THECB visits programs supported by adult basic education grant

Dr. Linda Muñoz, senior program director for developmental and adult education from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), recently visited San Jacinto College to observe programs supported by the Adult Basic Education Innovation Grant (ABE-IG).

San Jacinto College was one of eight colleges to be awarded this grant in 2010. The THECB, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) collaborated to issue this career pathways innovation grant for adult basic education students. The purpose of the ABE-IG grant is to increase participation and success of unemployed and underemployed adults in workforce training programs at community colleges and public technical institutions.  Grants awarded under this competition focus on entry-level job skills training and Level 1 certificate training.

This semester, SJC is offering fully-funded grant opportunities in the areas of welding, CNA, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), professional truck driving, mammography practicum, computer literacy, payroll specialist, CPR and Microsoft Office specialty. Currently, the number of SJC unduplicated students that this grant has helped to gain national and state certifications in a one year period is 196.  Muñoz found that number to be astonishing and said that she had to come and see the program for herself.

Job placement is a critical component of all ABE-IG sponsored coursework and is what HVAC instructor, Brian Sanders, refers to as “a real-world capstone event.”

“It is not enough in the ABE curriculum to merely get the students through the course, employment is the thing the students are after,” said Sanders.