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Advocates Work to Improve Adult Ed in Rural Northern CA


Monday, March 7, 2022   

More help is in the works to make it easier for adults in rural northern California to go back to college for a certificate or degree.

ProjectAttain! in the Sacramento area is one of five educational nonprofits around the country splitting a $750,000 grant from CivicLab.

Barbara Halsey, network director for ProjectAttain!, said the grant will help the group expand its navigator program, which helps adults overcome the barriers that make it hard to go back to school.

"I'm hoping that five years from now," said Halsey, "California's education-to-workforce development system is so effective that the problem of people stopping out doesn't exist anymore."

ProjectAttain! will get financial support and technical assistance for the next two years as part of the grant.

Halsey said adults returning to school in rural areas often face greater challenges because the closest college may be hours away, broadband may be spotty - and, compared to urban areas, affordable childcare is especially tough to find.

Dakota Pawlicki, director of the Talent Hub at the nonprofit CivicLab, said the money will also help community colleges and workforce-training programs make learning transferable.

"So this way," said Pawlicki, "someone who maybe has to move for work, that their credit counts for other places, and that these organizations collectively share they've learned to improve all higher education throughout Northern California."

ProjectAttain! will cover 25 rural counties in Northern California. The other four nonprofits chosen for the grant serve rural areas of Florida, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

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