TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An adult education program in Tucson has gained national recognition. Pima Community College’s program is being ranked as one of the top four best in the country by the Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Showcase this week.
“Instead of a model where folks have to study their basic skills and get to a high school equivalency and then go onto career training, they can do them at the same time,” said Laurie Kierstead-Joseph, the Vice President of Adult Basic Education for College and Career at PCC.
The program allows students to get their GED while also earning college credits. Students can study technology, logistics or work towards becoming a medical assistant.
“I’m 32 and I’ve had a kind of horrific childhood,” said Penny Fox, a PCC student studying logistics. “As I’ve been an adult, I’ve gotten help from different superiors with my schooling and this program gives you your GED for free.”
Penny Fox is also a mother of two and said the opportunity is priceless.
“I’m excited to have a good career and make enough money to support them and provide for us,” she said. “They can have better bedrooms, more stuff and take them on vacations.”
She hopes to use her logistics skills to become a manager. PCC’s program has also opened doors for Benjamin Goodin.
“I have a lot of schooling left but the ultimate goal is electrical engineer,” he said.
Goodin attained his GED and training in Automated Industrial Technology and is now a tutor at PCC. He’s also working towards his second level certification.
“It’s actually been really rewarding because everything I’ve learned in class I can turn around and apply it to teaching or helping someone else,” he said.