Once a year the Archuleta County Education Center hosts a luncheon to raise funds for community education programs and to acquaint the community with these programs.
The main purpose of the Ed Center is to provide residents of Archuleta County with opportunities for education in areas that are not generally covered by the public schools.
These community educational programs are diverse, ranging from tutoring and enrichment programs for students enrolled in the Pagosa Springs Elementary School to spearheading establishment of a high-speed teleconferencing facility in Pagosa Springs.
The Ed Center provides preparation and testing for the GED (General Education Development high school equivalency diploma) and the ESL (English as a Second Language). During the past year, the Ed Center provided educational services to more than 1,000 residents of Archuleta County.
The keynote speaker for the 9th annual luncheon will be Dr. Teresa Chasteen, CEO and president of Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc. (WIN, Inc.). She is also project manager for the development and validation of courseware that prepares students who take the ACT, Inc. ™ WorkKeys® assessment exams.
This assessment program divides the skills required for more than 15,000 jobs into nine areas of learning. Some of the areas, including Reading for Information, Writing and Applied Mathematics, are derived from traditional areas of reading, writing and arithmetic, but are sharply focused on the workplace. Other areas, such as Locating Information, Observation and Teamwork are new skills that are required for the 21st century work place.
The Win courseware developed by Dr. Chasteen involved developing and validating over 1,000 hours of courseware and test preparation materials. The alignment between curriculum and job skills clearly links the student’s learning to the skills required for specific jobs, and is particularly important for students who are not successful in the traditional classroom. Marcia Harmon, past program administrator at Aims Community College, says these high risk students “have strong views about what they want and need.” When these students see the close alignment between curriculum and specific job requirements, they are motivated to complete requirements for their high school diplomas.
The ™ WorkKeys® assessment and the Win Courseware have received acceptance nationwide. More than 35 states use the program, which has graduated more than 1 million students with high school diplomas since inception 12 years ago. Here in Colorado, more than 2,200 students in Weld and Larimer counties have received high school diplomas and Career Readiness Certificates through this program, which has been administered by Aims Community College. The Ed Center has used this program in a variety of ways for the past two years.
Much of the interest in the WorkKeys assessment/WIN courseware is based on the prediction that, in just 10 years, more than 90 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require skill levels beyond those gained in high school. Although much training occurs on the job, employers need employees who have good basic skills in reading, writing and math so they can be easily trained for their particular jobs. Job applicants who do not have these basic skills need not apply.
You are invited to attend the ninth annual Archuleta County Education Center luncheon, where Dr. Chasteen will talk about the WIN courseware for ACT WorkKeys. You will also learn about several other Ed Center programs that prepare Pagosans to meet the needs of a modern workforce, and to enhance the quality of life in our community. You will hear about some of the trials that ordinary people go through and the steps people take to help themselves or help others.
The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, April 13, starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Centerpoint Church on U.S. 160. Tickets are available at the ACEC (4th and Lewis Streets) and at the Chamber of Commerce (402 San Juan St.). For more information, call the ACEC at 264 2835.