Adult Education Program
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Many of the students who come to our program are here because they were unable to complete their high school education. Some of these students do not have much faith in accomplishing this goal. I have watched and helped students who were depressed and so unhappy with their lives. We truly care for our students. Because we are sincere, it shows, and our students soon become confident in their own work that shows they are improving, and they are passing the GED® sections.
This is a program with a heart. Through sincere caring and encouragement, we have been able to help build the self-esteem of students who have a poor home support system. We sit and talk with our students, get to know them as individuals, and try to help find solutions that will help them continue in their educational endeavors.
Because of the caring and encouraging atmosphere in our office and classes many students who would not have been successful have found a new belief in their ability to succeed. How proud we are every May to attend the graduation ceremony and watch those hard-working students walk across the stage to celebrate obtaining their GED® credential. Adult education changes lives.
Encuentro Home Health Aide (HHA) Program
Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico is home to a rapidly aging population that is in need of quality home health care. Latina immigrants, most already involved in domestic work, are seeking educational and career advancement. The healthcare industry is seeking a highly-trained workforce. The challenge undertaken was to create an educational and workforce development program that met the needs of all three stakeholders. Out of this challenge, Encuentro’s Home Health Aide (HHA) Program has emerged.
Encuentro, along with Central New Mexico Community College, has developed the only bilingual Home Health Aide (HHA) Program of its kind. Latina immigrant students, most without a high school diploma, participate in a 15-week course that better prepares them for the fastest-growing workforce industry in New Mexico. Intensive wrap-around academic and social support provide the necessary bridge to success for students. Deep content knowledge within a higher education institution along with intense knowledge reinforcement in a culturally-responsive approach is the innovative aspect of the solution. Through the creation of an employee matching website, HHA Program graduates are able to connect with families in need of elderly care.
Since its inception in 2016, the HHA Program has graduated 96 students while accumulating a 100% enrollment, 100% graduation rate. Over 50 employment inquiries have been made by families in need of care. With a waiting list of 200 prospective students, Encuentro has begun to see outcomes benefiting the aging population seeking quality care, Latina immigrant students seeking educational and career advancement, and an emerging industry seeking highly-trained employees.
Rotary Club Vouchers
Adult Learning Center, University of New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
For many students in adult education, one challenge is finding the funds to pay for high school equivalency tests. Many programs can provide free preparatory classes, but can’t pay test fees for individual students. In the past, students have left our program without ever testing because they couldn’t overcome this financial barrier.
As a solution to this problem, we partnered with a local service organization, Rotary Club of Los Alamos. Rotary members wrote grants to apply for district funds so that they could purchase vouchers from the authorized testing services. Students could apply for these vouchers and use them to pay for their HSE exams.
In the eight years that this partnership has been in existence, over 150 students have been able to overcome this financial barrier by using the vouchers provided by the Rotary Club to take the HSE exam, allowing them to improve their employment opportunities and, ultimately, their quality of life.
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn English at your University. When I arrived in the U.S. I was incapable of speaking an English phrase, but after participating in your class, I can speak with others. I am very satisfied with this experience, and especially appreciate the teachers I have had. I will come back this fall to continue to learn. Thank you, and good job!”
“I have been attending ESL classes for about 6 months. Since this is my first stay in a foreign country, I had to deal with many things such as finding a place to stay, opening a bank account, buying a car, getting a driver’s license, and so on. The class helped me learn about starting a life here. The class also helps me to maintain my English, since I practice every week, and I can see that this helps me make progress. Finally, it is also good to share my difficulties learning English with other students. I may have good solutions to their problems, and they may have another way for me to learn English that helps me. It was so helpful and fun for me to learn English and share with others in my ESL class.”
“When I arrived in New Mexico last December, I felt very anxious about my English because I couldn’t understand what the local people were saying, and I couldn’t express myself correctly. Then I took part in the ESL class. Teachers and staff here are very thoughtful and patient. I felt encouraged and became more confident. My teacher worked with us to improve all of our skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. After practicing for a whole semester, I have made great progress in my English. Now I have been able to find a part-time job teaching American kids Chinese. I can communicate with them freely and effectively. I appreciate that the classes at UNM-LA helped me achieve this goal.”