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South Dakota

Adult Education Innovations

State Reports on Adult Education


 

South Dakota

State Data on Adult Education


 

South Dakota

Adult Learner Success Stories


 

South Dakota

DeRyanna Spear
Adult Learner

The Challenge

DeRyanna “Rye” Spear told her grandkids she wanted to get her GED® to demonstrate anything is possible if they set their mind to it. Rye started attending CLCBH in October 2017. She was placed on medical leave for a back injury. Her educational journey had challenges. Growing up in an alcoholic family contributed to school challenges. She had a baby girl her senior year, putting education on hold to work. She had two additional children; family was her priority. Studying was difficult.

The Solution

Excited to live closer to her daughter and new grandson, Rye and her husband, Calvin, moved to South Dakota. Rye soon realized jobs she wanted to apply for required her to have her GED®. Seven months into her position as a CNA in a nursing home, she fell and injured her back. Even though she struggled with pain and headaches, she was determined to use the time to study for her GED® exam. 
Rye became friends with a fellow student which led to becoming study partners. They have motivated each other to persevere. For both, having their high school equivalency is required for their desired job positions in the healthcare field. Coincidentally, they both are coping with debilitating back pain and are able to empathize with each other. 

The Outcome

In both reading and math, Rye improved by 2.6 grade levels and completed her final exam in math on August 14, 2018. This accomplishment has given Rye confidence. She is proud to share this milestone with her family. Since completing her GED®, she has received her Med Aid Certification. Rye’s long term goal is to continue her education by studying to be a phlebotomist. She is receiving assistance from Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board via a Health Pathways Occupations Grant.

Jeremy Walker
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Jeremy Walker had survived homeless situations and had a rocky educational beginning. Jeremy dreamed of becoming an ASE certified mechanic. He worked diligently and with a purpose in order to fill in educational gaps in learning. The dedication he showed was impressive and he quickly became a quiet leader giving positive reinforcement to everyone in the classroom. As he moved forward, he had problems arise seeming to be “deal breakers”. Without connections, college would not have been possible. 

The Solution

Jeremy chose to move forward and allowed staff at the CLC to help him write a resume. He was connected to Pathways to Prosperity and SeekLearnGrow. He wanted help; he knew he would be likely to succeed if the right people were on board. After finding out he received a Builds Dakota Scholarship and celebrating the idea he would be able to go to Western Dakota Tech, he discovered he had not filed with selective service. Additionally, his immunization records could not be found. Jeremy worked evenings and studied for the GED® during the day and was becoming discouraged. The local DLR office stepped in to assist with resolving the selective service issue. The immunization issues were also resolved via assistance from Community Health.

The Outcome

Jeremy’s positive and ‘can-do’ attitude has led him to begin his post-secondary studies at Western Dakota Tech in the Light Duty Transportation Technology Program. In working to connect each graduate to their identified career pathway we often heard, “If Jeremy can do it, I can, too.” Jeremy has returned to check on friends in our classrooms and provide encouragement. There is no question the success of Jeremy will have a positive influence his family and friends for generations to come.

Michael Welch
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Michael Welch admits his educational path was full of obstacles. He spent time homeless and moving as a hobo riding rails from one destination to another. Upon entering the GED® preparatory classes, he shared hopelessness and self-doubt. Instructional staff was apprehensive about Michael’s resolve to participate and persevere. An amazing transformation took place as Mike was persuaded to take part in a CPR/First Aid class given for students contemplating work in the healthcare industry.

The Solution

CPR/First Aid classes reignited Mike’s passion; caring for others. The instructor suggested he consider becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and continue in the Paramedic training. The same afternoon, Michael submitted an application for Health Pathways Occupations Grant (HPOG) to acquire training. Michael Welch found his dream and started down a career pathway leading him to obtain his GED®. Michael developed a professional resume. He applied for a Builds Dakota scholarship including an essay and extensive documentation. He was assisted by SeekLearnGrow, a non-profit organization specializing in helping students get into post-secondary education and understanding the process to apply for and secure Federal Financial Aid.

The Outcome

Michael was chosen as a recipient of the Builds Dakota Scholarship covering 100% of tuition, fees, and necessities of his college. Finding a way out of poverty is difficult; he committed to participation in Pathways to Prosperity Mentorship Program giving students intensive case management and assistance with the world of work and education. He completed the EMT Bootcamp and enrolled in Paramedics courses at Western Dakota Tech. Michael has become a positive leader for other GED® students. 

Cecelia White Eagle
Adult Learner

The Challenge

Cecelia White Eagle completed her GED® journey in Rapid City, SD. Cecelia had difficult times, living without a home and separated from a domestic violence situation; yet she had hope and was determined to accomplish her ambitions. Cecelia could not get an apartment until she saved a deposit, utility hookups, and $200 for the unexpected moments a move might entail. She struggled to pinch her pennies and found an apartment. The entire time, she worked 8-12 hour days and then came to class.

The Solution

Miss White Eagle heard about a “tremendous math teacher” who could help assist her in algebra and geometry; she came to the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills to get the necessary skills. Her work ethic allowed for achieving a high school equivalency. She evidenced an increased grade equivalency in math totaling 4.5 years and finished her GED®. Cecelia set her sights on attending Western Dakota Tech for Law Enforcement. She attended adult education classes to prepare for the Accuplacer examination and ensure her placement into credit-bearing courses. Cecelia prepared an employment portfolio and completed scholarship applications. She left the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills on May 1, 2017, and started college that August.

The Outcome

She has since become a scholarship recipient and completed her first year of college. Her name appears on the Dean’s List for the fall of 2017. In January 2018, Menard’s in Rapid City honored her by naming her the Associate of the Month. She also became the proud owner of a car. Cecelia continues the quest to become an excellent law enforcement officer who will be trained to serve with honor and dignity. She was chosen the SDALL Adult Learner of the Year and accepted the award in July.