Linda Scrofano enrolled in adult education twenty years ago at the Dover Adult Learning Center. At the time, she was working at a low-paying job and struggling to raise three children. With encouragement from adult educators, she developed self-confidence and passed the GED tests, going on to graduate from college. Now she is the president of her own human resources company.
Ten years ago Emily Lafferty was a high school dropout. After graduating from Project LIFT in Hillsboro with a GED certificate, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in management and an MBA. She is now a research analyst within the technology industry.
Harlan Wetmore, who studied at the Nashua Adult Learning Center, says he could find only part-time work as a high school dropout; at times he was homeless. Now he is working full time and is enrolled in a community college. He plans to go on to a four-year college to study mechanical engineering. He says, “My goal is a career that is intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding.”
Linda, Emily and Harlan are just a few of the beneficiaries of New Hampshire adult education, showing the long-term results of this investment.
Funding for New Hampshire adult education programs comes from the federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and state adult education funds. Adult High School, Adult Basic Education/ ESOL/GED Prep and Adult Learner Service Programs are located in over 40 communities across the state.
One of the many reasons that adults return to school is for economic security: the US Department of Labor reports that high school graduates earn on average 38% more per week than high school dropouts, those with associate degrees earn 68% more than high school dropouts and those with a Bachelor’s degree earn 128% more than high school dropouts.
A total of 8,082 adults received educational services during the past school year. The communities with the largest enrollments during the past school year were: Nashua 1,654, Dover 1,294, Manchester 1,168, Laconia 563, Concord 637, Derry 318, Exeter 353, Claremont 165, Salem 220, Keene 300 and Portsmouth 108. Services were also provided in communities such as Plymouth, Pembroke, Ossipee, Berlin, Hampton, Londonderry, Rochester and Goffstown.
While students in these programs ranged in age from 16-82 over 33% were between the ages of 16-24. There were 1,329 students who graduated during the year with an Adult High School Diploma issued by the local school district or a GED Certificate awarded by the State of New Hampshire. Graduates from adult education programs go on to postsecondary education and accredited occupational training programs, join the military services or develop work skills that allow them to increase their earning potential for themselves and their families.
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