The internet may have been down in Hamtramck this week, but at the Horizon Adult/Alternative Education Center the computers were up-and-running. On Tuesday (Nov. 16) the school celebrated the grand opening of its brand new computer lab.
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, Horizon was one of 10 centers in the area to receive a state-of-the-art computer lab. Each one comes complete with 20 Acer desktop computers and flat screen monitors, handicap-accessible desks, printers, textbooks and other supplies to ensure a successful learning environment.
One of the primary purposes of the new lab is to develop and implement an enhanced strategy to address the literacy and basic skill needs of the adult learner, which is why it was a perfect fit for Horizon. According to the National Institute for Literacy, nearly 75 percent of adults over the age of 25 do not have a college degree.
There are a few things to know for anyone interested in using the new lab. First, all participants must be part of the adult education program. This means they must enroll, take a pre-test that allows Horizon to make sure basic needs can be met before the learning process begins, and ultimately take a post-test to measure academic growth. Enrollment is open to everyone, including those who do not live in Hamtramck.
As for the services provided by the computer lab, there are many. Software programs like SkillsTutor can help students review their individual academic schools, and courses with Rosetta Stone can help teach English to non-speakers. Moreover, the computers allow access to online and distance learning, basic reading, writing, math and computer skills enhancement, workplace training and a flexible pace for each learner.
“The lab is like the icing on the cake,” says Cynthia Dowe, the Education Manager at Horizon. “Going to the computer lab allows students to enhance what they are learning in the classroom.”
Beyond the addition of the new computer lab, as part of the Hamtramck Public Schools system Horizon has been providing services to the community for years. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the week it provides high school completion courses through its alternative education program, and from 5 to 7:30 p.m. it offers courses in adult education.
Additionally, Horizon also has several off-site locations that it services. Through its partnerships with Wayne Metro, Corinthian Baptist Church, People’s Community Services, Michigan Works Highland Park, Wayne State TRiO, Hamtramck Housing, Early Childhood Development and the Hamtramck Recreation Department, Horizon is able to reach just about every corner of the city. And with all of the opportunities to learn, it’s no surprise that Horizon educates nearly 500 students a year – with another 250 on the waiting list.
“We’re providing everyday life skills,” says Dowe. “We teach them things that most people take for granted.”
For more information on the computer lab or any other programs offered by Horizon call (313) 893-2214, or stop by the building at 3225 Caniff.