Staying savvy with adult ed

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September 17, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Allen County Community College’s adult education department not only prepares students for general education development diplomas but also provides opportunities for people in the workplace to brush up on basic reading, math, writing and technology skills, said Vivian Copsey, ACCC’s coordinator of adult education. Displaced workers or those anticipating a promotion will find Kansas Work Ready! to be a stepping stone in their quest for a brighter future, she said.
The Kansas Work Ready! program uses WorkKeys assessments to award career-readiness certificates that document skills in applied mathematics, locating information, knowledge of graphics such as charts, tables and maps, reading comprehension and use of memos, letters, directions, policies and regulations. WorkKeys is a national assessment test used to evaluate and analyze workplace skills that do not require job-specific knowledge.
“We have a number of employers who look at these test scores before hiring an individual to see if they have the skills needed for the job,” Copsey said.

PEOPLE WHO enroll in GED classes at the college begin with an orientation tour of the facility and visits from former students.
“I think it is important for new students to see that other people who, for a multitude of reasons, also quit school are now reaping the rewards of an education,” said Copsey.
She said a recent GED graduate told incoming students that he probably would never have returned to school had he not lost his job of 20 years. He told the new students he recently completed college courses and was asked to be a substitute teacher at a school where he had been a custodian before he made the decision to return to school and complete his education.
A major fear among people returning to school is that they will be rejected by younger students, Copsey said.
“I think non-traditional students feel more comfortable coming back to school in a college setting. On a whole, our students treat adult education students the same as they do their peers,” Copsey said.
To accommodate students living in Woodson County, ACCC provides GED outreach classes at the Church of God in Yates Center. However, testing is done on the Iola campus.
“We started the outreach classes last year when gasoline was so expensive. We don’t want transportation issues to keep people from furthering their education,” said Copsey.

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