ABSD Chair lets student success happen in its own time.
Adult Basic Skills (ABS) Chair Andre’ Jacob is a realist who knows students come to success in their own time. As the head of UCC’s ABS department, he has seen students come and go over the past 20 years.
“Some students have the heart to be here, but not the drive,” he said. “When students step out, they aren’t seeing the big picture and they haven’t learned to accomplish what they need. But when they step back into education, that’s when they take off.”
Andre’ shares the story of a student who took flight after the GED program. He came in motivated but shy. Homeschooled, he’d never been in a classroom or around other students.
“Once he got in and got going, there was no stopping him,” Andre’ said. “He finished the GED class, tested, and took his first college-level math class last fall.”
Andre’ says after that, the student enrolled in the welding program.
“When he made the President’s Honor Roll, the first person he called was me,” Andre’ said.
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Andre’ connects with his students in a very personal way—whether they are getting a GED to go further in school, get a promotion at work, or show the value of education to their grandkids. He makes a difference, and so do the tuition waivers ABSD offers.
Recruitment and tuition waivers go hand in hand. In a lot of cases, Andre’ and his staff are helping first-generation students who need as much emotional support as they do financial support.
“We go full circle,” he said. “When someone else is interested in them, then all they have to do is be interested in themselves.”
Students who often start out in the program as unsure—end up ready to work, join the military, or stay in school to receive more education. Grads learn to be part of a team, problem solve, build a portfolio that demonstrates success, and transition into a brighter future.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
Andre’ Jacob - Contact
Chair, Adult Basic Skills