MONTGOMERY – A tuition and fee waiver program that grants Alabama’s adult education GED® recipients and Ready To Work program completers a free college class has resulted in the matriculation of more than 16,000 Alabama residents from adult education to college.

Shelton State Adult Education Student Gloria Adingni holds her college diploma.

Shelton State Community College student Sevide “Gloria” Adingni

The Alabama Community College System established a tuition and fee waiver program in 2017 to provide a clear pathway to residents who successfully complete either program and want to advance their skills at a community college. Since then, more than 16,000 students who earned a GED® diploma or completed the Ready to Work program through the state’s Adult Education provider network received a free college class of up to four credit hours from an in-state community college of their choice.

There are 25 Adult Education providers funded by the Alabama Community College System across 400 locations. The programs can be found by clicking here.

“Adult education programs exist to present lifelong learning opportunities that help residents go as far as they want to academically and professionally,” stated David Walters, Executive Director of Adult Education in Alabama. “The chance for students to easily transition from an adult education program to a college skills training or academic program is just one of several ways we eliminate barriers to education in the state.”

Many students – such as Shelton State Community College student Sevide “Gloria” Adingni – use the college tuition waiver as a start to complete a full associate degree or other workforce stackable, industry-recognized credentials. Adingni completed the Shelton State adult education program’s

GED and ESL classes last year. Combining the class with the Pete Turnham Scholarship through the Alabama Association for Public continuing and Adult Education (ALAPCAE), she is now enrolled in the college’s nursing program.

“You just need to keep going,” Adingni said.

Coastal Alabama Community College Student Cody Burroughs poses with family and diploma.

Coastal Alabama Community College Student Cody Burroughs

Another student, Cody Burroughs, recently completed his GED and is working to complete an associate degree in industrial maintenance at Coastal Alabama Community College. He also works full-time at the college.

Burroughs said he chose the GED program after coming across a job that required the credential as a minimum requirement.

“I have always wanted to achieve the accomplishment for myself as well as my family. I wanted a decent job so I could provide for my family without struggling,” he said.

“Turns out it was the easiest accomplishment I have achieved.”