Story from Apple Valley Unified School District
With students ranging from ages 18 to 74, the Apple Valley Adult Education program is proving that education has no age limit. The program exists to provide individualized instruction of high school diploma and GED testing, as well as tutoring, computer literacy classes, and assistance with the transition to postsecondary education and the workforce.
“We graduate families,” said program coordinator Adele McClain. “Mother’s and fathers, daughters, and sons, grandparents and grandchildren. They attend high school together and go onto college then elevate and motivate each other in this process.”
McClain explained that many students not only want to better understand the steps to enroll in postsecondary education and subsequent career pathways for themselves, but want to understand this transition for their children as well. It is for this reason the program recently established “open-house” style support each Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at which students and families members over the age of 18 can receive assistance and information helpful for applying to college or the workforce. Friday participants can meet with a Victor Valley College bilingual counselor and receive assistance applying for CALJobs or Transitional Assistance benefits.
Melina Bezada is one example of generations learning and growing together. As a single mother to two school-aged students, Bezada graduated from the Apple Valley Adult Education and enrolled at VVC, where she now works as a student worker to bridge partnerships between the college and adult education programs and volunteers with the Transitional Assistance Office and CalWorks.
“ It was really scary coming back to school after being out of the classroom for so long, but I knew I had to do this to make more opportunities for myself,” said Bezada. “I knew I had to be an example for my children. I can’t expect them to want the best for themselves if I wasn’t a good example. I love that I can help other parents like myself overcome their own anxieties about school and help them seize more opportunities for themselves and their children.
“We want people to feel like family here,” McClain said. “Students don’t usually get to Adult Ed because life was easy for them. That’s why we’re set up like a cafe. I know many have a negative view of how school was for them and I want that view to be completely different when they step through these doors.”
The program has expanded from approximately 75 students in 2012-2013, to serve an estimated 600 students in 2018-2019. The program typically has a waiting list but will offer immediate placement for former AVUSD students or students with a referral from a Parent Center or Transitional Assistance program. For more information on enrollment, contact Apple Valley Adult Education at 760-247-1505.
Apple Valley Adult Education is a member of the Victor Valley Adult Education Regional Consortium, which consists of Apple Valley Adult School, Hesperia Adult School, Snowline Adult School, Victor Valley Adult School, and Lucerne Valley Adult School.