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Turlock Adult School: Helping students achieve their goals
State grant allows TAS to offer individualized learning plans
Turlock Adult School pic1
Future Turlock Adult School student Alma Orozco works diligently in a new computer lab that was made possible by the Workforce Investment Act, Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Grant. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS / The Journal

Alma Orozco is hoping to improve her career options this year. The local woman is turning to Turlock Adult School to gain the knowledge she needs through the school's English as a Second Language course and the High School Diploma Program.

 “I joined because I want the best life for me and my daughters,” said Orozco. “I have two beautiful girls and they always push me to do my best.”

Orozco hopes to obtain her high school diploma and improve her English language skills during her time at TAS, with future plans including attending a community college. The student joked about using her newly-earned education to find the best job and make a lot of money.

 “I think she just wants to have a job that she enjoys,” said Alma's daughter Teresita Orozco. “I know that everything she wants to do and accomplish in life has the high school diploma, so when she knocks down that barrier there will be more to come.”

Turlock Adult School will be able to offer Orozco — and many others — a more individualized learning plan in the 2015-16 academic year thanks to a $500 million Adult Education Block Grant that was included in Gov. Jerry Brown’s State Budget this year.

“We will assess new and returning students,” said Turlock Adult School Principal Isaias Rumayor, Jr. “They will have to take an exam to determine literacy levels and mathematics levels, which will help us with course placements and individualized goals.

“This requires a tremendous amount of work, not only for students, but for staff as well,” continued Rumayor.

The Adult Education Block Grant is not the only source of funding for TAS, however, as the school is also in its second year of implementation for the Workforce Investment Act, Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Grant, which rewarded $482,510 last year.

Through this funding, TAS will continue to increase and enhance programs and increase course offerings in those areas.

“Before I inherited this position, adult schools throughout the state were on the verge of being closed due to lack of funding,” said Rumayor. “So with this funding, and specifically with the state budget, I think adult education was not only supported and funded, but also enhanced.”

One program that Rumayor said was expected to be enhanced and expanded is the English as a Second Language (ESL) course, which is the school’s largest program. This course is for adults who are interested in either learning English, including speaking, writing or listening, or enhancing their skills overall.

“Fortunately, we have funding to increase the number of ESL sections and expand where we offer the courses in town,” said Rumayor.

With individualized assessments, students will be placed depending on their actual ability. Ultimately, Rumayor hopes to help students progress towards obtaining a high school diploma or transition to a community college.

“We look at it based on the individual to help them achieve their goals,” said Rumayor Jr.

Additionally, the TAS Principal is looking forward to maximize the number of individuals in the region who have a high school diploma through the school’s High School Diploma Program.

“We not only want to recruit, but encourage and help our students maintain academic and individual success,” said Rumayor.“We want to encourage them to pursue job training, prepare to enter the workforce or attend community college.”

For more information on Turlock Adult School registration, call 667-0643.