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The journey toward success

Jon Nunez

Jon Núñez is Director of Adult Literacy Programs for Iowa Valley Continuing Education.

By Jon Núñez

The meaning of the word “success” depends greatly on the individual and his/her circumstances. No matter who you are, where you come from, or your skill level, the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center (ETC) is here to help you gain the skills you need to achieve your educational goals.

For some of our students, success is not measured by the completion of a college degree or even the High School Equivalency diploma. Rather, it is measured by finally gaining the basic skills necessary to help elementary age grandchildren with their math homework. Another common goal is gaining the English language skills necessary to attend a school conference and be able to communicate with a child’s teacher after many months or even years of attending our programs.

Of course, many of our students come to the ETC already proficient in basic literacy skills and for them, success is measured very differently. The success of these students is measured using educational gains and diploma completion.

Betty is a good example of success. Betty came to the ETC about ten years ago, having just arrived from Northern Africa. Betty’s English language abilities were comparable to a first grade elementary student. Within a couple years, Betty progressed through all four levels of the English as a Second Language program. Her ultimate goal was to continue working as a nurse as she had done in her home country. She began taking Pre-Nurse Aide classes to become more familiar with the medical terminology in English. She then transitioned to the CNA class and passed her state certification test on her first attempt. Shortly after, Betty began working as CNA, first at a nursing home then at the Iowa Veterans Home, where she is still employed today. Presently, she is attending Marshalltown Community College participating in the Nursing program.

Through Betty’s hard work and the dedication of the staff at Iowa Valley Community College District, Betty has become a wonderful asset and contributing member of this community.

Iowa Valley’s Adult Basic Education Program has for a number of years ranked as one of Iowa’s top programs, achieving nearly 100% of the program goals set by the Iowa Department of Education. Some of these goals include skill attainment and program completion.

For more information, call the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center at (641) 754-1348.

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