The world of adult education is dramatically changing for the better, and the Pugh family of Yazoo City is happy to be a part of it. Adult education programs, including those offered at Holmes Community College, now have a career pathway/transitional specialist on staff to assists students' transition into the workforce or education/training once they receive their high school diploma. Through this newly-established position and opportunities it affords, Asher Pugh completed his GED and is now enrolled in the welding program at Holmes to begin this fall. Additionally, Asher's experiences encouraged his father and brother to enroll at Holmes as well.
Career Pathway/Transitional Specialist Bronwyn Robertson first met Asher following a workshop she conducted about Holmes for students in the adult education class in Yazoo City.
"I spoke with him briefly about what his plans were once he received his high school diploma and that's when he mentioned welding," Bronwyn said. "As soon as he received that diploma, he requested an appointment with me to start the process in enrolling at Holmes. It is my responsibility to help these students schedule tours, complete admissions requirements, learn about financial aid opportunities and other things of that nature, so I was thrilled Asher took the first step coming to me."
Several days later, Asher's mother, Patty, contacted Bronwyn informing her that Asher's brother, Isiah, and his father, Aubrey, were also interested in enrolling at the college. The Pugh family chose Holmes because of its location and the programs offered.
"Asher was having a hard time at school," Patty said. "We withdrew him and tried homeschooling, but it wasn't successful so we signed him up for GED classes. Isiah needed a little push to go to college. Aubrey told the boys when Asher passed his GED test that they would all go to college and do it together, as a family.
"With Asher being only 16, we thought it would be at least a year before he'd be ready to test. Asher's GED instructor David Parker saw what Asher's dad and I knew he had in him: determination! With his help, Asher was ready in a matter of months to take his GED. Mr. Parker also helped Asher choose his career path and explained the job outlook, growth and what he would need to pursue welding. That's when Aubrey decided to join Asher on his path."
While Asher and Aubrey will be in the welding program, Isiah, who earned the ACT scholarship, plans to major in art. David, his instructor, expressed that he has no doubt Asher will succeed as he moves on to the next step.
"Asher enrolled in Adult Education in January of 2017," David (Parker) said. "Upon completing his pre-testing it was evident that he was a very high-level student and showed remarkable understanding for his age. I later learned that Asher had been in a gifted program in elementary school and my wife had been his teacher. She spoke highly of him also. He attended class very regularly and moved right along, showing gains at a rapid pace."
Patty, who previously attended Holmes, is thankful for the opportunities that the adult education programs have given her family.
"Asher wanted to get his GED to show that he could do it," Patty said. "He had so many people that doubted him. Having Mrs. Robertson and Mr. Parker support him has made him believe that he can do anything he puts his mind to, something his dad and I have always told him. Holmes made the transition from GED classes to college an easy and enjoyable experience for him, and helped open doors for his dad and older brother, as well. The instructors and staff are always happy and willing to answer questions and help in any way they can, which I truly appreciate."
In February of 2016, the Mississippi Community College Board approved the use of three nationally-recognized high school equivalency tests that lead to receiving a Mississippi High School Equivalency Diploma. The three tests are: the General Educational Development (GED) Test, provided by GED Testing Service; High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS); and Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), provided by CTB/McGraw-Hill. Visit http://www.sbcjc.cc.ms.us/adulted/hsed.aspx for more details about each option.
Holmes offers Adult Education classes in multiple locations in its district, including Canton, Kosciusko, Ridgeland and Yazoo City. These classes are free and open to the public for those who have not completed high school or wish to increase their functioning level to enter college, training, or the job market. The Adult Education and High School Equivalency Department encourages all adults that are interested to become involved in one of its programs.
For more information about the Holmes adult education programs, contact Adult Education/HSE Director Nancy McRight at (662) 290.0808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THIS PHOTO:
Pictured are (left to right) Isiah, Aubrey and Asher Pugh.