00am-10:30am
  • Tuesdays, Nov 28, Dec 12: 4:00pm-6:30pm
  • Wednesday, Dec 6: 8:00am-10:30am

* Click here for more detailed course information.


Student Support Staff Spotlight: Counselor Courtney Winford

21:10 13 October in News, Uncategorized

Meet our New Counselor, Courtney Winford!  

Huntington Beach Adult School is thrilled to welcome Counselor Courtney Winford to our Student Support Services team. Courtney has an extensive background in special education, providing instruction and counseling to students and families as they worked to meet the high school graduation requirements. She has also worked as an intern counselor at Golden West College, supporting students transitioning to college.  

We recently set out to learn more about our newest team member, and here’s what we found out:  

Why did you want to become a counselor? 
Working with students in need has always been my passion.  After completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I started a counseling internship. I knew that it was exactly what I should be doing.  

What can HBAS students expect when they meet with you?
I think students can expect someone relatable. They will feel comfortable, and learn quickly that I will fight for them and support them. I don’t believe in working with students in just one avenue of their life.  I work for the whole person—social, emotional, academic, health. There is no issue or problem too small. I love getting creative, and even putting in some grunt work to find solutions. 

You’ve been at HBAS for a little over a month. What is your favorite part of the job? My favorite part so far is how kind and helpful the HBAS staff has been. I have also truly loved getting to know our students. The feeling of affecting positive change in their lives has already been a gift. 

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to be outdoors, whether it’s running, hiking, camping or spending the day at the pool or the beach. I also love a great concert or restaurant. Mostly though, I love going on “adventures” with my son—he is the center of my world. 

What makes you most excited about working at HBAS? 
It seems like the school is constantly evolving.  I believe change and growth are good and impactful, and I am excited to be a part of that. 

Well Courtney, we’re excited to have you on our team!  

Want to make an appointment with Courtney? Please view the Counseling Hours and Locations.

Financial Assistance @ HBAS

21:37 25 August in News, Uncategorized

“We want to give students every chance to learn.” – Principal Steve Curiel

What and Why:  At HBAS, we never want financial obstacles to keep students from reaching their goals. That’s why we have always strived to make our programs affordable.   And now, HBAS has developed a financial assistance program to help students who need it the most.  

Who can ApplyStarting in Fall 2017, students enrolling in the Career Technical Education Programs (CTE), English as a Second Language (ESL), or Diploma/GED programs will have the opportunity to request financial assistance.  Types of assistance available varies by program:  

  • CTE-  Course Fees, Books, Materials, Transportation (bus vouchers). Note: Only students enrolling in one of our 6 CTE Certificate programs can qualify for assistance.  Students enrolling in an individual CTE course are not eligible for assistance.   
  • ESL-  Books and Transportation 
  • Diploma/GED–  Transportation and Internet Access

We especially want to help our current ESL and Diploma/GED students take the next step in their educational and career paths. Students in these two programs who are in good standing will have a better chance of being awarded financial assistance for our CTE programs.

How to Apply: 

Students can apply for financial assistance in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: First, students must enroll and attend their orientation session, where they will provide household and income information.  Interested students will receive the Financial Assistance Request Form and directions on how to complete it. Note: Supporting documentation is required to verify eligibility.

Step 2: Students bring the completed Financial Assistance Request Form and supporting documentation to the front office staff at either the BESST Center campus, Gothard campus, Westminster Mall campus, or Westminster High School campus.

Step 3: HBAS staff will review the information to determine if the student qualifies for financial assistance. Students will receive a response within 1-2 weeks with further directions.

We are thrilled to have the means to offer financial assistance, and hope this will open the doors for new students to reach their academic and career goals at HBAS.   Learn how to start the enrollment process here.


Student Spotlight: Kathleen Jones, Personal Care Aide Program

20:45 17 August in News, Student Success Stories

Kathleen Jones’ journey is the epitome of upward mobility. Within 2 months, she went from being a Personal Care Aide (PCA) student at HBAS to recruiting and hiring HBAS students for a local PCA agency. HBAS interviewed Ms. Jones to find out how she got there.

