Last year the Tennessee Adult Education underwent restructuring of the service delivery system, and as of July 1, 2013, Chattanooga State is the sole state-supported provider of adult education in Hamilton County, operating under an Adult Education grant and an English Literacy and Civics grant. Starting January 2, 2014, Tennesseans have a choice of taking either the new 2014 GED® Test or the HiSet® Test to obtain their Tennessee High School Equivalency Diploma.
Our Adult Ed program in Highland Park is headquartered at the St. Andrews Center (SAC) and currently offers Adult Basic Education classes focusing on basic skills and preparation for the TN High School Equivalency exams, and English as a Second Language (ESL) with a focus on English literacy and civics. Our Adult Ed + ESL programs at this site will serve approximately 350 students as demand for classes continues to grow.
Earning a General Educational Development (GED) diploma, more formally known as a Tennessee High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma, may be the first step toward career success for an adult who did not complete high school. For immigrants, the pre- cursor to the HSE is our ESL program. These services are provided through Tennessee Adult Education that is funded through grants from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and matching contributions from local grantees.
Chattanooga State offers free monthly enrollment sessions, including initial skills assessments followed by a student-centered orientation program designed to help new enrollees set appropriate goals, develop a time management plan and prepare for classes. Adult Education service providers are expected to meet federal targets for student educational gains for our state. On average, about 65% of our students are expected to show significant educational gain each year, and approximately 65% of those entering the program with 6th grade skills or above are expected to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma within the program year. Of those who earn a high school equivalency diploma, 20% are expected to enter post-secondary education within two years.
The ChattState Adult Education and ESL Program at the SAC are taught by seasoned professionals and are led by a Site Director. Program operations and fiscal matters are managed by Director Suzanne Elston who has worked in Adult Education since 1989, teaching GED, basic skills and ESL, and serving as ESL coordinator and state trainer prior to becoming our director in 2005.
Adult Education provides a second chance for area adults to complete their education and thus qualify for jobs and higher education and training to support Hamilton County’s need for an educated workforce. Chattanooga State is grateful to have secured competitive funding this academic year from both the City of Chattanooga and the Weldon F. Osborne Foundation to support our Adult Education + ESL with a focus on English literacy and civics efforts.