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WVNCC, Adult Ed Collaborate

Posted 09/10/15

The West Virginia Adult Education Program and West Virginia Northern Community College are collaborating on a new opportunity for adult students to launch a career in the growing oil and gas industry.

The “Moving Pathways Forward” initiative is a pilot program in the state’s Northern Panhandle that will provide career contextualized instruction as a bridge to the oil and gas industry. Classes will be held from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday beginning Oct. 12 at Northern’s B&O Building, 1704 Market St., downtown Wheeling, according to adult education and WVNCC organizers. Classes end Dec. 18 because there are no classes during Thanksgiving week.

Kim McConnaughy, adult education regional coordinator located at the offices of RESA 6 in Wheeling, explained that objectives of the pilot program include offering an intensive nine-week bridge course focused on the oil and gas industry and assisting completers of the program with entering the workforce in the oil and gas industry or with entering the petroleum technology or mechatronics programs at West Virginia Northern.

In addition, McConnaughy said, the coordinators will collect data on the participants, their academic levels and their placements upon completion.

Participants must meet criteria to be considered for enrollment, it was noted. The course is at no cost to participants but class attendance is mandatory. The course will include the applied mathematics, reading skills, writing skills, science, speaking skills and social studies needed for attainment of a high school equivalency diploma as well as for college and careers. All coursework will be contextualized to the oil and gas industry.

McConnaughy said the course “will not be just for adults without a high school diploma. It will be for adults who may have graduated high school but who are under- or unemployed or it may encompass adults with a little college experience.”

Cindy West, with SPOKES/ABE in Wetzel-Tyler counties, explained, “This course incorporates the use of contextualized curriculum which engages the whole class into a study of the basics skills of math, reading and writing within the oil/gas and manufacturing industries. Students will not only be learning with each other, but also from each other.”

A “Navigator” will work with the class instructor and the participants to assist them in overcoming barriers (childcare, transportation, etc.) as well as guiding them through the job or college application process. The Navigator will meet weekly with each participant to review progress and determine needs.

For more information, contact Marilynn Schnupp with Ohio County Schools’ adult education located at WVNCC at 304-214-8948. To apply go online at