Press Releases

Adult Education Program Now Administered by Carroll

Release Date: 7/19/2007

CONTACT: Sylvia Blair
Executive Assistant to the President

Carroll Community College Offers Adult Education
for County Residents

Carroll Community College (Carroll) has received a grant from the Maryland State Department of Education to provide adult education programs to county residents. The grant marks the beginning of a transition for educating adult learners. For the past 30 years, adult education programs were provided by Carroll County Public Schools. For the first time, the community college will provide oversight of adult education.

The program will be housed and administered by staff from Carroll Community College at the Business and Employment Resource Center at 224 North Center Street in Westminster.

Karen Merkle, vice president of Continuing Education and Training, said the program is a good fit for the community college. "Our primary mission is to serve adults. By offering this program, we are serving a very important need," Merkle said.

"Learners in adult education improve their academic skills while enhancing their life skills," said Becki Maurio, director of the Adult Education Program at Carroll. "Lessons present material in a meaningful way. For example, math problems might be based upon the measurements that construction workers do or the calculations which determine a child's grade average. Reading local newspaper articles and writing letters to local officials or potential employers improve basic literacy skills."

"Carroll Community College will provide not only an adult learning environment in which learners can thrive, but also the bridges to post-secondary education and career training which so many graduates find are necessary to compete in today's job market," Maurio said.


GED Preparation
GED Preparation helps students who have not yet earned a high school diploma to improve the basic skills they need at work, home, and in life.

Classes are small and provide instruction in reading, writing, math, and workplace skills. Classes also help students prepare for the five areas of the GED exam.  These areas include reading, writing, social studies, science, and math.

Registration sessions start students on the right foot. Students learn about the program and take placement tests. Advisors meet with students to recommend classes based on skills and schedules. Students can also review and brush-up on skills by taking practice GED tests.

Once students pass the GED, the diploma issued by the Maryland State Department of Education is accepted by colleges and universities. Some colleges may require additional admissions standards.


External Diploma Program
The External Diploma Program (EDP) is a method for earning a high school diploma that is designed for mature adults who have learned life skills at work, at home, and in the community. The program evaluates students not just on "book knowledge," but on life skills including:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Oral Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Occupational Awareness

Participants are asked to demonstrate high school-level skills in real-life situations. Some examples include reading a map, writing a letter to a potential employer, figuring out loan interest, comparison shopping, showing skills from a trade or occupation, and demonstrating home management experience.

Information sessions are held year-round, free of charge. At the information session, potential students will learn more about the program. At that time, skills will be assessed.

What are the advantages of the External Diploma  Program? Because the program is designed especially for adults, the External Diploma Program is:

  •  Based on life skills
  • Self-paced-most participants graduate in six to ten months
  • Conducted weekly through one-on-one appointments you schedule with your assessor
  • Not classroom-based
  • Combination of take home assignments and written and oral assessments at center locations

The diploma issued by the Maryland State Department of Education is accepted by colleges and universities. Some colleges may require you to meet additional admissions standards.


English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

What is ESOL? ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages . ESOL classes for adults are part of the adult education program and meet at various locations throughout Carroll County with instructors from the community college.

ESOL students practice reading, writing, and speaking skills through real-life contexts. For example, a beginning class was improving its English by practicing the skills needed to find a job. Lessons included reading newspaper ads, role-playing phone conversations with prospective employers, and talking about how to prepare for a job interview. Another class recently finished a unit on housing. Students compared apartment ads, interpreted abbreviations and security deposit requirements, and determined which option would be best for their family.

In past years, ESOL students have come from up to 30 different countries. Some of the most common languages are Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.

For more information about any of these programs, please call 410-386-2550.





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