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CLC receives grant to assist out-of-school teens and young adults

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 01, 2021

College of Lake County (CLC) received the Early School Leaver Grant, administered by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), which is dedicated to furthering the education of those who are out of school. The grant is worth nearly $60,000 and can be renewed for three years.

The Early School Leaver Transition Program (ESLTP) is aimed at helping out-of-school youths ages 16-24 become reoriented and motivated to complete their education by allowing them to participate in adult education instruction as well as career and work training activities. The goal is to assist students in achieving high school completion or a High School Equivalency credential as the basis for entry into postsecondary education, training and meaningful employment.

Classes, tests and materials for the adult education courses will be of no cost to the students.

Photo of adult educationAlong with the program, CLC will also be hiring a youth grant coordinator to help with recruitment and support services, such as transition planning and career help.

“We have over 3,000 adult learner students,” said Arlene Santos-George, dean of adult education and ESL. “Having one person dedicated to out of school youths will allow us to expand on our services.”

With a goal of 55 students, CLC is partnering with Lake County Workforce Development and JIC Community Development Corporation, both of which work with people in the same age group.

“We wanted to help serve the out-of-school youth as well as expand the help we give to adult learners,” Santos-George said. “We already have the resources to help, now we just need the students.”

Along with the classroom portion, each student will select and enroll in an Adult Education bridge course. Bridge courses are free introductory classes dedicated to whichever field the student is looking to pursue in, with lesson plans tailored to that specific field.

During the course, students will develop a personal transitioning plan with career goals and an education plan with the grant coordinator. They will create a transition portfolio with a cover letter, resume, postsecondary education applications, letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts and financial aid applications.

The program will be three days a week, with two days dedicated to the classroom instruction and the third to the student’s chosen bridge.

At the end of the program, students will then take either the GED or HiSET tests to earn their high school equivalence.

After the students receive their GED or HiSET, the hope is they will continue down the career path they chose for their bridge course and enter the corresponding Integrated Career and Academics Preparation System (ICAPS) program at CLC.

For these students, the first six credits in ICAPS courses will be tuition free.

To be eligible for the ESLTP, students must also have a TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education) reading score at or above the 8.0 grade equivalency and a math score at or above the 6.0 grade equivalency.

A big focus of the program will be on those most in need, including underrepresented groups. ESLTP will also help those who have English as their second language.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.