Do you know someone who is ready to begin taking classes at a college but lacks a high school diploma or the basic language skills needed to be successful in college classes?
SCCC/ATS is now participating in a new program called Accelerating Opportunities for Kansans with other Kansas community or technical colleges.
The Kansas Board of Regents, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce, was awarded a $200,000 grant as a part of Accelerating Opportunity, a Breaking Through Initiative. Accelerating Opportunity for Kansans (AO-K) will help Kansas transform adult education into successful career pathways leading to postsecondary credentials and economic security for under-prepared workers in today’s demanding job market. The initiative is managed nationally by Jobs for the Future (JFF).

Through AO-K, SCCC/ATS is now offering simultaneous basic education and dual language programs with career technical skill programs in Certified Nurses Assistant and Machine Tool Technology. A representative from the SCCC/ATS Colvin Adult Learning Center is team-teaching with the instructors in both of these technical programs.
These and other programs that the college will add in the future allow a student to develop the technical skills needed in today’s society with different stop levels of instruction.
Students in the CNA program, for example, can begin at this level, obtain a certificate and begin working in this field. They can also receive additional credentials to become a Certified Medication Aide, Medical Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse or an Associate Degree Nurse.
In the Machine Tool Technology program students can develop a valuable skill at each 16 credit hours of student instruction. They can choose to work after basic instruction or continue their education, developing additional skills for Machine Tool, Drafting and Design Technology, Welding Technology or Manufacturing.
The adult basic education instruction, along with these programs, help insure that the student will be successful.
Accelerating Opportunity seeks to change the way adult basic education is delivered by putting adult students on track to earn a postsecondary credential so they can earn family-sustaining wages and break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. The number of adults who lack skills beyond a high school diploma is a national emergency. In Kansas alone over 900,000 working-age adults have no meaningful postsecondary credential. The trend will only continue—by 2018, 64 percent of Kansas jobs will require workers with some form of postsecondary credentials. This exacerbates the current difficulty employers across the state report in finding qualified workers who can fill skilled positions.
“Currently, Kansas has over 32,000 unfilled job openings, many of which require postsecondary credentials for skilled occupations, particularly in health care and advanced manufacturing,” said Andy Tompkins, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents. “Our community and technical colleges play a vital role in promoting economic prosperity for individuals and the state by delivering high-demand technical skills. AO-K will provide the educational opportunities to prepare adults for these critical jobs.”
Accelerating Opportunity is funded by a strategic collaboration of philanthropies including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.
SCCC/ATS is celebrating Career and Technical Education Month.