More than 30 graduates of the Wallace State Community College Adult Education program will walk across the stage on Thursday to mark their success at receiving their GED. They are among around 80 students who earned their GED or high school diploma through the Adult Education program at Wallace State during the 2020-2021 academic year.
While most commonly known for helping students obtain their GED, the Adult Education program also helps students earn their high school diploma and provides classes that offer credentials that can be used for employment.
“The Adult Education program is not only for those without their high school diploma, but also serves adults who need to improve their skills and abilities to be successful in the completion of their chosen program,” said Suzanne Harbin, Vice President for Advancement and Innovation.
The GED is offered to students who dropped out of school before completing required credits needed to graduate. Classes are offered in person, online and at community sites. Vouchers are offered to students completing classes that will pay for the GED exam. Upon receipt of their GED, the students receive a 3-credit-hour scholarship to Wallace State.
The high school diploma credential is for students who completed credits needed to graduate but did not pass the high school exit exam. The Adult Education program helps them prepare for and administers the necessary assessments to get their high school diploma.
The Adult Education program also offers classes that let students earn credentials they can use in the workforce. The program is currently partnering with the Medical Laboratory Technician program to offer the Medical Lab Assistant certificate in two semesters. Medical lab assistants often work in doctors’ offices and urgent care facilities and are responsible for completing waived testing. Waived testing includes pregnancy tests and tests for flu, strep, etc.
The Adult Education program also offers classes in Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), Phlebotomy, OSHA, WorkKeys Certification, Ready to Work and more. Plans are in the works to offer classes for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Skylar Bolton earned her GED and CNA certification last year after years of starting and stopping her efforts. “I’m so thankful for the Wallace State Adult Education program,” she said at the time. “They’ve encouraged me every step of the way, even when I wasn’t receptive. The teachers and staff are top-notch, and they do all they can to help you succeed.”
Adult Education’s efforts to assist students like Bolton fall in line with Gov. Kay Ivey’s Success Plus Initiative. The Success Plus Initiative addresses Alabama’s increasing need for workers with certificates, credentials, or degrees in addition to a high school diploma. By 2025, Alabama will need to add 500,000 high-skilled employees to the workforce in order to fill existing industry’s labor needs and compete for new businesses, according to a report produced by the Alabama Workforce Council’s Statewide Educational Attainment Committee.