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ICC Awarded Grant to Provide GED Grads Pathway to College and Career Success  

The Illinois Community College Board recently awarded ICC more than $200,000 in grant funding for the Success After the GED College Bridge Program. The purpose of the program is to provide pathways to college success for GED graduates and increase their opportunities to find jobs earning family-sustaining wages. The program begins this August.

“Our research suggests that GED graduates frequently enter or maintain low-wage employment as a means to support themselves financially, often working multiple jobs to make ends meet,” said Dr. Rita Ali, vice president of diversity and community impact.  “Some lack career guidance and a support system that moves them from GED attainment to enrollment in coursework, resulting in a college credential. This is the gap that will be filled through the ICC Success After the GED College Bridge Program.”

Participants will receive career exploration assistance, as well as life skills and industry/occupational skills development. The goal is to enroll each of the GED graduates into college-level coursework and continue on a path to obtain a credential beyond the GED. Career development will focus on the high-demand, middle- and high-skilled occupations of health careers, information technology, manufacturing, and education.

Four cohorts of 15 individual each, for a total of 60 GED graduates, are expected to be served over the initial one-year project period. Each cohort will receive 100 hours of training over a five-week period. Phase I of each session will include a comprehensive assessment of the participant’s college readiness, as well as the identification of career pathways that align with interests and aptitude. Phase II includes customized instruction, career exploration, coaching and planning. In Phase III, participants will gain industry-specific knowledge within the focus industries and partner with local practitioners for job shadowing, observations, and hands-on learning opportunities. In the final Phase IV, participants are enrolled in college credit coursework, as outlined in their academic success plan.

For more information or to apply, contact Kate Stahl at (309) 694-5515 or via email to [email protected].