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New happenings at the Durango Adult Education Center.  
What's in a Name?



Over the summer, the GED Program at the Durango Adult Education Center became the High School Equivalency (HSE) Program. More than just a logistical name-change, the shift represents an important change in the world of secondary education credentialing.

For a long time, passing the GED, or General Education Development exam, was the only alternative equivalent to getting a high school diploma. But in 2014, the GED digitized, becoming an entirely computer-based test. Enter the alternatives to the alternative: TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) and HiSET (High School Equivalency Test).

The DAEC readily recognized that these alternatives could significantly benefit some of their students. They decided to offer the HiSET in addition to the GED, in part because the TASC is so similar to the GED.

While there are other differences, the HiSET primarily sets itself apart with a paper-and-pencil test option. The new computer-based GED requires sophisticated technical skills with its digital drop-downs, sequencing, hot spots, and fill-in-the-blank features.

Stephanie Moran, HSE Program Director, notes that “If you come from another country where you have little or no computer experience, having to focus on intense subject content while navigating computer skills can be a great deal to ask.”  A paper-based test eliminates that undue technical stress.

Anyone interested in receiving a high school equivalency credential can still register for the fall 2016 HSE classes. All they need to do is sign up for an orientation session on August 30th, or September 6th, 13th, and 20th.  For more information, call 970-385-4354 or visit our website.
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Changes to our Team
With classes starting next week, we are excited to announce the addition of new staff and board members.  
New Team Members
  • Jill Colburn-Bernard - High School Equivalency Resource Coordinator
  • Sherry Grazda - ESL Teacher - Cortez satellite
  • Michelle Hall - ESL Teacher
  • Josh Kelso* - Career Advisor 
  • Alexis Work* - Student Services Specialist  * Josh, Alexis, & Kelly at a recent staff hike in above picture.
New Board Members 
  • Allison Aichele - La Plata County Treasurer
  • Dan Snowberger - Durango 9-R Superintendent
  • Alison Williams - Mercy Medical Center HR
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Center 
Renovations: Improving the Comfort Level for Students



There really is nothing quite like a makeover to boost your self-image, energy, and overall pizzazz! We did a make-over at the Center this summer to improve our learning environment.  Step through the doors of the Durango Adult Education Center this fall and you’ll see and feel the difference of some major and minor changes.
 
Most noticeable will be the new paint in four classrooms and the kitchen!  Plenty of research went into finding colors that promoted learning.  Additionally, the classrooms upgraded their carpet, tables, and chairs. According to Cori Andreatta, Operations Manager, the old hand-me-down furniture that used to be in the classrooms consisted of mixed “vintages” acquired over the DAEC’s nine year span in The Commons. Most pieces were literally on their last leg. 
 
“The learning environment we will provide this fall now truly aligns with our mission and values to help with student success,” Andreatta explained.
 
Andreatta noted that this remodel and renovation would not have been possible without the help and contributions of many. To name but a few here: interior designer, Barb Belanger, helped the DAEC navigate through all those tricky color schemes; LPEA Roundup provided a generous grant; and the Commons Leveraged Lender, LLC supplied additional revenues through a tax credit.
 
We are so pleased to be able to provide our students a more comfortable, appropriate learning environment.
 
 
Upcoming Dates
August 29 - HSE & ESL Classes start

August 31 - Beginning Conversation Spanish

September 5 - Closed for Labor Day  

September 28 - 4th Annual Literacy Luncheon
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