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South Central Louisiana Technical College

Adult grads celebrate success

June 16, 2014
Adult education graduates Shelbi Saunier and Devonte Robertson pose May 19 at South Louisiana Technical Collage.

The WorkReady U program in Lafourche celebrated graduating its first set of HiSET completers since first opening its doors to students in October. Formerly known as the Adult Education Program, it is housed at South Central Louisiana Technical College in Thibodaux and helps adults earn a high school equivalency diploma.

Shelbi Saunier, 18, is a Thibodaux resident and is proud to be one of the first three in the program’s short history to complete the HiSET. She plans to enroll at South Central Louisiana Technical College in the fall and become a cosmetologist.

“I’m really proud of myself. I dropped out of Thibodaux High School my junior year because I wasn’t going to have enough credits to graduate with my class and I was already a year behind,” Saunier said.

“Doing this program was a lot better for me, I feel I learned a lot more here than in the typical high school environment.”

Twenty year-old Devonte Robertson was also a former Thibodaux High student who found his path to higher education through WorkReady U as well. He plans on attending South Central Technical College as well before transferring to Fletcher to study Petroleum engineering.

“I wasn’t very good in high school, I got into a lot of trouble and quit going. I knew I always wanted to go back and earn my diploma, because I want better for myself,” Robertson said.

“I’m finally doing what I need to do, I’m really proud that I earned my diploma and so is my family, they threw a party for me the other day and now I’m just ready to start taking classes for college.”

According to WorkReady U Program Director, Suzan Bailey, the program came to Thibodaux in October. The site, at 1425 Tiger Drive, currently has 200students enrolled. Students learn basic education skills, such as reading, writing, and math, get credential preparation and other services. A placement test helps instructors determine individual students’ academic levels and from there all work is self-paced.

“It is all self-paced. You work on your own time, and students receive individualized instruction as well as group instruction,” she said.

WorkReady U allows anyone 16 or older an opportunity to complete high school and go on to the next step. The classes are free, and the cost of enrollment is only $25, which covers both your application fee and parking decal.

Bailey she expects more testers will continue to earn their high school equivalency in the next couple of months. U.S. Census data says 26 percent of Lafourche residents 25 or older lack a high school diploma.

“We just need to get out there and let people know we’re here and our doors are open,” Bailey said. “I’m so proud of our first set of completers and I know more will be on the way here pretty soon.”

Classes are offered 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. For information, call Suzan Bailey at 447-0924, ext.144.

Staff Writer Aline Carambat can be reached at 850-1148 oraline.carambat@houmatoday.com.

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