Adult Education Archives | Southwestern Illinois College

SWIC TO OBSERVE ADULT EDUCATION & FAMILY LITERACY WEEK SEPT. 20-26

Southwestern Illinois College is proud to observe the nationally recognized Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on Sept. 20-26. The annual awareness week was created to heighten public awareness, strengthen alliances, leverage resources, and increase the number of people who understand the vital role adult education and family literacy plays in our nation’s well-being.

The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy Department is a prominent supporter and contributor in helping raise awareness and aid in the fight against low literacy rates within the community. The college currently offers many classes and programs to assist adults such as Project Read, High School Equivalency test preparation, English as a Second Language, Vocational, Computer and Citizenship classes.  Some classes are offered FREE of tuition, for those who qualify. Other notable SWIC programs and special educational services are also available for residents ages 16 to 24 years old who need assistance earning their High School Equivalency Certificate, transitioning to college or finding employment.   

According to ProLiteracy, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level; 43 percent of adults with the lowest literacy  levels live in poverty; children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of displaying behavioral issues or dropping out of school and 68 percent of adult education and literacy programs are struggling with long student waiting lists.

Volunteer opportunities are also available for the Project Read Adult Literacy Program. For more information on Project Read contact SWIC Project Read Coordinator Deborah Bruyette at 618-235-2700, ext. 5462, or via email at deborah.bruyette@swic.edu; or for SWIC Adult Education and Literacy information visit swic.edu/adult-education contact 618-235-2700, ext. 5323 or email infoadulted@swic.edu.

SWIC Red Bud Campus offers out-of-school youth FREE services

Southwestern Illinois College is proud to offer the Youth Employment and Support Services Program, which is funded through the national Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Out of School Youth program. YESS provides St. Clair and Randolph County out-of-school youth, ages 16 to 24, with FREE comprehensive support and educational services to complete their High School Equivalency or secondary level of education. Work-site learning opportunities are also available to students in the career field of their choice.

Case managers design a formal, individualized agreement with each participant by assisting them in developing a plan of action to overcome barriers that may hinder them in fulfilling their education goals and/or obtaining employment that may lead to self-sufficiency.

     The following services are available through the program:

  • Tutoring and High School Equivalency instruction and testing
  • Employment opportunities linked to participants’ career interests
  • Work experience opportunities
  • Leadership development
  • Adult mentoring
  • Workplace readiness training
  • Follow-up services after exit (12 months)
  • Transportation assistance
  • Child care referral assistance
  • Comprehensive guidance and counseling, including referral to service partners for drug and alcohol counseling as needed

     To learn more about the YESS program or SWIC HSE classes contact SWIC Randolph County Youth Services Coordinator Karen Schaller at
618-210-8189.

SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Adult Education now offering FREE classes

The Southwestern Illinois College Adult Education and Literacy Department at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road, provides FREE educational, vocational and transitional career services to eligible individuals from Madison, St. Clair, Randolph, Washington, Clinton, Bond, and Monroe Counties.

The following programs are currently offered:

  • High School Equivalency (formally GED) test preparation classes
  • Tutoring
  • English as a Second Language classes
  • Spanish Language High School Equivalency classes
  • Computer classes
  • Health Care Bridge to Nurse Assistant Certification
  • Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) – Precision Machine Technology (PMT)
  • Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) – Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Welding
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Forklift Training Certification
  • Career Pathways course
  • Job Skills course
  • Transition to college and/or workforce services

To learn more about upcoming SWIC classes in the Granite City area contact SWIC Adult Education and Literacy Transition Services Coordinator Torrin Suedmeyer at 618-797-7321 or via email at torrin.suedmeyer@swic.edu. Stay connected with SWIC SWGCC via Facebook @swicadultedswgcc and Instagram @swicadulted_swgcc.

SWIC Adult Education now offering online and in-person High School Equivalency classes

If you left high school without earning a diploma, let Southwestern Illinois College help you earn one from the comfort of your home or anywhere.  The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy department is now offering online and in-person High School Equivalency preparation classes.     

All services are free and online; support services are available.   

To learn more about upcoming SWIC classes in the St. Clair County area call Lachelle Dowell at 618-222-5365, toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5365 or email lachelle.dowell@swic.edu, for classes in Randolph County contact Karen Schaller at 618-210-8189 or email karen.schaller@swic.edu and for information about classes in the Madison County area call Barb Vrabec at 618-797-7358, or email barbara.vrabec@swic.edu.

