The State Fair Community College Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program has received a $363,066 grant for fiscal year 2017-2018 from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MoDESE) to continue the program’s activities and services.
Funds are used for ongoing adult education and literacy activities that increase a person’s reading, writing, math, and English speaking skills necessary for attaining a High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate, transitioning to postsecondary education and obtaining employment. The AEL program includes classes to help English language learners achieve competence in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending the English language.
Additionally, the program works with the Missouri Job Centers to provide workforce preparation as needed and can serve people with a high school diploma who need to “skill up” in math, reading and writing for job attainment, advancement or to enter a postsecondary program. Classes to prepare people to become U.S. citizens also are offered. All programs and services are free, but there are testing fees for the HSE exam.
The SFCC AEL service area includes all school districts, public and private, in Benton, Carroll, Cooper, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, and St. Clair counties. The program has 20 class sites, serves about 600 students and employs 30 to 32 staff and instructors. A case manager is available to help participants transition into the workforce and postsecondary programs.
“SFCC saw the need for adult literacy services when the college opened in 1968 and started offering evening classes in Sedalia and Warsaw,” said Deb Williams, AEL program director. “SFCC was one of seven programs funded with the first MoDESE grant in 1971. Now, we even offer online support for eligible students through MOLearns.”
The grant is for one year, beginning July 1, with the possibility of renewals, said Williams. MoDESE funded 28 programs for FY17-18.