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We asked, you responded. Here are the Philly nonprofits you said do adult education right.
There are a few days to go in September … if you don’t see your favorite adult education program listed here, send us your recommendation and we will add it in through Monday, Sept. 30.
1. Community Schools
At Philadelphia’s community schools, a coordinator works with service providers and city agencies to bring everything from regular pop-up food pantries to family fitness to learning opportunities that benefit adult members of the communities around the school.
“The Community Schools adult education program is fantastic, a free, low-barrier program that meets learners where they are,” wrote Kate Kelly, an intern at the Defenders Association. “The providers on that project include the Center For Literacy, New World Association, and Lutheran Settlement House. The Office of Adult Education coordinates it in conjunction with the Mayors Commission on Literacy.”
[Editor’s note: The Community Schools adult education partnership is a joint effort between the Office of Adult Education and the Mayor’s Office of Education, not the Commission on Literacy.]
2. Community Learning Center
The learning center’s mission is to help low-income adults in Philadelphia gain academic and employment skills. Beth Burrell wrote to tell us she thinks it is “a top notch, well-run, and exciting org doing amazing things in Philly.”
According to the interim executive director of the CLC, Linda Helm Krapf, this adult education provider offers free services at two locations — in North Philly at N. Broad and Lehigh, and West Philly at 63rd and Vine.
3. Veterans Upward Bound
The organization serves Philadelphia-area veterans who want to reestablish their learning skills and prepare for college-level courses. Jared Valdez, of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, believes it is a noteworthy adult education provider.
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“I’d offer up the Veterans Upward Bound program at Penn which (almost) nobody knows about even though they just held their 40th anniversary,” he said. “They help veterans experiencing poverty or other life challenges prepare for college through a rigorous academic program. Most are first generation students and older.”
4. Eastern University
According to staffer Kelly Goddard, who wrote to us suggesting we list the university, “Eastern has eight wonderful adult graduate programs offered online and in Philadelphia,” which include bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, early childhood education and business administration, among others.
Eastern University is a Christian university “dedicated to the preparation of undergraduate, theological and graduate students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service.”
For individuals who aren’t seeking a degree but want to improve their English skills, Eastern University offers an intensive English as a Second Language program that focuses on academic reading, writing, and grammar, listening, speaking and integrated skills.
5. Drexel University
Howard Pinder wrote to tell Generocity readers about an adult education program he oversees at Drexel University.
“The Helms Academy is a partnership between Drexel University, Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey & Greater Philadelphia, and the Community College of Philadelphia,” he wrote. “It is located at Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in the Mantua and Powelton neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. The mission of this unique partnership is to help individuals who have left traditional secondary education obtain their high school diploma to increase their access to career opportunities and strengthen their overall economic potential.”
“The Helms Academy provides free academic support and services to West Philadelphian adults, age 18 and over, to obtain their high school diploma.” he added. “Helms adult learners can choose two study tracks:
- Track 1 – Learners can work to complete their high school equivalency (e.g. GED).
- Track 2 – Learners can earn 30 college credits at Community College of Philadelphia and simultaneously earn their high school diploma because of their efforts.
“In either track, Helms Academy provides online tools, in-classroom tutoring, and free testing and books,” Pinder concluded. “In other words: Helms Academy is 100% free.”
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