Several post-secondary options within Northwest Ohio provide an opportunity for adults to gain additional training and skills in an atmosphere designed to give them a competitive edge.
One of these post-secondary options includes Penta Career Center’s Adult and Continuing Education program, where students spend about 80 percent of the time acquiring hands-on experience, Kevin Whitlatch, director of adult and continuing education, said.
Penta Career Center, located at 30095 Oregon Road, Perrysburg, serves the general Toledo area, with most students ranging from age 25 to 30 who reside within a 30-mile radius.
The Adult and Continuing Education program allows adult students to go through the “nuts and the bolts” to become certified for these careers, Whitlatch said.
“It’s really about education being a process. It doesn’t stop,” he said.
Three major sections Penta offers in its Adult and Continuing Education program include Adult Basic and Literacy Education and GED preparation (provided at no cost), corporate services group where Penta representatives go out to businesses to provide consultation and part-time and full-time programs.
Most of the courses offered at Penta are based on job training, retraining and readiness, according to Whitlatch.
Some of the programs include Auto Body Collision Repairs, Certified Office Technologies, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Recovery, Welding/Fabrication and Carpentry.
Once the students complete a part-time or full-time program at Penta, they can receive a career passport that lists employability aspects and any certifications the students received.
In the Adult Workforce Development program offered at the Oregon Career and Technology Center, located at 2424 Seaman Road, Oregon, students receive “personal attention and genuine interest from staff members,” Steve Bialorucki, supervisor of career and technology education, said.
Some adult students “don’t feel comfortable going back to school right away,” whereas the center offers “a smaller facility where the students don’t feel intimidated,” he said.
Bialorucki shared some upcoming programs in the works including a culinary arts program, an industrial maintenance program that he said he hopes to launch in fall 2007 and an adult cosmetology program, which is an option the center is still exploring.
Among the available programs, Bialorucki noted the medical office program has been “very successful,” as it exposes students in the classroom to an environment they could expect in an actual job setting. Students within the program can earn certification as a medical office specialist. As the center works with the Oregon Fire Department, students enrolled into the EMT Basic course can use this training to prepare them for paramedic school.
Among the program offerings available at Toledo Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education program, located at 1530 N. Superior St., students may opt to enroll in a three-week certified nursing assistant course or invest more time into a program such as the Barber Academy requiring 1,800 hours of vocational training for completion.
Joan Reasonover, director for Toledo Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education, highlighted their two-and-a-half-year Aviation Technician Program as a “good field to get into now.”
In addition to also offering an ABLE/GED preparation program, Reasonover said the Adult and Continuing Education program offers a math and reading “refresher” for people who have been out of the classroom for a while and need help preparing for entrance exams.
TPS has also recently become involved with the Work Keys Assessment program that helps students determine their capabilities with various job skills, according to Reasonover.
As TPS’s Adult and Continuing Education is a state-certified adult full-service program, it provides some free support services: career assessment, job placement, vocational counseling, classroom mentors, empowerment seminars and others.
Washington Local Schools’ Adult Continuing Education program, located at 5719 Clegg Dr., provides special interest and personal enrichment workshops in addition to certificate programs and professional development and business services.
Jackie Hardenbrook, supervisor of adult education, emphasized the dental assisting certificate program in which students can work closely with a local dentist.
In addition, she said they have been working to streamline their medical coding program with what’s current in the job field and will be aligning the program’s standards with credentials set by the American Health Information Management Association for the fall session.
Hardenbrook said their dietary management program has also been “quite successful.” The certificate program gives students the opportunity to work in health or dietary food operations. Graduates with certification may oversee food management, plan menus or possibly be responsible for ordering food.
Other certificate programs include Building Maintenance, Introduction to Welding/Welding Fabrication, Medical Office Management and State Tested Nurse Aide.
As for special interest programs, Hardenbrook said the Adult Continuing Education program’s boating courses have been “quite popular” within the community, especially during this time of year.