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Adult Education - Opening Doors and Changing Lives

12/23/2017 11:09:17 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

Daniel Baeza came to the Adult Education Program classes for the first time in 2014. He had the intention of obtaining his HSE (High School Education Equivalency, commonly referred to as GED).

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a very welcoming atmosphere,” he said.

Baeza, who had dropped out of high school, attended classes for two months, took the test and passed it the first time.

“Getting a high school equivalent certificate (or HSE) changed my life,” he said. “It has opened so many doors for me. It also made me realize that I could do something with my life and that it could be something great!”

Baeza is now a fulltime NMJC student at. He completed an Associate’s degree in Arts and is now seeking a Bachelor’s in Business.

“I want to thank everybody at the Adult Education Program because I couldn’t have made it without their help,” he said. “I’d also like to encourage other people who want to get their HSE come and start taking classes. If you work hard, you’ll succeed!”

Baeza will be transferring to Texas Tech in the fall of 2018 to continue his studies.

“I will never forget when Daniel came in our office super excited and jumping all over the place, after he got his High School Equivalency Credential,” Casarez said.

Kathleen Ferrell, director of Adult Education, has worked for 15 years, seven of them with adults. She has assisted learners from seventh grade to adult, desiring to see the success of every student she works with.

She has strived to create an educational environment that fosters self-worth and motivates students to learn.

“At this moment, there are approximately 320 students in the Adult Education Program,” she said. “Our dedicated team works with them individually so they don’t just receive an HSE but are ready to start a new career and a new life.”

The next session of HSE classes, which are free, starts in January. Students who are planning to enroll must call the Adult Education Program office for dates and registration requirements.

Prospective students are assessed through TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education, an approved federal testing method) for current skills specific to Language, Math and Reading. The TABE skills tests, like the classes, are at no charge to the student.

Once they complete the registration process, students are enrolled in classes that assist them in building their skills towards their HSE attainment. While they are completing their coursework, they are also assisted by an Adult Education staff member as they continue into college, certificate training or employment.

“We work closely with Workforce Solutions, NMJC Training & Outreach and NMJC counselors to provide information supporting and encouraging students to continue in their journey towards education and wage sustaining employment,” Ferrell said.

The Adult Education Program also offers ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. Students are placed in one of the four ESL classes that are now offered. Once they have completed all levels, they are encouraged to transition into a general English class through the same program or into the advanced ESL classes offered through NMJC. For more information concerning January enrollment, please call 492-2629.

The Adult Education Program office is located upstairs of the Ben Alexander Building, suite 205, at NMJC. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Please call 575-492-2629 for more information.

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