CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new education center has opened in Charleston on Monday, Oct. 15 for adults to help those who choose to better their education for free.
The Cape Girardeau Adult Education & Literacy (AEL) Center, ran by Cape Girardeau Public Schools, allows those who want to better their career through education. This allows adults, 17 years of age or older, to take the HiSET exam or High School Equivalency (HSE) tests to better prepare them for college or getting a job.
The facility is located at Bowden Civic Center at 700 Sy Williams Avenue in Charleston. They are open Monday through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cape Girardeau Adult Education & Literacy Program Coordinator Pamela Riehn said this is program is much needed for the Charleston area and feels the new resources available there can only help those that want to better their education.
"It's a perfect opportunity and perfect time," Reihn said. "If you Google Charleston, one of the things that it indicates is that it is a community that is suffering for the needs for jobs and training. So it's a great time to open up a location that can provide training for the HiSET."
Riehn states for those that dropped out of high school and did not get their diploma, she said they can help with remediation classes to help take the HiSET test to receive their high school equivalency.
"Not only do we help our students with preparation for that test, we also provide information for getting into college," Riehn stated.
Riehn said they assess the students individually first. They then focus on the student's areas of weaknesses in the different areas of reading, math, language, etc.
"Let's focus on that low level and we will provide instructions and assignments geared just for you," Riehn said. "So it's individualized for each student so they can come in and work on exactly what they need to know."
Riehn emphasized that the program is for everyone not in school from the age of 17 years of age to 117 years old. She also states that when she sees students take part in learning and engaging themselves more through education, that it boosts moral with them as well.
"We've seen students that just feel better about themselves," Riehn added. "Often times we see students that were perhaps bullied in school and that's the reason why they dropped out. And they fear that it will happen in every location but we are very friendly. Whatever reason you dropped out for, that's a clean slate for us."
Other resources might be available through an application process to get help with financial assistance, child care assistance, fuel assistance and more.
"For any barriers for a student that keeps them from attending daily or keeps them from being able to travel to school, we work with many of our cohorts in the location that offer assistance," she added.
The Charleston adult program is sponsored by the Missouri Workforce Development and the Charleston Housing Authority.
For more information on this program, or to volunteer for the organization, visit their website, call 573-334-3669 or visit their Cape Girardeau AEL Facebook page.