This year, the Northeastern Junior College (NJC) Adult Education program was fortunate to receive the Adult Education and Literacy grant, which has funded our new Learn to Earn program. Because of this, we have been able to do some exciting things! Learn to Earn is designed to guide students along either a career or educational pathway. Our College and Career Navigator (CCN), Ted Acton, is instructing a college and career readiness class using the curriculum Bring Your A Game. This course covers seven essential work ethic values that are prerequisites for success in any field, job and industry. The seven values are: Attitude, Attendance, Appearance, Ambition, Accountability, Acceptance and Appreciation. The CCN’s other main priority is our school store called “The Snack Shack,” which is a project based learning model teaching students how to change money, work a cash register, monitor inventory, sales, and basic accounting. This grant also allowed us to begin a basic computer series of classes which will help our students tremendously with the new GED test and future employment. The students will learn basic computer concepts, Internet, email, Windows 7, Microsoft Word 2010, and a lot more.
One of the most essential aspects of the Learn to Earn pro- gram is the partnerships with both NJC and other community businesses. One of these important partnerships is with the Department of Health, which is paying for the salary of a STEM instructor for our program. There is a significant demand for students trained in science, math, technology, engineering, and other related fields. In order to reflect that, our program has put more emphasis on instruction in STEM and related subjects. Our partnership with NJC will open the college labs for our students to use several times a year. This will expose students to the college environment and will give them added confidence and vision of their career possibilities. In addition, NJC is allowing our students to participate in a new pre-nursing class that will prepare them to enter into the Certified Nursing Assistance classes and nursing program.
Another important aspect of Learn to Earn is technology. We have been able to update our computer lab and purchase new projectors and speakers for two of our classrooms. Students are gaining exposure to new technology and are able to participate in interactive learning activities that increase memory and performance in class. In addition, we have numerous partners who come to do workshops and presentations. These presenters can now take advantage of our upgraded technology while helping students find careers or enter college.
We have been very busy this year, but cannot wait to help students succeed through our Learn to Earn program.