GSE Offers Basic Skills Classes for Mason Employees

Posted: September 7, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

Beginning this month, the Graduate School of Education’s Office of Adult Learning and Professional Development (OALPD) partners with Human Resources to offer free classes to university employees who are disadvantaged by their lack of basic educational skills.

Classes are planned on the topics of English as a second language, General Educational Development (GED) test preparation, and basic literacy skills. Depending on student demand, the classes will meet twice a week for two hours from Sept. 24 to Dec. 7, and will be kept to 10 to 12 students each.

“George Mason University is in the business of learning,” says Ed Jones, director of OALPD. “We prepare thousands of students in multiple disciplines, we offer accessible lifelong learning to practicing professionals in the community, we contribute to knowledge through faculty research and publication, and we offer continuing education to faculty and staff as a benefit of employment. However, this university is supported and sustained by a large group of undereducated workers who do not have access to the same opportunities for self-development and learning as its faculty, staff, and students. Providing such access not only addresses this paradox and extends the benefits of learning to an underserved population, but also serves the university’s self-interest.”

Classes will be taught by experienced adult educators. Instructor salaries and instructional materials for the classes will be covered by a $25,000 grant from Verizon. For more information, contact Jones at x33675 or ejones@gmu.edu.

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