News & Media

IU13 Joins Educate & Elevate Campaign to Support Investments in Adult Education

09/27/2017

                       

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2017

 

IU13 JOINS EDUCATE & ELEVATE CAMPAIGN TO
 SUPPORT INVESTMENTS IN ADULT EDUCATION

 

Lancaster, PA: IU13 joins more than 55,000 adult educators in a new national campaign, called Educate & Elevate, which proactively educates policymakers about the importance of Adult Education and how it is an investment in America’s future.

By 2018, 63% of all U.S. jobs will require education beyond high school. Yet, nearly half of the U.S. workforce—about 88 million adults aged 18 to 64—has only a high school education or less, and/or low English proficiency. Adult Education helps to close this gap and provide workers with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Cuts in state and national budgets threaten adult education and can have a serious impact on the vibrancy of our services.

“Adult education is uniquely situated to address the needs of our regional employers,” said Tim Shenk, Program Director of Community Education, which includes the IU13 Adult Education services. “Educating motivated students will support our local businesses in creating jobs and filling positions, so we are urging legislators to fund Adult Education at the $649 million level as called for in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act enacted in 2014.”

More than 1,000 people are enrolled in Adult Education courses across Lancaster and Lebanon counties. One of those adult learners in our local community is Natasha Khaliq.  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 years old.

Natasha acknowledges that work injuries, surgeries, parenting, and the loss of her brother resulted in depression, and she wants to encourage others going through similar struggles. “Never give up on life regardless of how dark it is; there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The help is there. Do not give up on yourself.”  Enrolling at LCCTC first required that Natasha earn a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma, which she did after five months of tutoring through IU13 Community Education’s Improved Reentry Education (IRE) program at CareerLink in Lancaster, PA. (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 Educate & Elevate campaign seeks to empower students, educators, businesses and other advocates nationwide to raise the profile of Adult Education on Capitol Hill and in local communities throughout the nation.

The campaign website offers advocates tools and resources, infographics, videos, fact sheets and success stories to share with elected officials.  Learn more about how Adult Education elevates career and college readiness at EducateandElevate.org. ###

Media Contact: Deb Lovett, Community Education Supervisor, 717-947-1319, deborah_lovett@IU13.org