COMMERCE — For Commerce residents who need learn English, obtain citizenship, or earn their GED to get a better job, A.C. Williams Elementary School will be a hub for adult education.
A.C. Williams is now home to the Navarro College Adult Education Program, which offers free citizenship, ESL and GED courses.
Dereck Owens, site coordinator at Navarro College, said he believes the courses will be a significant benefit to Commerce, where more than 40 percent of residents live beneath the poverty level.
Owens said earning citizenship, learning English, and getting a GED will go a long way toward helping people get on their feet.
“I feel the need is there,” he said. “We will have a GED course as soon as interest builds up.”
Since most individuals seeking citizenship also have difficulty with English, Owens said the two courses are combined for anyone interested.
Enrollment for the courses is on a monthly basis — with May’s class having a deadline of April 29 — but Owens said a student can be enrolled in a course for as short or as long as it takes.
“We work with students as long as they need help,” he said, adding some students who come in have taken all four years of high school and only need a quick refresher, and others have not taken any high school courses. “It varies by the student.”
With the growing need for a high school education or equivalent in the workplace, Owens said getting people old and young to invest in themselves will help both them and the community.
“I’m a big fan of adult education,” he said. “I think that all people in all walks of life should be able to have access to education to better themselves.”
The classes are open to all Hunt County residents who are at least 18 years old. For GED classes, 17-year-olds must complete a youth packet and an official withdrawal from first school attended. A student 16 years old must have a completed youth packet, an official withdrawal from last school attended and a court order on file with the Adult Education Program office at A.C. Williams School. Call 903 875-7464 or 1-800-NAVARRO ext. 7464 for more information on the program.