Calhoun and Drake State Kick-Off New Training Initiative for Adult Learners

October 05, 2021

Calhoun Community College and Drake State Community & Technical College officials announced they have entered into a joint partnership that will not only address learning obstacles for adult learners, but job training as well.

GOAL is a brand new initiative, which stands for Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners. This FREE program is designed specifically for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and want to become more employable. Individuals have access to an abundant amount of educational resources focused on improving their reading, math, and language skills to completing their GED (General Education Diploma), learning English as a second language, as well as earning a manufacturing or logistics certification.

“The Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) had a vision of oneness for our colleges, which is now called One ACCS,” commented Dana Wolfe, ACCS North Regional Director of Adult Education. “The presidents of Calhoun and Drake embraced that vision and felt we were better together. They jointly decided that adult education had the biggest need and was the best place to combine efforts to start a cohesive program to address that area,” added Wolfe.

GOAL will enable both colleges to broaden its services to students in need, the community as well as industry partners. All programs under the adult education umbrella will remain the same and will still be delivered with the same level of quality. This initiative will allow the opportunity to offer more work-based learning, short certificates, MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) training and national certifications to adults who want to increase their knowledge and skillset to earn better wages. “Right now, there are 364,000 individuals in the state of Alabama who have not earned their high school diploma,” commented David Walters, ACCS State Director of Adult Education. “We hope that the hard work that accumulated into making this vision a reality will help bridge that gap as we have so many educational and career pathways established that will assist adult learners throughout their career journey,” added Walters.

“When thinking about where we would kick-off our first neutral location for GOAL, Asbury Church stepped right in and has been a wonderful partner in this amazing adult education partnership,” commented Dr. Jimmy Hodges, Calhoun Interim President. “I absolutely love adult education and feel it is a major heartbeat of the community college system. We are the answer for that individual who believes it is too late to go back, for that individual who believes this is the best they can do in their current employment situation. GOAL is designed to create greater opportunities for those people who want to change their life, and we are excited to be able to provide such a solid program to help them achieve their educational and career goals,” said Hodges.

The program is currently accepting applications for individuals who are interested in obtaining their GED, learning English as a second language, learning basic computer skills training to obtain a job, or even retraining for individuals who may be interested in working at a local manufacturing company such as Mazda/Toyota, YKTA, Nucor Steel, or Polaris. Ready to Work provides training for those types of opportunities, as well as manufacturing, welding and logistics opportunities through MSSC or CLA/CLT training. “It has finally happened,” commented Dr. Pat Sims, President of Drake State Community & Technical College. “We are excited to be able to provide such a robust program with a focus on adult learners. So many times those unique learners slip through the cracks, and with this partnership, we are shining a light on their potential and are ready to help them advance through one of the many pathways designed with their success in mind,” added Sims.

To learn more about GOAL and how to enroll in one of the many programs, visit or contact an Adult Education team member at (256) 551-5211.