Published on 2012/02/10

Combining Remedial and Career Education Best

Last week, the Bellingham Herald’s Tony Pugh reported that some states are working with private foundations, local colleges and area employers to reshape adult basic education programs to provide career training and remedial course work simultaneously.

Barbara Endel, program director for Jobs for the Future, told Pugh that they’re looking to move students into in-demand industries—such as health care, advanced manufacturing and professional services—with jobs that require training certificates.

“What we’re trying to do is get away from these long sequences where they’re stuck in a traditional adult basic-education program for a year or longer, and only when they get their GED are they permitted to enroll in college,” she said, “There are adult learners that we can double down on and essentially wipe out months of their time and effort by doing two things at once.”

According to Pugh, the numbers back the program. He says that numerous studies have shown that low-skilled adults are more likely to stick with their course work when they get career skills and remedial education at the same time. Endel said she agreed, adding that this was likely because students could immediately see the benefits and possible outcomes of their learning.

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