Accelerate Texas Week to focus on Adult Basic Education initiative

Email this article 11/08/2013

Southwest Texas Junior College is one of 21 community colleges and college districts across the state celebrating Accelerate Texas Week on Nov. 11-15.

The week-long event is aimed at bringing attention to a new statewide initiative focusing on helping Adult Basic Education (ABE) students obtain college credentials.

According to Romelia Aranda, SWTJC Associate Vice President for ABE and Workforce Training, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) estimates that at least 60% of Texas jobs will require a career certificate or college degree by the year 2020. At present, 44% of Texans over the age of 25 have never been to college, let alone earned a credential.

"Given the current date and the state's projections, it is imperative that we do more to prepare adult basic education learners for the future demands of the workplace," Aranda said.

Accelerate Texas programs will integrate ABE skills into college pathways so that students gain all the skills and certificates they need to apply for high-demand jobs in industries like health care, manufacturing, construction and transportation.

Currently, SWTJC is offering training for ABE students in certified nurse aide, certified medical assistant and CDL/truck driving. According to Aranda, additional programs are being planned for administrative information technology and welding.

To highlight the various programs available, the SWTJC/ABE program has planned several open houses in conjunction with Accelerate Texas Week.

On Tuesday, the Uvalde campus will hold open house for ESL classes from 8 a.m. until noon, while the GED day class will have an open house from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Evening ESL and GED classes will have an open house Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. All activities will be held in the Essie Pearl Richarz building.

"At these open houses we will explain program options available in Uvalde and provide materials describing exactly what will be covered in the various classes," ABE Uvalde site supervisor Norma Berrones said. "We encourage anyone who thinks they might be interested to take advantage of this opportunity and let us help you help yourself to a better tomorrow."

For more information on Accelerate Texas, contact Berrones at 830.278.4391.

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