West Virginia recognizes Mid-Ohio Valley adult education programs, students | News, Sports, Jobs

CHARLESTON – Participants and programs in Wood, Jackson and Ritchie counties were among recipients of the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Adult Education student and program awards presented during the Adult Education Conference last week in Charleston.

Each year the Office of Adult Education with the West Virginia Adult Education Association recognizes students and programs for exceptional achievement, dedication, performance and outcomes. Students are honored for rising above challenging circumstances to earn their high school equivalency or certifications that increase their opportunities for employment and improve their standard of living.

Adult Ed programs are recognized for enrollment in the programs, contact and distance education hours, percentage of measures met, serving those most in need, and retention and obtaining industry-recognized credentials.

Awards include:

* Adult Education Student of the Year, Jerica Hickman, Ritchie County.

Hickman completed 31 trainings and certifications including her West Virginia Welcome, Customer Service I and II and Computer Essentials Gold certificates while also encouraging her mother to improve her own computer skills. Hickman also encouraged her oldest son, who left high school before graduating, to earn his high school equivalency diploma.

She was recently hired for three positions in the West Virginia school system, a substitute cook, custodian and teacher’s aide.

* SPOKES Program of the Year, Wood County, Large Program. Strategic Planning in Occupational Knowledge for Employment and Success is an academic and job preparation skills program. Along with job readiness, students receive computer skills, soft skills and the opportunity to obtain a portfolio with various industry-recognized certifications.

* Collaborative Partner of the Year, Karen Spencer, Jackson County Career Connections Youth Program. This award is given to an individual who is employed by a West Virginia agency that provides, through a collaborative effort, a network of services to adult learners. They support the philosophy behind adult education and demonstrate outstanding contributions to adult education in West Virginia.

Spencer, a career specialist, quickly made a mark on adult education students with her vibrant personality and impressive skills. Thirteen students signed up to work with her organization, Career Connections, since she began in December 2021. She has been a trusted and supportive advisor of adult learners, encouraging them to utilize the resources of West Virginia Adult Education and Career Connections.

“Our programs are lifelines for people who desire to change course but are not exactly sure how to begin that journey,” said Director of Adult Education programs Mendy Marshall. “There are resources that are close to home and free for students so they can reach their goals and create their own sense of success.”

West Virginia Adult Education programs build skills for success by providing adults with the opportunity to acquire and improve functional skills necessary to enhance the quality of their lives as workers, family members, and citizens. These programs play an important role in fostering productive employment, effective citizenship, personal and family growth, self-esteem, and dignity for adult learners.

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