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Pennsylvania

Adult Education Innovations

State Contacts


State Agency

Amanda Harrison
Division Chief
Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education
Department of Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor Harrisburg, PA 17126
Phone: (717) 772-3739 Fax: (717) 783-0583
Email: aharrison@pa.gov
Website: http://www.education.pa.gov

State Association

Ryan Breisch
Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education (PAACE)
Pennsylvania
Phone: 610-670-9960
Email: ryan@lcrb.org
Website: http://paacesite.org/index.php?bypassCookie=1

 

State Reports on Adult Education


 

Pennsylvania

State Data on Adult Education


 

Pennsylvania

Adult Learner Success Stories


 

Pennsylvania

Joseph Gonzalez
Adult Learner

The Challenge

“I passed math because of her,” relates Brooklyn native Joseph Gonzalez about his IU 13 Community Education instructor. Joseph needed to earn his High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma in order to move to the next step: become a union iron worker.

The Solution

After three years in prison and a lifetime of struggles, Joseph moved to Lancaster where his parole officer encouraged him to contact the Reentry Services office at Career Link. With the support of Reentry Services, Joe completed welding training at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. But to enter the union, he needed to earn his high school equivalency (HSE) diploma. The reentry office connected Joe with IU 13’s Community Education program, where he studied for five months with his IU 13 instructor in the Improved Reentry Education (IRE) program and earned his HSE. Joe joined the union and became a certified welder.

The Outcome

When Joseph reflects on his past, he shares that he learned from his mistakes and advises others, “Just because you fell all the way to the ground doesn’t mean you can’t get up. For every 10 steps you fall, jump up 20 steps. You might have times when you’re sad, but keep pushing.” Joseph acknowledges that the transition from New York to Lancaster has not been easy, but shares that as a hard worker he appreciates that “everything is a lesson learned.”

Miguel Ikomo
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Refugees from the Congo, Miguel Ikomo and his family arrived in the US a year ago through the support of Church World Service. He knew he needed to earn a high school equivalency degree first, which he accomplished in 5 months.

The Solution

“I was really driven to improve my English to get ready for college. I didn’t want to waste much time,” explains Miguel about his enrollment in IU 13 Community Education’s Academic English program through Immerse International in Millersville. There, he practiced the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as grammar and vocabulary development. “We did great stuff, like discussions, which is really common in colleges so it gets you ready for college assignments. It was great.”  Upon conclusion of the semester program, Miguel began applying to colleges where he hopes to study computer science and play soccer.

The Outcome

Miguel currently has a job in roofing and spends any free time training for soccer. He notes that as the oldest son in Congo–with his father already in the US–he had the most responsibility and is accustomed to hard work. His advice to other new arrivees in the US is reflective of his work ethic: “You’ve been dreaming of America…to come for pleasure…to get money easier…You have to work hard—harder than you used to—to improve in every domain.”

Natasha Khaliq
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Teenage mother. School expulsion. Prison time. These roadblocks, and more, slowed down Natasha Khaliq’s dreams, but did not stop her. Today, at the age of 37, she has been accepted to Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (LCCTC) for Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) training–her dream since she was 15.

The Solution

Enrolling at LCCTC first required that Natasha earn a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, which she did after five months of tutoring through IU 13 Community Education’s Improved Reentry Education (IRE) program at Career Link. (In 2013, Natasha had been one subject test away from earning her HSE when the GED test changed, forcing her to start over again). Working with her IU13 instructor, she also learned about career and training options, so that on the Monday after Natasha earned her HSE, she knew her next steps and enrolled in Community Education’s Pre-LPN classes. There, she learned the skills and knowledge necessary to pass LCCTC’s nursing entrance exam (Test of Essential Academic Skills) in May 2017 and register for the 18-month training program.

Going to CareerLink to earn the HSE was not easy for Natasha; she was in constant pain from a recent surgery and juggling the roles of wife, mother, and student. She notes that her IU13 Community Education teacher was immensely patient: “That’s what I love about her. Every time when I was in a lot of pain she was understanding and patient. Miss Mary and I had not just a teacher connection–I felt a spiritual connection with her.”

The Outcome

Going to CareerLink to earn the HSE was not easy for Natasha; she was in constant pain from a recent surgery and juggling the roles of wife, mother, and student. She notes that her IU13 Community Education teacher was immensely patient: “That’s what I love about her. Every time when I was in a lot of pain she was understanding and patient. Miss Mary and I had not just a teacher connection–I felt a spiritual connection with her.”

William Vaskie
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Today, William Vaskie is featured on billboards in Lancaster County. Two years ago, he was in state prison. Like many adults exiting prison, William was not sure of his next steps. “I just wanted to have a normal life. I wanted to have a house, a family, and a career—something I never had before.”

The Solution

A conversation with his parole officer led William to Lancaster’s Career Link where he earned his GED through the IU13 Community Education Program just two weeks later. He next enrolled as a full-time student in Lancaster County Career and Technology’s (LCCTC) welding program where his tuition was funded by IU 13’s Improved Re-entry Education grant. After one month of school, he was offered a co-op—he works as a welder in a manufacturing company every day and goes to school for five hours twice a week after work. In the meantime, William became a celebrity when LCCTC photographed him while in training and used the picture on billboards to advertise their welding program.

The Outcome

With just a few months remaining in his training, William reflects on his past and advises folks who face re-entry: “I felt like nothing was going to change. And it wasn’t easy. But you have to go out and get it.  Your past is behind you. You gotta live for now.” William is a testimony to learning about the possibilities and pursuing them. “I love my job and I’m looking forward to finishing school! Go with your heart and passion. Anything is possible!”