Hey everyone! Daniel back with you with a two-part blog talking about a subject that hits close to home for me. This topic is Adult Education and Literacy (AEL). I have witnessed first-hand family and friends who have not completed an AEL program to obtain their high school equivalency. It has affected their lives even to this day, obtaining a livable wage job. Today, we will discuss the numbers from 2011 – 2018. Then I will discuss “AEL Today” with you. Later, please join me where we will discuss “AEL for the Future” for part two of this blog.
So, let us look at the numbers. The statistics. Boo! No, not statistics. No, seriously. It is imperative to look at the data to gain a better picture of our problem. According to U.S. Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, in 2011 more than 1.2 million students discontinued their education. Initially, this number shocked me because I had no idea that many students were quitting school. In 2018, approximately 2.1 million students dropped out of school that year (USDE, The Condition of Education 2020). 2.1 million Young Adults. In seven years, the number of students dropping out in the US had increased by one million. So, we need to ask ourselves: are we making any kind of impact? Are we supporting the right organizations? Can we develop a working model, and replicate it? I would love to hear from you. Please comment below about strategies we can implement today, right now within our communities to improve graduation rates among our young adults.
Now, let us talk about “AEL Today.” What I mean by this is currently there are many opportunities available to connect with AEL programs in the Houston-Galveston area. One of those resources is found right here at Workforce Solutions. Please visit our website for awesome job search information such as career exploration, job search assistance, and help with financial aid! Specific information with connecting with one of our AEL partners (training providers such as Houston Community College, Lonestar College, and many more) may be found at our AEL page. Here you may find resources for GED preparation, contextualized GED/Skills training, and English as a Second Language (ESL) and Civics with one of our many training partners in the 13-county Gulf Coast region. On the site, please select the county where you reside or desire to attend a program to locate a partner.
With today’s changing environment, I believe it is even easier to accomplish your dreams with access to technology. Schools and employers are making themselves accessible virtually. If there is a challenge, please comment and let us know. I would love to work with you and organizations (schools & employers) to overcome those barriers. If you lack a high school equivalency, I challenge you to take those first steps to start an AEL program, follow the links provided for the information, or please visit the sites to have a better understanding. If not, please do not hesitate to contact your local Workforce Solutions career office for more information. I look forward to discussing part two of this blog later when we discuss “AEL for the Future.”
Daniel Mabry is a member of the Workforce Solutions Regional Team in the Houston-Galveston region. After serving in the United States Marine Corps for over nine years, he connected with Workforce Solutions for career guidance and shortly afterward became an employee. This position allows him to utilize his training and personal experience to help people with Adult Education and Literacy.