AEL to Career Ready You

by America Adame
Published February 3, 2020

There's a department on campus seeking to transform the lives of non-traditional students.


What was once called Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) has not only transitioned their name to Career Ready You, they are also assisting the transition and impacting the lives of our non-traditional students. This department's name change was inspired by the implementation of a co-enrollment model that would advance the goal of assisting students in transforming their lives. 

Career Ready You embraces every student that walks through the door, serving students from all walks of life with diverse backgrounds and a multitude of languages. This includes those who are currently incarcerated, single parents, new residents to the country, and students who have been court-ordered to obtain a GED. They offer a variety of programs such as ESL and GED courses that will assist in the preparation of the student's success. 

The Career Ready You department also employs three full-time Career Navigators who are responsible for helping students navigate their way through the program as stress-free as possible. Career Navigators link students to resources if needed; they work towards removing any barrier that is in the way of the student's success an assuring the student is not alone in his/her new journey.


ESL (English as a Second Language)

Students enrolled in the ESL program at Amarillo College come from many different countries and represent up to twenty different languages, such as French, Persian, Spanish, Burmese, Farsi, Vietnamese, Swahili, and more. All students who are enrolled in the program share a similar goal of learning the English language and the American culture to eventually obtain a higher education. 

Often students enroll in the ESL program solely to learn the language or to learn the language simultaneously working towards obtaining a GED. Either way, the students has the support they need inside the classroom through instructors who are working hand-in-hand with students. 

ESL classes are 8 weeks long and offered in the morning or evening at the Community Link Campus (NE 24th and Grand), Washington Street Campus, and West campus.


GED (General Education Development)

Students who are enrolled in the GED program at Amarillo College have the option of choosing between one of three communities of study (Healthcare, Business/Business Technology, and Industry) which they will focus on while obtaining their GED. The coursework is contextualized to their specific community. Students have the opportunity to earn their GED through the lens of their program of choice. Career Ready You also partners with the Potter County Detention Center to allow incarcerated students the opportunity to obtain their GED as well.

Referring to the student diversity this department experiences daily, Michelle Lamons, Career Ready You Project Director, says "Our goal is to not shy away from non-traditional students but to refine who the student already is, and teach the student how to advocate for themselves."