Community Link serves as the Amarillo College outreach center.
It provides ESL and GED classes to prepare students for future enrollment at AC.
The college is the only entity in the Texas Panhandle that is qualified to administer the GED test.
Community Link also offers other services to students, such as assisting them in filing for financial aid. Students also can get help qualifying for jobs through Panhandle Workforce Solutions.
Maury Roman-Jordan, director of outreach services, said Commuity Link hosts events for recruitment and enrollment.
At 6 p.m. Nov. 4, there will be a workshop to help students fill out their FAFSA forms. Financial aid advisers will assist students in filing for additional financial aid.
The advisers will be available to answer students’ questions about jobs at AC and enrollment. They also will help students apply for the Adult Student Programs.
Panhandle Workforce Solutions will attend the workshop to help students see if they qualify for the Workforce Act.
The act is an additional aid offered to students who are working in a field that coincides with their degree plan.
“We have services in place to help our students better themselves,” Roman-Jordan said.
In January, changes to the GED test affected how Community Link offers the GED program.
The GED test now requires students to be able to use advanced critical thinking skills, which has drastically changed the level of difficulty.
Roman-Jordan said the test now will be more challenging and meticulous, requiring more preparation, and it will be computerized.
She said it causes more challenges in preparing students because they not only need to be able to understand the content of the test, they now have to know how to navigate a computer.
“Students themselves will be the most affected by the GED changes,” she said.
One of the changes to better prepare students for the GED will be a collaboration between Community Link and Academic Success on GED classes. The partnership is still being organized.
“We are so very grateful for the collaboration with Academic Success.” Roman-Jordan said.
Another change will provide the ESL and GED programs free of charge to those who qualify. Students will now only have to pay for the GED test itself.
Many students feel the center has affected their lives in a major way.
“This program has helped me reach better goals at work,” said Eh Dah, a student in the ESL program. “I will be going on to AC to further my education.”
Others are setting short-term goals to help them get through school.
“One of my goals is to be able to read an entire Stephen King novel by the time I’m done with the ESL program,” said Christopher Salazar, an ESL student. “I also want to get my GED and become a writer one day.”