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STC adult education expands to Effingham Prison
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Members from Savannah Technical Colleges board of directors recently visited the Effingham County Prison. Pictured left to right: (back row) STC Board Member Rev. Thurmond Tillman, STC Board of Directors Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, Effingham County Prison Warden Ronald W. Spears; (front row) Effingham County Prison Deputy Warden Vickie V. Brown, STC President Dr. Kathy Love, and STC Executive Director of Adult Education Jermaine Whirl. - photo by Photo provided

SAVANNAH—Savannah Technical College is partnering with the Effingham County Prison to bring adult education/GED classes to inmates.

Recently, STC President Dr. Kathy Love, STC Board of Directors Chairman Jimmy Burnsed and STC board member Rev. Thurmond Tillman toured the prison off Highway 119 South. The group learned more about the prison and the training STC’s Adult Education program will provide inmates.

"Through our Adult Education program, we strive to enable every learner to acquire the necessary skills in reading, speaking, writing and math," said Dr. Love. "This will help them become life-long learners and productive citizens in a global society."

STC Adult Education’s new program will offer two-hour classes, three days a week at the prison. These will have an average of 20 students in the program at one time.

 "We would like to thank all of the administration and staff at Savannah Technical College for their efforts to bring its successful program here and develop a partnership to offer adult education," said Effingham County Prison Deputy Warden Vickie V. Brown. "We look forward to offering adult education including GED preparation, along with skills to help our inmates improve their reading, writing and math skills."

Savannah Technical College has had success with a similar program at Coastal State Prison, which started in March 2011. Savannah Tech offers a morning and afternoon class, four days a week with an average of 20 to 25 students per class. Sixty-two adult education students from Coastal State Prison have taken the GED exams with a 95 percent passing rate. At least four of these students who successfully passed their GED exams enrolled in two year technical schools and others have been accepted into four-year universities.

"This is a great opportunity for the inmates to continue their education and achieve the basic skills needed to find employment once they are released," said Burnsed.

"Very few of us talk about the fact that 97 percent of all incarcerated people return back to the community," said Rev. Tillman. "This is an opportunity for those individuals to leave prison better equipped and more educated than they were before. This will also increase their success and help them handle reentry into the community."

There are more than one million Georgians who are 25 years of age or older and do not have a high school education or GED diploma. STC’s Adult Education serves those who need to improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their oral and written English, practice for the GED test to attain a high school equivalence degree, and prepare for community college or technical education. The academic training provided by STC’s Adult Education prepares students to apply to college and improve career readiness.

Savannah Technical College teaches adult education classes in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties with multiple locations in each community including at the college›s campus locations in Savannah, Rincon and Hinesville.