Help for Adults Seeking Work, Education | news

In Tahlequah, many resources are available to those in need, including those without tribal citizenship.

Oklahoma Works, a partner in the American Job Center network, has offices across the state. According to the Oklahoma Works website, these centers are designed to help companies find skilled workers and help job seekers obtain employment and training services to advance their careers

An Oklahoma Works affiliate center in Tahlequah offers services from some of the center’s affiliate programs, but not all of those available at Comprehensive Centers. Tahlequah office partners include Eckerd Connects, the Green County Workforce Development Board, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Human Services, and Tahlequah Public Schools adult education programs.

Adult education is an option to qualify for a new or current job. Scholarships for these types of programs are available at several local higher education institutions.

Northeastern State University offers opportunities for non-traditional students who wish to enroll in degree programs as well as those who wish to continue their education through courses. NSU has a special admissions category for those over the age of 21, on active military service, or otherwise who do not fit under the regular admissions requirements. Applicants must have completed high school or completed a GED program to be considered. NSU also offers a program for working adults: the Reach Higher FlexFinish program, with options for online and eight-week courses, and five enrollment periods per year.

NSU Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Dr. Brandon Miller, described a scholarship at NSU that is available specifically for this type of student.

“We offer President Steve Turner’s Non-Traditional Student Foundation Scholarship for full-time freshmen ages 25 and older beginning their college education. You must have a high school GPA of 3.0,” Miller said. “Funds vary from year to year and we may award one or two students. We will email the announcement in August.”

Adult students can also fill out the University’s General Scholarship Application.

Michelle Farris, academic advisor for NSU’s Reach Higher program, pointed to some other community resources compiled by the adult Reach Higher graduate program, including transportation support from Cherokee County Sooner Ride and Hope House of Cherokee County as a food source. This list can be found at:

NSU also offers continuing education courses, as described by program coordinator Antony McCarty.

“Advanced education at Northeastern State University includes courses in business, human resources, marketing, entrepreneurship, healthcare and technology,” McCarty said. “The vast majority of these courses are online and can be completed at the pace of the learner.”

The financial support options for these classes are more limited.

“We are not currently accepting any financial support in the form of grants or scholarships,” McCarty said. “We can accept funds from the Cherokee Nation.”

The Indian Capital Technology Center offers educational resources for adults. Tahlequah campus consultant and recruiter Anna Haas described these programs.

“The Tahlequah campus offers adult students 11 full-time programs, [such as] auto accident repair, automotive service technician, business administration, criminal justice, electrician assistant, heavy equipment, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, information technology, service innovation, welding and adult licensed practical nursing,” said Haas.

Haas asked interested applicants to apply online first and complete the online application for full-time programs.

“We conduct adult enrollment interviews once a month and ask that all applicants bring a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a transcript or photocopy of their GED for financial assistance purposes, if possible,” Haas said.

Anesa Hooper, Public Relations Coordinator, explained the ICTC’s financial support opportunities.

“ICTC offers financial aid to our adult programs that qualify or meet financial aid guidelines,” Hooper said. “The financial aid we offer includes PELL grants, veteran benefits, tribal support, state grants, scholarships, and various funding agencies.”

ICTC also offers scholarships.

“We offer several scholarships to adult students who meet certain criteria for each of these scholarships. Scholarships include our Senior Scholarship, ICTC Foundation Scholarship, Superintendent’s Scholarship and Fee Waiver,” Hooper said.

What’s next

The second part of the series, which will air during the TDP weekend of June 25-26, will focus on health care and food resources.

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