Looking for a New Career

After 20 years in the mortgage industry, Kathleen left her job and took some time off. “I was taking care of a family relative who was at home and disabled,” she said. “I decided I really liked that type of work and wanted to look into a career in caregiving.” Kathleen found our Personal Care Aide class when she received an HBAS catalog in the mail.

Kathleen, furthest to right, learning and having fun with her PCA classmates.

Becoming a Personal Care Aide

In October 2016, Kathleen became a student in the very first PCA class at HBAS. She was thrilled with the PCA class, and especially the instructor, Alan Bell. Kathleen described Alan as a “hands-on and visual teacher. It was a very fun and interactive environment. We learned so much in such a short period of time.”

Hired on the Spot

When nearing the end of the 2-month PCA course, HBAS Job Developer Arlene Flores visited Kathleen’s class. “Arlene came to offer help with our resumes and practicing job interviews,” Kathleen said. “She then arranged for a couple of home care companies to interview us. Even after class ended, Arlene continued to send us job leads.” In December 2016, Kathleen finished the PCA course and was hired by Canaan Home Care. She was immediately grateful for her training, realizing that she entered the field with far more preparation than the average applicant.

Kathleen attends the HBAS 2017 Community Advisory Committee Meeting – as a business partner! She is to the left of her PCA teacher, Alan, who is standing in the photo.

Moving on up

Within 2 months, Kathleen secured a promotion at her new job. Katie explained, “when a position of Case Coordinator became available, I asked if I could apply. I had administrative experience. I was hired for the position in February 2017.” Kathleen hires and supports caregivers, manages cases and makes client visits. Her experience has truly come full circle, as she now coordinates with Arlene to interview and hire PCA students from very program she just completed!

As a recruiter of personal care aides, Kathleen has a unique perspective on the value of the PCA Program at HBAS. With 80 hours of high quality training, our students are among the most qualified and prepared candidates she comes across. Katie asserted, “if HBAS students are qualified and interview well, we’ll be hiring them. There is a high demand for caregivers, especially with that training. I can’t hire enough people to fill our need.”

A Career in Helping People

So now for the most important question: does Kathleen like her job? She replied enthusiastically, “I love my job. I love interacting with clients and caregivers. We’re helping people.” At HBAS, we are proud of Kathleen and all of our students who have been hired out of our PCA Program. We are proud to offer a career program with a job at the end.

Are you or someone you know interested in the personal care and home health field? Our next PCA class starts September 11th, 2017. 

Learn more about the PCA Program here.


2017 Diploma and GED Graduation

19:41 27 July in News

Our Diploma and GED graduation ceremony took place at the Westminster Mall on June 15th. We celebrated 91 students who completed high school diploma and 15 students who passed and received their high school equivalency.  

At the ceremony, students and guests heard from guest speaker Briana Johnson, a former HBAS student who was awarded the Simon Youth Scholarship in spring of 2016. She was followed by student speaker Reanna Holland, who received a 2017 Recognition of Achievement Award and 2017 Schools First Scholarship.  

HBAS Math Teacher Ann Cosgrove presented several students with Recognition of Achievement Awards, which are chosen by HBAS teachers. She explained how “these students stood out to their instructors, be it for harder work than anyone else or having to do more work than anyone else, and some students stand out for their attitudes.”   

Then our College & Career Specialist, Valerie Beachly, presented scholarship awards to students chosen for their “perseverance, attendance, and academic promise.” These scholarships will help students in their further pursuit of higher education.  

Principal Steve Curiel introduced Dr. Michael Durnil, Executive Director of the Simon Youth Foundation. Dr. Durnil awarded Lisa Marie Tickenoff a $8,000 college scholarship.  

After students were called up by name to receive their diplomas and certificates, District Board Member Kathy Iverson accepted the class of 2017, making them official graduates of the Huntington Beach Union High School District.   

