connect / 2015

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College South LA Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z)

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College South LA Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z)

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

LATTC’s SLATE-Z is a complex strategy that intersects jobs, workforce, education, safety, affordable housing, healthy communities, & business development to tackle an urban center with one of the nation’s highest rates of poverty. Within this broad context, the focus of this proposal is to “CONNECT” South LA residents to increased mobility through (a) free or reduced-cost transit ridership (b) educational technology innovations and (c) educational advocacy/civic engagement.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Improve educational outcomes for students in 12 SLATE-Z affiliated high schools in South LA.

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Number of public transit riders
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.

The three strategies highlighted in this project to “CONNECT” South LA residents to increased mobility through (a) free or reduced-cost transit ridership for co-enrolled high school students ad college students (b) educational technology innovations through the SLATE-Z Virtual Learning Academy, and (c) educational advocacy/civic engagement of parents and residents.

A frequent barrier to high school students and recent graduates taking advantage of higher education opportunities is related to the cost of transportation. Although students ride at a discounted rate, this is still perceived as a barrier for some. Provide low cost of free transit passes or vouchers will increase the ability to connect high school with the college. In addition, the LATTC SLATE-Z Virtual Learning Academy will be created with these funds, which will CONNECT the region’s high school and college and high schools virtually through the development of an online learning community where open and proprietary educational resources will be shared, including adaptive learning solutions for basic skills. These programs are “smart systems” which adapt the online learning to the specific needs of the users. Communication between and within the 11 LAUSD SLATE -Z high schools will CONNECT these schools, teachers, students and parents and foster a culture of learning that will enhance educational outcomes in South LA. Parents will be engaged and CONNECTED through virtual and in-person community events around educational policy and SLATE-Z will employ civic engagement strategies that will increase their knowledge of and participation in educational plans and policies. Engaging the community around issues such as the Common Core and LCAP planning and strategies. As a result of this connection and the involvement of governmental agencies in SLATE-Z, the government will be more responsive to the needs of South LA.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Two entities at USC have been engaged in this work and will assist in the development and measurement of outcomes to evaluate SLATE-Z community-based programs and initiatives. The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC conducts research and facilitates discussions on issues of regional inclusion and social movement building and will be engaged in the development of evaluation tools for SLATE Z initiatives.
Housed at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, the Center for Urban Education (CUE) is committed to using data, process and bench-marking tools, to help two- and four-year colleges measure equity gaps and outcomes. CUE has been engaged with SLATE and will continue to assist in developing metrics and analyzing key process and outcome data related to educational outcomes.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support