Drake State Community & Technical College has recently partnered with the Huntsville Housing Authority for the grand opening of an adult education learning center in the Northwoods public housing community.
HHA generously offered up one of its apartments to be converted into an adult classroom. After a Sept. 8 grand opening, adult education students can now learn closer to home and the program is completely free to them. This is Drake State’s second off-site adult education classroom. The other site is located at Asbury Church in Madison.
Facing reality, but willing to learn
“We can reach students who may live with a disability, students who are low income, and students who don’t have jobs but want to get their GED or get a better education,” said Adult Education Director Dr. Docquinn Taylor. “They don’t have to worry about traveling to main campus. They can easily walk right outside their homes.”
For some adults, the challenges of going back to school can feel like a balancing act. They have to juggle between family life, childcare, job and financial responsibilities. Drake State’s adult education program is helping students by alleviating some of those burdens. Dr. Taylor said partnerships are important because they can do a lot for students who may need assistance with transportation or someone to care after their children.
“Often times we hear, ‘I didn’t know about these services,’” said Dr. Taylor. “Thanks to our partners, we’re bringing these services directly to the community so residents can take advantage of educational opportunities.”
What does this mean for students?
Digital literacy is one of the most popular courses among adult education students at Drake State. There’s a need to help them gain more knowledge and skills in communication technologies. Online reading is not enough to qualify someone as digitally literate.
Researchers at Renaissance – an analytical support group for educators – find that the ability to evaluate, create, communicate, and share online content are necessary to students’ futures. The coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted this need and why Drake State’s adult education program can help prepare students for job readiness.
“We are on a mission to help as many students as we can, and most importantly, our adult education program comes at no cost to you.” said Dr. Taylor. “Drake State is working to foster more relationships with community partners to make education more accessible for adult learners.”
Adult education programs are diverse
Not all adult education students participate in GED classes. Some of them already have their high school diplomas, so these adult students are seeking other programs to build their skills base including Digital Literacy , Ready to Work , WorkKeys and Basic Skills Brush-Up (reading, math, and language skills).
An adult education instructor will be on site to help guide students in the Northwoods community. Local residents can learn more about the program and begin registering for these free courses today.