By KYLE MCDANIEL
If you sit and think for a moment, I bet you know people who are preparing to get their GED (General Education Development) or HSE (High School Equivalency).
What I would like you to do is to ask them have they heard about Adult Basic Education for College and Career.
To be honest, I also hadn’t heard about the almost 50-year-old program until Nick Trujillo, the editor-in-chief of the Aztec Press, talked about it.
After learning about the program, I asked others at work if they knew about it. Out of 13 people, not one person had. This is discouraging, because this program is a ticket to moving up in life is amazing.
The program is government funded and has free classes in basic math, reading and writing, as well as advanced skills for HSE and GED test preparations, and it even has official GED testing. It also has added English language acquisition for adults and rights and responsibilities of citizenship for refugees or those who are trying to become a citizen.
To get a closer look at adult basic education for college and careers, I talked to Laurie Kierstead-Joseph, the advanced program manager of the ABECC. She was more than thrilled to share information about the program, because in her own words, “the program can be kind of invisible.”
“Adult Basic Education for College and Careers is a large program that serves about 6,000 folks at the college and is aimed at serving anyone who is 16 years or older and not going to high school, who needs to improve their basic skills on their pathway to college or career,” Kierstead-Joseph said. “Now, that could be an adult who didn’t finish their high school, who are working towards a GED, or it could be someone who is learning English because they immigrated here. Either way, we are working with them to get on a pathway to be successful in college or their career.”
Kierstead-Joseph also spoke about the different locations and advantages the program has to those involved.
“To go along with classes at various campuses, we have three large learning centers located on 29th Street, El Pueblo Liberty on Irvington and Sixth and El Rio on Speedway close to West Campus.” she said. “We have free programs with really great teachers and classes that are offered morning and night, as well as online learning.
“Adult Basic Education works to be student centered and practical. It doesn’t matter how long you have been out of school. We are here to support where you are at and where you want to go with your education and career goals.”
Even though focusing on a career pathway is what comes after the program, they do offer campus and program tours. This helps the students in the program become aware of what is available to them after leaving Adult Basic Education College and Careers.
If you would like to try your luck at a GED test, there is a free practice one being offered on Feb. 12. If you decide to go, to show just “how smart you are,” be careful what you wish for.