Finish What You Started … Earn a High School Diploma and Keep Learning!

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NICC_finish_what_you_startedLeaders in education and the business world have said for a long time that a college education is the ticket to success in 21st Century America. The opportunities to find well-paying work that will support a family are beginning to disappear entirely for job applicants who have not earned their high school diploma.

A high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma (HSED) earned at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) bridges the gap to personal and professional success.

The myth that a high school diploma is not needed to succeed – that drive and ambition alone are enough – doesn’t hold true in today’s economy. You can’t do much without a high school diploma. In order to further your education at any college, this credential is required. NICC is the best local solution to obtain a high school equivalency diploma (HSED, formerly GED) to start a career, increase earning power and dramatically impact your financial success.

“Northeast Iowa Community College continues to expand its outreach to individuals who have not completed high school, encouraging their enrollment in the HSED program to progress in their education and careers,” expressed Gisella M. Aitken-Shadle, M.P.A., Adult Education and Literacy director.

In addition to HSED preparation, study time and testing, the Adult Education and Literacy program at the College offers English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) coursework for non-native speakers to learn English for work, business and daily life. The College also offers refresher sessions to provide all students with basic math, reading and writing skills in preparation to enter training programs or college-level courses, as well as Adult Basic Education sessions for students with limited skills.

Be Bold. Be a Graduate. www.nicc.edu/beagraduate!

Takeaways

The myth that a high school diploma is not needed to succeed – that drive and ambition alone are enough – doesn’t hold true in today’s economy.

A high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma (HSED) earned at Northeast Iowa Community College bridges the gap to personal and professional success.

NICC_profile_GisellaSpanish speakers may hear the following question on any given day, courtesy of Gisella Aitken-Shadle, M.P.A., the director of Adult Education and Literacy at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC): “¿Podemos ayudarlo a obtener su diploma equivalente a la secundaria y aprender Ingles?”

Translation in English: “Could we help you obtain your high school equivalency diploma and learn English?”

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Gisella Aitken-Shadle

Aitken-Shadle understands how challenging the English language is for non-native speakers, as well as the barriers community members face without a high school diploma. Aitken-Shadle, a native of Peru who emigrated to the United States at age nine, speaks four languages – Spanish, English, French and Italian. She is even learning two more, German and Chinese. However, it is fluency in English that is a key to success in the U.S. and Western business worlds, according to Aitken-Shadle.

“More now than ever before, American culture requires people to understand English and to be proficient in the language. The English language is also the language of business; multiple countries worldwide conduct their business communications in English,” she explained.

The Adult Education and Literacy director completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Dayton (Ohio) where she earned a B.A. degree in international studies with a human rights concentration and a minor in political science. She continued her graduate work at the university, earning a Master of Arts in Public Administration.

Aitken-Shadle credits her team of faculty and staff, many of whom also speak multiple languages, for helping students realize their dreams of a high school equivalency diploma (HSED), a college degree and much brighter futures.

“Our faculty and staff at NICC listen, empower, inspire and believe in each and every student we serve. Many times, our students do not have a cheerleader at home encouraging them. We become their cheerleader and provide this encouragement for our students, even if only for an hour that week in their lives,” she expressed.

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