Photo by S. Paige Allen, L&C media specialist/photographer
Monica Waller, L&C instructor and Adult Education student services coordinator, assists students with mathematics in a classroom at the Scott Bibb Center in Alton. The center is home to many adult education programs including GED, family literacy, Highway Construction, YouthBuild and more. Illinois is celebrating Adult Education and Literacy Week Sept. 26 to Oct. 1.
GODFREY — In honor of National Adult Education and Literacy Week, Sept. 26 through Oct. 1, Lewis and Clark Community College wants to underscore the continued demand for programs and services for adult learners, who want to obtain a high school equivalency certificate.
More than 36 million adults nationwide, including 1.2 million in Illinois and 18,000 in the Lewis and Clark District, lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work.
“All of the programs in L&C’s Adult Education department revolve around meeting the educational needs of adults who lack basic skills, most having dropped out of high school, who are looking for a non-traditional way to find their path and fulfill their potential,” Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris said.
Lewis and Clark serves approximately 550 adult education students each year.
“We provide students with a learning environment in which they can thrive, encourage them to they reach their educational and career goals, and support them as they transition to post-secondary or to work,” said Vicki Hinkle, L&C’s director of Adult Education. “Each student matters to us and every team member goes above and beyond in assisting our students to realize their full potential.”
Adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to middle class wages and family sustainability. Full-time workers with a high school diploma earn almost $10,000 more per year than those without a diploma.
Lewis and Clark Community College is one of 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board that improve and expand the nation’s available pipeline of workers by assisting those who lack the educational requirements to achieve gainful employment in today’s increasingly high-tech, global job market.
“Nearly 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs of the future require education or training beyond high school,” said Karen Hunter Anderson, Illinois Community College Board executive director. “Illinois has taken the lead in creating partnerships between adult education providers and employers to ensure a seamless pathway for students to higher education and employment in high-growth occupations.”