(BEDFORD) – National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is Sept. 22-28.
The goal is to raise public awareness about the resources available to the 36 million adults with low literacy skills.
In Indiana, the Department of Workforce Development administers the state’s Adult Education program, which helps Hoosiers earn a high school equivalency (HSE). This is one of the leading programs in the nation for helping people achieve that status.
This FREE program is offered in Lawrence County in both Bedford and Mitchell.
Receiving an HSE is a life-changing experience for most participants in the Adult Education program.
David Smith of Bedford dropped out of school during his junior year.
He says passing the HSE shows your employer or future employer that you are willing to work hard and are ready for more responsibility.
“I’m the second shift receiving clerk at C&M Conveyor in Mitchell and was elected to be the union steward,” says Smith. “I couldn’t have applied for this position if I didn’t have my HSE diploma, so I am glad I got it.”
Michael Cooper, of Bedford, was having a hard time finding a job
before he took the classes and passed his test. He dropped out of high
school at the beginning of his sophomore year.
“ My life was headed in the wrong direction, This was one step in changing my life around,” said Michael Cooper, who earned a high school equivalency diploma through adult education. “I attended classes and got the help I needed. I took the pretest before taking the final exam. The areas I didn’t score high in I got extra help from my teacher. I passed with flying colors. Now I have a great job at CAP Group, and I am turning my life around.”
To help celebrate the week, Indiana’s Adult Education team compiled five interesting facts about the program.
- Did you know Indiana Adult Education enrolls more students annually than Ball State University? Last year close to 25,000 students were enrolled in adult education in Indiana.
- Did you know more than 22,000 Hoosiers received their High School Equivalency Diploma in the last four years? This is more than the capacity of Bankers Life Fieldhouse!
- Did you know Indiana Adult Education was ranked No. 1 in the nation last year in the number of students making a measurable skill gain? Two-thirds of Hoosier students achieved a two-grade level or more improvement in academic skills.
- Did you know Indiana Adult Education also helps Hoosiers obtain post-secondary certifications? Approximately 2,700 industry-recognized certifications leading to jobs in demand in Indiana were issued last year.
- Did you know Indiana Adult Education is a bargain with a cost per enrollment under $1,000?
Kayla Bryant marketing director at the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council says last year 38 residents in Lawrence County received their High School Equivalency Diploma.
“We want to increase this number significantly as it is our goal to get at least 100 people their HSE in the next year,” Bryant added.
Anyone living in Indiana for at least 30 days and is at least 16 years old can take the test.
Your HSE Diploma can be earned after completing a test based on five subject areas including Math, Reading, Writing, Science, and Social Studies. The skills you are taught and eventually tested on are at the same level as those of graduating high school seniors.
Once you pass the test, the State of Indiana will issue you an Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma.
“There are classroom and online options for this program., says instructor Travis Malone. “We have a website for this program – www.getmyhse.org.”
On the website, individuals can fill out the interest form and Malone will contact them to share information and answer questions.
“In a recent survey, we found that 58 percent of Lawrence County employers that responded require an HSE for entry-level work,” says Bryant. “The other 42 percent is largely fast-food and retail.”
Lawrence County Class Schedule:
Teacher: Travis Malone
Classes in Bedford:
- Monday – 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
- Tuesday – 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
- Thursday- 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Classes are held at Work One at 2405 Mitchell Road in Bedford.
Classes in Mitchell:
- Tuesdays – 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
- Thursdays – 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Classes are held at the Mitchell Community Public Library at 804 West Main Street
Those wanting to register or learn more about the classes can click here.
Taking Indiana’s HSE test is your first step to moving forward. Whether your goal is to get a better job or continue on your educational pathway to a certificate, 2-year associate degree or 4-year bachelor’s degree, this is where your second chance starts.