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Mt. SAC a national Finalist to “rethink” Adult Education

Essentia lhealth career programs

January 22, 2021 - 02:29 PM

adult student works on laptopMt. SAC has been named one of only 95 colleges in America to be a finalist in the the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge put on by the U.S. Department of Education, a national competition to advance pre-apprenticeships. Participating in this challenge gives the opportunity to explore new learning and training experiences for adult learners. Mt. SAC was selected  to advance to Stage 2 of the competition and compete for $750,000 in prizes. During the second stage, Mt. SAC will have access to expert support and digital resources to help develop a detailed program proposal, according to  Tami Pearson, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development

 Tami Pearson“A pre-apprenticehip program is another term for an entry level job,” said Pearson. “we chose to focus on Health careers for this competition as it is one of our strongest career paths.and students can go right into credit programs if they wish,or learn more intensive skills to enhance their career opportunities.”


 respiratory therapist studentAlthough apprenticeships serve as a pathway into careers across industries, “many adult learners face barriers to accessing them,”,according to a Dept of Education release announcing the finalists. Pre-apprenticeships break down these barriers by equipping adult learners with the knowledge and skills they need to enter and succeed in apprenticeships — which can expand access to rewarding careers across the United States.

student at microscopeFrom September to November,the Mt.SAC School of Continuing Education created a preliminary design for a pre-apprenticeship program.

Pearson added, For students who haven’t had much academic success.. all of our Continuing Education programs are free, pass/no pass classes that will help students get in go into critical programs. Part of each of  these programs is helping students build literary and math skills."


Some of these program, like nursing assistant and Respiratory Therapist, are among the few Essential worker programs to be allowed to return to campus as the campus remained closed for the vast majority of programs.

A video documenting this return to campus can be watched below.