Adult Education Programs Now Offered Online
South Florida State Colleges’ (SFSC) Adult Education Department now offers online programs for Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Education Development (GED), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
“We considered the factors that limit students from attending classes,” said Sylvia Turner, SFSC’s director of adult education. “Online classes are more convenient, and students now have the flexibility to balance their education, work, and families in these difficult economic times. Students still have the opportunity to meet with instructors on campus by appointment, but they have the convenience of completing classes in the comfort of their own home.”
“SFSC’s adult education programs give students the basic foundation needed to successfully receive a high school diploma,” Turner said. “They offer a second chance for many people who couldn’t receive their diploma through the traditional education system. We’re excited about providing educational support in underserved communities and offering the programs online.”
The Internet makes it possible to unite students and instructors without long commutes or fixed class schedules. Students are free to study on their own time and at their own pace, so they can complete their chosen program at their convenience.
SFSC’s online ESOL program is offered through Burlington English and English Discovery. ESOL online addresses all the skills critical to language learning: reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar, and culture. These online programs combine face-to-face classroom activities with anytime-anywhere access to state-of-the-art online interactive courses. It offers an unparalleled SpeechTrainer® to help users perfect their pronunciation and listening skills. Its focus on pronunciation training means users get the kind of practical, real-life training that results in true English proficiency. Each student is provided with a headset and microphone. “Built-in data collection helps ESOL instructors monitor individual student progress, identify problem areas, and develop a customized course of study,” said Nelly Ford, ESOL coordinator.
SFSC’s online ABE program is offered through Instruction Targeted for TABE Success (ITTS). This program provides step-by-step, Web-based, interactive instruction for students who are preparing for the GED tests. The program offers interactive instruction in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. ITTS features subject-specific pretests that identify students’ current strengths and weaknesses. Assessments are used to measure student mastery as well as remediation lessons for students requiring additional instruction. The program provides exportable lessons, assessment, and class reports.
SFSC’s online GED program is teacher-directed and delivered through an online learning management system product called “Educator.” Students review lessons in five academic areas: writing skills, social studies, science, literature, and mathematics. Practice quizzes and exam questions, along with the expert advice of the instructor, prepare the student for the exams. The customized lessons create a one-to-one learning environment with the professor while emphasizing graphical explanations and working through solution steps. Webinars, learning labs, live chats, and face-to-face instruction are provided throughout the course for students needing additional help.
All online adult education courses are tailored to meet the demands of each student through an individualized educational plan. “If a student is experienced and has prospered in a particular subject area, the program allows the student to move forward without spending time on material they’ve already mastered,” said Ashley Rivera, online adult education instructor. “The online programs are interactive. They open doors and prepare students for a college education. The possibilities are endless.”
Online programs are provided in eight-week modules, and registration is continually open even after the fall term begins. Face-to-face courses for ABE, GED, and ESOL programs are held Monday through Friday at SFSC’s Highlands Campus, Hardee Campus, Lake Placid Center, and the Teacherage in Sebring. Times vary at each location, and classes begin Monday, Aug. 26.
To be accepted and register for classes, students must apply to the college and take the Tests for Adult Basic Education (TABE) and/or the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS).
Registration is currently open, and the course fee is $28.50 for Florida residents and $114 for out-of-state residents. Students can register in Building B on the Highlands Campus or at any SFSC campus or center. For more information, contact the Adult Education Department at 863-784-7441.