A partnership between two community colleges could offer local non-English speaking students a chance to enhance their education.
Sampson Community College and Wake Technical Community College have joined together to bring preparation classes for migrant and seasonal farm workers who wish to obtain the high school equivalency certificate.
“This program is grant funded and will be offered through Wake Tech and taught by Wake Tech faculty on our campus,” SCC president Dr. Paul Hutchins said.
According to Maria Fisher, director of the High School Equivalency Program at WTCC, partnerships between Wayne Community College, Central Carolina Community College, Dublin Community College, Blue Ridge Community College and now Sampson Community College have been established to assist migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families in obtaining a high school equivalency.
The program is based in Raleigh and between 2001 and present day, the HEP program has served almost 2,000 students. Locally, students will have the opportunity to obtain their high school equivalency through Wake, but without having to travel.
“The benefit to SCC is an opportunity for us to partner with Wake Tech to meet the learning needs of the non-English speaking individuals in our community,” Hutchins said. “At the core mission of every community college is to enrich our communities and add value to the lives of our students. This partnership with Wake Tech is an excellent example of SCC striving to fulfill our mission.”
As part of the program, students will take evening classes twice a week, have access to weekly tutoring sessions, and have the option for distance learning if the travel to a site is too far from where the student resides.
According to Fisher, Sampson in one of four classroom locations, with other classes in Goldsboro, Raleigh and Siler City.
“I believe that our selection by Wake Tech to participate in the program is a direct reflection of the high number of non-English speaking individuals in our county,” the SCC president said. “Many of these individuals are working in our agriculture industry.”
Services during the program includes:
• free classes, books and study materials;
• high school equivalency official testing fees covered by the HEP program;
• financial assistance;
• tutoring and job counseling;
• post graduation assistance in furthering the student’s education, career advancement and/or military placement;
• graduation ceremony;
• cultural events and;
• volunteer opportunities.
Once students complete the program, Fisher said they will then have the chance to take the final test in English or Spanish. Students who elect to take the test in Spanish will meet with program staff at the end of the semester for assistance enrolling in ESL classes at Sampson Community College. All students will receive assistance in post secondary academic placement, career advancement, and/or military placement upon attaining the high school equivalency certificate.
An information session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, at 5 p.m. at Sampson Community College.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.