On Religion, The Media and Life as a 20-something in Chicago

ELGIN — Adult education has been “kind of wrong all along” in its traditional approach to learning, according to Peggy Heinrich, dean of adult education at Elgin Community College. Historically, the idea behind adult education was to ”go through the levels” — earning a GED (that is, passing the General Education Development test) or gaining English as a Second Language proficiency before moving on to higher-level courses, Heinrich said. As a result, she said, only 3 percent of adult students ever complete a degree. That could change at ECC, thanks to some outside funding help. ECC is one of eight community colleges in Illinois to receive grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other leading philanthropies to help adult students complete post-secondary education and training. That money is part of a $1.6 million grant from Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative, supported by the Gates, Joyce, W.K. Kellogg, Kresge and Open Society foundations. That’s according to the Illinois Community College Board, which was awarded the three-year grant earlier this month by Jobs for the Future. Breaking Through initiatives are co-managed by Jobs for the Future and the National Council for Workforce Education. ECC officials are not sure exactly how much money the college will see over the next three years, Heinrich said. Whatever is received will be used to expand a program to help adult students earn vocational certificates in a program ECC piloted last spring. “For me, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve seen in adult education since I’ve been here,” she said. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News.

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

Grant to help ECC with new adult strategy (Sun-Times Media)

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