EMCC Adult Education Program looks to help those complete GED

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Sometimes the difference between getting by and getting ahead can be just one crucial decision.

That’s the case for many people when it comes to finishing their education.

EMCC’s Adult Education Program is there to help those who have taken that next step.

After dropping out of high school, Shantoyia Tate didn’t know if she would finish her education.

She found a way this March when she enrolled in EMCC’s Adult Education Classes to obtain her GED.

Now, she is looking forward to graduating and starting college classes this fall, but her journey wasn’t always easy.

Tate’s journey to get her GED began in 2019.

After her mother died, Shantoyiah said it was hard to stay focused, and she dropped out of the program.

But, she got back on track, and nearly four years later, she achieved her goal.

“I didn’t think I was going to come back but something changed my mind to come back and continue to finish on,” said Tate.

That something was her two-year-old daughter.

“I wanted to make a better life for myself and her,” said Tate.

Now, Tate is looking forward to crossing the stage in her cap and gown and she plans to finally pursue one of her longtime dreams – Cosmetology.

“I love to do hair and makeup. That has been my dream to do ever since I was little,” said Tate.

Adult Education and Smart Start Instructor, Miranda Skinner knows firsthand what some of her students are going through, and that sometimes helps her get through to them better.

“Sometimes I’ll tell them my story and let them know their struggles aren’t that bad. They are bad but they aren’t as bad as they think they are. I’ve gone through it myself you know being a single mother with children and stuff like that and trying to pay bills and living paycheck to paycheck. I let them know they can make it through no matter what,” said Tate.

Skinner said this program goes beyond the classroom and gets students ready for the real world.

“We teach about preparing resumes, customer service on jobs, and interviewing skills. We also prepare them to take the work keys to test as well,” said Tate.

Adult Education Director, Tshurah Dismuke said the first steps are always the hardest.

“Some of the challenges we see is getting people to come through the door to take the next step of obtaining their high school equivalency. Other
challenges we see, are barriers we like to call them sometimes flexibility. Sometimes they have to go to work over attending school so those are usually challenges for our students,” said Dismuke.

Dismuke said that Mississippi has piloted a new opportunity for students who are getting their GED.

The early results seem promising.

“Recently the Mississippi Office of adult education piloted or created opportunities for students that had high said scores in areas and GED scores in areas to make it where those scores can compile together to offer a high school equivalency through what’s called a total transcript,” said Dismuke.

As for Shantoiyah Tate; she says she would go back and tell her younger self one thing.

“I would tell myself to push harder through it and just stay focused,” said Tate.

To learn more about the Adult Learning Program, visit EMCCADULTLEARNING

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