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For those of you that are 21-101 without a diploma there is an adult education programme geared just for you.

Wheable runs six terms comprising 36 days each. Adult learners do well with short term goals. You can opt to take a maximum of two courses a day with each class running for two hours and fifty minutes from 9.05 to 3.20. You can choose to enrol in academic or applied level courses. The school offers a very large co-op business program, ten computer labs along with a core curriculum of English, math and sciences.

Because of time constraints attendance is critical: provincial funding is denied when one misses three consecutive days.

Lifetime experiences has value: adult students have always been able to apply for maturity credits up to a maximum number of twelve for grad purposes. Maturity credits have traditionally been granted after four senior courses were completed. I trust the new requirements for OSS, (Ontario Secondary Schools) will reflect the reality of adults trying to complete their education and get back into the work force.

Traditionally students speak with their feet when they are unhappy with their education: the numbers speak for themselves, the retention rate at Wheable is seventy five per cent!

The teaching staff of eighty team members are fabulous. They are a combination of retirees with decades of experience, young recent enthusiastic grads from colleges of education and to make up a group of dedicated educators who wish only to teach adults. You do not go into adult education for the money: the teachers are paid per hour with non of the traditional fringe benefits. The Thames Valley Board Continuing Education program is obliged to works on a cost recovery basis.

Teaching adults has challenges: on the plus side you donít have a adolescent problems but often times the adult learner presents interesting challenges. Often times there is a fear of formal education along with a negative self esteem that needs to be replaced with lots of positive reinforcement. Adults bring to class a motivation that is unique, they often have had incredible life experiences.

Empathy, a sense of humour and a common purpose for all the staff are necessary components of an adult education. Secretaries, custodians, teachers , administration are a team: they work very hard at providing a warm inviting atmosphere to ensure a positive learning environment.
800 academic day students along with 500 English as a Second Language (ESL) students from fifty different countries find a rewarding warm nurturing atmosphere in which to flourish.

Two graduations a year that celebrate the success of five hundred plus students are multi-generational affairs. All in the family; children, partners, friends and of course proud grand parents are invited to attend. Many of the graduates go on to Fanshawe and University of Western Ontario. The attainment of diploma open doors: Business and industry values employees who return to upgrade their qualifications.

Adults who walk through the doors of G A Wheable can find success.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com