The Queen Creek Unified School District Adult Education Program joins the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning (AALL) and more than 55,000 adult educators from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) in a new national campaign called Educate & Elevate. This campaign proactively educates policy makers about the importance of Adult Education and how it is an investment in America’s future.
As part of the Educate & Elevate campaign, Adult Education students from across the country met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Only one student was from Arizona, and she is enrolled in the QCUSD Adult Education Program. The student, Maria Alvidrez, met with Senator Jeff Flake, Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Congressman Ruben Gallego, and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema to discuss the value and importance of Adult Education programs.
By 2018, 63% of all U.S. jobs will require education beyond high school. Yet, nearly half of the U.S. workforce—about 88 million adults aged 18 to 64—has only a high school education or less, and/or low English proficiency. Adult Education helps to close this gap and provide workers with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
“Adult education is uniquely situated to address the needs of our regional employers,” said Philip Suriano, AALL’s President. “Educating motivated students will support our local businesses in creating jobs and filling positions, so we are urging legislators to fund Adult Education at the $649 million level as called for in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act enacted in 2014.”
The demand for High School Equivalency classes and English Language instruction is so great that more than 13,000 people are on the waitlist to enroll in Adult Education courses across Arizona. One of those adult learners who did enroll is Dr. Pat Phupaibul. Dr. Pat came to the United States from her native Thailand with what she believed were solid English skills. What she found was that she “could hardly be understood” in English. As a way to fix her situation, Dr. Pat enrolled in the Queen Creek Unified School District’s Adult Education Program. Today, Dr. Pat is an instructor in the program.
The Educate & Elevate campaign seeks to empower students, educators, businesses and other advocates nationwide to raise the profile of Adult Education on Capitol Hill and in local communities throughout the nation.
Learn more about how Adult Education elevates career and college readiness at http://educateandelevate.org/.