Adults Go Back to School Too!

Questions by Greenline

Answers by Jennifer Celestin

WFD ESOL classroom 001

St. Nicks Workforce has offered Adult Education classes for over 15 years.  We have English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL), High School Equivalency (HSE) classes in English and Spanish, and we have Computer classes that teach people the basics of MS Office, Email, and the internet.

Q: Who would benefit the most from this program?

A:  Anyone interested in obtaining their High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma or seeking to validate their credentials from their native country.  It would also be beneficial to anyone seeking to improve their conversational English and Literacy skills.

Q: What happens after the classes are completed? (i.e., job placement, monitoring, etc.)

 A: Classes are ongoing in HSE until the student reaches at least the 11th grade in their reading and math scores.  Once the student reaches the upper level of functioning they are then encouraged to apply for a test date; this may take up to 8 weeks.  In the meantime, the student will continue prepping in class.  Students are required to keep attending class until they receive their test scores.  ESOL classes are ongoing until a student has scored out of the class.

Q: What is some general feedback from the students?

A: Students usually appreciate our flexible schedules.  We provide day, afternoon, and evening classes.  

Q: Any new trainings coming in the future?

A: We are offering classes at new locations to accommodate our students.  Starting October 5th and October 6th we will have classes at 195 Graham Avenue and 378 Throop Avenue respectively.  Anyone who lives in those catchment areas will be referred to those satellite classroom locations.  Imagine that! St. Nicks Alliance Adult Education is expanding its campus!

Q: Success stories or anecdotes you’d like to share?

A: In general students come in to us saying that they need help with math and that it is their worst subject.  They are also generally embarrassed by their functioning or believe that because they stopped attending school in the 10th grade they should have higher scores.  The truth of the matter is that most adult learners come in at the 5th grade level in reading and math.  “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” When we read signage, sign school forms for our children, go grocery shopping, and function generally as an adult we are only using knowledge that was covered in the 5th grade.

I lead with these facts to encourage adult learners to come back to the classroom!  There is nothing to be ashamed or discouraged about because we have seen it all: people who need one subject area to pass; people who have been out of school since 6th grade; people who have undiagnosed learning disabilities; and people who are illiterate in their native language. We have plenty of success stories. Our gain rate is over 75% in all our subjects, which means if you come in and commit to the class you will see an improvement.  We believe in you! Do you believe in you?

 

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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