Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
If you didn’t graduate from high school as a teenager, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue your education as an adult.
Just ask 45-year-old Rhonda Houze who recently earned her GED from Pensacola State College’s Adult Education Program. Now, she’s registering for college classes at PSC and hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in business.
“If you’re thinking about it, don’t let anyone stop you,” said Houze, a Pensacola mother of five who earned her GED in December. “You can go back, and you can be successful.”
Pensacola State College’s Adult Education Program will host an Open House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, on the Pensacola campus. The Adult Education Program is located in the Hobbs Center for Teaching Excellence, Building 11 on the Pensacola campus.
It will be one of the first public events at a PSC campus or center since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2019.
“We’re very excited,” said Debby Meyer, PSC Director of Adult Education, a position the longtime PSC adjunct instructor has held since August. “We will have tests available for students interested in the program, or they can schedule a test a later date. We will have a (PSC) recruiter talking about College academics.” There will also be a semi-truck that is used in the PSC truck driving program on display, as well as visual displays from other programs.
The PSC Adult Education Program has three facets:
• English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). These classes are for people who don’t use English as their primary language.
• Adult Basic Education. These classes are for adults whose academic skills are below a ninth-grade level. The classes cover basic reading, math and language skills and helps students prepare to move to GED classes.
• General Education Development. These classes are for students who do not have a high school diploma and whose academic skills are at or above a ninth-grade level. The classes prepare students for all areas of the GED examinations, which include math, science, social studies and reading/language arts.
“It’s hard for a lot of people to return to school after being away so long,” Meyer said. “But we want them to know it’s never too late and we can help them take the next step forward.”
Meyer said the Open House will feature aspects of the College, like the truck-driving program, that are available to students who complete their GEDs.
“Not only do we want them to earn a GED, we want them to matriculate over to the College,” she said. “Some people have a negative image of the GED and that don’t think a person who earns a GED can go on and earn a college degree. But that’s what we’re about. We want our students to reach their highest potential.”
Houze said she is “proud” of herself for her academic accomplishment.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I always pushed my kids to go to school and study hard and get an education. And I thought that if I could push them to do it, I could do it myself.”