SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) was awarded $1,174,200 to expand adult education services.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced the historic funding amounts to STCC, 73 other adult education providers, and seven correctional institutions in the state, according to a news release from STCC. The awards total $250 million over the course of the next five years.

Adult education services will expand to new programs statewide that are not currently funded and will provide 5,000 total seats for adult basic education students, along with 16,000 for adult English learners.

The Workforce Development Center at STCC provides free adult education through the Springfield Adult Learning Center. The community is able to take classes to further their education by obtaining a high school equivalency certificate, and that includes preparing for a GED or HiSET exam, developing computer, email, or internet skills, learning English as a second language or even enrolling as a student at STCC after earning a high school equivalency certificate.

“We are thrilled and grateful to the Baker Administration for this funding to expand our adult education programs offered to the community,” said STCC President John B. Cook. “I appreciate the successful efforts by Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development Gladys Franco in submitting for this competitive grant. STCC’s funding was among the top 10 largest amounts awarded.”

“We have been offering high-quality adult education classes in Springfield for years, and this funding represents a big step forward in expanding programs,” Franco said. “I’m proud that the Springfield Adult Learning Center has transformed so many lives. Students have found fulfilling employment or have gone on to receive their degree from STCC to prepare for a career. Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for supporting our efforts.”

The school will receive funding for fiscal 2024, which begins on July 1, 2023. Adult basic education is funded through state and federal funds, including the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title II.

“This historic level of funding to adult education service providers across the Commonwealth will open up additional seats for adult learners to gain knowledge and career skills,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “These grants will benefit not only residents but employers and communities across the Commonwealth.”

“Supporting adult students with essential foundational education and language skills provide an onramp to college and career options that will prepare adults for innovative jobs growing in the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

The funds will be able to:

  • Help eligible individuals obtain knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency;
  • Assist eligible individuals to attain a secondary school credential and transitioning to postsecondary education and training;
  • Assist immigrants and other individuals who are English learners; and
  • Help parents gain education and knowledge to become full partners in the educational development of their children.

“The goal is to foster collaborations within communities that enhance student success in higher education and employment,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “We are very pleased to award this historic level of funding that ensures there are significant resources available to many more adult students across the Commonwealth for years to come.”

“Adult education is a critical part of Massachusetts’ education system, and it wouldn’t be possible without the many partners who are receiving the grants announced today,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “I’m happy to see this financial support extend the reach of these school districts and organizations.”

Those interested in taking classes at the Springfield Adult Learning Center can apply here.