POINT PLEASANT — If your New Year’s resolution was to brush up on your computer knowledge, write a better resume, or simply learn new skills, there is a little-known gem on Main Street in Point Pleasant that can help you accomplish your goals.
Mason County Adult Education is located at 404 Main Street, and according to Instructor Nick Northup, is a “modern day one-room school house.”
Northup, along with Instructor Terry Branch, operate the adult education center. Adult education partners with the West Virginia State Board of Education, West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services, and Workforce West Virginia.
The center is a one-stop shop for adults who want to learn anything from how to read or study for the high school equivalency test, all the way to college preparation or achieving national certification in various programs. All classes and programs are offered free of charge.
New walk-in students are enrolled each Monday at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Classes are held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, although some courses can be completed at home by students as “distance learners.”
Those wishing to complete their high school equivalency, formerly known as the “GED,” can come in and brush up on the necessary skills that will enable them to pass the test. A practice test is given at the adult education center, and must be passed prior to scheduling the actual test at the Mason County Career Center.
Job readiness is another area offered in adult education. How to fill out an application, writing an effective resume, and interviewing skills are a few of the items taught to help adults enter or re-enter the job market. Northup and Branch will also assist with the job search.
College preparation, certifications, Microsoft training, and even nutrition are other facets of adult education. A number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) devices, such as 3-D printers, coding robots, and drones help adults learn the various careers now available.
Employers can also benefit from adult education. Branch said there are 17 different soft skills that employers can send their employees to complete, such as customer service, time management, problem solving and decision making.
“A variety of the things we do are facets that help the community,” she said.
Branch and Northup have seen many success stories in their years teaching adult education. Many have gone on to college, several have become licensed practical nurses, and one is entering the work force as a restaurant manager making over $60,000 a year.
“The classes open doors,” said Branch. “People who come and complete them will succeed.”
And with only two instructors at the center, and so many different learning experiences offered, no two days are ever alike.
“Our classes depend on the needs of the students who are attending that particular day,” said Northup.
A Facebook page has recently been established for additional information. It can be found at “Mason County Adult Education.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.