Thanks to all of the family and friends who joined us to celebrate our 2017 graduates. Congratulations, Class of 2017!  

See our Graduation Photo Album and download photos of your graduates here.  

HB Administrators Association Scholarship winners Cynthia Aquino Garcia and Arlette Bautista
Schools First Federal Credit Union Scholarship winners Evelyn Iniguez and Reanna Holland

Recognition of Achievement Award Recipients:  

Kolby Barton • Maria Sandoval • Evelyn Iniguez • Alissa Arreola • Mark Elvidge
• Su Moran • Ruben Del Villar • Reanna Holland • Amber Castaneda 

Scholarship Recipients: 

Huntington Beach Administrators Association (HBAA): • Cynthia Aquino Garcia • Arlette Bautista 

Schools First Federal Credit Union (SFFCU): • Evelyn Iniguez • Michael Sweeny • Reanna Holland 

Simon Youth Foundation: • Lisa Marie Tickenoff

ESL – Enroll for Fall starting July 5th!

20:20 05 July in News, Uncategorized

For the past few years, the ESL Program at HBAS has been expanding to meet growing demand in our community.  During the 2016-2017 school year, we added classes at a new location in Costa Mesa, the BESST Center, and served over 2,500 students!

We are now gearing up for a new school year, and are excited to add two more locations at Fryberger Elementary (Westminster) and Anderson Elementary (Garden Grove).

Starting on July 5th, students can now enroll for our Fall ESL classes.  Check out our list of our Fall 2017 classes and locations.  Students can enroll in any class at any of our main campus locations: Gothard, Westminster High School, the Westminster Mall Learning Center and the BESST Center. Please visit the ESL webpage to see the specific days and times for enrollment at each location.

In addition to our standard ESL classes held mornings and evenings Monday-Thursday, HBAS is proud to offer two extension classes on Friday mornings: Citizenship and Conversation.  The Conversation Class gives students an opportunity to focus on building conversation skills.  This class is open to all levels.

The Citizenship Class is designed to help second language learners pass the new citizenship exam and become U.S. citizens. Students will learn citizenship requirements, practice the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) exams and gain a background in US history and government. Students must test at the ESL level 2 or higher to enroll.

HBAS is proud to continue serving our growing ESL community in new and exciting ways for the 2017-2018 school year.

2017 Pinning Ceremony: Career Programs

16:53 26 June in News, Student Success Stories

On June 15, 2017, Huntington Beach Adult School held a pinning ceremony to mark the passage of our Career Tech students into the professional world. These students recently completed their studies, took their certification exams and are putting their learning into practice in new careers.  Many of our students are hired directly out of their program, often with help from the HBAS College and Career Center.

Thanks to the HBAS faculty and staff, HBUHSD Board Members and family and friends who gathered to celebrate our graduates.  We are proud of their accomplishments and excited to see where their bright futures lead.

See more photos in the CTE Pinning Ceremony Photo Album!

2017 CTE Classes:

The Medical Assisting Certificate Program prepares students for work in a variety of health care settings.  Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform traditional medical assisting responsibilities including administration and clinical duties and to function as contributing members of the health care team.  The 2017 Medical Assisting class included: Jackie Nguyen, Kim Flores, Tam Nguyen, Giao Nguyen, Taihua Ho, Erica Gonzalez, Candace Harmon, and Deirdre Downey.

The Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program equips students with skills to prepare insurance and billing forms for patients and insurance companies. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Exam of Certified Medical Coding Specialist (CBMCS) for certification. The 2017 Medical Billing and Coding Program class included: Diana Moore, Autumn Carley-Givant, Tyler Morgan, Dori Billstrom, Dolores Becerra and Mizelene Asilo.

The Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to help provide medication and other health care products to patients and consumers.  Students are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board after completing the Pharmacy Technician courses.  The 2017 Pharmacy Technician Program class included: Andrea Pettett, Jerod Frey, Chandra Zechmeister, Steven Duarte, Cynthia Garcia and Laurie Herbert.

