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BCBS donates to Kershaw County Adult Education

Posted: December 27, 2013 5:05 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Thanks to a $10,000 donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of South Carolina, Kershaw County Adult Education (KCAE) will be able to complete upgrades to the technology it uses to offer its services.

Recently, KCAE decided to add a layer of service to the process of providing GED, high school diplomas and Career Readiness certificates. According to a press release, that led KCAE toward providing targeted workforce development for students and a more intense computer-based instructional program run through Choice Academy. The academy serves young adults under 21 with employability skills through a targeted instruction plan for students who have recently dropped out of high school. KCAE recently received certification to offer computerized GED tests beginning January 2.

During the upgrade process, it became apparent that KCAE’s delivery service needs would outstrip its current technology and that the hardware needed far exceeded the adult education budget. The existing computer lab experienced increase usage due to students using Key Train courseware, WorkKeys tests, virtual high school and HSAP classes, Choice Academy, computerized skills practice programs, message boarding, online instruction and much more, including testing events.

Susan Schultz, a KCAE computer lab instructor and adult education teachers, has first-hand knowledge of this technology gap. Schultz’s background and competency fashioned her vision of KCAE’s technology program could be. She is able to combine a variety of tasks and needs into a workable, efficient computerized program that maximizes students’ learning process and helps prepare them for the 2014 computerized GED test.

Schultz also serves as a technology consultant, providing advice and skills instruction to Kershaw County clients in various computer applications. After seeing the technology deficiency in the program and the process employed to replace non-usable, she came up with a plan to ask clients if they had anything they wanted to donate to the cause of adult education. Because of that, Schultz was able to secure the donation for the upgrades.

The BCBS donation will help purchase computers and a file service to upgrade the computer lab, mounted LCD projectors, Apple TVs for iPad connections, switches for increasing WiFi signals, docu-cams, printers, an uninterruptable power supply, math software and other classroom computers.

This community outreach effort will go far in securing employability skills and credentials for Kershaw County citizens.

Adult Education Director Weyland Burns said that the “immediate impact of the technology grant will be that it will pave the way to upgrade old computers with new N-computers that will save space and process faster. Now we will be able to push out computers into our three classrooms while fully supplying the computer lab.”

Burns stated that now all teachers will have access to smartboards and the mounted projectors, iPads and apps projectors. He commented that, from a long range perspective, the “value of this grant will be the increased computer usage, keyboarding skills and technology-based learning for all of our students. This is vital since the new GED will become a computerized test on Jan. 1, 2014.”

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