WGTC adult eductation division preparing students for college, careers

Published 7:59 pm Monday, August 28, 2017


The West Georgia Technical College Adult Education Division is embracing new opportunities this year, by placing a greater focus on helping students enrolled in GED preparation classes reach long-term goals like college degrees and meaningful careers.

At least twice a year, Karen Kirchler, Vice President of Adult Education at West Georgia Tech, pulls her entire team together from through the seven counties served by the department to focus on goals, new initiatives and program improvement.

The staff held its semi-annual development day recently, and Kirchler used the time to share information regarding the shift to a higher goal than just ensuring students have the knowledge to pass the four GED exams and invited a pair of leadership speakers to inspire the group.

Mack and Ria Story, a married couple who have together written more than a dozen books, spoke on the opportunities presented by change in an organization.

“We’re here to make sure these fine employees understand how change can be leveraged to unlock a greater potential,” Mack Story said.

“We’re all dealing with change in all aspects of our lives, and change can be viewed as an obstacle or an opportunity. We want to ensure that these instructors and administrators are able to inspire their students to reach for a higher future.”

Kirchler said the division has always been focused on making sure graduates have viable options for the future, but with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act — which funds Adult Education programs — being in full effect now, some changes have been brought to the program.

“These changes are pushing us to do more for our students by putting a heavier emphasis on helping students attain long-term goals like college degrees and meaningful careers,” Kirchler said. “We will be integrating employability skills into our curriculum and digital literacy certifications.”

Kirchler said students will leave much better equipped for the workforce, which will be a “win-win for students and employers.”

The division has also been tasked to implement a Youth Service Project, thanks to funding through the Three Rivers Regional Commission Workforce Board.

“This project focuses on serving out-of-school youth, aged 16-24 years, who are looking to earn a GED or gain some employability skills,” Kirchler said. “We’re working in partnership with Goodwill to offer paid work experiences to students, as well help them earn a GED and transition to college.”

For more information on Mack and Ria Story, visit www.BlueCollarLeadership.com.