Parkland College Adult Education invites interested adult residents without a high school diploma to sign up for a program designed to move them more swiftly from their high school equivalent to a college certificate and employment in a technical field.
To learn more and see if they qualify for Parkland’s Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (I-CAPS) program, residents may call Adult Education at 217/351-2580. Participants will need to qualify on several measures, including a required adult basic reading (TABE) level.
I-CAPS is the Illinois model of a nationally funded initiative called Accelerating Opportunity, which integrates basic skills with occupational training and institutional support to improve academic access and economic opportunity for low-skilled adults. I-CAPS seeks to accelerate Illinois adult learners’ transition from adult educational completion to college-credit completion.
Parkland’s I-CAPS program begins in August and ends in May 2014. Over the two semesters, students will take classes together from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Parkhill Applied Technology Center on the Parkland campus. The program combines General Education Development (GED) classes with COMPASS placement test preparation; workforce and college readiness instruction; and Welding courses.
Students successfully completing Parkland’s I-CAPS program will have earned their GED and a Welding Level 1 certificate, which prepares them for entry-level industrial welder jobs and to take the American Welding Society’s D1-1 Certification test. The Level 1 certificate is “stackable,” meaning that students will also have earned 16 of the 44 credit hours needed for Parkland’s Industrial Operations Certificate Program; they can continue taking courses to complete that program as well, should they so choose.
Although the Adult Educational courses are free to the students, the Welding courses require tuition payment. I-CAPS program staff will assist qualified participants in seeking ways to pay for these credit courses.
Accelerating Opportunity is managed by the national organization, Jobs for the Future, and is supported by a coalition of funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. I-CAPS is managed through the Illinois Community College Board.