HBAS has had an Administrative Office Assistant certificate program for the past 7 years.  Students take several classes to gain a step up in the labor market.  These classes include Microsoft Office classes at both the beginning and intermediate level as well as accounting and QuickBooks classes.  This is our first year including our student completers in the pinning ceremony.  Congratulations to our first pin recipient for Administrative Assistant, Windy Yau.

Legislation Day

02:10 14 April in News


Legislative Day is an event organized jointly by CCAE (California Council for Adult Education) and CAEAA (California Adult Education Administrators Association).  Supporters of Adult Education make their way to Sacramento to discuss the most immediate and pressing issues facing their schools. Those who make the trip have the opportunity to meet with legislators from their area.  Most who make the trip have the opportunity to make at least three or more appointments with state assembly members and/or senators.  This year our representatives were able to meet with two Assembly members and a Senator. We were able to meet and speak personally with the Assembly Member for our district, Matthew Harper.  Mr. Harper was glad to visit with the folks from HBAS, being a former member of our school board.  He was receptive to the issues that we brought to his attention and was open to support them when they come in the form of an actual Legislative Bill.

Teams of three to six (made up of Adult Education instructors, administrators, and students) present their individual program successes and goals, as well as being sure to hit on the talking points that the Adult Education Associations want to make sure everyone involved is following up on. This year the talking points included 1) a willingness to continue consortia efforts started under AEBG and highlighting the beneficial strides made with this; 2) Conveying the short term perception problems of using the word “grant” and ask the term be revised in statute to words like Allocation or Funding; 3) Support increased funding for AEBG in the form of a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment); 4) Propose the establishment of an AEBG stakeholder Advisory Committee to make recommendations to CDE and the Chancellor’s office on AEBG policy and guidance. Overall it was a good positive experience in Sacramento for all of us here at HBAS.

Thank you to Tracy Foreman, Jesus Garcia, Suzanne Hammoud, Sherry Mancini (Student), Jim Turnbough, and Phil Villamor for representing HBAS!

Sherry, Suzanne, and Jesus in (Capitol Cafeteria)

Sherry, Suzanne, and Phil (Gov Office in Capitol)

Briefing/ Legislative appt. training (Hyatt Hotel)

Lifelong Learner Awards – 2017

01:59 04 April in News, Student Success Stories, Uncategorized

Adult Education students achieve tremendous growth in learning while facing various personal obstacles. They often proceed to more challenging levels as they achieve their initial goals and discover new interests and set new goals.  Their desire to learn continues to grow and they continue to overcome life’s challenges. These students become models of Lifelong Learning for all of us, young and not so young.”    –  Principal Steve Curiel

Our 2017 Lifelong Learners (front row), with HBUHSD Board Members Dr. Dishno & Dr. Simon, Superintendent Dr. Harwick, and HBAS Principal Curiel (back row).

With these words, Principal Steve Curiel kicked off our 2017 Lifelong Learner Awards on Thursday, March 30th. This annual event is a special opportunity to honor some of our most dedicated and motivated students.

Each year, HBAS educators are asked to nominate students who stand out as lifelong learners.  At this year’s awards ceremony, we honored six HBAS students from our Diploma/GED, Personal Enrichment and Career Technical Education programs. While our 2017 Lifelong Learners come from diverse backgrounds and educational paths, they all inspire the teachers, support staff, and fellow students they meet along the way.

Thanks to HBUHSD Superintendent Dr. Harwick and Board Members Dr. Dishno and Dr. Simon for joining HBAS to celebrate our Lifelong Learners. Thanks to the HBAS teachers who nominated their students, and to the staff members who coordinated the event. And thanks most of all to our amazing 2017 award recipients:


Our faculty and staff are proud to serve these students year-round, and to recognize their accomplishments at the Lifelong Learner Awards.  Please feel free to get inspired: click on each Lifelong Learner’s name to read their story!

– Briana Valadao is a teacher and “field reporter” for the HB Adult School.  She meets with staff and students to learn about the programs offered and share stories and new opportunities with the community.