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NMJC Adult Basic Education Honored

NMJC Adult Basic Education Honored photo 11/22/2008 11:05:45 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Plainly put, New Mexico Junior College's Adult Basic Education (ABE) program is better than the rest -- and they have the awards to prove it.

Last week at the New Mexico Adult Education Association's (NMAEA) state conference, NMJC's ABE director Dianne Marquez and her staff were awarded the 2007-2008 Outstanding Adult Basic Education Program of the Year Award, beating out the 27 other ABE programs in the state.

NMJC's program, which has been serving adult students for well over 30 years, offers free GED, basic literacy, English as a Second Language, and citizenship classes on campus, at the college's downtown facility, and in Lovington, Eunice, and Jal. According to Marquez, the program annually serves an average of 700 students from both Lea County and West Texas.

"We do a good job in the community of getting these students to realize their goals, and I think the team deserves the recognition for their students' successes," said Marquez. "The percentage of students succeeding as a result of our program is going up every year."

The fact that NMJC met four out of six major goals set by the New Mexico Higher Education Department, as well as having Vicki Weaver, the 2006 GED teacher of the year on staff, were major factors in earning the award. Michele Cortez, the ABE Retention Clerk, spoke for the programs' teachers, staff, and students, however, when she said, "It took everybody to get this award. We have to pat everyone on the back that's been part of this."

According to Shari Jobe, NMAEA Executive Director, the award represents the "integrity, honor, loyalty, and commitment" exhibited by NMJC's Adult Basic Education team, as well as its innovative program initiatives, improvements, and operation, visibility, participation, consistency, cooperation, attendance, funding usage, and contributions on a state level. "Without a doubt," she said, "many people have benefited from your program's tireless efforts."

The most heartfelt words of praise, however, came from a student whose life had been touched personally by the award-winning program. DeAnn Wilson of Denver City, who has been in NMJC's GED since last year, explained that she has been trying to earn a GED off and on since she was 15 years old. After two more preparation tests, she will be ready to take the GED. "The staff and teachers here let you know that they care about you and that you deserve to succeed, and that's something. No other place I've tried to work on my GED has pushed me and supported me like they have here. This is the only program I've stuck with that has helped me," she said.

"If I'd known how to nominate them myself, I would have done it. Without them, I would probably be nowhere good."

For more information about NMJC's Adult Basic Education Program, please contact Dianne Marquez at 575.492.2630.

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