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Adult Education Programs Provide Economic Opportunity

September 22, 2016

National Adult Education and Literacy Week, September 26 – October 1, underscores the continued demand for programs and services for adult students who need to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math and obtain a high school equivalency certificate.  More than 36 million adults nationwide, including 1.2 million in Illinois, lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work.

Southeastern Illinois College is one of more than 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) that improves and expands 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.  Adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to the 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.

“Adult Education classes are the first step in the journey to success that our students take.  So many of our students come to us with the goal of passing the GED test and leave our program with a comprehensive educational or workforce plan that they take with them on their next steps,” said SIC Adult Education Coordinator, Angie Dunk.  “The Adult Education program embodies the goal of not just passing a test,  but giving students the skills they need to succeed in post-secondary education and a career-which is really what Adult Education is all about.”

Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB Executive Director, said that nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs of the future require education or training beyond high school. 

“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,” said Anderson.

In recognition of National Adult Education and Literacy Week, SIC will host a special activity at the Harrisburg campus Adult Education classes where students will learn more about Adult Education opportunities and hear about success stories of others who have successfully completed the program.  Anyone interested in joining Adult Education classes is encouraged to register during the next open session on Oct. 20.  All classes and materials are free and registration is made simple by registering the first day/night of class during open sessions.

For more information about adult education programs and services at SIC, visit www.sic.edu/ABE, call 252-5400, ext. 2242, or email ged@sic.edu.   For information on adult education throughout Illinois, visit www.iccb.org/adult_ed.

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