JJC Community Partnership Delivers Training Close to Home

Joliet Junior College’s Adult Education and Literacy program has partnered with Riverwalk Homes (formerly Evergreen Terrace) to offer an on-site High School Equivalency (HSE) program for residents at the Joliet complex.

According to Libby Budd, JJC’s manager of adult education, discussions began last summer when she met with Elizabeth Protich, program manager at Riverwalk Homes. They talked about what roadblocks the residents were facing and how JJC’s programs could serve as a catalyst to help residents with fulfilling their academic needs.

The plans to offer an on-site HSE program along with GED test prep became a reality this past fall.

Libby Budd and Elizabeth Protich
From left: JJC's Manager of Adult Education Libby Budd and
Riverwalk Homes Program Manager Elizabeth Protich.

“We currently offer one HSE class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Riverwalk Homes,” said Budd. “The topics cover math, science, language arts and social studies.”

She also explained that the classes are co-taught, which means there are two teachers in the classroom working with students at all times.

“This helps accommodate for the multiple learning levels of students in the class. Students are able to move between teachers based on their personal academic needs.”

Protich explained the program offers more opportunity and hope to the residents and helps build confidence.

“They no longer have to leave the site to receive services that will enhance their skill set. They can be proud of where they live,” Protich said. “There is definitely an increase in enthusiasm and participation overall in the Riverwalk community.” 

There are also discussions about the possibility of offering bridge classes in the future based on interest of the residents. The bridge classes are another avenue for residents to explore career pathways and take the next step in their academic journey.

For more information about the high school equivalency program and GED test prep offered through JJC’s Adult Education and Literacy, contact Libby Budd at (815) 280-1357 or ebudd@jjc.edu.