EDUCATION OF ADULTS
Why is this important?
The adult population’s educational needs are diverse. Access to training and education that prepares adults for a livable wage job is a constant challenge in rural communities. In the 21st century, all adults must become lifelong learners to stay current in their professions and to prepare for job changes throughout a career.
Access to post-secondary education, job skills training, and basic education is critical to support the rapidly changing local and regional economy. Remedial education, basic skills development, and General Education Diploma (GED) preparation are in demand and serve as a critical first step toward self sufficiency for many adults. With the growing number of professionals retiring, and retired professionals increasingly moving to this county, there is a demand for personal enrichment programs. Our "graying" population wants to stay engaged in their community and prefers a lifestyle of learning.
What is the measure?
The number of adults participating in formal educational activities provides a gauge of adult education opportunities.
How are we doing?
The county is home to a comprehensive community college (Columbia College), adult ROP (Regional Occupational Program) programs, adult high school program, and a small number of private and public vocational and remedial training providers.
The Me-Wuk tribe provides a variety of additional education programs for their adult members. Several agencies provide short-term education and training courses for the local workforce and businesses. California State University-Stanislaus and University of California Merced are within easy commuting distance. While distance learning via the Internet is a growing trend, access to high-speed internet service is limited in most of the county.