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Adult Education Recognized by Division of Workforce Services Receives Grant For Alternative Sentencing…

Submitted photo: pictured from left to right: Program Director Joel Bush, Administrative Assistant and GED Testing Coordinator Renee Young, Adult Education Instructor Bonnie Medlin, and SNAP E&T Coordinator Donah Simmons. Photo courtesy of UARM

[November 1, 2019 | MENA, Ark.]  The Adult Education Program provided through UA Rich Mountain was recently recognized by the State of Arkansas’ Division of Workforce Services for exceeding specified benchmarks designed to gauge success of programs. For the 2018-2019 program year, UA Rich Mountain’s Adult Education performed 10 percentage points beyond the Measurable Skill Gains minimum.

Local Adult Education Program Director Joel Bush was very quick to share the credit of their success with his staff and the prior director, Terri Francis, who led the program during a portion of the year being recognized. “Their commitment to students of this program is impeccable. I am able to witness them, day in and day out, go above and beyond to empower these students and identify resources that will allow each individual to meet their educational and training goals,” said Bush.

Bush also recently held his first meeting with an Advisory Board of local business and industry managers and community partners to identify specific skill sets lacking in the workforce that the local program can assist in developing.

The Adult Ed Program is also the recipient of a two-year Alternative Sentencing grant. The Smart Sentencing Program, SSP, offers innovative pre-trial and pre-sentencing sanctions and services for offenders who are accepted into the program. Law enforcement, the judiciary, prosecution, defense, probation and community service providers, working together, guide the administration and operation of the program as it works to enhance public safety, hold offenders accountable and develop competencies in offenders such as that they can become productive, contributing members of society.

One goal pertinent to the Adult Ed program is to increase competencies in offenders through educational and vocational training, mental health management, drug treatment and other basic life-skills training so that they are better equipped to live crime-free lives.

“Education is key to individual development and I’ve always been impressed with the heart of the staff at UA Rich Mountain and their commitment to each individual student, on every level, to meet their goals,” said UA Rich Mountain Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson.

For more information on the Adult Ed program and its resources, please visit the Abernathy Building on the campus of UA Rich Mountain or call 479.394.7622 ext. 1380.

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