Adult education program gives second chances for high school diplomas

Originally aired on KWCH-TV – February 27, 2019

A program in western Kansas gives students who may not otherwise graduate high school the opportunity to earn their diplomas.

For nearly two decades a program in Dodge City has allowed adults to return to earn their diplomas through online classes at the city’s adult education center.

Esmeralda Soto says the opportunity changed her life. As she moved from city to city, she says her school experience was different than typical students. She says life got more difficult when she moved to Dodge City and she dropped out of high school.

“It just brings you down. It makes you feel like you’re not accomplished,” she says. “So I started looking around.”

Last year, she finished what she started.

Since 2001, more than 200 students like Soto have received their diploma by taking high school courses online through the adult education program.

“The timeline for a student completing their courses depends on the students themselves and how many credits they’re needing, how much time can they devote to their courses, how often they can get on, how long they can stay on,” explains Dodge City Education Center Coordinator Pam Gleason.

With her high school diploma in hand, Soto says she wants to go to college and study animal behavior.

“You have to push through. You have to try to get the stuff you wanted to get done first, baby steps,” Soto says.

Any Kansas student is eligible to enroll in the adult education program and to take online courses from home.

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