ADULT EDUCATION IN NORTH IDAHO
Adult education in North Idaho always has been closely connected to North Idaho College (NIC). Formerly housed at the college's main campus, the Adult Education Center recently moved to a more centrally located site in downtown Coeur d'Alene, but it is still overseen by the college. The new location for the Adult Education Center is lively and welcoming, offering computerized instruction, tutoring in an open lab setting, and structured classes in adult basic education, GED preparation, English literacy (EL), and computer literacy. These services also are offered in its six outreach sites across the region. An outreach coordinator oversees curriculum and instruction, which are the same at all sites.
The Adult Education Center's partnerships existed before the Center's current director, Rex Fairfield, arrived five years ago, but they are stronger now, according to staff. Rex's willingness to build partnerships, to be an "instigator," has fostered an internal and external atmosphere conducive to collaboration. He supports team building within the Center, capitalizing on the strengths of his various staff members, and he is willing to call local and state agencies to ask for help.
With the support of its partners, the Adult Education Center and its outreach sites served 2,166 adults, with 1,387 of those learners receiving more than twelve hours of instruction, in fiscal year 2001-2002. Instruction was provided by seven full-time and twelve part-time teachers, assisted by five paraprofessionals. Program costs were covered primarily by a $232,092 federal grant administered through the Idaho State Department of Education. The state also supplied $137,369, and North Idaho College added $133,700 in in-kind contributions. The cost per student was $332.37.