According to the U.S. Census Nearly 19% of Arkansans 25 and over (347,032 people) do not have a high school diploma or GED, and over 130,000 have less than a ninth-grade education.
SAU Tech's Adult Education Associate Vice Chancellor Barbara Hamilton spoke with the Camden Lions Club about the services her organization provides.
Hamilton said, "Last year we kind of bounced back from COVID with not having as many students, however this year our enrollment is slightly down. We're trying to get out there and beat the bushes and share all the great things that are happening with adult education. "
Hamilton said that the courses are free and that "There's not cost to the individual except for the time and effort. "
She also stated that there are courses beyond the traditional GED Program statying, "When you think about , I'm sure the first thing that comes to mind is 'Oh, it's for people that don't have their high school diploma.'. That is true, however we also provide services for individuals that have their high school diploma and a lot of people don't really know that part."
Hamilton said that clients are coached in resume writing, conducting job interviews and digital education.
SAU Tech's Adult Education website states, "The SAU Tech Adult Education Center serves Calhoun, Columbia, Dallas, and Ouachita Counties. Our program serves adult learners through Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes, which are designed for adults functioning academically at or below NRS Level 4 and below. Adult Secondary Education (ASE) classes prepare adults who function academically at NRS Level 5 or above. Individuals eighteen years of age or older may enroll in classes at any time during the year.
"Under special circumstances, persons 16 or 17 years of age may be enrolled in adult education programs if the following conditions are met:
- Score at least 535 in all three subjects on the TABE.
- Public School Waiver signed by counselor, principal, or superintendent of the local school district or Notarized Copy of Intent to Home School document.
- The student and the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis meet with the Director or Coordinator to discuss the requirements of the local adult education program.
- The student, the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis, and the Director or Coordinator of the adult education program agree in writing that the student will attend the requisite number of hours per week and maintain appropriate conduct as outlined in the local adult education program student handbook."
'Our Adult Education Services:
Basic Skill Improvement
GED Preparation & Testing
College Prep Classes
English as a Second Language
Employability and Workplace Training
Integrated Education and Training-CNA and OSHA 10
Career Development Activities
Supportive Services through SNAP Employment and
Training and Temporary Assistance for Needy Services (TANF)