Adult Education

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Adult Education Instructor Chris Foley stands near two of the computers in Suite 125 of the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien.


Adult Education classes are free, GED priceless

By Ted Pennekamp


The classes that are offered through the Adult Education Program in Crawford County are free, but the knowledge gained is very valuable indeed. 

“Education is priceless,” said Adult Education Instructor Chris Foley, who urges everyone to stay in school. For those who haven’t or couldn’t stay in school, however, Foley said the GED Program offered in Suite 125 of the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien is a good option.

Spring classes begin on Jan. 11 and run through May 13. Classes are held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The GED Program is run as part of the basic education program of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore.

Foley noted that all classes are free and students can go at their own pace. “It’s self-paced because many people have jobs, families and other obligations,” she said. Foley also noted that the seven computers are open to the public for educational and employment purposes. 

The four GED tests are $33.75 each, but Foley said scholarships are offered by Southwest Tech to help defray the costs of the tests, so cost shouldn’t be a barrier to earning one’s GED. 

Adult students have to be at least 18.5 years old to be eligible for the GED Program. She said computer classes can be done as a group or as individualized classes. The two oldest students currently taking the computer class are 83 and 85 years old. “They’re two of my better students,” said Foley. “It’s never too late to learn anything.”

Foley said GED coursework and tests are not as simple as they once were. Indeed, they are quite the opposite. Among the many items taught in the math class are algebra, geometry and data analysis, for example. There are classes, and eventually GED tests, in math, language reasoning, science and social studies (government and civics). English as a second language is offered as well. GED tests are offered in English or Spanish.

“GED tests are relatively challenging, almost at the college level,” said Foley. “Stay in high school. The GED is not a simple task anymore.”

Foley said practice GED tests are done online in the classroom with help from the instructor. The actual tests are taken at Southwest Tech in Fennimore.

“Preparation for college is done also as part of the Adult Education Program,” said Foley.

GED classes are also offered at the Crawford County Jail. 

Foley said the Adult Education-GED Program is coordinated by the Crawford County Literacy Council and funded through United Way, which pays for tests and materials and sometimes items such as gasoline in order to get to the testing site.

Foley noted that it makes not only sense, but dollars, to earn one’s GED or high school diploma. She pointed out that, on average, an adult with a high school credential earns approximately $568,000 more over their lifetime than an adult who drops out.

Adult Education enables people to prepare for their GED exams, expand their employment opportunities and prepare for college. Adult Education helps people to realize their potential.

More information about the Adult Education Program in Crawford County can be found by calling 326-1132. The Crawford County Administration Building is located at 225 N. Beaumont Rd., Prairie du Chien. Classes are held in Suite 125.

For her part, Foley truly enjoys teaching. “I love it. It’s great to make a difference in someone’s life,” she said. “One person can make a difference. It’s priceless.”

Foley is not only rewarded by her students’ achievements, she often receives thanks from students for all of her help. 

“A student recently gave me several gifts from Mexico in a show of appreciation,” she said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

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