HCDE’s Adult Education division offers reimagined program

The Adult Education division has revamped its program and kicked off its new academic year with the Contact to Careers: My Plan program. Under the reimagined plan, the needs of adult education students will be addressed holistically.

“Eighty-five percent of our adult education students want to improve their English skills or obtain their high school equivalency to secure a better job and advance themselves economically,” said Adult Education Senior Director Stephanie Ross. “We developed the My Plan program not only because we want our students to obtain literacy skills, but so they can gain knowledge and experience that will help them be successful alongside their literacy skills.”

Students will now complete a 12-week program, with the first six weeks dedicated to a literacy course such as English as a Second Language (ESL) or a high school equivalency degree (GED). Before students begin class, they will go through a one-day Leadership Ambassador Professional Development seminar that will encourage participants to become leaders in their communities and the workplace. These opportunities may increase their earning potential and assist them in building a career-building network.

Students will also be trained on computer literacy skills.

“When Covid pushed us into a digital environment, we realized that 90% of our students did not have computer literacy skills,” said Ross. “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve started to teach students basic skills like how to fill out electronic forms. Under the My Plan program, we will continue to develop their digital literacy skills with self-paced distance learning courses.”

The interactive distance learning courses, which will be offered through an online portal, will supplement the live virtual classes. Students will be able to advance beyond where they are in class or go back and look at previous lessons. The online management portal is expected to be launched in the fall.

Finally, students will be connected with community resources to address their non-academic needs, such as financial literacy education, food stamps, childcare, and medical care.

The second six-week block will provide students with career readiness classes for which they will earn a certificate in areas such as business office technology, workforce essentials, management essentials, and basic construction skills. At the end of the 12 weeks, the adult education division, in partnership with various employers and community partners, will connect students to opportunities for employment, internships, externships, and apprenticeships. For some students, the program will prepare them with study skills to enroll at a community college.

The My Plan program will offer interested individuals more opportunities to enroll with 14 12-week sessions scheduled throughout the year. Previously, only four sessions were offered annually.

For more information about the Contact to Careers: My Plan program, visit hcde-texas.org/adult-education contact HCDE’s Adult Education division, contact2careers@hcde-texas.org, or fill out the interest survey.

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