COA Adult Education Students Graduate

On June 4, 16 GED students at the COA Youth & Family Centers Adult Education Center were awarded diplomas at MATC graduation ceremonies. At one time or another all had dropped out of school, but at some point they decided they wanted to get their high school degree. Each enrolled at COA’s GED/Adult Education Center, and they worked hard. And the walk across the stage to get their diploma meant success. COA’s adult education center is not your typical school. There’s no class being conducted by a teacher, and no lectures – instead, students receive one-on-one individual help. There’s no mandatory attendance – students come because they want to come. In Milwaukee, over half of all students drop out of school. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Many come back and work to get their diploma and the job prospects that go with it. A recent survey of COA GED graduates found that 85% are either employed full time or in college. This year’s class is no exception, with some students already admitted to college next fall. Riverwest resident Wendy Green is COA’s GED Director, and every Monday though Thursday (including summer), Wendy provides support and direction to her students. And it is a huge source of pride for her that so many of her students graduate. How do people find out about COA’s GED? Some just walk in (to 909 E. North Ave) from the neighborhood. Others are participants at COA’s Family Center or are referred by the Reach Youth Opportunity program. For 20 years, Riverwest students ranging in age from 16 to 50+ have come to COA Youth & Family Centers to get their high school diploma. This year, 350 students enrolled. In addition to the GED classes, COA also offers Riverwest residents (free) basic computer skills classes Monday and Thursday nights from 6:30-8 p.m. The next class begins July 7. Finally, each fall, 30 students are admitted into the COA-UWM partnership called Odyssey. This is a chance to try out college and earn 6 college credits for free. Classes in philosophy, history, and art history are taught by UWM faculty. The classes are 2 nights per week right at COA, which also provides childcare during class, and the next class will be in September. COA’s GED/Adult Education Center is open Monday-Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Stop in and ask for GED Director Wendy Green. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 7 – July 2003