HOUSTON–Texas’ largest adult education program, managed by Houston Community College, has been awarded more than $7 million dollars by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and selected to participate in a distance learning literacy program. In addition, the HCC Community and Adult Education Division, has been asked to participate in study being conducted by the Psychology Department at Rice University.

The $7 million includes both state and federal funding to support HCC and its partners in the Houston Literacy Consortium, who provide free grant-supported adult education programs including English as a Second Language.

The Adult Education Division provides Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED) and ESL classes at over 100 locations. It is also the fiscal agent for the Consortium, which includes 11 community-based organizations.

HCC is one of the state’s most efficient providers of adult literacy, according to David Joost, Director of Corporate Initiatives and Adult Education. “Students attending the programs offered by HCC and its partners average about 100 hours of instruction per year,” said Joost. “This surpasses the state average by about 25 per cent. As a result, the HCC program continues to grow even in the face of budget cuts at the federal and state levels.”

“HCC’s adult education program is also the largest dropout recovery program in Houston, continually taking in students that have left local school districts. Since 1971, the HCC program has served over 600,000 adult learners ages 17 and over,” Joost said.

The TEA selected HCC to participate in piloting a distance education ESL program, “Sed de Seder” (Thirst for Knowledge) aimed primarily at Hispanic adults in the workplace. Of the 17,000
Add One adults served by HCC Adult Education program each year, 75 percent are non-English speakers.

The course is self-paced, study-at-home model, using an interactive format which uses multi-sensory techniques to teach English: sight, sound and touch. HCC is partnering with employers and SER-Jobs for Progress to train entry-level employees in the hospitality industry using this new program.

HCC Adult Education student volunteers

articipating in the study by Rice psychologists will be divided into two groups; one group of students who have not yet started a literacy program and the other group of students who have completed a literacy program. Both groups will go through a computerized task that measures their speed and accuracy in identifying letter and non-letter pairs. The results of the treatment will be used to determine the extent to which age and reading ability influence image recognition.
The Adult Education program at HCC began shortly after the college was founded in 1971, taking over the program formerly administered by the Houston Independent School District (HISD). HCC provides adult education services directly at some of its campuses and dozens of sites across Houston, including schools, churches, community centers, apartment buildings, homeless shelters, hospitals, jails and libraries. Classes are scheduled at a wide variety of times to meet the needs of working adults.

For more information call the HCC Adult Education Hotline at 713-718-5400.

HCC is an open-admission, public institution of higher learning offering associate degrees, certificates, academic preparation, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities that prepare individuals in our diverse communities for living and working in an increasingly international and technological society. HCC is composed of six colleges serving Houston and surrounding areas.

About the Author:

eSchool News