SWIC Adult Education now offering online High School Equivalency classes

If you left high school without earning a diploma, let Southwestern Illinois College help you earn one from the comfort of your home or anywhere.  The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy department is now offering online High School Equivalency preparation classes.

Students must live in the college district and have a separation letter from their school district if 16-17 years old.

Learn more about upcoming classes and schedule an appointment for orientation by calling 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525 or email tanja.anglin@swic.edu.

SWIC HSE and CNA grad earns perfect scores on program tests, finals and clinicals

Brandy Ballett was a stay-at-home mom for many years until she decided she wanted to better the lives of her family members, and help other people at the same time. Ballett then took the first step toward her future by enrolling in the High School Equivalency certification program at Southwestern Illinois College.

“I wanted to return to school and chose to attend SWIC because my aunt graduated from SWIC and had a great experience,” Ballett said.

While attending her Healthcare Bridge classes, Ballett was informed that she might qualify for a free Certified Nursing Assistant course through Adult Education. After she went through the review and qualification process, she was approved and began taking the CNA course.

“SWIC has opened the door to help me achieve what I want to do,” Ballett said. “My instructors, Stephanie Reid and Lori Phillips, were extremely helpful, understanding, made learning fun and gave me real-world experience.”

Ballett made sure to study hard, ask questions, be on-time to class and have good attendance. This dedication paid-off for her because at the end of her CNA course, she was notified that she earned a perfect score on all of her exams and clinicals.

“I studied a lot and my instructors were always helpful, passionate about teaching and truly want their students to succeed,” said Ballett.

Ballett received her HSE certification in October of 2019. She plans to work part-time as a CNA, return to SWIC in the fall to continue her studies to become a nurse and eventually work in a hospital.    

When not attending school, Ballett enjoys being with her family. She and her husband, Robert, live in Fairview Heights with their two sons: Jackson, 4, and Joseph, 2.

For more information about SWIC’s HSE certification, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525. For more information about the CNA program visit swic.edu/nurse-assistant.

SWIC Adult Ed YESS Program offers FREE help with earning your high school equivalency, finding a job and more

Did you leave high school without earning a diploma, want help preparing for college or need assistance finding a job? The Southwestern Illinois College Youth Employment and Support Services Program can get you back on track for free.

The YESS Program offers comprehensive support and educational services to people between the ages of 16 and 24, who are out of school and who reside within St. Clair and Randolph counties.

The program assists individuals with the resources to complete their high school equivalency certificate, information on how to attend college, give participants employment opportunities within their career choice and much more.

Case managers develop a formal agreement and plan of action with each participant, which includes listing barriers that may hinder them from fulfilling their educational or career goals. This ensures the participant will be better prepared for anything that happens that may get in their way of becoming self-sufficient and being successful.

The following services are available through the YESS Program:

  • Tutoring
  • High School Equivalency instruction and testing
  • Employment opportunities
  • Leadership development
  • Adult mentoring
  • Workplace Readiness training
  • Follow-Up services after 12 months
  • Comprehensive guidance and counseling
  • Drug and alcohol counseling referrals
  • Transportation assistance
  • Child Care referrals assistance

The YESS Program is a part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act,. WIOA is federally funded and was created to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system by assisting Americans, including youths and those with significant barriers to employment, transition into high-quality jobs and careers. To learn more about the SWIC YESS Program, contact Karen Schaller at the Red Bud Campus at 618-210-8189.  

SWIC to Host Poverty Simulation Oct. 25

Will you start out the month with only the enclosed $10 bill to meet your family’s basic needs? … Or, will you be one of the unlucky ones? You’ll find out when you join us for a unique opportunity to experience the virtual realities of poverty.

The Adult Education and Family Literacy Department of Southwestern Illinois College will host a Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Intramural Gym. This learning tool has been created as a way to help people  understand  the realities of poverty.  During  a  simulation,  participants  role-play  the lives of low-income families. Some are TANF recipients, some are disabled,  and some are senior citizens on Social Security. They have the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four  15-minute  “weeks.”  They  interact  with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers,  bill collectors,  job interviewers,  police  officers and others.

Although play money is used, CAPS is not a game. It is a simulation that enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within their local communities. The  simulation  was designed  to  sensitize those who frequently deal with low-income families, as well as to create a broader awareness  of  the realities of poverty among policymakers, community leaders and others. It has been made available by the Missouri Association for Community Action.

We invite you or someone from your staff to participate in or to observe the Poverty Simulation. I think you will find it provides an intriguing opportunity to describe a very real challenge to our community. Please contact me at 618-222-5346 if you would like additional information or would like to register for the simulation. We look forward to seeing you there.