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Adult Education instructor Chase Ingram works on a smart board. Ingram has re-established services in Williamson for those seeking free high school equivalency diploma readiness, TABE assessment, ACT prep, career and life skills, Microsoft Office certification and more.

WILLIAMSON — After several months without staffing in Williamson, Mingo County can now once again access free adult education resources via a classroom located inside the local Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College campus.

With successful campuses in Lincoln, Logan and Boone counties among others, the Williamson classroom looks to re-establish services immediately.

The Boone County classroom under the leadership of instructor Nicole Vint was named the “Program of the Year” for 2020.

Chase Ingram, 28, is the new instructor at the site, and his classroom is accepting new students. He possesses a master’s degree in business administration.

His undergraduate degree came from Marshall University, and his master’s via University of Pikeville.

“Teaching is something I’ve always been interested in, and the majority of my family are teachers,” he said. “My grandfather was, my aunts and cousins, and it is interesting how we sometimes follow the path of the ‘family business,’ so to speak.”

Ingram looks to bring consistency to the program and a healthy dose of promotion via resources like social media and community partnerships.

“Our primary focus is getting people into the classroom to get them on the path to earning their high school equivalency diplomas,” he said. “We also look to assist technical education students for students who look to become a CNA and things along those lines. We were doing it one day per week on a Friday, but I’d like to do that on Thursday and Friday. With COVID-19 restrictions, we are limited to four to six people at a time, and our space is relatively small. At one time we were at 18 to 20 students in this classroom, and I want to get back to that as soon as we are able.”

Currently, social distancing and masks are required in the classroom, but masks can be removed once seated. Temperature checks are still part of the policy in place.

“We also offer customer service and ethics training, and I’m really big on certifications,” he added. “My target demographic is for students ages 18 to 44, and we certainly welcome anyone at any age (over 18). It is never too late to get an education or start a new career path.”

Thanks to both state and federal funding, courses are offered entirely for free in nearly every county. Enrollment is open year-round, and instruction is tailored to specific needs.

Ingram said that people who want to move up in their line of work or are seeking other professional opportunities are candidates for his services.

“Anyone also re-entering the world of academics and looking to go to college or return to college, this is a great starting point for them,” he added. “We do what we do based on the individual need of that particular student. Each student will have their own path, and it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ situation.”

Ingram said that while being located on the college’s campus, it provides a smooth pathway for those who look to start back to school locally.

Ingram can be reached at 304-235-2022 or email at MingoAdultEd@outlook.com.

For more information about West Virginia Adult Education and for a list of class sites in each county, visit www.wvadulted.org.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at 304-307-2401.

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