Registration open for Adult Learning

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There are many upcoming opportunities for those looking to advance their job opportunities, education and even quality of life.

Austin Adult Basic Learning is offering free and low-cost courses now through May.

English Language Learners

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Registration will be held on 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Community Learning Center (CLC) for English Language Learner (ELL) classes.

Tuition is free; however, there is a $15 fee for the textbook.

The CLC is beginning its third term of the year for ELL classes, which will run through May. Most classes in the five levels are offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Janice Mino, Adult Basic Learning coordinator, said students’ abilities will be gauged before they begin taking ELL classes to determine which course they should take.

“We do a reading assessment and an interview with people so we know how much they understand,” Mino said.

Although the class is offered for people ages 16 and over, Mino emphasized that students must not be enrolled in high school to qualify.

“The majority of our students are in their 20s and 30s,” she said. “We don’t encourage 16- and 17-year-olds.”

ELL students come from various ethnic backgrounds, including Vietnamese, Hispanic, South African (French-speaking) , Sudanese (four tribal languages), Arabic, Polish and Chinese (several dialects).

Mino highly recommends students attend ELL classes all four days of the week for the term.

“Otherwise, the teacher progresses, the students come back and they are really lost,” she said. “It’s a three-month commitment they are making.”

In the case of a job change during the term, Mino said the instructor can shift the student to another class to accommodate their new schedule.

Transition to Post-Secondary Classes

Three types of people may be interested in Transition to Post-Secondary classes: those are think about going on to college and need help preparing in math writing or reading; those who may be out of work and see this as a change to improve their skills; and those who want to get their GED and don’t have a high school diploma.

Reading, writing/GED prep and math clinics are available at Riverland Community College now until the end of May; tuition is free.

The reading clinic follows the STAR (Student Achievement in Reading) curriculum of alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

“It really helps people to increase their speed of reading and their comprehension,” Mino said. “It really is meant for people to get ready for Riverland and other community colleges.”

This class is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The math clinic covers basic math skills, including fractions, percents, decimals, ratios and measurements. This clinic is held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The writing/GED prep clinic includes social studies, writing and science education.

“If you enroll in all three (clinics), you can get instruction in all five areas of the GED test,” Mino said.

This class is from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

All classes will be held in room C110 in the East Building at Riverland Community College.

For more information, call Dennis Schwab at 433-0995 or visit room C110 at Riverland Mondays at 6 p.m.

An open house will be held for all Community Education classes from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the CLC. The CLC is located at 912 First Ave. N.E., in the back of Queen of Angels Church.