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SCC Reaching Those Most in Need of an Education

Thad Cagle proudly displays his recently earned High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma earned through the Sandhills Community College HSE in the Community program.

Thad Cagle proudly displays his recently earned High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma earned through the Sandhills Community College HSE in the Community program.

In March of 2020, Sandhills Community College’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) program implemented a paper-based curriculum called “High School Equivalency in the Community” to a handful of students who were unable to attend classes in person or participate in online courses. Typical barriers some students face include not having access to the internet, a lack of basic digital literacy skills, unreliable transportation, childcare concerns, and changing work schedules.

HSE in the Community is made up of 19 paper packet lessons the student completes at home and mails to the instructor for grading and feedback. A dedicated instructor is on call to offer support, answer questions, and provide supplementary material as needed. Though the program is self-paced, students are expected to complete at least one packet per week.

“It allows us to reach students who, otherwise, would be unable to work on their high school equivalency diploma,” says Nicole Worley, director of the CCR program at SCC. “It resembles correspondence courses of yesteryear, but HSE in the Community has generated very positive feedback, and we recently had our first graduate, Thad Cagle.”

“At first I was a little concerned about how I was going to accomplish my goals with COVID going on, but with the help of my teacher, it was pretty easy,” Cagle shared. “I would also like to say that Mrs. Kubla is one of the best teachers I have ever had. She never gave up on me, she encouraged me to push hard and kept me motivated to complete everything I needed to complete the course,” Cagle said. Cagle plans to continue his studies at Sandhills and enroll in SCC’s Continuing Education Emergency Medical Training program and then earn a degree in the Emergency Medical Sciences curriculum program.

Jan Kubla joined the CCR department in January after retiring from a career in teaching high school biology. “I think she wondered what she was getting herself into when she joined our team,” Worley stated. “I promised it would be something ‘outside the box.’”

HSE for Inmates

Kubla has expanded her HSE in the Community program to include the local Moore County Detention Center and has recently recognized the very first high school equivalency graduate from the Detention Center.

The female inmate dedicated herself to complete the assignments and the series of exams. “I never imagined teaching students while they were in jail,” said Kubla. “This program has provided a unique way to reach the students who really need to make a positive change in their lives. We are so proud of her.”

With the assistance of the jail’s new educational navigator, paper packets and Zoom sessions are provided on a weekly basis to offenders who wish to earn their high school equivalency diploma.

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need for and value of adult education and family literacy. Its goal is to increase financial and societal support for access to basic education programs for U.S. adults with low literacy, numeracy, and digital skills. This year, that week is September 19-25.

But ensuring access to the community’s hardest-to-reach populations represents a huge challenge for adult education programs. “We are tasked to serve ‘individuals most in need, and, as you can imagine, it is hard to reach that population,” said Worley.

For more information about Adult Education and Literacy Week, visit the National Coalition for Literacy website at www.coabe.org/national-adult-education-and-family-literacy-week/.

College and Career Readiness at SCC

CCR at SCC serves over 400 students each year at several locations throughout Moore and Hoke counties. The program offers Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency, English Language Acquisition, and U.S. Citizenship classes free of cost to students.

HSE is offered online and in-person on the Pinehurst campus (Mondays-Thursdays 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m.), at the Robbins Center (Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-9 p.m.) and at the Hoke Center (Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. 2 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-Noon to be added soon).

For complete information about CCR, refer to sandhills.edu/ccr. For questions or to register to attend the next College and Career Readiness orientation, visit sandhills.edu/ccr or call (910) 695-3980 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For details about CCR at the Pinehurst campus, contact Beckie Kimbrell at kimbrellr@sandhills.edu or 910-695-3779. Contact Isabel Cain for the Robbins Center classes at cainm@sandhills.edu or 910-246-4975. For information about CCR at the Sandhills Hoke Center, contact Deb Sikes at sikesd@sandhills.edu or (910) 848-4300.

Fall Semester Eight-Week Session

An eight-week session of fall semester curriculum classes begins on October 14. The tuition is free for all students whether they are new, returning, or current. Offered online and in hybrid class formats, classes take only eight weeks to complete and award full credits. For all information, go to www.sandhills.edu/eight.

Curriculum spring semester classes will begin on January 10.

CCP Classes for High School Students

High school students who successfully complete four Sandhills Community College CCP classes qualify for the Sandhills Promise. This program offers two full years of classes immediately following high school graduation at no cost. For all information, go to: www.sandhills.edu/admissions/sandhills-promise.

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